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Maple vs. Rosewood?

This is a discussion on Maple vs. Rosewood? within the Music Man Guitars forums, part of the Gear Talk category; OK is there a difference, is one faster than the other or is it all based on preference...what do the ...

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    Raz's Avatar
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    Maple vs. Rosewood?

    OK is there a difference, is one faster than the other or is it all based on preference...what do the pros (that's you guys by the way) think?
    Most People Turn and Laugh When I Tell Them I Only Have 1/32" to Play With

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    spkirby's Avatar
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    Hey Raz (the latest rabid EBMM collector!),

    I think mostly its all comes down to preference. I personally prefer the look and feel of maple. However I do own rosewood fretted guitars and they work fine too. If only it was as simple as the choice of woods allowing you to play faster...

    There's general agreement that maple capped necks are brighter sounding than rosewood capped necks but since I dont have a like for like model comparison I can't say...there are too many other factors (body wood, construction, shape, trem, pickups etc) that prevent a fair comparison with the guitars I own!

    P.S. I find my rosewood fretboard guitars get built up finger gunge way faster than the maple ones...not sure why as they get played less often!

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by spkirby
    Hey Raz (the latest rabid EBMM collector!),

    I think mostly its all comes down to preference. I personally prefer the look and feel of maple. However I do own rosewood fretted guitars and they work fine too. If only it was as simple as the choice of woods allowing you to play faster...

    There's general agreement that maple capped necks are brighter sounding than rosewood capped necks but since I dont have a like for like model comparison I can't say...there are too many other factors (body wood, construction, shape, trem, pickups etc) that prevent a fair comparison with the guitars I own!

    P.S. I find my rosewood fretboard guitars get built up finger gunge way faster than the maple ones...not sure why as they get played less often!

    Steve
    Wash your hands
    Just kidding, thanks now I'm even more confused NO, kidding again...well I guess when my Axis Sport with rosewood comes in I will make the comparison to the Wolfies maple...thanks!
    Most People Turn and Laugh When I Tell Them I Only Have 1/32" to Play With

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    Dodgeball is offline Registered User Senior Member
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    Well, personally, I always went rosewood over maple. That's over 12 years playing rosewood boards because I never found a maple board that I liked as much, besides which it seems that a maple board is becoming more difficult to spec as an option with manufacturers.

    As far as my tastes now are concerned, I find the maple on my Axis so much better than any rosewood board. I do find it faster because it is a harder, closer grained wood that is smoother to the touch than rosewood, though that again is all open to argument.

    As far as tone goes I wouldn't necessarily describe maple as being brighter...more that rosewood sounds fuller, if people can follow that. Now maple doesn't sound thin - I'm not suggesting that - but rosewood sounds warmer and more rounded while maple is a much more focused and direct sound.

    I think the gunge build up is to do with the open grain of the rosewood, it collects the dead skin cells from the fingers more while with maple they just kind of sit on the top and wait for you to clean it off.

    I really want to try a pau ferro board, the hardness of maple with more of the warmth (but not as much) as rosewood and with a dark colouration to boot...sweet.

    Laters
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    JFRICK is offline Registered User Junior Member
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    I'm a big fan of maple, though I own a couple of guitars with rosewood fretboards. I can say an ebony fretboard is the "smoothest" feeling wood for a fretboard. Ebony is very dense wood.......
    Havoc Din

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    Glassmoon is offline Registered User Newbie
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    my preference has always been maple for a faster neck. rosewood is grainy and you can definitely feel some finger drag, even if it's clean. however, it's plenty fast and I find that the more you think about somethin the more it drags you down. I just let the thought that it feels grainy go right outta my head the moment I think about it, because if you're not comfortable playing for one reason or another it's never good. I did away with rosewood for a long time because of the feel, but finally said enough of the anal retentive mindset. the tone of the rosewood is a nice addition, so letting the small things bother a person is a waste.

    anyway, that's what I think. as one person said, if you're havin issues with the feel of it or finger drag, keepin it clean will help a ton. one more thing I've found...talcum powder on the back of the neck makes it feel good and is faster, so it sort of (at least for me) makes me use a lighter touch on the fingerboard to try and keep my fingers up to speed with my thumb/palm on the back of the neck. it's a weird phenomenon, and hopefully it'll work for you, too....doesn't alleviate the problem, but one more thing that helps.

