Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 24 of 24
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    Mind you, I've owned some incredible maple necked archtops in my life. Loar L5 (the real thing), prewar 17" L5, Gib JS, Heritage JS, Guild AA, early Epi's, etc. But lately I've been gravitating toward mahogany necks on archtops. And on semis, I had a 70's 335 'hog neck and a recent Heritage 5xx with maple. I just seem to like the deep resonance of mahogany better than the bright snap of maple. JMO of course. How about you, just wondering if I'm in the minority. Not that I care, just wondering WHY!
    Last edited by Woody Sound; 09-28-2021 at 08:44 AM.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    Yes.

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    I think that part of the classic ES 175 tone is the mahogany neck that was in use for quite a few years, resurrected a few times, etc.

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    I can't get into the idea that the wood on the neck makes any difference. Not because I don't want to, I really do.
    I want to claim that a maple neck with an ebony fingerboard gives good response and note separation but does it?
    Every time the tone wood debate comes up there is too many variables and too many failed blind tests.

    I think the only reason mahogany is used for necks, is for price, machinability and stability.

    My preference is for maple, for aesthetic reasons.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    I’ve had many of both types. My favorite guitars all happened to have mahogany necks. But I don’t think one is necessarily better than the other

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    Could it be that you prefer a Woody Sound?

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Too many variables...I can't say which I prefer re tone. I hear mahogany is more stable and my experience supports that.

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven
    I can't get into the idea that the wood on the neck makes any difference. Not because I don't want to, I really do.
    I want to claim that a maple neck with an ebony fingerboard gives good response and note separation but does it?
    Every time the tone wood debate comes up there is too many variables and too many failed blind tests.

    I think the only reason mahogany is used for necks, is for price, machinability and stability.

    My preference is for maple, for aesthetic reasons.
    You should check out the warmoth YouTube channel. They do lots of a/b comparisons between all the typical debates, tonewoods, ss frets vs nickel etc.

    Really well done and about as fair as it gets.



  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by ArchtopHeaven
    I can't get into the idea that the wood on the neck makes any difference. Not because I don't want to, I really do.
    I want to claim that a maple neck with an ebony fingerboard gives good response and note separation but does it?
    Every time the tone wood debate comes up there is too many variables and too many failed blind tests.

    I think the only reason mahogany is used for necks, is for price, machinability and stability.

    My preference is for maple, for aesthetic reasons.
    I have to agree. I can't say I could tell the difference, sound wise.

    I have guitars with different necks and don't really have a preference.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Then there are the walnut necks.......

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    I believe that the neck wood makes a difference, because absolutely everything makes a difference. Of one sort or another. But the question is how much difference. Is it enough to rule out every other factor, and be certain that it's the wood species of the neck that overrides everything else? For me, no, I'm not sure what the difference in sound is, if any, nor that I can hear and identify it. An archtop guitar is a complicated machine, with so many variables that I'm not prepared to say with any certainty at all which contributes what to the whole. I have preferences for individual guitars, but not for either mahogany or maple, or any other species. I do prefer spruce for the top, but beyond that I'm flexible, and I just like the guitar more or less depending on other things.

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    Just as an example, even though every guitar is different regardless of woods,, If you've A-B'd enough 175's w maple necks and hog necks you'd be able to tell the difference, just like you can tell the difference between maple and hog bodies if you've played enough examples.
    That said I don't own 175's anymore, not for over 40 yrs, all of my old Gibsons are old maple handled axes....

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Wouldn't, say, a five piece neck be even more stable?

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    Depends on the actual guitar. But maple adds a bit more snap or brightness, especially with an ebony fingerboard.

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    I've substituted mahogany for necks on L5ces style builds with the standard spruce/maple body with really good results. I love it.

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by vintagelove
    You should check out the warmoth YouTube channel. They do lots of a/b comparisons between all the typical debates, tonewoods, ss frets vs nickel etc.

    Really well done and about as fair as it gets.


    This convinced me to get a mahogany neck for my jazz tele.

