Rosewood vs Maple Fingerboards

Discussion in 'Fender' started by jimmer_5, Nov 22, 2017.

  1. jimmer_5

    jimmer_5 Senior Member

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    I came across this video today and gave it a watch - I have always felt that rosewood boards sound different than maple, but I got ALL the blind test samples backwards. At least in a recording, the difference was extremely subtle. I thought this was an interesting read and the video was fun, whether you agree or not:

    https://www.guitarworld.com/gear/maple-vs-rosewood-fingerboards-can-you-tell-difference

     
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  2. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    I prefer rosewood on Strats for being less "snappy".
     
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  3. Fuggle

    Fuggle Member

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    I'm a maple on Strats guy. For some reason, I just really like the fretboard color to match the headstock.
     
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  4. Bobby Mahogany

    Bobby Mahogany Senior Member

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    Well, at least you're consistent!
    What that tells me is you've got a pair of ears.
    They work fine but you haven't made the right "connections".
    I have no worry you will.
    :thumb:

    I've always found blindfolded test to be useless.
    When you know what you like you go after that.
    Most blindfolded tests are a circus act.
    I'll be reading my hate mail tomorrow. Or never.
     
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  5. Bobby Mahogany

    Bobby Mahogany Senior Member

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    Back from my "Blindfolded test".

    Got them all.
    I'm joining the Circus!

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Crotch

    Crotch Support MLP Veterans & Vendors Double Platinum Supporter Premium Member

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    I prefer almost all woods to Rosewood. Maple on Strats. Ebony is nice. I don't believe in the bright vs warm argument. I've watched 100 videos on it. To me it's a myth tone wise.

    I prefer a very hard non granular wood. Just for feel. Rosewood sometimes makes me feel as if I'm getting hung up on the board if that makes any sense?
     
  7. Wolf ^_^

    Wolf ^_^ Senior Member

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    Did the whole thing blindfolded, I got it all wrong as well! I am rosewood guy now! Don't know what it is but like it more

    I like that is doesn't wears so obviously as maple
     
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  8. Benjammin

    Benjammin Senior Member

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    I prefer maple because it looks nicer on Fenders. If there's any other differences, than I guess I prefer maple for that too. But I have both, and it doesn't really matter to me. I'm sure I would bomb on that test so I won't even bother taking it :cool2:
     
  9. jaycoyoyo

    jaycoyoyo Senior Member

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    I just don't get along with glossy finishes on maple-board necks. They just feel sticky and slow to me. I have a rosewood-board Telecaster and love the feel. I also have a maple-board Strat, but it has a matte finish and feels great.

    --Jay
     
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  10. Crotch

    Crotch Support MLP Veterans & Vendors Double Platinum Supporter Premium Member

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    Thats the key Jay. If you get that heavy clear coat Maple I don't like it either.
     
  11. Phil W

    Phil W Senior Member

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    I'm firmly of the opinion that the sound difference (if any) has nothing to do with resonance and everything to do with the feel of the fretboard and possibly the look. The feel because maple is slicker and makes me play slightly differently and the look because the strings are easier to see against a loght coloured maple fretboard leading to faster and more accurate playing IF the player is wholly or partially reliant on sight. I prefer maple on my Fenders (3 maple Teles, 1 maple 5 string Jazz bass, 2 maple strats, 1 rosewood strat, 2 rosewood Gibsons, 2 rosewood acoustics, 2 other rosewood electrics). I think vibrato is easier on slick maple but your mileage may vary.
     
  12. Greg's Guitars

    Greg's Guitars Senior Member

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    I like them both, but to me it's the "feel" of each guitar , some rosewood Strats I have liked some I didn't, same goes for maple...depends on the individual guitar.
     
  13. budg

    budg Senior Member

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    I like the feel of rosewood better. Im not a firm believer in tone differences can be nailed down to those things. There are so many things going on in the signal chain that factors in that make fretboard material moot IMO. Rosewood fretboards are what 3/4 of an inch thick glued onto a maple neck.
     
  14. Falconbill

    Falconbill Premium Member

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    Agree. On Strats, I like'm both and it depends on the guitar. But on Tellys, give me that hard maple board. I play differently on a Telly, which is what I'm going for.
     
  15. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    ... and what about baked maple?

    I'm a dyed-in-the-wool rosie guy. Seems to me the attack is not as sharp, sonically.
     
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  16. scozz

    scozz Senior Member

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    I agree with this!
     
  17. lunchbox

    lunchbox Senior Member

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    I don't like the feel or look of maple FB's on any guitar.
     
  18. NewDayHappy

    NewDayHappy Senior Member

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    I don't think fretboard material has much of an impact on tone, maybe slightly but very minimal. My D-16 has a richlite fretboard and it sounds amazing. I've played rosewood and maple, I like maple more because I like how the neck and fretboard are the same piece of wood, I always liked that for some reason but to me it's about aesthetics, not sound.
     
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  19. Leña_Costoso

    Leña_Costoso Senior Member

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    .....puts on Nomex suit.....

    I have assembled quite a few, like over a dozen, guitars from Warmoth parts.

    Besides pickups, by far the #1 tone shaper is the wood for the neck itself, not the fretboard. Profile of the neck matters, in my experimentation. I've used plain, birdseye maple, flame maple, goncalo and mahogany. On those, 1 piece maple, maple/maple, rosewood on mahogany, pau-ferro on mahogany, ebony on mahogany, 1 piece goncalo, goncalo on goncalo and rosewood on goncalo. Whew. I probably forgot some combinations. Since they vast majority were Teles, I got to do some swappin' around a whole lot. Fretboard wood is so subtle its just above hardly worth mentioning, especially when the core wood is maple. On goncalo I did notice a difference with the rosewood board, but it was subtle. A little less mids, a little more bright (which goes against some thoughts....)

    The number 2 shaper of tone, solid vs thinline

    Number 3, and way down the list, body wood, but still important, especially where lighter woods are concerned. But I do remember a hard maple tele body, cut for strat hardtail bridge, with a 57Classic and HB pickup from a 60's SG at the neck. All maple neck, with fatback profile. I called that guitar a "cartoon" or "caricature" of LP tone. Firm, solid tone, meaty. I've played with maple, mahogany and very light ash thinlines. Not too much difference in those. The 52RI pickups were the choice there. One of the ash thinlines with goncalo neck, got changed to maple, then to mahogany. Three bears syndrome. Too dark, too bright, just right. Pickups are BB#3 and Gibson modern P90 in that one.

    I'm saying all this because folks look at the fretboard so carefully as a critical tone shaper, and in my own experience, its way down on the list. My own feeling is that if I was buying a factory Fender, I'd choose the neck for looks.
     

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