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sound differences between types of maple

ash

Member
Messages
392
apart from the obvious visual difference, do maple, flame maple and birdseye maple sound different? I'm especially thinking about necks.

which one would you favour for a 50s strat?
 

benjammin420

Member
Messages
1,564
theres too many variables to consider. you could have 2 flame maple necks that sound different, so how can they be compared to a 'plain' maple neck, when so many 'plain' maple necks dont sound the same. ive read though that flame and birdseye woods are more suseptible warping and breakage
 

shane8

Member
Messages
31,479
theres too many variables to consider. you could have 2 flame maple necks that sound different, so how can they be compared to a 'plain' maple neck, when so many 'plain' maple necks dont sound the same. ive read though that flame and birdseye woods are more suseptible warping and breakage
there are a lot of variables but straight grain maple is considered to be stronger than flame or birdseye in necks and that's wot i'd go for cos i'd rather play it than gawk @ it ;)
 

RvChevron

Member
Messages
2,464
ive heard 1/4 sawn is the strongest, disagree?
Yes. However, I know some builders prefer flat sawn for bass necks. They feel/hear quarter sawn can be stiff sounding.

I think it's mainly the cut and density that distinguish them tonally from each other.

I've had guitars with wide grain quarter sawn maple neck that sounded very warm and smooth but lacking spank and punch, especially on the wound strings.
 
Messages
23,952
I'd use a flat or rift sawn plain maple neck if you want 50's; that's what tended to be used - some inevitable tiger stripe would be in keeping with history, also.

Plainer maple is gonna have a slightly more uniform density and texture; this makes fret installation and finishing maybe faster and consistent. But I don't want to overstate the difference, it isn't much.

I like using "bone" maple; the stuff with mineral stains, inconsistent amounts of flame and/or birdseye. In short, lots of character. I'm personally not interested in cookie cutter duplicates - let others have the "pure" pieces. Perhaps because the necks are always around an inch thick, I've had no woes to report.

Quartersawn isn't a different density generally - it is all about the orientation of the cellular structures in relation to the load from the truss rod and of the strings. 1/4 sawn can be stellar but IMO some of the worst sounding necks are also Quartersawn. 1/4 sawn wood blanks (especially thinner ones) will wanna twist right or left, not upbow and downbow like a flat sawn blank - something the truss rod can govern. Almost nothing a truss rod can do to stop a 1/4 sawn neck from turning left or right if it is wont to do that.
 

John Doole

Member
Messages
8
No. The difference is purely cosmetic. The neck is not the playing surface, it holds the playing surface, which is the frets. There may be a minuscule difference when played acoustically, but plugged in, no. Go with what looks best to you.
 




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