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Maple vs Rosewood on a SR

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by williamk, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. williamk


    Apr 2, 2008
    My local guitar shop has a MM Stingray classic that's been sitting there for 2 years, and the guy can sell it to me for 1450$ (CAN$), which is probably the best price I'm gonna get for a new one. It's in a discontinued cream color and sounds amazing. BUUUT
    it has a rosewood fretboard, which I find absolutely ugly. I really like maple necks. I know it has been debated before and I've tried reading on the subject as much as possible. I'd like to have the opinion of someone who has had both types of neck on a SR. Is there really a sound difference between the 2? A buddy of mine says he likes recording with rosewood necks because they sound better in the studio.
    The bass sounds great but looks ugly, but at that price, I'm wondering if I should just pull the trigger, especially if the rosewood neck sounds "better in the studio". I unfortunately do not have maple neck SR to test them side by side.


    edit: I'm into fingerstyle and a little slap, pop stuff mostly
  2. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Given the price, I can live with ugly. I can't speak on behalf of the SR maple vs rosewood BOTB (battle-of-the-boards) but I do know I like the rosewood on a Lakland 55-94 over & above the maple.

  3. I have both, and I notice a bit of sound difference. I find the maple to be a bit punchier, and the rosewood to be a bit warmer. My 4 string is the maple board, and my 5 is the rosewood, so I'm not sure if that contributes either. Whatever the case, I love the sound of both, and I'm sure you will like it. If it were me, at that price, I would buy it, play it for a while, and if you're really feeling you want a maple fretboard, you could probably find someone who would swap with you.
  4. williamk


    Apr 2, 2008
    that's true...
    I have noticed though that SRs have a poor resale value for some reason. I rarely see a used stingray on kijiji or CL over 1000$ where I live. Then again I've been looking for a used classic and never saw one...
  5. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon. Supporting Member


    Not a huge difference between the two on a SR IME.
  6. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    If you think it's ugly why would you buy it?
    Life's too short, get one you like the look of.
  7. williamk


    Apr 2, 2008
    Not "ugly", but certainly less desirable. But i get your point..!
    It's the good deal that gets me thinking
  8. Joe Kyle

    Joe Kyle

    Oct 18, 2008
    Yeah dude, I'm sure you could find another for ~1450 CAN that you liked more! Don't settle.

    That being said, I love my maple neck 03 Autumnburst sparkle.
  9. inate_hex


    Apr 4, 2010
    Manchester, England
    I occasionally wet the bed.
    I wouldn't buy it if I were in your shoes. I bought a bass that I didn't like the look of once. I ended up selling it and losing money. I bought it because it was a bargain. I would of been better spending more money on a colour that I liked in the first place.
  10. bobalu


    Oct 1, 2004
    above the 49th
    I currently have a maple neck Stingray and have owned in the past several rosewood neck Stingrays and Sterling's. I honestly cannot say that I hear any difference in the tone between the two. Same with my Telecaster and Strat guitars. I guess my hearing is not that sensitive. Its most certainly nothing that you can't fix by EQ'ing, imo.

    Notwithstanding, I have in fact purchased basses in the past that I didn't like the looks of (most recently a trans orange EBMM Sterling) because they were a great deal. Big mistake. I just never warm up to them and end up selling them (will I ever learn?). If you really thinks its ugly, are you actually ever going to enjoy playing it? Just something to think about first. Maybe it won't be a big deal for you....I don'know....
  11. Evil Undead

    Evil Undead

    Oct 31, 2009
    I used to only play basses with maple boards. Thought rosewood looked horrible. Then I played one for a while.... maaaan. Feels and sounds a million times better, IMHO. Now I don't think I'll go back to maple.
  12. I used to prefer maple but after having both I now tend to think how the board matches the body color is the biggest concern.
  13. bass12

    bass12 And Grace, too Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Every piece of wood is different and no two basses will sound exactly alike. Comparing two basses (one with a rosewood board and the other with a maple board) will tell you how different those two basses sound but not necessarily anything more. I do believe that different woods have different sonic tendencies and, if I am going to order a bass then I go with a certain wood based on how it is "likely" to sound. But ideally you try the bass and, regardless of the wood, decide whether or not it is for you. If you love the sound of the bass and can live with the look (as someone who used to own a white MM with a Pau Ferro board I disagree with your assessment of the looks ;)) then I would say buy it. You could try fifty other MMs that don't sound as good to you no matter what the wood combination.
  14. williamk


    Apr 2, 2008
    Arrhhh...food for thought! I'm very undecided. It sounds amazing, maybe looks are less important, i don't know...
  15. The wood is 100% aesthetics. If you don't like how it looks or sounds, don't buy it. If you just don't like how it looks, debate how much you want the sound and if you can cope with the looks or not. Myself, I hate the look of maple boards, but I have had a bass with one, and I liked enough other things about it that it was alright (I did end up selling it though).

    $1450 isn't that great a price on an SR in Canada. It may be decent for a brand new one, but as others have mentioned, you can do far better than that (<$1000) on the used market including kijiji and the classifieds here. I've even seen used SRs at Long and McQuade for under $1000. If it was me, I'd hold out for one where I liked the tone and the looks.
  16. williamk


    Apr 2, 2008
    I don't know, i've never seen a brand new SR classic for that little...maybe i haven't looked hard enough
  17. Reddog01


    Nov 3, 2013
    Georgetown, TX
    Let me ask you a question. Which do care the most about; the sound and feel of the bass or it's looks? If you don't care about it's quality, and how well it fits you, then go for the looks. Yes, you need to love it, but you should not be asking us to make this decision for you. It will be YOUR bass, not ours. You need to ask yourself what you want the bass for.