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Old 05-18-2013, 07:10 AM
denny1948golf denny1948golf is offline
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Default Maple Acoustic's With Non Maple Necks??

I can't remember seeing a maple acoustic that didn't have a maple neck. Is it just for asthetics, or is it for tone? What about a mahogany neck on a maple guitar?
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Old 05-18-2013, 07:57 AM
woodbox woodbox is offline
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Default Two Maple Martins

I have one of each--

My 1988 Martin J65M is a Maple Jumbo size with a Mahogany neck.
My 2004 Martin 00-16 DBFM is Maple Deep Body 00 size with a Maple neck.

They are both bright and clear sounding, but I cannot address the issue of how the Maple vs Mahogany affects the tone.

My J65m is quite rare, only made for about 5 years and, like you say, the only Maple guitar I have seen without a maple neck.

I would like to hear from the owners of Gibson Maple J45's. Do they have a Maple neck?
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:02 AM
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There are plenty of maple guitars with mahogany necks. Aesthetically I like maple, but I know a few builders that prefer mahogany because they feel it improves the tone over a maple neck. I'm not sure if I have ever really noticed a big difference either way, but then again I don't get to play a lot of maple guitars.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:06 AM
brian a. brian a. is offline
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I have 2 maple bodied guitars. Both have mahogany necks. And I have played quite a few other models with either mahogany or maple necks. Quite frankly, I don't recall a tonal difference between the necks.
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:01 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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I agree with the builders who feel that mahogany necks on maple guitars make for a better-sounding guitar. I've had the opportunity to play many maple guitars equipped with maple or mahogany side by side, including a pair of otherwise identical Gibson J-185's owned by Fred "J-185-4me" Shrimer, and the mahogany-necked guitars invariably have more of a low end response and more overall "warmth" than the maple-necked guitars.

That's not to say that maple-necked guitars can't sound great. I've owned a couple that did. But the chances of getting a sweet-sounding maple guitar seem to increase when the neck is made out of mahogany.

I'm not the only person who feels this way - the highly respected archtop guitar builder Bob Benedetto says the same thing in his book:


What Benedetto says, essentially, is that maple necks on maple guitars is basically a visual aesthetic choice, but that mahogany necks improve the sound. He also says that he wishes that more of his guitar customers would order their instruments with mahogany necks.

As a multi-instrumentalist, I find that I like maple necks on mandolins and banjos, but mahogany necks on most everything else. The two maple guitars I currently own both have mahogany necks on them.

Hope this helps.


Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:01 PM
AZLiberty AZLiberty is offline
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It's mostly for aesthetics.

Almost every maple Larrivee I have seen has a mahogany neck. I've only seen one or two customs which were maple.

The downside is obviously weight/balance.
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:10 PM
brian a. brian a. is offline
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Wade,
Thanks for the post. You knocked the cobwebs loose in my head. I agree completely with your comments regarding mahogany vs maple necks on acoustics. thanks.
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:11 PM
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Here is a picture of my Mark Angus #35, built for me in 1979... Honduran mahogany neck, maple b/s, German Black Forest spruce top... sounded wonderful, right off the bench... and it still does!



I don't believe I have ever played a maple guitar with a maple neck that I actually liked the sound of...
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:16 PM
J185-4Me J185-4Me is offline
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As Wade mentioned, the J-185 is one of the standout models in which a maple b&s body is mated to a mahogany neck.

Here's a nice blonde '04 that illustrates this well:


The standard spec for the J-185, since its introduction in 1951, has always been mahogany neck with maple body. Nice combination, IMHO.

Fred
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:24 PM
Play2PraiseHim Play2PraiseHim is offline
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Ive seen and refused several nice maple guitars because they had mahogany necks. It looks off to me.
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:31 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Brian wrote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by brian a. View Post
Wade,
Thanks for the post. You knocked the cobwebs loose in my head. I agree completely with your comments regarding mahogany vs maple necks on acoustics. thanks.
No extra charge for cobweb-knocking, Brian! Glad to be of assistance.

The AZ wrote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by AZLiberty View Post
It's mostly for aesthetics.

Almost every maple Larrivee I have seen has a mahogany neck. I've only seen one or two customs which were maple.

The downside is obviously weight/balance.
The weight and balance of maple necks IS an issue. Another, less obvious issue is that most of the maple-necked instruments I've ever played have lost a great deal of tone when capoed.

It's more dramatic on some guitars than others, but what I found on the maple-necked guitars I owned is that when you apply a capo, the drop-off in tone quality is obvious once you get up to the third fret. It can get really bad past that.

It seems to have something to do with the density of the wood.


whm
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:54 PM
denny1948golf denny1948golf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
I agree with the builders who feel that mahogany necks on maple guitars make for a better-sounding guitar. I've had the opportunity to play many maple guitars equipped with maple or mahogany side by side, including a pair of otherwise identical Gibson J-185's owned by Fred "J-185-4me" Shrimer, and the mahogany-necked guitars invariably have more of a low end response and more overall "warmth" than the maple-necked guitars.

That's not to say that maple-necked guitars can't sound great. I've owned a couple that did. But the chances of getting a sweet-sounding maple guitar seem to increase when the neck is made out of mahogany.

I'm not the only person who feels this way - the highly respected archtop guitar builder Bob Benedetto says the same thing in his book:


What Benedetto says, essentially, is that maple necks on maple guitars is basically a visual aesthetic choice, but that mahogany necks improve the sound. He also says that he wishes that more of his guitar customers would order their instruments with mahogany necks.

As a multi-instrumentalist, I find that I like maple necks on mandolins and banjos, but mahogany necks on most everything else. The two maple guitars I currently own both have mahogany necks on them.

Hope this helps.


Wade Hampton Miller
Wade, thanks for your in formative and thoughtful post. I'm waiting for a Taylor 618e to come in at a Taylor Dealer I'm working with. I'm strongly leaning toward going BTO and ordering a 618 with a mahogany neck and maybe a darker finish.
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denny1948golf View Post
I can't remember seeing a maple acoustic that didn't have a maple neck. Is it just for asthetics, or is it for tone? What about a mahogany neck on a maple guitar?
I've wondered this myself. I had a Taylor GS6 (maple/spruce) that I loved but didn't like the glossed maple neck. David Webber, for one, makes maple body guitars with mahogany necks and they are satin finished.
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:50 PM
sizemology sizemology is offline
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In my experience, most maple-bodied acoustics have mahogany necks, as opposed to maple necks. Case in point, my Marc Beneteau 00:

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Old 05-18-2013, 02:59 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denny1948golf View Post
Wade, thanks for your in formative and thoughtful post. I'm waiting for a Taylor 618e to come in at a Taylor Dealer I'm working with. I'm strongly leaning toward going BTO and ordering a 618 with a mahogany neck and maybe a darker finish.
Chances are you'll like the sound better if it has a mahogany neck - that's been my general experience, anyway.

Speaking of darker finishes on Taylor guitars, I played a nylon string Taylor at our local dealership that had the most beautiful dark finish on it - it looked like the dark brown Cremona finish that Gibson used to put on a lot of their instruments back in the early 1920's.

It was a lot like this guitar, only right-handed, not left-:



whm
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