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Neck Materials

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by marshallb461, Nov 15, 2017.

  1. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 10, 2014
    Michigan
    .

    I prefer maple necks and when buying new I go for that. I trade around a lot of used instruments and rosewood is so common that it's hard to avoid it hitching along on the rest of the guitar. I find a couple of important points:

    1) An all-maple neck is a lot more stable than mixing wood types. If I'm playing several different guitars every day I find the rosewood necks need more tuning than maple. This leads right into the need for more frequent truss-rod adjustments and buzzing frets. Traditional neck finishing where maple gets coated retards neck movement while playing and in storage as well.

    Want to see an example of this in action? Here is a simple hygrometer built using two different woods...
    He cuts the wood and builds this to exaggerate the effect, but a guitar neck is much longer and doesn't take much movement at all for the frets to go from great to buzz city.



    2) There is also the issue of wood sourcing. Maple is more local and much faster growing than Rosewood/Ebony/Mahogany that is ripped out of the rain forest no matter how 'managed' they try to convince you. It's like using elephant ivory.
    Maple is shipped shorter distances from the forest to the lumber yard to the guitar factory.
    And ... if you are concerned with 'Made in the USA' why not buy US grown and managed woods?
    Only by demanding better sourcing will your guitar factory do it.

    .
     
    Thin69, QuackAttack and Yaralag like this.

  2. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue Beer me up Scotty Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 11, 2015
    Limbo

  3. StillAlive&Well

    StillAlive&Well Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    61
    Oct 4, 2014
    Frog, Texas
    It's like science and stuff...
     
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  4. Whittler

    Whittler Senior Stratmaster

    Aug 23, 2013
    Maine
    I like rosewood. For me it feels smother then maple.
     
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  5. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    Does it change ends at half time?
     
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  6. carver

    carver The East Coast Strangler Strat-Talk Supporter

    doesnt really matter, both hold those frets in, and thats all I really ask of my fretboard.
     

  7. knh555

    knh555 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    46
    Dec 6, 2016
    Massachusetts
    I like variety. Fretboard wood, radius, neck profile, fret size, pickups, etc... o/w, I'd have only one guitar.
     
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  8. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    And if I could have a hundred Strats they'd all be maple, two tone burst and 50s style. :D
     
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  9. knh555

    knh555 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    46
    Dec 6, 2016
    Massachusetts
    To each his own!
     
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  10. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    Well, except for the black one, the one with the two point bridge and the white one with the bullet truss rod that I already have... :whistling:
     
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  11. Yaralag

    Yaralag Senior Stratmaster

    I’ve gone back and forth. Currently I’m in the Maple camp. I had a Les Paul with micro frets (and obviously not a maple fretboard) and whenever I would bend my finger tips would rub against the fretboard and sort of jump or stutter. In other words it was not smooth. I thought I didn’t like small frets at that point.
    Jump to a few weeks ago and I purchase an ST-54 with, of course, a maple board and vintage frets. My fingers are touching the fretboard but this time it’s smoooooth! On top of that it’s easier to slide up and down without the giant speed bumps. All of a sudden I am a Maple board, and vintage fret fan!
     
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  12. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    Hallelujah brother, verily, thou hast seen the light.

    really2.gif
     
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  13. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 10, 2014
    Initech, Inc.
    Sometimes you can really make the spurfle work to your advantage. Sometimes I don’t care for meglation. It nice to have options.
     

  14. Yaralag

    Yaralag Senior Stratmaster

    Well in my defense I have only been playing guitar since 2015 so I think I saw the light pretty quickly!
     

  15. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    May 21, 2010
    Sheffield, UK
    Here's some poor headless old fellow playing mine, I've had it 21 years in January.

    guitargeorgeST54.png
     

  16. Yaralag

    Yaralag Senior Stratmaster

    It’s a beauty!
     

  17. Yaralag

    Yaralag Senior Stratmaster

    A7E0689E-CA45-4175-B07F-D04093F65AE4.jpeg Since you showed me yours here is mine again.
     
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  18. 59jackstrat

    59jackstrat Strat-Talk Member

    99
    May 18, 2013
    Utah
    I gravitate to the rosewood boards. But I have both and enjoy each of their unique tones.
     
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  19. dazco

    dazco Former Member

    Age:
    61
    178
    Oct 5, 2017
    california
    IMO conventional wisdom on this subject is just wrong, tho i kinda understand why people think that. My rosewood neck fenders are almost always brighter than my maple neckkers. The reason IMO is this. Maple has an ATTENUATED high mid area. So it's sorta scooped. So to exaggerate for sake of demonstration, you have mostly higher range trebles and bass. So the body of the tone is attenuated and you end up with mostly treble as the body of the sound. Plus the harmonics generated are lesser since the mids/high mids are attenuated. So you get a sort of a more fundamental tone with mostly high end and bass and not as much high harmonic content. The high mids are a big part of a guitar's brightness too, and rosewood is a balanced sound that has no big dips in the frequency spectrum, so not only do you get those high mids but the higher octave of them in harmonic content.

    Thats the way i hear it anyways, and the best i can explain it. But one thing that has really demonstrated this to me is fingerboard thickness. In the 90's i did a lot of strat builds with all sorts of necks and one thing i noticed was the thicker the rosewood board was the brighter, while the thinnest (rosewood cap boards) were the darkest and sounded closer to maple. I had some aftermarket necks with flatter radius that therefore were very thick and could be so bright i didn't find them very usable live. Couldn't dial it out. But with a normal size slab of RW that balanced sound with more high mids than maple i think generate extra harmonic complexity which is what i love about rosewood. One way to demonstrate that is try this with a RW strat and with a maple. Use a good dynamic amp and a fair amount of overdrive then roll the guitar volume down to get that just on the edge of breakup tone. You'll find a point where the rosewood board will just be sizzling with harmonic overtones while the maple will be mostly fundemental with a lot less of that. Rosewood can be so rich at times it almost sounds like you have a phaser or some modulation effect on. I LOVE that ! It's much harder to coax that from maple without adding more distortion.
     

  20. Swampash

    Swampash Senior Stratmaster

    Jun 13, 2012
    Here
    both my current main partsocasters are maple/maple, glossy finish.