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Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by BRoberts, Nov 10, 2019.
I'm too busy playing both to think about the 'coolness factor.'
The vast majority of the Telecasters I have owned in the past 10 years have had rosewood necks. It is a matter of personal preference, not saying one is better than the other. Rosewood just speaks to me
You will find rosewood on some MIA guitars recently shipped by Fender. Dark? I didn’t see any that were very dark.
Someone mentioned Vince Gill. He was right. But someone else wrote about the age of the guitar, as an added consideration. I've owned many 1950s and early 1960s Fenders. Though Vince was right, I believe maple necks totally rule. If I had to play a rosewood neck, slab board only! It's all about the tone, and it's in-your-face tone that is hard to duplicate.
I have 5 Teles - 2 maple and 3 rosewood
Based on a couple I had, rosewood capped neck can be good, or not so good. The capping, be it rosewood or maple, changes the dynamics and tone of the instrument.
rosewood on a tele is out of place like fat muscle car tires on something with fins and chrome
I've always been a sucker for the look of a maple board....it just looks 'more' right to me on a Tele. A rosewood board sort of visually interrupts the simple design and flow of the Tele shape somehow....doesn't work to my eye. And the only reason (apparently) that Leo started using RW was because he didn't like how the maple looked when it began to wear.....so it was done strictly for visual reasons.
There’s nothing about a good rosewoods I don’t like. I certainly like maple, but rosewood, well, it’s elegant, rustic, perfect, practical, and brown all at the same time.
I like maple AND rosewood on Teles, but I don’t have either. This pau ferro neck feels and sounds great, but since I’m a goon like the rest of you guys I think about replacing it with a maple neck from time to time. Or maybe rosewood.
To B. Roberts original question on the aesthetics and vibe of a rosewood fretboard vs maple: In the responses above, I saw a few names tossed around who played rosewood fretboards...here are a couple more: David Gilmour, Robben Ford, Muddy Waters, oh...and a guy named Jimmy Page during his first few albums with this somewhat popular band called "Led Zeppelin". This somewhat popular song with a famous solo - Stairway to Heaven - was played by Jimmy using his rosewood fretboard Tele. That said, I never once said to myself: "Oooo...look, that player is playing a rosewood fretboard Tele."
Most Tele players know that Leo Fender changed to rosewood fretboards for one reason and on reason only: He didn't like seeing dark finger-wear on his maple necks/fretboards of his '50's Tele's. He thought it reflected poorly of the quality of his guitars when seen on T.V. and in movies. So...he wanted to "hide" player fretboard wear, by using darker rosewood. Little did he know that it would warm up the tone a bit, easing/cooling those shrill, ear-bleed trebles. He of course kept maple necks/fretboards for those who wanted them, but recall all of those '60 - 68' model Strats and Teles that had the rosewood fretboards? For the sake of "visual aesthetics" he ended up offering a different tone that was an option for those who wanted that tone. Bottom line (IMHO): don't worry about "aesthetics and appearances" unless you have perfected the instrument, but if you're like all of us, you are in continual pursuit of perfection, and you care more about tone, playability, and feel instead of "how pretty" or "how cool a vibe" does my guitar's appearance have?
Three Strats and two Teles all maple necks. My wife plays bass and her practice instrument is a Squire Precision with a rosewood fretboard. The Squire Bass sounds great and plays well. I have an Epiphone SG with a Rosewood fretboard (the only option) and it plays ok. I have just avoided rosewood on all my Fenders.
Decades ago, I really only associated Fenders with maple necks. Fast forward to a decade ago or so and I began to really appreciate the look and feel of rosewood boards on Fenders.
Today, I have about 16 Fenders (12 Teles, I think, and 4 Strats). Of them all, I think I have about 6 maple necks - the rest are rosewood.
As for looks... yeah, I think I'm starting to really come around with regard for rosewood boards on Fenders
Of course, I still enjoy playing my maple necks. But I guess I seem to enjoy the rosewood even more.
Hmmm, had a rosewood fretboard Tele that I really liked. But not quite well enough to not trade it for a PRS with an all Brazilian Rosewood neck. Yes, I’m a Philistine.. So, now, my Teles are all Maple necks. Now that I think of it, other than the PRSs I have, I only have one fender style with a rosewood neck, a Strat. I like the feel, but most of my choices have been about sound, and to my ear apparently, maple is usually the choice for Teles and Strats.
Never actually thought about it that way before.
In a perfect world I'd have one of each but when I went out Tele shopping a rosewood fingerboard blackie was what won out. But anyway...
100,000 years ago, a group of cavemen sat around a fire debating the aesthetics and functionality of different woods used in the construction of spear shafts and clubs ...
Some things never change ...
I have both and I like both. Also have an ebony board on an after market neck and a Les Paul special with baked maple. All good in their own way. A friend has an Indian laurel; SRV used pau ferro. Rosewood and ebony seem the most luxuriant but maple is a Fender original.
To me, the Telecaster was a major triumph of industrial engineering and the one piece neck was a big part of that, so I say yes to "cool factor".
When i was younger, i was a maple guy, but for no real reason, that's just what seemed to fall my way, and I was fine with them. But in the past 20 years or so, I've gotten to prefer rosewood. I love the look, and the feel, but i also feel it generally has a crisper,woodier, punchier, more resonant sound ( though the difference is fairly marginal, and I probably wouldn't bet $5 that I could tell them apart, blindfolded).
That being said, I'm not rabidly committed to them, and still like maple alot,too.