Rosewood vs Maple Fretboards Comparison: Which Is The Best?

maple fretboards
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For everyone, buying a new guitar often overlooks the fretboard material used to create a finished guitar. A lot of people think that the wood used to make the frets doesn’t have a big impact on the overall tone of the guitar, but this is a misconception. One of the issues that are concerned when choosing a guitar is Maple fretboards or Rosewood fretboard? The information shared below will be extremely helpful for you.

Importance of choosing the right fretboard

In fact, the wood used to make the fretboard of a guitar has an impact on the overall tone of the guitar. Not only that, but the type of wood used in the fretboard has a greater impact on the overall feel and playability of the instrument people choose. Anyone can spend a lot of time and money choosing an instrument that sounds great, but if the instrument has keys that make it difficult for you to play, then you definitely don’t have to worry about it.

When we want to do something for the best results, we all have to take the time to do it. In choosing an instrument too, if you are really looking for a favorite guitar with a great sound, the most important thing is that you spend time researching the different types of wood used to make it. keys. There are now many types of wood that are good for guitars. But you should also visit guitar stores to try on different woods to better understand the advantages and disadvantages of each.

When choosing a fretboard one is more concerned with maple vs rosewood, as there is a noticeable difference. It’s about how both of these woods have an influence on how a certain style of music or piece of music is played. Learn more about the maple vs rosewood fretboard comparison to get the best choice.

maple vs rosewood fretboard
Choosing a fretboard helps people get more interesting sounds

Quick summary of Maple fretboards

The natural creamy white color, together with the strong tones coming from its thick wood material, are the recognizable form of Maple fretboards. Vintage style necks are now commonly used on Fender Standard Telecaster and Stratocaster models to replace old classical frets. Maple fretboards are also offered in a variety of varieties, and each one can influence everyone’s sound and playing style.

Hard Maple vs. silver maple fretboards

Guitar manufacturers now also offer two different species of maple used to make maple Fretboards: silver maple and hard maple. Visually, both maples are sturdy, and make excellent neck materials for Fretboards. Besides, of course they will have different characteristics that people can easily recognize.

It has also been shown that hard maple is characterized as heavier and harder than silver maple (AKA soft maple). However, when comparing prices, hardwood maple is much more expensive than silver maple. Hard maples are commonly used by Paul Reed Smith, Fender, and Charvel, so if you’re particularly interested in using durable maple Fretboards, then keep an eye out for these areas.

Silver maples are readily available and not difficult to find, so their prices are also cheaper. People often think that when models are made in Indonesia and China, they usually use silver maple wood. But be careful not to let that fool you into thinking that maple silver Fretboards are of inferior quality than used hardwoods.

rosewood vs maple fretboard
Learn more about Hard Maple vs silver maple fretboards 

What are the different hard maple grain configurations?

The profile of the maple grain also has the same characteristics as the hard maple. People now point out that there are four different grain configurations that can be used to make your guitar look more appealing. Where the different grain configurations are mainly used to make your guitar look better and hence not affect your overall sound too much. Learn about the four main maple grain profiles available today:

  • Birdseye
  • Curly (AKA Tiger or Flame)
  • Quilted
  • Spalted

People won’t be too surprised to find fretboards with a clear grain profile. The main reason is that the bead patterns are not easy to work with on fretboards when required. And especially when milling pieces of textured wood, the treatment that piece has to go through to be usable for the neck tends to tear the grain, removing signs of texture.

In fact, it’s not unusual to see a fretboard with a grain configuration. Then, if you dig deeper, you’ll realize this is an example of an accordion neck with a Birdseye bead configuration.

Are maple fretboards easy to play?

Maple is characterized as a naturally porous wood, which means most maple keys are sealed using nitrocellulose or lacquer. You can also understand that when you play the guitar, you are actually playing at the end of the fret and not on the actual maple. There is also a downside to playing on maple fretboards to be concerned with that depending on the type and quality of the finish, you may feel smooth and fast maple fretboards. Or sometimes you can feel it end up sticky and somewhat laggy.

One workaround if you’re completely obsessed with having a maple neck is to completely erase the finish on the neck before you start playing. It is also recommended that this is a relatively expensive maintenance measure and can lead to excessive wear of your fretboards. Then the consequences will lead to the need to replace it earlier to continue using. Currently, there is no specific style of music that is more or less suitable for musicians playing on the neck, since a musician’s relationship to the neck depends on each person’s specific playing style. Besides, it also needs technique and other things to ensure comfort to play.

