Thoughts on maple necks?

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by beerbelly, Sep 12, 2021.

  1. beerbelly

    beerbelly Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Messages:
    214
    Likes Received:
    384
    Location:
    Beervana, OR
    Stronger? Less prone to breakage? Uglier? I'd like to hear your thoughts.
     
  2. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,934
    Likes Received:
    4,276
    Location:
    London, new hearing aid project - exciting
    Maple neck - great. Very strong. Maple fingerboard - hate with a passion, not for the wood but for the nasty protective goo they slap on it to stop it discolouring. All my Fenders are rosewood.
     
  3. beerbelly

    beerbelly Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Messages:
    214
    Likes Received:
    384
    Location:
    Beervana, OR
    I should have asked "Thoughts on maple neck SGs"...
     
  4. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    4,000
    Likes Received:
    4,928
    I’ve had maple necks with rosewood boards on a couple of SG Special 2016 T in the past.

    Have no idea if stronger as I did not attempt to break the headstock off. The necks were thicker rounded profile. All my other SG with mahogany necks are thick rounded profiles as well. None of them flex while playing.

    You’re probably wondering if a maple neck on an SG will not flex as much as a mahogany neck given they are both same thickness.

    I think the neck flexing is only an issue with slim taper necks. Only had one like that in the past on an SG ‘61 RI with a super thin neck.

    As far maple being uglier, that is a moot point since the ones I had were hidden by a rosewood board and the back of the neck was finished with opaque color.

    Look at an SG Raw Power if you want to see how a maple neck and board would look on an SG.
     
  5. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,934
    Likes Received:
    4,276
    Location:
    London, new hearing aid project - exciting
    Maple is maple. If it's good on a Strat, it's good on an SG. The SG's main problem is its poor balance. Any SG neck has to be not only strong, but light. Mahogany does tick both of those boxes.
     
    Go Nigel Go likes this.
  6. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    4,000
    Likes Received:
    4,928
    None of my SG have balance problems.
     
    Carrion, fos1 and Go Nigel Go like this.
  7. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2020
    Messages:
    518
    Likes Received:
    414
    Yup, I like Maple, but there are other woods that can work just as well. One of the things on my "to do" list is actually to get the original maple neck back on my Strat. I started getting multiple fret buzzes due to wear, and replaced it with an AllParts neck with a rosewood fretboard that I found for sale at a deal as it was an expedient way to fix it. I was gigging heavily at the time and couldn't have it out of service for more than a day. I actually miss the different look and feel of the maple fingerboard, as it was just beginning to age in nicely and the color was turning more "Caramel" than white. All my other stuff has Rosewood or Ebony, and I just like a bit of variety in my stable.

    I gave up on looking for the "ultimate" anything a long time ago. Maple is good, I'd have it on my SG. Or not... There are plenty of ways to build a good guitar.
     
  8. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,934
    Likes Received:
    4,276
    Location:
    London, new hearing aid project - exciting
    You presumably use a strap that takes care of the problem, or, like me, never let go of the neck when playing.
     
  9. beerbelly

    beerbelly Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Messages:
    214
    Likes Received:
    384
    Location:
    Beervana, OR
    Excellent point. The only neck diver I ever had was '61 Reissue with the larger headstock- all my others were nicely balanced. I'm looking around at SGs I can afford these days, and I'm surprised (well, not really) at how many mahogany necks have repairs. So I'm wondering if the maple neck versions are less prone to that.
     
  10. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    4,000
    Likes Received:
    4,928
    I usually play sitting down at home without a strap and when playing standing up I use a strap.

    My fretting hand is usually on the neck when playing sitting or standing. Not sure how one is supposed to play by letting go of the neck.
     
    pancake81 and Go Nigel Go like this.
  11. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,934
    Likes Received:
    4,276
    Location:
    London, new hearing aid project - exciting
    I wouldn't think so. Poor design and a very angular headstock will make any neck vulnerable where the grain goes across rather than along the neck, as it does at the headstock bend. Epiphone have done the job properly by scarf jointing the headstock and preserving the strong grain direction.
     
  12. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,934
    Likes Received:
    4,276
    Location:
    London, new hearing aid project - exciting
    You never stop playing? At all? Does the the singer have to shout while he's announcing the next song? :cheers:
     
    pancake81 and cerebral gasket like this.
  13. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    4,000
    Likes Received:
    4,928
    When in between songs, my hand is on the neck. I usually re-check tuning between songs.

    If I were to let go of the neck, the strap holds the guitar in place.
     
  14. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2020
    Messages:
    518
    Likes Received:
    414
    If you ever break the headstock on a standard Gibson, then something happened that shouldn't have. Even if a Maple neck might not have cracked, it is still going to put a nasty ding on the instrument somewhere, and it might just break someplace else instead. Rather than rely on the strength of materials, I prefer to take steps to avoid stuff that just shouldn't happen in the first place. :cheers:
     
    cerebral gasket likes this.
  15. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,934
    Likes Received:
    4,276
    Location:
    London, new hearing aid project - exciting
    I can never quite trust a strap. I just don't let go until I put it away.
     
    cerebral gasket likes this.
  16. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,934
    Likes Received:
    4,276
    Location:
    London, new hearing aid project - exciting
    Something did happen that shouldn't have - they designed it wrong. Don't mistake the trigger for the cause. If you store paper and gasoline in the same room the cause of the resulting fire was not the carelessly dropped match, it was the storage of paper and gasoline in the same room.
     
  17. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Messages:
    1,730
    Likes Received:
    1,303
    Location:
    British Columbia, Canada
    I have an SG with a three quarter sawn maple neck and an ebony fret board. Just beautiful in my opinion, couldn’t be happier.

    Strength wise they are supposed to be superior, that’s about all I knew. Did a little research and learned this about the quartersawn construction from the fender site.

    Some high-end guitars and basses have “quartersawn” necks. What does this mean?

    “Quartersawn” is a woodworking term that describes a certain specific and non-standard method of milling lumber from trees. Quartersawn instrument necks are unusually strong, straight-grain necks superior to standard necks in almost every way. Quartersawn wood is more expensive than conventionally milled wood; guitars and basses with quartersawn necks are accordingly more expensive.


    https://www.fender.com/articles/tech-talk/go-with-the-grain-the-many-benefits-of-a-quartersawn-neck

    One thing I do notice is the stain is slightly different than on the mahogany. Likely just due to the difference wood density and pores. Pretty minor on a dark color stained guitar, but might show drastically different on a transparent heritage cherry.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2021
    Carrion and fos1 like this.
  18. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,934
    Likes Received:
    4,276
    Location:
    London, new hearing aid project - exciting
    Quartersawn is a good way to maximise strength when the design is compromised, but you only get a couple of quartersawn planks out of a log - one from each side as the mill reaches the log's centre.. They are expensive and high end furniture designers grab all they can get.
     
    Rusty Chops likes this.
  19. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    4,000
    Likes Received:
    4,928
    I’m the same way, it only feels natural to me to hold onto a musical instrument with both hands until I put it away.
     
  20. Decadent Dan

    Decadent Dan Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2021
    Messages:
    261
    Likes Received:
    182
    I haven’t tried a maple neck SG but I didn’t care for the Norlin era Les Paul Custom. It was too bright for me but I can name 3 that had a maple neck LP as their main axe. I had a walnut SG many years ago that I didn’t like but it was unique too. Basically, if you like it then it’s good. I’m pretty much mahogany from here on out. The baked maple thing bugged me too but we all work with what we have.
     

Share This Page