Mahogany Vs Maple

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Chris Tramp, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. Chris Tramp

    Chris Tramp Senior Member

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    Hey all, after seeing some of the recent posts about maple and mahogany necks i was under the impression that Mahogany is a more attractive wood to use for the neck?

    Then i saw another post that said Mahogany is a cheaper wood than maple...

    So, Why are Mahogany necked guitars more sought after and whats the reason? Is Mahogany a better wood for sustain? Or is Maple better?
     
  2. ledlover01

    ledlover01 Senior Member

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    Maple is stronger but not as good fo tone. Mahagoney is a very soft wood.
     
  3. delawaregold

    delawaregold _______Artie_______ Super Mod

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    Ted McCarty was the President of Gibson, and his team designed
    the Gibson Solid Body Electric Guitar, that went on to become the
    Les Paul Model.


    [​IMG]
     
  4. ledlover01

    ledlover01 Senior Member

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    Well i know they made three peice necks in the 70s for strength but people complained about the tone so they changed it back.
     
  5. Nick59

    Nick59 Senior Member

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    Yes, those Strats and Strads sound terrible!
     
  6. weirdotis

    weirdotis Senior Member

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    Banjocasters :laugh2:
     
  7. fretout

    fretout Senior Member

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    I own a Gretsch Jet Pro that is basically a Les Paul with a Maple Neck. When I compared the Gretsch Jet Pro to my Gibson Les Paul Custom, the Gretsch has a much brighter tone and seems to have more "attack", whereas the Gibson has much more depth and "meat" to it's sound.

    Also keep in mind that there are several Gibson Les Pauls that have Maple necks (Zakk Wylde Sigs, Raw Power models, ect.).
     
  8. '59_Standard

    '59_Standard Banned

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    The attractiveness of a piece of wood depends on an Individuals eye.

    Take a look on this link and you'll find fantastic looking pieces of Veneer in both Species - its all good imho:

    ...........Certainly Wood


    Are they more sought after? Where does this 'fact' come from. Seriously, I've never heard this before. Most people I know buy a guitar for its overall thang, rather than one specific element about it.

    If you've read the 'surrounding story' of the Les Paul - as highlighted above- they found a Solid Maple body to be too bright and sustained for far to long. I can't verify the 'sustain' comment from my experience, but I know Maple is somewhat brighter (higher pitched) to my ears. YMMV :)
     
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  9. ihavenofish

    ihavenofish Senior Member

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    mahogany - hand carves like butter.
    maple - hand carves like granite with a heckler calling you a pussy while youre doing it.

    thats about the only really difference to me.

    maple is also heavier, which can make an instrument neck heavy.
    its harder, but also more flexible (usually, its variable and theres a number of "hard" maple species used) so i dont know that it would have all that dramatic a tonal impact. im certainly more concerned with carving and weight than tone differences myself.

    oh, and maple is cheap as dirt up here in canada. :)
     
  10. Cpt_Gonzo

    Cpt_Gonzo Senior Member

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    Anyone know how well a maple - bolt on - maple Strat would sound?

    A bit off topic here, but as far as I understand that would make a good Combo but would have been expensive back then? No?
     
  11. JBranch

    JBranch Senior Member

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    Strats ARE maple. So, it would sound like a Strat. Some variation of sound between a Strat with a maple fingerboard and one with a rosewood fingerboard, the all maple being a bit more bright and the rosewood being a bit warmer.

    Or do you mean a maple neck bolted to a maple body?

    I think that traditionally a Strat body is alder, or ash, although I do remember that they have a mahogany model.
     
  12. SkyNet3D

    SkyNet3D Senior Member

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    There's more to the strat sound than just the woods used. Jacksons are usually maple necks and alder bodies, and they sound nothing like strats. Hell, even my strat with humbuckers and 500k pots sounds nothing like a strat. A Les Paul with a maple neck should sound brighter than a mahogany necked one, but still not near as bright as a strat.
     
  13. Cpt_Gonzo

    Cpt_Gonzo Senior Member

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    I meant maple neck bolted onto a maple body.
     
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  14. georgem7

    georgem7 Junior Member

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  15. Progrocker111

    Progrocker111 Senior Member

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    I have had many 70s maple neck Les Pauls. They are a bit brighter and more "one dimensional" sounding to me with less mids. Suitable for higher gain cause of the brihter and faster tone.

    I definitely prefer mahogany necks. :)
     
  16. DoneOne

    DoneOne Senior Member

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    heh

    iirc, arlo west over at tdpri mentioned he used to have one... his main for years. I remember thinking it'd be heavy for hours on stage.

    my caveman talk = maple bright... mahogany warm

    I haven't compared directly, but many will say plain flat sawn maple necks sound better than quartered figured necks.
     
  17. truckermde

    truckermde Senior Member

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    I build my basses that way, & they kikass! Pretty heavy, though...




    I think the awesome thing about maple necks which makes them head & shoulders above mahogany necks for me, is the absolute stability. I'm a bass player, and a big bear of a man, and I can tend to be a bit heavy handed in everything I do. I sometimes get too much neck flex on
    guitars like SGs or Wilshires, which have the neck meet the body further up the fretboard than an LP.

    If the SG is a Norlin with a bitchin' 3-piece maple neck, then no problem/ no flex :) I think my next SG will be the SGJ, as it has a maple neck! :thumb:
     
  18. Mouse

    Mouse Senior Member

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    Generally speaking maple neck has more upper midrange content, less low midrange, more highs and clear lows. The trick with guitar building is not to concentrate too much on species but to have a nose and ears for tone, no matter specie, some chunks sound like big clear bell, majority of others restricted. Our job is to marry those bells in a way that two or three parties don't cancel each bell out but to stay married in a great harmony.
    And that's all folks! :D
     
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  19. MikeSouza

    MikeSouza Member

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    Hahahaha sad but true:lol::lol:
     

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