Why aren't roasted necks standard?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Stephen James, Nov 22, 2020.

  1. Dreamdancer

    Dreamdancer Senior Stratmaster

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    I dont really disagree and as far as the "sound" thing..you are preaching to the choir......i just find it odd that people who are obsessing about....paint and lacquer and tonewoods dismiss this that easily.....iam pretty much removed from all this but i find the roasted thing pretty damn sexy although not so much as to pay the prices they ask for it.....
     
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  2. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR I appreciate, therefore I am... Silver Member

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    I suppose there is a bit of a "lacquer/tonewood" type argumentation in there somewhere, but, while the basic structure and overall mass may be somewhat altered with the roasting process, it still doesn't cease to have the basic attributes of the type of wood it started off with.

    Besides, like every tonal discussion, any observations are still very subjective and any so-called improvements are no doubt highly debatable.

    Outside of that (personal preferences as far as looks goes notwithstanding) believe you me, if the alleged improvements were beyond reproach, people would be busting down doors to get roasted necks installed on their guitars.

    I just don't see that happening...


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  3. scooteraz

    scooteraz Senior Stratmaster

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    All I know is I like the roasted necks on a couple of my guitars. OTOH, I like the regular necks on other of my guitars.

    The only potential advantage I see is roasted is not supposed to need a finish. And one roasted I have seems to have a no or a very light finish. The other is finished in tung oil. I really like the tactile feel of those necks. OTOH, I have a regular (no-roasted) neck that is finished in tung oil, and feels pretty much like the roasted ones. One roasted is quarter sawn. My regular neck that is tung oil finished is flat sawn. That neck has served me for 25+ years, and I’ve had no problems with it.

    The knock on roasted is that it makes the wood a bit more brittle. I haven’t experienced that, but I don’t doubt the truth of that.

    So, do I see an advantage for roasted? Maybe, but it is not unalloyed, and I doubt that 98% of us would really be able to tell much of a difference over the life of a guitar, other than maybe color.
     
  4. diogoguitar

    diogoguitar Senior Stratmaster

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    Standard option is what most players want on a guitar. Some might prefer the roasted look, feel or playability, but not everyone. The ones that do prefer roasted, are willing to pay a premium for that (which I did in some of my builds)

    To me, that's the same thing as noiseless pickups. One could argue that getting rid of the 60 cycle hum is "better" but is that what everyone wants? I'm not sure about that.
     
  5. Dreamdancer

    Dreamdancer Senior Stratmaster

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    Sure but its proven that on certain brands people dont want improvements anyway..they want things the way they used to do it...same with SS frets that are actually superior in many aspects without a doubt...they always invent things out of thin air to discredit them cause they dont want their "tradition" to be messed with.
     
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  6. dirocyn

    dirocyn Senior Stratmaster

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    I have roasted small pieces of maple in my oven. It definitely changes size and shape a little--any jointing and carving needs to happen after roasting. It also off-gasses, kind of sweet smelling but stings the eyes. I could still smell it a week later and the wife asked me not to do that anymore unless she's going to be gone for a week.

    Commercial operations use a low oxygen environment to eliminate the risk of fire, it also allows higher temperature and shorter bake times. Baked maple cuts just fine, and the lovely darker color is pretty uniform throughout the wood.

    I expect it would not be difficult or expensive to modify a lumber drying kiln to roast instead--just higher temperature and more time cooking. I don't know whether Fender kiln dries its own wood or buys it pre-dried. But roasted maple would naturally cost a little more than simply kiln dried maple--maintaining higher temperature and low oxygen in the kiln takes energy and attention.
     
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  7. arcticstrat

    arcticstrat Senior Stratmaster

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    I myself don’t care to much for a “roasted” neck.

    Flaming now, is another story! ;)
     
  8. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR I appreciate, therefore I am... Silver Member

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    That's true, but...

    I personally can't say I'm stuck so much on being "traditional" but, rather, it's more like "if it ain't broke don't fix it" I guess.

    And, for those who say their unfinished roasted neck feels so much smoother, all I can say is that my Fender Road Worn 50s Strat's satin finished neck is pretty darn smooth as well. So, like anything else, I'd have to try the roasted neck to see if the difference is dramatic, but that still doesn't change the fact that I'm thoroughly satisfied with what I already got - which effectively provides absolutely no incentive for me to want something that's arguably better... for whatever that's worth...


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    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020
  9. bsman

    bsman Strat-O-Master

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    Just anecdotally, some of the roasted maple necks I've seen on EBMMs on the Sweetwater site are incredibly beautiful (to me):

    upload_2020-11-23_13-7-21.png
    upload_2020-11-23_13-8-1.png
     
  10. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Most Honored Senior Member

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    one of the primary issues with the necks is, they haven't been around in sufficient enough numbers to know if they are indeed anything claimed for them. Right now, ALL those claims are still in the Marketing category...

    sorry for all you guys living in an "instant" world, a dozen of so years doesn't mean squat, chronologically, in the life of the guitar...

