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NighthawkChris

Question about Fender on a Gibson Forum

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I am a Gibson guy - always had a Gibson be my go-to guitar for at least 23+ years since I started playing (of course I started with an Epiphone before I got the Big G). But I felt it was time I go over to the "dark side" and pick up a Fender Stratocaster as my next guitar msp_biggrin.gif I figure that I can pick up an American Standard used around the $700-$800 range give or take, and I believe that I can get a tone out of this that my LP's and Nighthawk's cannot achieve to some extent. Not only that, I personally have never had anything whatsoever against Fender (iconic guitar maker themselves as Gibson is), just that whenever I've been in the market for a new guitar, I've always considered to get a Gibson first - and have bought the Gibson each time thus far. Well, I own 7 Gibsons - I have a few NH's and 2 LP's. I thought that a nice Strat could even out my herd, haha! Since I know everyone here doesn't explicitly have Gibsons and probably own a few Fender guitars, I thought it might be nice to ask about a simple cosmetic issue about a couple used ones I have my eye on. I am particularly looking at a couple 1996 Strats that each have the same finishes (3 tone sunburst), modern C neck shape, same hardware, but only differences I see is the neck construction (not the profile of the neck). There is one I see with an all-maple neck and another with a rosewood fretboard. I personally like the all-maple neck, but the rosewood looks pretty swell too... I wanted to get a feeling what others would choose given the option to choose this cosmetic feature. And as I said, I understand this is cosmetic and should have virtually no impact on my playing, but I have a choice, and the rosewood is listed for about $100 more, but yet in the price range I am expecting to spend for this guitar... All in all, not too exciting of a subject, but I'd appreciate some feedback on this just to see if there's something I can learn from this. Thanks in advance!

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NighthawkChris, I'm no expert, but if you are talking about Maple vs. Rosewood Fretboard, it is more than just cosmetic. The Feel and Tone will vary between the two. Personally I'd go with the Rosewood.

Edited by LPguitarman

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Nothing wrong with owning a Fender. I got a J Bass and a Tele and a Strat. My Strat is a Fender American Deluxe HSS body with aftermarket pups and a Warmoth Maple neck with a Rosewood board. I've owned one Maple on Maple necked American Strat. Nothing wrong with that either.

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I couldn’t tell you whether it affects the sound or not (I tend to believe that is overrated) but it does affect the feel under your fingertips if you push hard enough to touch the fretboard.

 

Personally I have Fenders with maple fretboards, rosewood fretboards, and even a Ric with a glossy finished bubinga board. The gloss finished fretboards don’t bother me at all, and I like the way they look and don’t really require any maintenance. For people that really touch the fretboard a lot when they play, they might not like it so much

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I couldn’t tell you whether it affects the sound or not (I tend to believe that is overrated) but it does affect the feel under your fingertips if you push hard enough to touch the fretboard.

 

Personally I have Fenders with maple fretboards, rosewood fretboards, and even a Ric with a glossy finished bubinga board. The gloss finished fretboards don’t bother me at all, and I like the way they look and don’t really require any maintenance. For people that really touch the fretboard a lot when they play, they might not like it so much

Man you think this place is vicious. When I had a Ric 4003 I was on the Rickenbacker Forum for a while, and mention any other guitar or bass other that a Ric and you get attacked by a pack of wolves.

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Guest Farnsbarns

When I buy a strat it will have a maple fretboard, lacquered. I just think of a strat as being that.

 

Anyone who can pick strats with rosewood fretboard out over those with maple, by the sound is lying. Play both, play others, listen to them as individual guitars. Get the feel and buy the best one you can find.

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Lots of fine guitars are alluring and addictive, and so are Strats! [biggrin]

 

Among my Gibson L6Ses, Fender Strats, and Fender Teles are some with different fretboards each.

 

When about tone, the finished maple boards deliver tighter lows, some more midrange edge and about the same treble when compared to rosewood (Fender) and baked maple (Gibson). The sonic differences clearly come out when I compare the two Strats of mine with piezo bridges, one with rosewood and maple board each. I retrofitted all four of my stock MIM Floyd Rose Fender HSS Strats with Fender Noiseless SSS pickups, and those on them two with piezos are different, so comparing the magnetic tones of these two would be moot. The all-maple 2011 L6S has clearly more midrange edge than that with baked maple, but I also have to add that the latter has about ten percent more weight to it. Since my 1973 L6-S is all-maple and I don't own one wirth ebony fretboard, I can't tell anything about it.

