Thoughts on Rosewood Fretboards

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by BRoberts, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Fenders have come in all flavors, even in the "classic" years. A rosewood-board Tele is just as much a classic, iconic Tele as is a maple-necked one.
     
  2. Chief101

    Chief101 Tele-Meister

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    I’m not a slave to fingerboard material. I probably prefer rosewood +1% over maple, but really, I like them both very much. Currently, I have five guitars w/ rosewood and three with maple.
     
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  3. 2 Headed Goat

    2 Headed Goat Friend of Leo's

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    Variety is the spice of life...
     
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  4. joebloggs13

    joebloggs13 Tele-Holic

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    Never tried one. My maple Tele sure feels nice though! Rosewood on a Gibson now, is a match made in heaven.:)
     
  5. sonny wolf

    sonny wolf Friend of Leo's

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    I enjoy both maple and rosewood fretboards for Strats and Teles...each one gives a certain flavour that is nice.If I can only have one Strat and one Tele then the Strat would be rosewood and the Tele maple but I do own ones that are vice versa.In my experience having owned and played many many guitars rosewood has a more compressed tone with the mids being more dominant whereas with maple there is more treble and bass frequencies.To answer your question about rosewood fretboard Teles,I feel they have more honkiness and midrange focus...very twangy as a result which some Tele players love them for Country.Every rosewood fretboard Tele I ever owned had that characteristic.My current one is this lovely Squier classic vibe Tele in limited edition black and it is probably my most 'Tele-like' Tele...you can't mistake this guitar's sound for anything but a Tele because of it's distinctive twang and honkiness which is enhanced by the rosewood.

    14556041_10207993898900671_440463241_n.jpg
     
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  6. ricardo1912

    ricardo1912 Tele-Afflicted

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    Somehow maple necks on Teles just looks right to me. I'd buy a Squier Standard as a backup if it didn't have a rosewood/laurel fretboard.

    Either looks OK on a strat and I couldn't imagine a maple necked Gibson.
     
  7. SamIV

    SamIV Tele-Holic

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    Like rosewood but ok with maple as long as it has a very light finish. Thick poly is a no no for me.
     
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  8. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Friend of Leo's

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    Thoughts on Rosewood Fretboards...

    Hmmm...

    Now you see it, now you don't!
     
  9. naveed211

    naveed211 Tele-Meister

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    I prefer maple, but I don’t mind a good piece of rosewood, too. The darker the better.

    Certainly wouldn’t hesitate to have my main guitar be one or the other if it was a good one. Just gravitate toward maple.
     
  10. E5RSY

    E5RSY Doctor of Teleocity

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    Someone around here once said they thought that the Tele only reached it's final level of refinement/maturity when it received a rosewood board, but that Strats were born in '54 the way they should look, with a maple neck. I tend to agree with that, and it pretty well describes the way I feel about them.
     
  11. L.A. Mike

    L.A. Mike Tele-Afflicted

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    I guess if someone is interested in tradition and/or appearance vs. sound and playability this would matter.
    I prefer the way a rosewood or ebony fretboard feel and sound. Yep, I wrote sound. The maple fretboard or solid maple neck Teles sound a bit too bright to me. Rosewood or ebony tend to tame the high end edge just a bit.
    Since you asked that's my opinion. Yours may vary. No big deal.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
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  12. memorex

    memorex Friend of Leo's

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    I've never liked finished finger boards, that's why I've never been a big maple fan. I've had rosewood, pau ferro, and ebony boards, and I like them all. A couple of years ago, I bought a Musikraft neck with a fingerboard of Brazilian Ipe, reclaimed lumber from the Coney Island Boardwalk. I think it may be the best board I've ever owned. It's got a feel like ebony, but strings just seems to last forever. Even when they're a year old and completely dead, the tone of this neck seems to have more twang than my rosewood Tele with much newer strings. It's weird. I don't know how much more of this reclaimed Ipe Musikraft has, but I'd like to get another neck with it.
     
  13. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

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    My experience with maple and rosewood is that, especially when it comes to playing with other musicians, the sound difference is negligible. There are so many other factors that play a bigger role in the overall sound of the guitar. My main consideration is how it feels. Personally, I like maple if it's not finished with something that gets sticky. Unfortunately, most maple necks today are IMO, whether it's nitro or poly. For me, I like the Road Worn treated maple necks, or those where the finish is worn off. I love rosewood too. But a lot of people love the finished maple boards and play great on them. As always, the only important thing is what you like. The guitar is just a tool after all.
     
  14. Beachbum

    Beachbum Friend of Leo's

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    It seems to me that since the strings are stopped by the metal frets not the wood board there's no physical reason there should be any tonal difference at all and to my ear there isn't. As far as cosmetics go I'll let you decide.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. skradlee

    skradlee TDPRI Member

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    I wholeheartedly agree with you about both of your specific examples. Again, I have no concrete opinion on the matter, I like em both. Sometimes I see something that breaks my own rules of what I think would look good only to be proven way wrong.
     
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  16. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I like how two people will disagree and both think their opinion is the obviously true one. I could generalize that, but I won't.
     
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  17. Beachbum

    Beachbum Friend of Leo's

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    I think the key word here is "opinion"

    o·pin·ion
    /əˈpinyən/
    Learn to pronounce
    noun
    1. a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.
     
  18. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Larry, that 2d Tele from the right, of the five, with the walnut colored body finish and matching headstock (but with the maple board) is such an unusual combination. Thanks for posting that. I can't remember another Tele quite like that one. I like it.
     
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  19. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Bill, when I finished a number of these Allparts TRO-FAT necks, I applied rosewood colored oil based grain filler to the rosewood boards, drove it into the pores as much as I could, then applied a couple coats of Minwax Tung Oil Finish. And having done that, the "rosewood" necks felt very similar to the finished maple, and insofar as difference one neck to another, I would say perhaps the difference is about multiple piece necks sounding different that one piece (with skunkstripe) maple necks yield.

    And yeah, at stage volume the difference is zilch. Once the tropical wood is filled, your fingers have the same "traction" as they do with maple with a similar finish.

    So, I think the way the neck is constructed and the choice of finish are potential more important than which of two excellent wood species we employ.
     
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  20. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    But in a way, you do.

    Fender, for historical reasons, tends to offer a Fat neck on a maple boarded neck. And the choices they offer with a rosewood board also tend to be more Intermediate in thickness.

    So, if you want Fat you're going to find your dream guitar faster if you go for maple board models.

    And this is I think, why maple outnumbers rosewood in my accumulation of guitars 3 guitars to 2.

    And the balance I have has to do with buying a lot of TRO-FAT necks and Warmoth rosewood board necks in Atypical sizes/fatnesses. If I relied on Shops only, maybe my maple guitars would outnumber rosewood boarded ones by 3 guitars to 1.
     
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