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Rosewood Vs Maple Stratocasters

Adam Leaver: June 22, 2023
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One of the enduring points of contention amongst Stratocaster players is the tonal, ergonomic and aesthetic differences between maple and rosewood fretboards. Just what are these differences and, ultimately, do they matter? In today’s video, Sam takes a deep dive into this decades-long debate.

Full Transcript

Maple versus Rosewood can you really hear a difference let’s find out

Sam from Guitar Village here today we’re going to do a little experiment something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and that is compare a maple and a rosewood fretboard to each other this is something that is a kind of long-standing debate and to be honest with you I’ve never actually tried it myself so this is going to be really interesting for me for good measure two we’ve got a solid Rosewood neck as well to see if that makes any difference as well we’re going to be using the American Pro 2 strap for these examples so let’s get started before we get into the playing examples let’s have a look at this model in depth now the American professional 2 follows on from the professional which was the replacement for the long-standing American Standard Strat and what they’ve done over these years is really refine this model so some things that I really like about this is that they’ve changed the neck profile to a deep sea which isn’t too dissimilar from the modern sea but you know it’s a really nice profile I think a lot of players are going to like that the pickups are the v-mod 2s which I found the original v-mod pickups were a little bit bright and they’ve just made these slightly warmer they’ve also upgraded the tremolo block and they’ve made it a pop-in arm as well so you haven’t got to do this the whole time when you’re trying to put your guitar back in the case you can literally just pop it out and then pop it back in when you want to use it again really nice feature they’ve also fitted this heel Contour there so reaching the upper register is a real Breeze and they’ve added this Nifty little switch a push push switch which when you’re on the bridge position or the second position with the bridge and middle you can bring the neck into

debate started from was during the 50s and 60s where Fender was experimenting with different finger board materials and body materials as well when you look at some of those 50 strats they had brighter pickups and they really complemented the warmer sounding Tweed amps and it’s kind of Vice Versa when you get to the 60s strats where they’ve got brighter amps so they made the pickups warmer and that’s probably where most of that argument comes from but there are a lot of other factors as well aside from that you’ve got things like different neck profiles which do make a huge difference the amount of sustain and the sound of the guitar after comparing these three guitars and you know trying each of the necks out I don’t think there’s a massive difference you can hear some real subtle differences for example the the solid Rosewood neck I was using was slightly warmer you know just on the top end it didn’t add any more bass response I think across the three they all had exactly the same amount of bass response the maple neck with the rosewood fretboard had a bit more of compression when you dig in hard whereas the solid Maple neck you’re really only going to notice a big difference when you’re playing notes up past the 12th fret they just have slightly more body to it so in conclusion in my personal opinion I don’t think it’s really worth considering going for one or the other based on sound alone I think you really want to do it based on feel or maybe looks if you want to match you know a rosewood fretboard with an Olympic white body and go for that look or whatever you know you prefer I really enjoyed doing this comparison video and I hope you enjoyed watching it if you want to check out any of the guitars used in today’s video they’ll be linked in the description below we’ll be bringing out new videos every Friday at 4pm so hit the Subscribe button now to stay up to date with our latest content and don’t forget to give us a thumbs up too


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