 

The playing feel of maple is quite close to rosewood as long as I'm fingering fret pitches. Bendings, however, do change it all. The polyurethan (USA) and polyester (Mexico) fretboards of the Fenders feel more slippery than any bare wood or phenolic resin, and the Gibson maple boards start getting sticky when I sweat.

 

As a side note, maple boards allow for slightly longer fingernails on my fretting hand... [rolleyes]

 

Finally, when about Strats with "vintage tremolo" system, all of my pals keep them pulled down to the top as a quasi-hardtail. This is why I bought Floyd Rose Strats - I love a whammy bar true to tuning pitches after use! [biggrin]

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As you already have guitars with rosewood boards...I would be tempted to go for a maple one.

I have a maple-board Tele and there's something about the 'snap' they deliver, definitely.

[thumbup]

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The Strat I bought in the 70s was a maple neck. I loved that look. The feel was ok but I didnt much like the lacquer. I prefer the feel of a natural wood.

My Ric 650 has a lacquered maple board, and I still feel the same way about it.

 

If you can, try some out first.

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Yes we actually talk about other brands here in the lounge.. It IS allowed.. (unlike some sub sections I could mention :unsure: :) )

 

For me... Id go rosewood... Easier to maintain in the long run, if you ever need work done on it having no lacquer to worry about does make things easier.... But that's my only real reason. I guess I also prefer the look too but that's neither here nor there.

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Yes we actually talk about other brands here in the lounge.. It IS allowed.. (unlike some sub sections I could mention :unsure: :) )

 

For me... Id go rosewood... Easier to maintain in the long run, if you ever need work done on it having no lacquer to worry about does make things easier.... But that's my only real reason. I guess I also prefer the look too but that's neither here nor there.

IMO gloss/maple is only less maintenance in the highly unusual event of a refret. Otherwise it stays cleaner and doesn’t need oil like rosewood

 

I think the aesthetic part depends on the finish of the body. A white guitar looks better with rosewood and a black guitar looks better with maple for example

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IMO gloss/maple is only less maintenance in the highly unusual event of a refret. Otherwise it stays cleaner and doesn’t need oil like rosewood

 

I think the aesthetic part depends on the finish of the body. A white guitar looks better with rosewood and a black guitar looks better with maple for example

Not just a re-fret... Ive done fret levelling work on maple boards and fret end work.. I have to be WAYYY more careful with a lacquered board... Not that im not careful with a rosewood one.. :unsure: :)

 

But its not the biggest deal.. Just what I prefer...

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Personally, I don't think there is a wrong answer between Rosewood and Maple. I'd go with which ever I thought looked better.

 

I think the Maple looks nicer on a 3 tone sunburst strat.

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Not just a re-fret... Ive done fret levelling work on maple boards and fret end work.. I have to be WAYYY more careful with a lacquered board... Not that im not careful with a rosewood one.. :unsure: :)

 

But its not the biggest deal.. Just what I prefer...

I hadn’t thought about that. I’ve done some experimenting with fret files on my squier bass and for my skill level I learned that I need to take the same precaution with a raw or finished fretboard [laugh] When filing fret ends, the tendency to scratch across the grain is just as bad if not worse than a scratch in the finish.

Personally, I don't think there is a wrong answer between Rosewood and Maple. I'd go with which ever I thought looked better.

 

I think the Maple looks nicer on a 3 tone sunburst strat.

I totally agree but I could go either way on the 3 tone. Charlie Brown has a 3 tone with a rosewood board that is probably the most beautiful Strat I’ve seen

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I totally agree but I could go either way on the 3 tone. Charlie Brown has a 3 tone with a rosewood board that is probably the most beautiful Strat I’ve seen

 

Pretty sure that is what Stevie Ray Vaughan used too, with the tortoise shell pick guard. They're damn good looking either way.

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I hadn’t thought about that. I’ve done some experimenting with fret files on my squier bass and for my skill level I learned that I need to take the same precaution with a raw or finished fretboard [laugh] When filing fret ends, the tendency to scratch across the grain is just as bad if not worse than a scratch in the finish.

Yeah it does take a bit of practice..

