This was my experience while test playing EJ starts. I loved the sustain and the slightly brighter tone on the maple and white EJ, but hated the feel of the fretboard. When compared to modern spec these EJ maple necks are slathered with clear gloss. Despite the slightly superior tone of the maple, I went with the bound rosewood. Though it has been called a lot of names the Aqua Firemist color looks like Dick Dale's rhythm guitar player's guitar, which is as classic as it gets. If you like the maple, try several as some are probably closer to what you prefer.