Indonesian "maple" - what is it really?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by wvbass, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. wvbass


    Mar 1, 2004
    It sure doesn't feel like the maple on my American basses...
  2. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    Got a good, clear photo?
  3. Not sure what you're asking. What do you mean it feels different, and how did you determine that?
  4. davenumber2


    Aug 14, 2013
    There are over 100 species of maple. Who knows what they use but Asian species are bound to be different than North American varieties.
  5. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Any dendrologists out there?
  6. As far as I know, there is one species of maple that is native to Indonesia. It is evergreen and looks quite a bit different than what is generally known as maple. It is also pretty rare and grows in mountain regions. I really doubt that this maple is used for basses, I can imagine it being too expensive.
  7. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    If it works like most industries in Asia, the maple was harvested in the US or Canada, shipped as lumber to Asia, and then processed over there. So your "Indonesian" maple may well have come from the next town over from where you live.
  8. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    By evergreen do you mean a conifer? If so it is maple only in name. Plenty of North American maple is shipped overseas. Since Squier calls their necks hard maple and sell them in America and Europe it's doubtful that they are anything but true hard, (sugar or rock) maple. That's the nomenclature in Europe and The Americas and it would be detrimental to sales and reputation to lie about what the wood actually is and use some tropical substitute that the market is unfamiliar with.

    When it says hard maple, it came from North America.

    Just what did you feel different? My Squier necks are beautifully fine grained grained maple. My guess is its purely a difference in the finish. Old ones had nitrocellulose laquer, these days the have synthetic plastic laquers. Big difference in feel.
  9. I was thinking (perhaps incorrectly, IDK) that maybe the OP is confusing neck finish for the feel of the wood, as the finish on most Indo Squiers is a satin poly, instead of the usual gloss finish.
  10. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Yep. Difficult to feel the wood if its encased in a plastic sheath.
  11. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    If it is the wood OP is asking anout and not a finish:

    Plenty of Acer species (maples) covering China and in Indonesia in places as well.

    You should remember that even amongst North American maples there are many species, some hard, some soft, so an American-source maple could be different than an American-source maple.
  12. BIGEJ2

    BIGEJ2 Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    Happy Valley, PA
    I smell a troll...
  13. I don't know about the OP being a troll, but it would be nice if he came back and clarified exactly what he's talking about. I will admit, it is a little suspicious.
  14. FourBanger


    Sep 2, 2012
    SE Como
    We can say it over and over.

    SE Asian alder is an alder but not the same alder from North America.
    SE Asian maple is a maple but not the same maple from North America.
    SE Asian basswood is a basswood but not the same basswood from North America.

    Cedar may sometimes be used for other conifers (evergreens) but might not always be true cedars. This happens even with North American woods.

    Agathis is group of many conifers as well. They vary from Koa-like to pine-like to mahogany-like depending on which species it is.

    Where it gets extra tricky are the more desirable woods like rosewood, mahogany and ebony. Plenty of woods have been called those but aren't. Sometimes lumber companies have gotten pretty loose with what they've called mahogany and rosewood in the past, but they are getting better. Nato was called Asian mahogany, then nato mahogany, now usually just nato.
  15. wvbass


    Mar 1, 2004
    Bite me. I have a job and can't spend all day on Talkbass. I guess it is "suspicious" that a bass player as a job, but hey, we can't all deliver pizza.

    Yes, the finish is different, but that is not what I am talking about. It doesn't seem as dense, in general, as my MIA basses. It is lighter and softer. If it is NA lumber shipped overseas, it is clearly a lesser grade. I wonder if it might be some evergreen variety of maple.

    Actually, I would bet my Spector and Lakland are NA wood shipped to Indonesia. My Sterling and my G&L I am not so sure...
  16. theretheyare

    theretheyare Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    My Indonesian sterling (SUBrays) certainly does not use maple for the body, more like something very soft, light and porous (I bought one with a big chip out of it from MF). Seriously reminds me of the balsa wood i used to make toy planes from. Advertised as 'solid wood', 'extremely light and airy". I can't imagine why they would ship such stuff from the States.

    great bass for the dough by the way. Neck and fretwork is excellent.
  17. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Evergreen variety of maple. Weird. I doubt there's any relation to hard NA maple, it's likely been given that name for similar grain and densities. I googled Indonesian maple and it has a single point leaf. Misleading; if it doesn't even have a multi point leaf it shouldn't be called maple as the common name. Should be called fluegelwood or something.
  18. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Only thing I can think of that might create a different feel between two diff maple bass necks wood is the finish. Does one have gloss or painted color and the other matte or flat? Is one poly and the other nitro finish?
  19. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Ha ha ha ha ha! :bag:

    Really? :meh: You mean something like Lodgepole Oak or Incense Mahogany, for example? :D
  20. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    Heh heh heheh. Incense mahogany. Heh heh. Nice one Jeff. BTW, are you my brother? That's my brother's name there.