 

I really like this file, I just find it delicate enough and the rounded side you can use on the corners (and yes I get it from Canada)

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Hiroshima-Files-Uo-Chikyu-Fret-End-Dressing-File/123038578855?hash=item1ca5abb8a7:g:wH0AAOSwXXpatiSZ

 

Also I found a good substitute fret end file which you can get at most Pharmacys. I couldn't find my file one day and happened to spot one of my mums.. It works surprisingly well :)

 

A bog standard cardboard nail file

mKgU6EA.jpg

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I have one piece maple Tele, Esquire, Precision, and Jazz. And a Squier Hello Kitty that I do gig, but most don't consider that a real guitar.

 

I have a new Pau Ferro boarded Strat HSS, Mexican. It's a great fingerboard wood, I like it a lot. For the Vaughn mention up there, I do think the SRV strats are Pau Ferro as well, but I may mis-remember that.

 

My EJRW is a round laminated rosewood board that is bound. That neck is truly to-die-for. Delicious. Luxurious.

 

I'm about to close on a Tele with a one piece rosewood neck. One of these guys around here has one. This one is Surf Green. It is just gaaaahhh, I just spent a couple hours with it and I am stoked.

 

I'm a Fender guy, it's pretty obvious most of the time. The more you spend on them the happier you are get.

 

I have a richlite boarded Martin and a bound ebony boarded Martin. So I have a buncha fingerboards. I would never say the fingerboard is even a consideration in the sound of an electric guitar, but that is just my experience.

 

Spend money. Rarely do we spend a lot on a nice guitar and regret it, often we spend a little on a cheap one and are wondering why we did that in a few months.

 

Good luck with it. A house ain't a home without a Tele or three. Strat or two. You know.

 

rct

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I hate you. I take back my advice. If I wasn't so freakin lazy I would have driven 60 miles or so and gave up the Gibsons for one of these, FOR SURE. Maybe next one. There is the Uber Rare Purple Jeff Beck. That would be a score, ehy?

 

Enjoy. Bastid.

 

rct

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Nice score there Chris!

 

About the diffs of maple verses rosewood.....

 

I've had fenders for many years. I've probably had 8/10 strats come and go over the 50+ yeas I've been playing. Currently holding on to two strats and a tele.

my 95 strat has a rose wood fb,, my '97 tele and my '14 strat are maple. Tone wise, in my experiences, there IS a difference. The rosewood, to me sounds just a touch darker. Not by a lot but I believe it's absolutely there.

 

The feel is a bit different between the too. You do adjust to it, but it's not quite the same feel as rosewood. The fret size is also a big factor in to the feel. If you go with vintage style frets, (which you would see on something like a 50's reissue) the maple board will give a little more resistance in bending simply because there's not enough fret wire to get the strings away from the fret board, so your finger tips will be more in contact with the fret board. I found this especially annoying in the summer if I got to sweating while playing under lights or out side under the sun.

 

I had a beauty custom shop 57 Time Machine I couldn't ever get along with the vintage (thin) frets and the lacquered maple board. it was an awesome strat sound wise, and it had beautifully sculpted birdseye maple neck,, really it was stunning, but with those small frets, with the lacquered board, nope.. just NOT for me.

Edited by kidblast

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My experience is that rosewood Strats sound just a tad fuller when playing chords, at least. If that makes any sense.

 

But prefer the look of maple. It looks more right to me.

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Oh My! That's GORGEOUS!!!!!!

 

msp_drool.gifmsp_drool.gifmsp_drool.gifmsp_drool.gifmsp_drool.gif

 

Play Long and Prosper!

 

Far too late to this thread to offer anything meaningful, of course, but FWIW I've never been able to get used to the feel of a lacquered Fender 'board - especially the poly-finished ones when they get 'warm'. Sticky-plasticky and just plain old horrible. I've had quite a few over the years but always got rid of them and kept the rosewood ones. The only maple 'boarded "Fender" which has had staying power hereabouts is my very-thin-skin-satin-finish-on-the-neck Squier Affinity Tele - especially after the finish wears-off and we get down to the bare wood. It might be cheap-as-chips but it's as comfortable as an old pair of 501's

 

Pip.

Edited by pippy

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Hmmm....

 

I had my Tele board revarnished; much of it was down to the wood and it may have looked cool but I don't regret it at all.

My main teaching guitar for 10 years. It's been refretted too.

Edited by jdgm

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