When you are an experienced musician in this field and are planning to switch to the accordion keys. Definitely be prepared to enjoy the speed you can increase as you move up and down the frets, but will also have to deal with noticing the difference from the start. People can then feel a lack of control when trying to bend their notes. This is due to the glossy finish on the fretboard.

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If you study hard, it will be easy to play

How do you take care of a maple fretboard?

The care and maintenance of the maple key are not too difficult because it has been completed on the keyboard from the beginning. After each play, everyone just needs to clean the keys with a dry towel and leave it in a dry place. Or you can also wipe every few hours if you’re playing for a long time, this will take a long time to help remove any buildup of finger oil that could eat through the finish. .

Not only should you wait until it’s dirty to wipe, but every few weeks you should wipe the keys with a slightly damp rag soaked in a little dish soap to remove excess oil or residue left by your fingertips. Also make sure the frets are completely dry before you put them back in place.

It is also important to note that if your keys are unfinished, you will have to clean and maintain your keyboard a lot more often than if you had a finished keyboard. You’ll want to wipe down your frets with a dry cloth every few hours you play. But you’ll also want to use steel wool on the frets monthly to remove dirt from the board. After cleaning the steel wool neck, you will use a soft cloth dipped in Tung oil to polish the surface of the neck. Thus, the instrument will become new and shiny like the original.

rosewood fretboard
You must know how to take care of Maple fretboards properly for long-term value

Pros of using a maple fretboard

  • Hard feel
  • Maintenance will become easier once the keys are finished
  • For tradition this is a one-piece build
  • It makes a big difference in the appearance of the guitar if it’s lighter than the maple, and everything would be perfect with a darker body.
  • People can play faster when there is a smooth feel of the instrument.
  • This type usually produces a bright attack and lots of percussion.
  • Grain configurations are incredibly diverse so it’s up to people where they buy their guitar to choose from different grain configurations.

Cons of using a maple fretboard

  • If there is a price difference it will depend a lot on whether the fret you choose is solid maple or silver maple.
  • Choosing a maple key, everything is perfected from there, which will also make it more difficult to manage the bends.
  • The maintenance of unfinished keys is more complicated and has a lot to do with play.

Quick summary of Rosewood fretboards

Studies have shown that the use of Rosewood in stringed instruments is much older than the Maple neck. That’s because Rosewood has also been used for the sides and backs of guitars, mandolins and violins, making it essential. Rosewood board guitars are in fact very recognizable by their dark coat color but are also commonly found on guitars by Paul Reed Smith, Ibanez and Gibson.

What are the different types of Rosewood?

In the production of guitars, the most commonly used Rosewood varieties are:

  • Brazilian Rosewood
  • Honduras Rosewood
  • Indian Rosewood

According to longtime guitar players, the necks made of Brazilian Rosewood are extremely difficult to find. This type of keyboard is often appreciated for its deep and deep colors. Brazilian rosewood is also considered a highly endangered material, so it has many limitations on its low marketability.

Honduras Rosewood has similar characteristics to Brazilian Rosewood but the difference is that it tends to be lighter in color than Brazilian Rosewood. There will be some companies on the market that will dye Honduras Rosewood a darker color to give it a similar feel to Brazilian Rosewood, although Honduras Rosewood is also becoming increasingly rare. However, Honduran Rosewood is not so rare and endangered as Brazilian Rosewood. This is to say that Honduran Rosewood is not on the limited list like Brazilian Rosewood.

Nowadays, many guitar manufacturers are switching to Indian Rosewood as it is much cheaper than Honduras Rosewood and Brazilian Rosewood and it also has a wide range of models.

Are Rosewood fretboards easy to play?

Rosewood is an open-grained wood, compared to Maple on large boards it does not have the ability to run as smoothly. Besides, the strings on the Rosewood fretboard tend to be a lot easier to control if you’re trying to bend the strings to play. When you’re someone who’s interested in stringing a guitar using certain playing techniques, you may find it easier to get your strings working on the Rosewood fretboard.

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Rosewood fretboards are easy to control for beginners

How to take care of a Rosewood fretboard?

The maintenance process for Rosewood keys is also very simple, it will be similar to the steps people usually follow to maintain unfinished Maple keys. It can be understood by example wiping the fretboards with a dry cloth every few hours or after each play.

There will also be some difficulties when taking care of Rosewood necks as the boards are darker in color, when it will be difficult for people to know when dirt has accumulated and needs a deeper cleaning.

