Buying a Strat: Rosewood or Maple necks?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Shine, Jul 4, 2008.

  1. Shine

    Shine Member

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    I'm looking at the classic 60s player, 60's reissues, JV and Robert Cray strats in Sunburst. I really like the maple necks, but am afraid they may be too bright. The tone I'm looking for is Pearl Jam Ten era Mike McCready, and will be playing through a TT and the new Egnater Rebel with an OCD. Will the maple neck be too much of a departure or should I stick with a rosewood neck? Thanks.
     
  2. K-Line

    K-Line Gold Supporting Member

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    Go rosewood. It will get it done in many ways!
     
  3. Mooncusser

    Mooncusser Member

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    Hi Shine,
    Welcome to TGP.......
    Im here in FL to.
    I have played both forever and I agree.......go rosewood fow what you are specifying.
    Maple is a bit brighter and has other dynamics that may not fit your needs.
    Take care,
    Mass
     
  4. mds

    mds Member

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    Maple necks are brighter, IME. In a good way in some cases. My maple strat is a funk machine. Rosewood necks make the tone a bit warmer and smoother....probably better for the tones your after...
     
  5. shally

    shally Member

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    for some reason, i always found that my fingers would feel sticky when playing maple.. not so with rosewood, and certainly not with ebony (my absolute fave all around)... i had heard the same thing from others, so i dont think it was just me..

    to each his own.. the tone is affected by so many variables BESIDES the fretboard composition that i am always a little shy about ascribing everything to the effect of the board
     
  6. Austinrocks

    Austinrocks Member

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    maple necks look cool, but they tend to sound to bright, rosewoods necks are what I have for my fenders and have changed the pups for something less bright in the end.
     
  7. bluesrules

    bluesrules Member

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    Thats the hardest thing to decide on a Strat. I have and love both for different reason's but I think it comes down to what pickups, body wood (etc) comes with it, and no two guitars are the same.

    Play many to find the "right" one and enjoy!
     
  8. Free

    Free Member

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    Many have pointed out the truth about the extra attack/brightness Maple produces, but I think it's just as important to point out that Maple actually feels harder on the board, and there is a certain softer resonace with Rosewood. I prefer the tone and feel of Rosewood generally. And, anything that takes a bit of glass away from Strat tone, like Rosewood does, is a great thing.
     
  9. KBR

    KBR Member

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    I can make Maple necks Strat sound like WES, it's all in your touch, not maple vs Rosewood.
     
  10. Free

    Free Member

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    A bit of EQ and touch and anyone can assimilate any style. But, there's no arguing that maple facilites a brighter attack, all other factors being equal.
     
  11. groovy daddy

    groovy daddy Member

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    Maple can get sticky on a hot day but it didn't hurt the old man (Jimi) at Woodstock.
     
  12. Free

    Free Member

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    That's indeed another valid aspect of the feel differences.
     
  13. edward

    edward Supporting Member

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    Lots of conventional wisdom on the "maple brighter than rosewood board" ...I have a few of each and I ain't convinced, as a rule anyway. To be sure, the general "tone" of each species does differ. But whether just the fingerboard slab in its own right constitutes a significant/audible difference overall? It is subtle, at least in my experience, and who knows if said difference really does stem from the differences in board. The thing with Strats (like any solid body elec), is that there are *many* variables which make for a warmer vs brighter guitar.

    Since you asked, I'd suggest you go with what you prefer in terms of feel and aesthetics, THEN see if you can hear the difference between the guitar you like and one of the opposite fretboard.

    Edward
     
  14. KBR

    KBR Member

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    I agree Rosewood is nicer to play when it's like hades out side (100) Degrees or humid.
    Rosewood plays better, Edward above is right about the variables.
    I like Mahogany necks Rosewood boards and have 2, I have 2 maple necks, thin Nitro that play like rosewoods, must go thin with neck finishes, or steel wool off the plastic, some people use, ie; POLY.
    Tone wise to me they sound similar.
    here both below

    http://www.myspace.com/kennyblueray
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2008
  15. guitarfish

    guitarfish Member

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    I have both, and prefer maple. Not for tonal reasons, but I feel it's a smoother surface to play on, and it's maintenance free. I use Fret Doctor on my RW boards, about twice a year.
     
  16. Shine

    Shine Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I really liked the EJ strat I played, but would have to get used to the maple board, all I've played is guitars with rosewood.

    What are the real pros of the maple boards, do they sound better through a clean amp?
     
  17. jazzandmetal?

    jazzandmetal? Supporting Member

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    I like maple. BTW, do you already have the Rebel?
     
  18. Shine

    Shine Member

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    Not yet, I'm waiting for GC to put them in their system so I can pre order.
     
  19. nitehawk55

    nitehawk55 Member

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    I've got/had both and honestly I really don't think maple vs rosewood makes much if any of a tonal difference . I think the feel when playing is the most notable , not the effect on sound .
     
  20. RvChevron

    RvChevron Member

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    Don't use nitro but a flat satin hard finish and you won't have any maple that's sticky.

    If for rosewood, assuming it's indian and not madagascar or brazilian, otherwise, the last two actually sound brighter.

    Been playing maple necked strat my whole life and I agree with Tom Anderson that maple has "faster" attack and bloom, not necessarily brighter.

    However, each particular guitar will be different. My current swamp ash/maple neck strat is anything but too bright or harsh.
     

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