    I can tell ya, the headstocks crack when you're running in the little screws that retain the keys unless you're careful as you choose the correct pilot hole. what happens in a few years, well that remains to be seen.. Anyone that routinely works on vintage instruments knows what to expect when ya remove the keys.... lord knows what will be lurking under those Keys in a few decades.

    I'm not trying to dissuade any of ya... and I don't have a problem with them... but before ya start ripping out a perfectly good neck to install another, in what is nothing more than a lateral move, you should be informed...

    as far as I can see, a roasted neck does one thing... well two .. it gives ya braggin' rights, just don't brag to a seasoned pro.. and it gives ya a pretty, dark amber piece of wood..

    r
     
  11. CFFF

    CFFF Strat-Talker

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    My question is has anyone seen a Twisted roasted maple neck?
     
  12. Johnny Danger

    Johnny Danger Senior Stratmaster

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    What if I find it ridiculously interesting?
     
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  13. Johnny Danger

    Johnny Danger Senior Stratmaster

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    I did a roasted flame maple neck from Warmoth for a Tele build and it was GORGEOUS and it also sounded amazing. It might have been presumptuous of me to attribute it to the neck, but it certainly had a "woody" tone that seems to be associated with that old dried out wood thing. Was definitely the most resonant solid body Tele I've played.

    However, as mentioned before that wood is both hard and brittle. So yeah it's very stable, but it's also going to be more difficult to work with. And for all the hype of Warmoth offering it without a finish and still being warrantied, Fender seems to think it still needs a coat of urethane to leave the factory. Because it's harder and more brittle, they're going to have to manufacture them with more care. I wouldn't be surprised if they had to run the CNC mill a little slower to avoid splintering on roasted maple. And then be more careful in predrilling holes for tuners, installing frets, etc. It probably takes more time to build a neck of more expensive material. Granted, this is all just conjecture on my part as I have ZERO contacts at the Fender factory.

    While I think roasted maple offers something unique, there is no direct reason to say that it is superior. There is really nothing wrong with plain old maple necks and the vast majority of them go decades without major issue. It's not like every maple neck out there is up and twisting at the 15-20 year mark or anything. It's easier and cheaper to work with, etc. From Fender's point of view (read: bottom line and profit margin) regular maple is superior.

    If you do like the feel of no finish, and are into the partscaster thing, I would recommend sanding the back of the neck to wood and finishing with a thin coat of shellac. I did that on my MIM that I had nothing to lose on and it's a fantastic feeling neck. Just a couple of quick wipes of shellac, let it dry a few days and lightly sand it back with 1500 grit. Phenomenal stuff. Buy the pure shellac flakes and make your own with quality denatured alcohol.
     
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  14. StummerJoe

    StummerJoe Senior Stratmaster

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    Why ponder just the neck? Guitars are now being made with roasted ash, alder, pine, etc...

    Ironically enough, I just had a new guitar arrive about 15 minutes ago. Has a roasted alder body, AAA flame roasted maple neck, and AAA rosewood fretboard.

    I didn't order it because of the roasted woods, but rather I liked the color, dig the figure in the maple, and liked all the other specs. I'll do a NGD tomorrow or the next day because I'm not opening it today. Long way from New York to Washington state.

    As far as roasted maple goes, yes it is brittle and that can cause problems when machining it or putting screws in. You'd better be right with your pilot holes, which isn't really difficult, but a minor error can result in a big deal.
    EDIT : I should also note that roasted woods are very stable and pretty darned lively from what I have experienced. Will it last? Who knows. Tune in around 50 years.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2020
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  15. lammie200

    lammie200 Senior Stratmaster

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    As people have mentioned you can go without a finish on roasted wood. However, unfinished wood whether roasted or raw will absorb liquids and stain. Food for thought.
     
  16. edro

    edro Strat-Talk Member

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    Beats interestingly ridiculous.... ;)
     
  17. Johnny Danger

    Johnny Danger Senior Stratmaster

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    [​IMG]
     
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  18. rograt

    rograt New Member!

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    Why stop at the neck? Peter Frampton has the whole guitar done and he isn’t complaining. Actually it’s a half serious question.
     
  19. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Most Honored Senior Member

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    our industry is replete with amazing innovation that now rests on the shelves of the forgotten.... Will Roasted wood be placed there next to the robot tuners? the 3 pound bridges, etc., etc.,? Only time will tell..

    But I view it as I do a new model auto being released.. I'll let everyone else experiment first... I have never purchased a new issue of a car... NO Edsels, no Pontiac Fieros, no Pontiac Solstice, NO daymn Aztecs, and no BMW 1 series.. thus ya wont find me in line waiting for a roasted anything other than a Turkey Thursday.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone...

    and for those that find that offensive, I'm part Native American so Nyahh... :p

    r
     
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  20. ThinLizzy73

    ThinLizzy73 Strat-Talker

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    It has to be a lack of demand. Fender do have the capabilities to make roasted maple necks in Ensenada because there are Charvel and Jackson models with them that are made there. The Fender brand trades on tradition, as many have noted above. If I wanted a s/s/s guitar with a roasted maple neck, I would buy a EBMM or a Suhr.
     
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