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FDP Forum / Fender Custom Shop / Rosewood V Maple


United Kingdom

Aug 2nd, 2013 08:08 AM   Edit   Profile  

I'm on the lookout for a nicely, heavily reliced Custom strat, which feels really broken in.

Noticed that most relics out there tend to have rosewood boards. I like the look of the worn patches on maple.

I'm guessing rosewood is the more popular option for players in terms of sound and feel, which is why the Custom shop seem to produce more relics with them?

Does anyone have a preference or opinion of the two?

Contributing Member


too many guitars and not enough hands
Aug 2nd, 2013 02:14 PM   Edit   Profile  

grabs popcorn, puts feet up....... waiting for it to begin ;)


San Diego

Land of Sea, home of the Waves
Aug 19th, 2013 08:44 PM   Edit   Profile  

Yes where is my good burbon... Need to stock up for this one.

Just saying,


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Sep 12th, 2013 10:33 AM   Edit   Profile  

Ginger??...... Mary Anne??.....

Mmmmm Bourbon

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Houston, Texas

"Wanna go tree climbing Thomas J?"
Sep 12th, 2013 10:56 AM   Edit   Profile  

Lightning is not prejudice. It will strike drown upon both with equal vengeance.


Contributing Member


Happiness is a warm tube amp
Sep 12th, 2013 02:51 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'm surprised to read "most relics out there tend to have rosewood boards". That hasn't been my experience. Most of the better on-line CS dealers have a good selection of both.

Proud owner of a relic'ed '56 Strat with a big ol' 10/56 maple neck here.



Sep 12th, 2013 06:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

O.K I'll start it but won't chime in anymore after this.

Rosewood has a more "wooden" feel under the fingers compared to maple boards that feel "firmer" and glassier depending on the finish.

Maple is known to provide a brighter tone to the guitar compared to rosewood. A lot will argue they can't tell the difference, others will say it makes a lot of difference, others will say more sustain and a warmer tone, etc, etc.

My opinion is that it makes a subtle difference. I find maple boards slightly more punchy sounding and maybe(I said maybe) a little less sustain that rosewood boards.

I prefer maple but like both.

Grey Goose
Contributing Member


Sep 20th, 2013 06:09 AM   Edit   Profile  

I like both types, new and worn. I think they sound and feel different. I'll let you know that I choose either maple or rosewood based on the guitar color/finish. But buy the whole guitar based on sound, feel, vibe, etc...

YMMV, best of luck!

Contributing Member

Suburban Detroit, Mi

Sep 23rd, 2013 01:23 PM   Edit   Profile  

Not sure which is more prevalent in the relic arena but it's a fairly easy question to answer: Maple looks, sounds and plays better than rosewood. There have been countless double-blind studies performed by experts the world over. In majority of the studies, even the parents upstairs agreed.


South Florida

Nov 11th, 2013 08:24 PM   Edit   Profile  

On a Strat or Tele its maple....as God intended. I'm pretty sure it's in the Bible somewhere.

Contributing Member

Ocala, Fla

Jan 19th, 2014 06:40 AM   Edit   Profile  

But seriously, I could see maple appealing to the relic lover simply because it has more visible wear.

CChampagne, Esquire

from New Orleans

Apr 2nd, 2016 12:43 AM   Edit   Profile  

The main reason why Leo decided to put rosewood on his guitar fretboards. was to provide a remedy to the finger wear that accumulates on maple fretboards. He probably had no intention to alter the sound of the instrument.



Jul 6th, 2016 08:46 PM   Edit   Profile  

Everyone has an opinion when it comes to fret board materials. Its a lot like single coil versus humbuckers. No right or wrong answers just different opinions.

Its all about personal taste. I like tactile feel of rosewood or ebony over maple.

Contributing Member


Upside Down, Backwards, and Left Handed
Oct 8th, 2016 02:54 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have one of each...so I am happy no matter what mood I am in!

FDP Forum / Fender Custom Shop / Rosewood V Maple

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