Roasted maple. Truth or hype?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Jakedog, Dec 11, 2018.

  1. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    They came out initially because of new at that time laws about rosewood.... I would assume anything claimed about roasted maple is hype. It was introduced to address a supply problem for the manufacturer.
     
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  2. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    It's probably possible to make a good standard guitar (given the ability to do roughing work with power tools and on up from there depending on the volume and the investment tolerable) with ideal wood for not much more than Fender's am standard line.

    But I can almost guarantee that the market doesn't care at all. I will give the makers credit in a market as competitive as guitars - they'll give the market what it wants. Some of that will be market making (do what you have to do to survive), but offering a perfectly straight selected guitar as a matter of standard practice just won't have economic value.

    I work almost entirely by hand - that straight wood is more stable, but it's also much more predictable to work. Once I spent the money to get proper beech billets, the (relatively minimal) shaping and carving work became 10 times easier because the orientation of the grain was always what you wanted.

    A guitar made of perfectly straight orderly wood is rare looking, but it's not a rare that many people like. It's more of a japanese aesthetic. I think in the US, we like automotive paint better, and on lower end guitars, it's matte.
     
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  3. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    You might have identified the sweet spot, here, for roasting.

    Most people agree that heavily figured maple necks are problematic in terms of stability, more than plainer stocks of maple. So, the best place to utilize the roasting may be on figured maple. Despite the fact that the figured stuff looks great without it.

    I just don't see the supply of rock maple, selected for suitability on nice guitar necks, as being all that limited. So given a choice, I would rather someone like Tommy Rosamond hand selecting the maple in the first place, instead of opening the floodgates to all the maple and "curing" the less choice pieces through roasting. You could maximize a supply that way but I don't see guitar production exploding and so that's just not what they need.

    So, pick your wood stocks carefully, before the roasting starts. Then, sell the roasted necks to people in place of rosewood, in place of huge overkill truss rods, or to people who are determined to have a "no finish" guitar neck.

    And the economic success of roasting then turns on the availability. And price. Could we see a time when a Roasted maple neck is for Squiers and cheap MIMs because it is simply the cheapest way to get a playable guitar into the hands of the new buyer?
     
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  4. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Carrying from tree to product would be cool...

    For traditional wood boats it can be an advantage to buy trees and have them cut, then build immediately with no seasoning, if for the deadwood that stays under water most of its life.
    There is little advantage to buying dry wood and then submerging it after careful fitting!
    Many boats have exploded from too tight fitting, after a good soak and swell...
     
  5. Antmax

    Antmax Tele-Meister

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    They are supposed to be more rigid and lighter after all the moisture and sugars have been extracted during the lengthy roasting period. You do have to be careful with screwing because the lack of moisture means the wood is more brittle. So holes for screws are supposed to be slightly larger and some care should be taken to prevent cracking. Also chipping if your removing a nut or something.

    Being more stable seems fairly legit, durable probably depends. Supposed to not need a finish durable. But other kinds of abuse might not go down as well.
     
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  6. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    What kind of finish did they put on it?
     
  7. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I don’t know if it sounds different. I don’t know if it feels different. Don’t really care on either count.

    I’m asking specifically if it affects stability in the way manufacturers are claiming. I live in Northeast Ohio. Very warm and humid summers. Very cold and dry winters. It wreaks havoc on necks. Almost nothing is stable enough for me.

    I have a new Yamaha acoustic with a five piece neck. That sucker doesn’t move. At all. I can sit in a 74 degree bar playing next to the door, and a group of ten can walk in from outside and blast me with 20 degree air and it does not affect the guitar.

    In the same scenario with my mahogany or maple necked electric guitars, I’m horribly out of tune pretty much immediately.

    I don’t care about any real or imagined tonal voodoo. I only care about the stability factor. If roasted maple does it, I’ll get a roasted maple neck. Otherwise I’m looking at getting something with a laminated 3-5 piece neck like my Yamaha acoustic. Which is the most stable neck I’ve ever owned in my life.
     
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  8. soulgeezer

    soulgeezer Poster Extraordinaire

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    Humidify in the winter, dehumidify in the summer. Keep the room with the guitars around 50% humidity and you won't have any problems with things moving around.

    People ascribe way too much importance to things that really don't matter. Humidity is the reason wood moves. And, if you're going out of tune just because somebody opened a door, that would seem to be metal strings contracting, not wood moving.

    I could theoretically be wrong about this, but I really don't think so.
     
  9. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    Keeping constant humidity is fine, unless you don't want to do it. I don't want to do it. I just want something reasonably stable at household temperatures and humidity levels between 60 and 80 and 25 and 60%, respectively.

    when I was younger, i troubled over humidity, but don't have whole house system (and don't want one at this point) and got tired of it.
     
