Maple versus Rosewood fretboard? - Jemsite
Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods Guitar workbench discussion such as setup, repairs, mods, installing new parts and more.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-04-2012, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Estonia
Posts: 24
Maple versus Rosewood fretboard?

Okay, this is pretty straightforward, with a twist...

I've heard a lot of fuzz about people preferring one over the other because they believe one gives a warmer tone than the other, while some say the exact opposite.

Has anyone EVER had two exactly identical guitars with the only difference being the fretboard material: maple, rosewood, ebony... and THEN tried each guitar to see if there is any difference in the sound at all?

In my head, it doesn't make sense how the fretboard material can have anything to do with the sound the guitar makes. The sound comes from the string vibrating between the bridge and the FRET, not from it slapping or buzzing against the damn fretboard.

If you were to try a guitar with a maple fretboard and then a guitar with a rosewood fretboard and the guitars were from different companies, different pickups, different strings, different whatever, then how can you say "ohhh i prefer the warmer tone of maple to rosewood".

It just doesn't make any sense.

Has anyone ever thought of this? Or has someone actually tried this out (playing on two identical guitars with the only difference of fretboard material). Now i know that no two guitars can ever practically be identical, but to define a difference such as this (between rosewood-maple fretboard "tone") you'd have to have at least two guitars that are as similar to each other as possible.

Thoughts?
Xibalba is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 12:11 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Canberra, Australia
Posts: 9,246
Reviews: 120
Re: Maple versus Rosewood fretboard?

I do have this, and yes the maple is a tad brighter with more 'spank' than the rosewood. It can be heard when acoustic or clean, a little when amplified with overdrive.

People also prefer the feel of certain fretboard timbers.
LonePhantom is offline  
post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 12:17 AM
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 261
Re: Maple versus Rosewood fretboard?

from experience, rosewood gives a more less "exciting" sound. It's less punchy, but it feels more solid sounding. Maple, however is extremely punchy sounding imo. Ebony is just simply weird for me. IMO it doesn't sound very interesting to me.
BlanK is offline  
post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 12:18 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Athens GA
Posts: 941
Re: Maple versus Rosewood fretboard?

As a man who has replaced one with the other on many guitars, I can tell you for a fact that yes there is a difference between them.
musikron is offline  
post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Estonia
Posts: 24
Re: Maple versus Rosewood fretboard?

Hmm, okay... thanks for clearing that up.

I guess i shouldn't doubt as much
Xibalba is offline  
post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 01:11 AM
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Fresno
Posts: 62
Re: Maple versus Rosewood fretboard?

I'm about to upgrade my RG3210 from Rosewood to Ebony, thoughts on how this will affect tone?
lostadventures is offline  
post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 01:50 AM
Sho
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Cranbrook, British Columbia Canada
Posts: 163
Re: Maple versus Rosewood fretboard?

I don't really know for tone. However, I'll never will go back to rosewood for the feel. Only ebony and maple if I can't afford it at the time >_>
Sho is offline  
post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 02:05 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 2,604
Reviews: 10
Re: Maple versus Rosewood fretboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lostadventures View Post
I'm about to upgrade my RG3210 from Rosewood to Ebony, thoughts on how this will affect tone?
ebony is denser and harder than roseweood, and not as porous, so I'm willing to bet that you will notice a difference in that the ebony board should be considerably brighter in tone...I really like ebony boards but I'm also a big fan of maple boards cuz Ilike the bright spanky sound...ebony boards also feel fast and smooth..I bet you will really like the upgrade if you like the brighter tone...
doriangrey is offline  
post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 03:13 AM
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Germany
Posts: 165
Re: Maple versus Rosewood fretboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xibalba View Post
The sound comes from the string vibrating between the bridge and the FRET, not from it slapping or buzzing against the damn fretboard.
This is not true. The key of the note comes from that, NOT the sound.
The sound is a mixture of many, many factors. It starts with the body wood, the neck wood, screwed or glued in or neck through body, hardware, pickups, body mass, trem or hard tail, strings, the player himself etc etc etc.....
All the parts and materials are resonating with the vibrating strings, hence have influence on the sound (sometimes even the player is resonating, but that's for different reasons then, ha ha ha)

If they all work together perfectly and the production is high quality, then you have a good guitar.
That's why most people sell their cheap stuff after exchanging so and so many parts. You can't make cocoa out of sh**!
You can improve the thing by exchanging parts but after a while you still notice that it's cheap quality and you will get a good one and sell the junk (or keep it for melancholic reasons).

If it was just the vibrating strings making the sound, then there would be no need for all those different guitars in different price ranges on the market other than OPTICAL reasons, right??

And to answer your question: yes, maple is a little "woodier", brighter, has more attack while rosewood is warmer and smoother in tone.