If you’re playing on a Rosewood neck, make sure to thoroughly inspect your fretboard every few weeks to make sure it doesn’t have too much dirt or grease build up. The process of cleaning and maintaining Rosewood fretboards applies in the same way that you would clean and maintain an unsealed maple neck. 0000 steel wool should be used first to clean the frets monthly to remove dirt or grease build-up. Then just polish your fretboard with Tung oil-soaked cloth and you’re done.

Pros of using a Rosewood fretboard

  • Provides an excellent bite for easy wire control and crimp
  • Gorgeous colors and textures
  • Easy to maintain (no need to worry about the keys completely worn out)
maple fretboard vs rosewood fretboard
Rosewood fretboards bring many advantages to users

Cons of using a rosewood fretboard

  • Several guitar companies have breached restrictions to illegally purchase Brazilian and Honduran Rosewood even though they are endangered.
  • The second obvious downside is that people will have a hard time telling when a rosewood neck is dirty, which makes it harder to tell when you need a more thorough cleaning.
fretboards maple vs rosewood
Besides advantages, Rosewood fretboards also have some disadvantages

Comparison between Maple fretboard and Rosewood fretboard?

There is no one correct answer to this maple vs rosewood fretboard comparison, as what type of neck is right for one guitar player may not be right for another. Each type of instrument will be equipped with its own advantages and disadvantages. You can rely on figuring out which wood is better by holding it in your hand and feeling it. If you are at a loss as to which wood is best for fretboards, the comparison table below will provide a quick look at what Maple fretboards have to offer and what Rosewood fretboards have to offer.

Summary– It is the most commonly used wood for fretboards – Available in cream or natural white color
– Most frequently used by Fender in the Telecaster and Stratocaster series
– Wide selection of prices, due to the availability of hardy and silver maple
– Commonly used for a variety of string instruments
– Has a dark reddish brown color – – Commonly used by PRS, Gibson and Ibanez
Pros– Easy maintenance on finished keys
– Smooth fretboard means it’s easy to speed up to play at a faster tempo
– Easy for maintenance when there is a problem
– The wire is easy to bend.
– Bold colors stand out from light colors.
Cros– Unfinished keys require more maintenance and attention to them.
– Hard to bend notes due to non-glossy finish. – Depending on the quality of the finish used on the frets, playability can be either hit or slip (sticky and smooth finish).
– As the finish wears off, the wood underneath will begin to absorb oil and dirt
– High maintenance is required to ensure the keys are always in good condition.
– Brazil and Honduras rosewood are in danger of extinction.
– Some companies will illegally harvest Brazilian Rosewood and Honduras
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Each type of fretboard has its own advantages and disadvantages

Which fretboard wood should I choose?

When it comes to choosing the best guitar for you, it’s also important to realize that creating a tone with a supporting neck should not be your sole focus when shopping for a new guitar. Contrary to this, fretboards are an important factor that has the potential to affect the tone of the guitar you will be using. It is for this reason that the wood tones used for the body and fretboard of the guitar are what have the greatest influence on the creation of the guitar’s tone.

Forget about needing to choose a tonewood based on a good sound and spend some time thinking about choosing fretboards that feel good in your hands. In fact, both types of wood have their own unique properties. In which the reaction to the touch will be different when the abrasion is different. This is also the reason why you will find guitarists choosing this wood instead.

Everyone has their own path, but the best way is to choose a guitar that feels good in the hand. Because only then can it help you to develop your relationship as a musician. Sure, when you choose an instrument that sounds great but doesn’t feel comfortable in your hand, you’ll never want to play.

To get the best choice, everyone will need to spend time researching and experimenting with different fretboards. From there, you can deduce which key type is best for you. Also remember that the look and feel of the guitar are also important, so make sure that when you’re ready to buy a guitar, you think the guitar you’re about to buy will be attractive in every way. 

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Choosing the right fretboard wood needs to be based on many different factors


Guitar is an instrument that is tuned and produces a sound depending on the wood used to make the board and fretboard. Many times, the trunk and fretboard are made of the same wood but often different woods are used to manufacture these parts. The woods used to assemble your guitar often have an effect on the overall tonal quality of the sound produced by the guitar. 

Most guitarists tend to be certain of the quality of the wood used to make their bodies and to a lesser extent their fretboards. The maple fretboards will be a perfect choice for guitar lovers. Hopefully with the above sharing, you will have more knowledge and understanding about the components of the guitar.

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