  10. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    It's like vitamins. If you take vitamins, and never get sick, is it because of the vitamins, or would you have been just as healthy without them? Hard to say. I have a Tele partser with a roasted maple neck from Musikraft, it's been solid rock stable so far. I can't see how that proves anything, but I like the tan tint and really like the neck.

    Here in Maine, the humidity ranges from 70% in the summer to 10% in winter. This neck never budges. The only one that moves much is an Epiphone AJ45 acoustic that bends into a back-bow, making it unplayable all winter.
     
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  11. jrblue

    jrblue Friend of Leo's

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    Of course there's hype involved, and the real question is "how much?" I really dislike guitar marketing and so am predisposed to question everything, and can only say that in my opinion, good roasted maple makes for a really solid feeling neck and fingerboard, and when treated and built really well, as in EB/MM guitars, does appear to offer a somewhat superior result. I think it's good stuff, and preferable, but not a massive game-changer or absolute essential. I think many builders will go for it in part because it should really reduce warranty claims, or problems with action on shipped guitars, etc. It's like a stability insurance policy.
     
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  12. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Properties of fast-growing timbers with low durability can be improved by thermal modification. Thermal modification is an eco-friendly method of improving durability of wood. In this work, specimens of rubberwood (Hevea brasiliensis) and silver oak (Grevillea robusta) were thermally modified in vacuum between 210 to 240°C for 1 to 8 hours, and their weight loss, color, and chemical changes evaluated. Rate of thermal degradation was determined from weight loss data. The color of the modified wood darkened and was uniform throughout. CIE lightness color coordinate (L*) decreased with treatment severity, while chroma coordinates a* and b* increased initially, but later decreased with increased process severity. FTIR analysis showed degradation of cell wall polymers resulting in generation of structures which are responsible for color darkening of thermally modified wood. Mechanical properties (bending strength, MOR, and bending stiffness, MOE) of heat-treated wood decreased. A decrease in hydroxyl groups reduced the hygroscopic nature, resulting in increased dimensional stability of thermally modified wood.

    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02773813.2012.674170?src=recsys

    OK.
     
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  13. bdkphoto

    bdkphoto Tele-Meister

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    Can't speak to manufacture's roasting but I own a Rick Kelly Tele with a "naturally" roasted 160 yo neck (Douglas Fir). No truss rod. It's been perfectly stable for the 4 years I've had it. I would not hesitate to try a roasted neck for my other tele after playing the Kelly.
     
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  14. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If it’s the strings, I would think it would happen across the board. The it’s the wood, I would think acoustics would be more susceptible than electrics. Yet the Yamaha with the five piece neck doesn’t get affected at all, and the baseball bat mahogany neck on the electric does. I dunno. I never used to have these problems. Newer guitars seem to be the culprit. Especially imports. I’ve had a lot of data to judge by, and things are pretty consistent.

    If there’s significant data that roasted maple has a chance of being better, I’d try it.
     
  15. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I get the out-of-tune with temperature too. Going from a cold car to a heated room, the whole thing goes sharp. I have to wait for the guitar to warm up before tuning, or it goes sharp as it heats up. All my Strats do this. I haven't taken the roasted neck out to see if it does it too.
     
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  16. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    36 years since new, my ibanez artist neck is so straight it still doesn't require any truss rod adjustment.

    I think you're better off getting a laminated neck than any whiz bang treatment, but sense that a lot of people don't like laminated necks solely because it reminds them of a bass or a 1970s guitar.
     
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  17. jamieorc

    jamieorc Tele-Holic

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    This. I live in Virginia. I have two Warmoth maple necks (vintage style/22 frets which means difficult to access truss rod at heal) from about 2001 that move a lot. One is birdseye, one is plain. They move a lot with the weather. They are also not properly finished, rather having quite a few layers of oil. My late 90s MusicMan, on the other hand, with its double-expanding truss rod is very stable. It's also oil-finished. I haven't needed to adjust it in probably over a decade.

    Jakedog, another option is carbon fiber in the neck, standard on a lot of the very thin necks.
     
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  18. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I was recently checking into some of the newer Charvel stuff with the graphite stringers in the neck. I had a Carvin neck that had those, and it was pretty amazingly stable. Was it because of the graphite rods? I don’t truly know. But I do know that that particular neck had them, and it was pretty much rock solid.
     
  19. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Maybe what I need is a laminated roasted maple neck with graphite rods... lol.
     
  20. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Jake, my understanding is, you get increased stability/rigidity and in exchange you lose compliance and resilience. A roasted neck will be less compliant but also more rigid or stable.

    But IMO it is a tradeoff. You might find the maple disintegrating when you go to replace the frets. If you drop the guitar, the headstock, instead of denting, a big hunk might flake right off.

    Too bad you don't use a 1.00" thick neck section. Something like that, much more stable in the roller coaster indoor environs of NE Ohio.
     
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