I'm in a continuous fight within myself about which I like better. I prefer the look of maple, I like both sound characters depending on what I'm playing, then again I love the feel of rosewood (yes, there is a difference, too).
Considering the fact that I just bought 3 guitars with maple neck during the past 12 months I'd say that maple is slightly in pole position regarding my preference.

In acoustic guitars I DEFINITELY prefer rosewood necks. Maple mostly gets a little gritty on acoustics (my personal taste though), unless you buy a 2000 dollar high end acoustic. I've played one of those once and it sounded great. All others were too bright for my taste.

ONE BIG DISADVANTAGE WITH MAPLE NECKS: they need to be cleaned more often because due to the brighter color you see every dirt from meters away, while it doesn't matter if you're too lazy or simply forget to clean the rosewood fretboard regularly.
Jemanized is offline  
post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 04:53 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Sydney
Posts: 426
Re: Maple versus Rosewood fretboard?

With Acoustic guitars I think every wood choice makes a very audible difference to the tone, with electric guitars those differences are much harder to hear for sure. Someone did a test on The Gear Page using a Maple neck with a Rosewood board and a Maple neck with a maple board on the same body. Most people guessed incorrectly which I found interesting. The thing is though they weren't the same neck if I remember correctly (imagine how hard that would be) so right there the test was flawed.
guitarnoize is offline  
post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 10:17 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 675
Re: Maple versus Rosewood fretboard?

Maple fretboards are much more "punchier" ....adds a tad bit of "twang" to the notes. Ebony won't necessarily "brighten" the tone. Not sure, I haven't figured it out yet but it does sound better than a rosewood or maple fretboard.
TMatt142 is offline  
post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 10:51 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NYC, NY
Posts: 438
Reviews: 15
Re: Maple versus Rosewood fretboard?

I replaced my strat maple neck with a rosewood one, and the difference is very slight. I wouldn't be concerned with any differences. In fact, any difference at all might be in my mind because I've heard this argument for years and years
lespauled is offline  
post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 11:06 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Melbourne, FL 32940
Posts: 3,348
Re: Maple versus Rosewood fretboard?

I have many guitars that are all basically the same with all three fretboard types.
I find Rosewood to be the warmest of all three, great with warm humbuckers.
Maple is the chippies, spankiest sounding of the three, if you like single coils, you must have a maple board to get the best strat tones.
Ebony sounds so similar to Maple but also gives great tone with very modern not as warm humbuckers. It really opens up the presence in the humbucking tone of today.
All three have their place in my world, but I think I still love Maple the best.
sebastian is offline  
post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 11:22 AM
PCG
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: IL
Posts: 22
Re: Maple versus Rosewood fretboard?

IMO fingerboard wood is a huge factor in tone. When you are playing there are only two points where the strings contact the guitar- fret (or nut) and the bridge.
Just like there is a string energy transfer at the bridge, there is a string energy transfer through the fret and into the fingerboard, through the neck and back into the body. Like body woods, different fingerboard woods are going to react differently with string energy.

.02
PCG is offline  
post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 02-05-2012, 01:35 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Germany
Posts: 165
Re: Maple versus Rosewood fretboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sebastian View Post
I have many guitars that are all basically the same with all three fretboard types.
I find Rosewood to be the warmest of all three, great with warm humbuckers.
Maple is the chippies, spankiest sounding of the three, if you like single coils, you must have a maple board to get the best strat tones.
Ebony sounds so similar to Maple but also gives great tone with very modern not as warm humbuckers. It really opens up the presence in the humbucking tone of today.
All three have their place in my world, but I think I still love Maple the best.
You nailed it!! (where's the thumbs up-smiley??)
Exactly what I have experienced, but I never played ebony so far (but I'm hot for it, because the very dark wood looks so fantastic and still you get a sparkling tone, at least that's said so. I need to check one out!! Arctic white Strat with ebony anyone???)
Jemanized is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Jemsite forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address

IMPORTANT: You will be required to activate your account so please ensure that your email address is correct.

If you do not receive your activation check your spam folder before using the CONTACT US form (at the bottom right of each page).



Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Rosewood fretboard to Maple board? BUCK All Other Guitars (including Prestige) 1 06-14-2006 02:20 AM
Fretboard - Maple or Rosewood? Rayzor Ibanez JEM, UV, JS & Other Signature Models 33 04-20-2006 01:07 PM
Maple fretboard vs Rosewood john1880 Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods 21 10-01-2005 08:19 PM
maple fretboard vs rosewood mulletman80 All Other Guitars (including Prestige) 7 12-05-2003 10:36 PM
I want a rosewood fretboard for my BFP Courjan Ibanez JEM, UV, JS & Other Signature Models 12 05-03-2003 10:00 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome