Let's see the baked maple.

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by koaguilds, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. koaguilds

    koaguilds Well-Known Member

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    Mine was born in 2011. Hasn't been oiled yet but starting to look dry by the fret edges. Might do it soon but will miss that light chocolate hue when it darkens.
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  2. Gahr

    Gahr Well-Known Member

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    Mine is also a 2011 (Les Paul Traditional 1960). I guess 2011 was the baked maple year. The pic doesn't really show the fretboard very well, but I'm on holiday an don't have my guitars here. It is quite a bit darker in real life. It feels nice, though. I don't really notice any difference from my rosewood equipped guitars.

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  3. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    Gibson was raided by government officers in like 2011,
    because they had been purchasing tropical tone wood on the black market
    from unofficial individuals in ramshackle third world nations with dicey
    political situations. Tree poachers, if you will.

    So the wood was not "legal" to own or use as a product, or to sell
    according to International law, and according to our own laws.

    After the contraband wood (or so-called contraband) wood was seized
    Gibson then used baked maple as a substitute for rosewood and ebony.
    Those come from Madagascar and some East Indian nations. The Baked Maple
    is a U.S. domestic product. Also known as "Torrified Maple."

    As soon as I heard about it, I was interested. I thought,
    "Cool! Let's make guitars out of wood we grow right here."
    Why not?
    Leo Fender came up with that in like 1949, just
    after I was born. It's about time Gibson caught on.
    April 2017@100.jpg
    So I bought one. My 2012 SG special '70s tribute.
    I thought to support Gibson's innovative idea in the best way I
    know how. Also, I loved the maple neck, and the block inlays and the
    Silverburst finish and the mini-humbuckers... Irresistible to me anyway.

    The joke I thought of was that Gibson should go about
    the country buying up old dead bowling alleys, and make guitars
    fretboards out of the lanes. Develop the Gibson Les Paul "Brunswick
    Special..." charge extra for one of those little triangles at the twelfth
    fret. I wanted the SG "AMF" Special... with the numbered shoes as
    a free premium for the first hundred sold. Get some thunderous low
    tones from one of those, eh?

    The baked maple fretboard looked like nothing I'd ever seen when new.
    It was a lovely reddish golden brown.
    fretboard 1@100.jpg
    fretboard 1b inlays@100.jpg
    fretboard 2@100.jpg
    I played it like this for a couple weeks, then changed the factory 'brite wires"
    for a set of 11s and oiled the fretboard with "Fret Doctor" while I had her taken
    down. The fretboard darkened up nicely. I liked the factory reddish brown too,
    but prefer the darker board.
    fretboard 8@100.jpg fretboard 9 darker@100.jpg
    Either way, it's smooth and hard and has given no problems.
    I like it a lot. I was amused by all of the scathing responses to Gibson
    just changing what they made fretboards from... If you weren't here
    you'd never believe it. Traditionalists crawled out of the woodwork,
    fulminating against Gibson for sacrilege... Other guitar companies have
    also used alternate materials, such as Richlite (whatever that is)
    Rocklite (sounds like something from the Flintstones)
    and Blackwood Tek... the list goes on.
    Martin guitars use Richlite fretboards... Reverend uses Blackwood Tek.

    The opposition was fueled by the fact that Gibson offered no explanation,
    and Gibson offered no alternatives or choices... just "buy it or don't buy it..."
    *shrugs ...Gibson didn't get any choice either, once armed Federal Officers
    entered their factory. But they made their choices earlier, when they made
    deals with tree poachers.

    I believe that they developed the Baked Maple fretboard concept as an ongoing
    project to find alternate sources, so that they had it ready when forced to use
    it. The opposition to use of it is just more of the ridiculous "tone wood" argument
    that this forum has seen enough of. Fender guitars with maple fretboards have
    always sounded great, and my SG with maple fretboard (and maple neck) also
    sounds and feels great, and that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.
     
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  4. brazilnut

    brazilnut Well-Known Member

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    Maple boards. like ebony boards, might color the overall tone a little, make it a tad snappier. Nothing wrong with that. I love the rosewood board on my SG and LP, but that doesn't mean I can't wang on my maple Tele board all night long. Nothing like variety. Keeps the creative juices oozing. Flowing? Squirting? Whatever.
     
  5. PAFHumbucker

    PAFHumbucker Well-Known Member

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    I have one guitar with a baked maple fretboard. It is a hot rodded 2012 SG Special Humbucker. I routed it for P90s and then installed P90 sized humbuckers.

    I forget most of the time that the fretboard is baked maple.

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  6. brazilnut

    brazilnut Well-Known Member

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    Nice! How sneaky would it be to cover those hummers? CAN you cover them?
     
  7. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    That's an awesome looking SG Special.

    I take it you're not a fan of full-sized humbuckers or just experimenting with something different?
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  8. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    They already have Soap Bar covers with two rows of holes to accommodate the two coils side by side as opposed to a P-90 with a single row of holes for a single coil.
     
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  9. koaguilds

    koaguilds Well-Known Member

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    look at this rosewood... I just have to show this thing off... I never thought I'd find one of these that wasn't trashed and I put the word out on a FB board and a dead mint one came along.
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. koaguilds

    koaguilds Well-Known Member

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    I've never dealt with roller bridges before. This one has one of those Muller bridges with the adjustable spacing. It looks like you adjust the spacing by just rolling them on the screws? Wouldn't tightening strings on them roll the spacing out of whack?
     
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  11. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    That is an interesting bridge. I'm thinking once the strings are anchored to the tailpiece they will not roll each saddle enough to make a noticeable difference in the string spacing.
     
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  12. koaguilds

    koaguilds Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, that makes sense
     
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  13. PAFHumbucker

    PAFHumbucker Well-Known Member

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    Something different. For some reason I love the look of a mid to late 60s SG Special. Wraparound bridge, batwing pickguard, and P90 pickups . Since there are not a lot of recent SGs out there with wraparounds when I saw this one on Reverb I had to snatch it up. I'm the third owner. The first pulled out the humbuckers and put in P94s.

    I kept them in for about a year before I decided to go for the look I wanted with P90 sized pickups...but I really like hot humbuckers, so I figured I would go for something unique.
     
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  14. brazilnut

    brazilnut Well-Known Member

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    What IS this critter, koaguilds?
     
  15. koaguilds

    koaguilds Well-Known Member

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    A 1993 Guild S100. Serial FB000002 , the second one made of all the reissues after the initial batch of prototypes made for Kim Thayil of Soundgarden.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
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  16. brazilnut

    brazilnut Well-Known Member

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    A rare bird indeed....what kind of pickups does it have, obviously humbucker, and what does the little switch do? Is it mahogany? What does the headstock look like? VERY COOL GUITAR!
     
  17. HackeIommi

    HackeIommi Active Member

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    I love innovations but sometimes I can be a damn stubborn, bigot or paranoid too. So I wanna learn about baked maple. Because of I am biased against baked maple since they came first and I wanna be sure am I wrong or not.

    As fretboard wood, I actually like regular maple. Very balanced and stable IMO. If I see an SG or LP with regular maple fretboard, I can give a chance without any hesitation. But I am very paranoid about BM fretboards. They don't seem stable to me. Because of heat-treated, I feel like (just a feel, nothing based on facts) they are fragile and they can shatter during the re-fret process :ohno:

    Can you enlight me, please?
     
  18. Dadou

    Dadou Well-Known Member

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    Baked maple is a superior fretboard timber to rosewood IMO. Doesn' t require oiling at all (although you can -and I do- to darken it some), has a tight grain that feels soft and silky to the touch and looks pleasantly even uniform. And it' s tough: if you forgot to cut your fingernails before you play, baked maple won' t gouge like rosewood does. Funny how although I like regular maple (Fender style) and ebony, 3 out of my 5 guitars sport a RW fretboard.

    I don' t buy into the idea that a fretboard material is going to affect the sound per se. I do believe that it is going to make you play differently as it is going to feel differently under your fingertips. Rosewood has open grain which fills up with grime and dirt, it is very uneven in color (although that' s something some people like) and has a very particular grain reflection which doesn' t look too good to my eyes.
    My 2011 SG standard has a baked maple fretboard and it is by far the most pleasant fretboard I own, even better than the finished maple fretboard on my Strat.

    I remember that one of the main arguments back in 2012 against BM was that some boards were of a much lighter color than regular RW or than the light chocolate brown the OP guitar has. I do remember some very lightly colored examples, including the SG I tried right before the one I ended up buying. Gibson also tried to push some "custom" models (some Les Paul custom with the light board IIRC), but I never quite liked them and I' m not sure they were a commercial success. My FB is very dark (the first picture is from 2012, taken the day after I bought it) and has darkened over time with playing, oiling and perhaps some wood oxidation, who knows (see the other pictures). Not the best pictures I know, but I am on vacation and I don' t have access to my guitar right now. The pictures were for the nut replacement thread I opened here last week.

    Also, baked (or torrefied) timber (spruce in this case) is commonly used for rather high end acoustic guitar tops, supposedly to simulate the sound of a well-played, broken in and opened up instrument. As you can tell, torrefied timber is a rather robust material.

    IMG_4379.JPG 20190714_121438.jpg 20190714_121420.jpg 20190714_121223.jpg
     
  19. PixMix

    PixMix Well-Known Member

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    These two; I quite like the baked maple.

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. arcticsg

    arcticsg Well-Known Member

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    Nice looking SGs a (and LPs)!

    Baked maple looks and feels good!
     

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