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    Raz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glassmoon
    my preference has always been maple for a faster neck. rosewood is grainy and you can definitely feel some finger drag, even if it's clean. however, it's plenty fast and I find that the more you think about somethin the more it drags you down. I just let the thought that it feels grainy go right outta my head the moment I think about it, because if you're not comfortable playing for one reason or another it's never good. I did away with rosewood for a long time because of the feel, but finally said enough of the anal retentive mindset. the tone of the rosewood is a nice addition, so letting the small things bother a person is a waste.

    anyway, that's what I think. as one person said, if you're havin issues with the feel of it or finger drag, keepin it clean will help a ton. one more thing I've found...talcum powder on the back of the neck makes it feel good and is faster, so it sort of (at least for me) makes me use a lighter touch on the fingerboard to try and keep my fingers up to speed with my thumb/palm on the back of the neck. it's a weird phenomenon, and hopefully it'll work for you, too....doesn't alleviate the problem, but one more thing that helps.

    Hmmm that's strange...I may try that!
    Most People Turn and Laugh When I Tell Them I Only Have 1/32" to Play With

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    Until I started playing EBMM stuff, I always preferred rosewood over maple because I absolutely cannot stand a finished fretboard. The back of the neck doesn't matter to me nearly as much (although it still does), but the Fender 52RI Telecaster I had was pretty much unplayable for me because I couldn't do a bend without my fingertips sticking to the fretboard.

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    Not to sound too general, but it all comes down to individual preference and feel.
    If you think your going to play faster or better with the the way a particular board feels to you, it may come through.

    I believe to a certain extent this comes down to most components of relative similar quality. A lot of it is in your head and what feels good, wood choice, neck carve, board radius, string guage and even to an extent the overall cosmetic look will make you play more and play better. If you don't like the way it feels, you won't play it as well.

    Just look at the sig models within EB/MM family EVH - maple, Petrucci - rosewood, Albert Lee - maple, Steve morse - Rosewood. Never in my lifetime will I achieve the speed or technique of any of these guys, no matter what board wood I choose.

    So I just picked one I felt comfortable with and started pluggin away.
    MBG CIC ALOC
    "If, for any reason, you are not 100% satisfied with the, quality, workmanship, playability, tone or even color of your new, and or used, Albert Lee Model. Send it to me, and I will keep it."
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    Quote Originally Posted by KungFu Grip
    ...I couldn't do a bend without my fingertips sticking to the fretboard.

    No doubt because of your "Kung Fu Grip."





    Sorry...I couldn't resist that one.

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    Raz's Avatar
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    OK everything I said...fo-getboutit...no seriously...I just played my Sub1, with a rosewood and I flew...I think I was just excited about my new Wolfie...lesson learned...don't listen to what I say!
    Most People Turn and Laugh When I Tell Them I Only Have 1/32" to Play With

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    Warg Master's Avatar
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    Rosewood or Maple?

    Personal Preference. <--- see that? that's a period. So I shall repeat;

    Personal Preference.
    Balls..... everywhere!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warg Master
    Personal Preference. <--- see that? that's a period. So I shall repeat;

    Personal Preference.
    You can't repeat it too often Warg! Of course, it's ultimately personal preference, and we can argue all day long about which is brighter or which is faster but it's all just opinion in the end... Steve Vai and Joe Satriani are no slouches in the finger fastness OR ear-bleeding treble departments, and they both play rosewood 'boards (or ebony in the case of some JEMs). I personally can use either, though I have a preference for maple from an aesthetic and tactile perspective, I think. I'm more interested in the potential alledged tonal differences, because I've noticed that - at least in my case - the strings never actually touch the fretboard, so any differences in tone between maple board and rosewood board guitars in my stable have to be do to neck mass/rigidity, and not to any possible transferance due to direct contact... hmmm....

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    lock-ny is offline Registered User Senior Member
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    He Raz I have both and I play just as fast on both, its not really an issue, its more of a tone thing, the maple is a bit brighter IMO and it does have a tighter attack, the rosewood is warmer, but I sometimes feel that I can compensate those differences with the amp and the rosewood has a softer feel to me so I go with rosewood as my main guitar but I am actually thinking of switching for my next gig to see how the maple feels and sounds, so Ill let you know -

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    Glassmoon is offline Registered User Newbie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warg Master
    Personal Preference. <--- see that? that's a period. So I shall repeat;

    Personal Preference.
    true enough. however, if everyone here adhered to only that and didn't listen to any opinions and maybe give em a shot there wouldn't be much use for these forums. that's the fun of it.

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