Maple fretboards

I like the aesthetic of a dark fretboard (don’t mind what kind of wood)
I know they exist but have never seen an acoustic guitar with a maple fretboard.
Why so few? (esp. as it the strings are not supposed to touch the board while playing. See Hard-pressed frets for diagram)

Quick poll
Who has a maple fretboard?

  • acoustic guitar
  • electric guitar
0 voters

Interesting topic Brian. In order to get a broader view of the type of fretboards people have why don’t you include ‘maple’, ‘rosewood’, ‘ebony’ and perhaps ‘other’ along with ‘electric’ and ‘acoustic’.

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Cheers, Gordon :smiley:
Mainly because there are loads of acoustics with ebony, rosewood, mahogany etc. fretboards.
I’m not curious as to what people have and like, I’m curious why there seem to be loads of e-guitars with maple boards, but not acoustics.

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I wonder if it has something to do with string bending and the likes. Maybe they last longer and are easier to do such things on?

Interestingly I watched and Andertons video yesterday and they were testing the 70th anni Strats and from a sound point of view the maple and rosewood (I think it was) necks, they said they didn’t sound any different.

Perhaps our resident luthier @TheCluelessLuthier has done some research into this?

I can’t believe, that I open that can during my lunch break and I won’t dive deeper in another rabbit hole, but I couldn’t resist to ask Chat GPT :joy:, that’s what he (or is it she, or both?) answered:

Why don’t acoustic guitars have maple fretboards?


Acoustic guitars typically don’t have maple fretboards for several reasons:

  1. Tradition and Tone: Rosewood and ebony are traditional choices for fretboard materials in acoustic guitars. They are chosen not only for their aesthetic appeal but also for their tonal properties. These woods are known for producing warm, rich tones that complement the natural resonance of acoustic guitar bodies. Maple, while a popular choice for electric guitar fretboards, tends to produce a brighter, snappier tone that might not be as desired in acoustic guitars.
  2. Density and Durability: Rosewood and ebony are dense hardwoods that offer durability and stability, which are important factors in the construction of acoustic guitars. Maple, while also a hardwood, may not offer the same level of durability or stability, especially when subjected to the tension of steel strings over time.
  3. Aesthetics and Tradition: Acoustic guitars often prioritize a traditional and natural aesthetic, and rosewood and ebony fretboards are considered classic choices that complement the look of many acoustic guitar designs. Maple fretboards might not fit as well with the aesthetic expectations of acoustic guitar players and enthusiasts.

I guess, this is a sum up of Mr. Google’s wide range of answers :joy:.
To what I read, tone woods generally used for guitar bodys and tops like mahogany, (sitka) sprouce, etc, don’t resonate too well with the maple fretboards on acoustics (obviously no problem on solid body electric guitars as they do often have bodys from mahogany and maple fretboards? And does the fretboard have so much impact on sound?). A second thing I read, is simply some kind of “conceit”, as maple is or has been cheaper than e.g. ebony and therefore maple has been considered as “second” choice
So time to close this hole!!! Thanks for giving me food for thought during lunch break, I almost got bored :rofl:!


I have seen an Ibanez and a Cole acoustic with maple…

but why the poll? because Google works faster to see how many there are than the few people you reach now … or am I missing something again? ( EDIT:yes I missed something…need to read it 3 times inclusief Gordon his post beter :see_no_evil: :speak_no_evil: finding lots of acoustic guitars with maple was faster than understanding this :roll_eyes:)

I have 2 electric ones with 2 different types of maple, but you don’t want to know that :laughing:

Can be secured with weight, (and that most people simply don’t want it) but that is a blind guess without wanting to read further… hopefully I have made it a bit more difficult :sunglasses:

Funnily enough I love the look of a maple fretboard!! It’s one of the things I have in mind for when I splash out on a new guitar.

But I don’t think it would suit an acoustic for some reason!

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What @Helen0609 said. :wink:

Now I did a quick search and within 1 minute I found quite a lot more than 12 and then I stopped…a bit lazy Mr. Larsen :thinking:

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… and also looked up models as well as explanations on the web before asking here :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
There was surprisingly little info and lack of rational explanation beyond the usual ‘tonewood’ bs.

Regarding the ChatGpt solution- well that just trawls the web for things that sound like they are related/relevant, but in a case like this I find it less than helpful.

The resonating body of an acoustic produces the vast amount of sound we hear. I can see the neck possibly contributing, but not the fretboard.
Btw, E-guitar advertising often makes similar claims regarding the tone of the wood etc. acoustics. :roll_eyes:

I think this is the nub. People like what they are used to.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Leo Fender got it right back in the day, knowing it makes no difference what the fretboard is made out of, so leave it simple and cheap with maple. We got used to it, and therefore often demand it ton our teles and strats :rofl:


Yes, I read that … but I still don’t understand your question, because (Edit to avoid more confusion :… what I meant was ‘I don’t expect such a question from you’, see it as a compliment and the lazy as a criticism for an easy way to maybe get an different answer ) if there appear to be 7 major brands that do offer it, but at the same time you also see that this is a frequently asked question, then it is about supply and demand…

That will change when the guitar people we know start playing with it more maple fretboards…

and to your other question in the other topic regarding vibrato… I tried it… just learn how Justin teaches you. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

I’m going back into the kitchen and making myself useful :roll_eyes:


“Because that’s the way it’s always been done…” is not a very satisfying answer (although the reasons behind it often are :wink:)

Regarding the vibrato… Oh now I see! Thank you! :rofl:

I learned the bones of a new song during this discourse, so not an entirely wasted morning :laughing:


I know and live that, but when it comes to the fretboard … I don’t understand it anymore because it is just there… it exists and I already know someone who plays on it ,and if there are more than 3 you can assume that it just sounds good … especially for our kind of people, forget all those peripheral issues people, just practice and get better … buy what you like and oh yes, practice … learn to play better, much better and then start thinking about how much the tone is influenced by…yes by what, have fun… and about that vibrato… just practice a moment or 5 weeks yes yes and persevere (I still have to work on that for a while myself),look for some fruit closer to the sun… yesterday I was watching a nature documentary about fish jumping out of the water to grab low-hanging fruit… it’s terrible that I immediately think of you :see_no_evil: :see_no_evil: :see_no_evil:


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Maybe because its always interesting to see what this chatty group has to say? And gives us all another reason to rabbit? :grin:


Well, quite often not, but that of course depends entirely on and in my eyes and my bad that I read too much too quickly and way too fast distracted and
it would also be better for him (Brian :face_with_raised_eyebrow: ) to practice his vibrato and just buy what he likes :smile:… but that’s not just for him, by the way :roll_eyes:
I’m going to do my best …again :roll_eyes:…to ignore the most again a little in “just chatting”
and practice that guitar vibrato and more :wink:


When does one learn vibrato? I’m mired in the power chord module with no hope of getting out soon. :rofl:

Edit: Oh, i see Brian has a vibrato thread, i will go rabbit over to that now!


:rofl: :joy: :rofl: :rofl:


Absolutely. :grinning: and Brian is keeping us all busy today. :grin:


How do you tell if you have maple or something else?

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