Maple vs Rosewood Fingerboards: Can You Tell the Difference?

One of the commonly accepted “truths” about guitars is that maple and rosewood fingerboards produce distinctively different tones. Maple supposedly sounds punchy and provides note clarity, while rosewood is warm and spacious-sounding.

Of course, many guitarists disagree that the differences are significant, or even noticeable.

Darrell Braun decided to put the matter to a test. In this video, he compares a one-piece maple neck with a neck that has a rosewood fingerboard. To eliminate as many variables as possible, he uses the same Fender Telecaster semihollow guitar body with each neck. In addition, each neck is made in Mexico.

Darrell demonstrates both necks in each of the guitar’s three pickup positions and presents several “blind” tests where you can guess which neck you think is being played. He wraps up the video with his own observations and reveals the answers to the blind tests.

Be sure to take notes on the blind tests. And when you’re done, check out Darrell’s other great videos on his YouTube page at Darrell Braun Guitar.

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Guitar World Staff

Since 1980, Guitar World has been the ultimate resource for guitarists. Whether you want to learn the techniques employed by your guitar heroes, read about their latest projects or simply need to know which guitar is the right one to buy, Guitar World is the place to look.