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Maple vs. Rosewood

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BAbassist, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. Hey guys, everybody talks about this, and when they do, they talk about the sound. I'm wondering, are there any playability differences between the different woods? My dad always used rosewood, so the strat he got me when I was a kid was rosewood. Getting used to the rosewood meant that once I started bass, I automatically chose rosewood. In stores, I try out rosewood instruments. I have actually never played a maple guitar or bass. Can somebody help me out?
  2. lfmn16


    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Step 1 - play a maple neck and then you will know for yourself.
    Step 2 - there is no step two. :D
  3. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    Same as the brushability difference of a blue toothbrush and a red toothbrush.
  4. Casting Thunder

    Casting Thunder

    Oct 7, 2012
  5. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
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  6. Ya, I have played both, and maple just seems smoother (after a short break in period). Today I would NEVER buy a rosewood fret board. Play both, if you can, and you will know immediately. I promise you that. I've been playying maple necks for at least 15yrs. Sooooooo worth it.
  7. I prefer the look and feel of maple but both of my main players are rosewood. shows you just how important it is. If you're down with rosewood then be down with rosewood.
  8. lfmn16


    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Yea, but what about rosewood vs maple??? :D

  9. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    rosewood, maple ...I dont really care..I select the fretboard base on the color of the body :)...
  10. stonewall


    Jun 14, 2010
    Zero difference maybe the taste.
  11. YuppyPunk


    Oct 21, 2011
    I prefer maple because I prefer maple. I don't disike rosewood and I've never noticed a difference in playability, I just gravite toward maple.

    The only practicle advantage I've ever found between the two is that maple is a bit easier to see on a dark stage.
  12. socialleper

    socialleper Bringer of doom and top shelf beer Supporting Member

    May 31, 2009
    Canyon Country, CA
    I don't feel a difference with my fingertips when I play either wood. I THINK I hear a difference, but its pretty subjective. Visually, I prefer the look of dark fretboard woods like Rosewood, Ebony, or Wenge.
  13. songwriter21

    songwriter21 Involved with two girls. Cirrus and Milly. Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Sponsored by Hipshot
    I stay with rosewood, because it holds up better year-round than maple. Rosewood is very oily, therefore I think it is much less maintenance than maple, as it naturally holds up better. I've rarely had sharp fret ends (shrinking fretboard) from rose, whereas maple does it almost every time, for me.

    I still think ebony is the best feeling, no question.
  14. MaddAnthony_59

    MaddAnthony_59 Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2006
    Columbus, IN
    I Channel Surf During Commercials. (Drives my Wife CRAZY!!!)
    And then there's Pau Ferro! Dark Color, Bright Tones!

    But I prefer Rosewood. Maple does Burn better though!:bassist:

  15. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Having refretted a Fender maple fingerboard before I tend to prefer rosewood, that plus I'm not keep on thick finishes on my fingerboards. That said the main decision usually comes down to what's on the instrument I'm buying already or what looks good if I'm coming up with one from scratch.
  16. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    Ebony is mo' betta'

  17. Luckydog


    Dec 25, 1999
    You sir, are the new president of the OCD Bassists Club
  18. sunbrother


    May 3, 2013
    Maple fretboards typically have a thicker finish on them, where as most rosewood boards are just oiled.

    One is not better than the other, and I have both types on my basses and guitars, but based on my experiences maple doesn't have to be maintained as carefully.
  19. Bass_Thumper


    Oct 20, 2009
    Madison, MS
    +1 I have both and don't notice a difference in tone or feel. Now different strings, that I notice :)
  20. bass12

    bass12 And Grace, too Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Well, unless you play your bass without strings the type of wood used for your fretboard isn't going to affect playability. ;)