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    The type and quality of neck-to-body joint surely affects any tonal influence of the neck and fingerboard woods. To set aside that influence, it would be interesting to know what the luthiers at Alembic have learned about the influence of wood selection on tone. They've been making neck-through "hippie sandwich" semi-hollow guitars and basses for almost 50 years, from many different woods. Their current standard is thru-neck of laminated maple and purple heart, but they've done countless other custom builds using other woods. Not aimed at jazz guitarists, of course, but they've been systematic experimenters with critical ears.

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    Maple and Mahogany will sound different for sure. Even more different on a carved top as than a laminated top guitar. Most seem to prefer the mahogany neck 175's as being warmer sounding and that makes sense maple is denser and would brighten the tone generally. I personally prefer and maple neck on a carved top guitar and would evaluate the laminate just on it's own merits. Seems to be Gibson Tal has a maple neck and they sound really great for sure.

    One thing overlooked is that it is easier to put finish on a maple neck because you don't need filler. Mahogany needs some filler to get the finish to come out level. As far as one piece verse the 2,3, 4, or 5 piece neck, that is a whole different consideration. Good and back to each. My 49 D'angelico is one piece maple neck, it has a truss rod and in the 38 years I have had it never has it required any adjustment.

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by tnelson
    The type and quality of neck-to-body joint surely affects any tonal influence of the neck and fingerboard woods. To set aside that influence, it would be interesting to know what the luthiers at Alembic have learned about the influence of wood selection on tone. They've been making neck-through "hippie sandwich" semi-hollow guitars and basses for almost 50 years, from many different woods. Their current standard is thru-neck of laminated maple and purple heart, but they've done countless other custom builds using other woods. Not aimed at jazz guitarists, of course, but they've been systematic experimenters with critical ears.

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    All my favorite guitars have either maple or mahogany necks. I'm covered.

    Seriously, horses for courses. My '04 ES-175 has a beautiful mahogany neck that feels just right and helps produce tones I dig. My earlier '70s model was maple necked and fairly bright, though I think the pickups and my relatively un-developed ear/technique may well have been a factor. I had an all-mahogany LP Junior/Special 55/78 "reissue" that I used as backup and rarely got to play b/c other people kept borrowing it until finally it was just gone. With soapbar P-90s it had a lot of sweetness and bite* and endless sustain. My #1 PRS CU24 is mostly mahogany with a Red Maple top, so slightly less dense that a hard maple top would give - again, sustaining with a hefty mid-range presence.

    * For General Tso's pickin'.

    I'll see myself out.

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    Alembic Guitars are neck through instruments, so their results would be totally different from others.
    A better comparison is a Fender bolt on to a Neck through design which is easier to do.

    The sustain is way greater on the neck though and generally brighter totally due to its maple. I once tried a Carvin SC90 which was all Alder neck through and Alder wings. I liked it a lot except for their 24 fret design displacingthe neck pickup position.

    But again I doubt many archtop players would like the results. C.P. Thornton I believe offers maybe the closest designs to neck through Jazz guitars. Probably more Les Paul like.

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    In my experience, mahogany necks are usually 24 3/4" scale, and maple are 25" or over. And bodies either laminated or not. It makes comparisons very difficult.

    But traditional arch tops made with either can certainly be very successful obviously.

    I do think scale length is an important factor, with shorter lengths being in general more warm and longer having more top and bottom. It is most noticeable on Martins, comparing 000 size with OM size for instance. I currently own two with 25" scale length, it seems like nice compromise tonally and for playability.

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    Depends on the actual guitar. But maple adds a bit more snap or brightness, especially with an ebony fingerboard.
    I'm new to archtops and recently got an Eastman AR372, which folks around here have said is a bright guitar, and it does have an all maple body and neck with an ebony fretboard... That does seem like a recipe for brightness...

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by bluejaybill
    In my experience, mahogany necks are usually 24 3/4" scale, and maple are 25" or over. And bodies either laminated or not. It makes comparisons very difficult.

    But traditional arch tops made with either can certainly be very successful obviously.
    In Gibsons archtops specifically I think this might be the case, but I don't think it is across the the full-spectrum of guitars. I've had (and currently have) both scale lengths in both mahogany and maple. My current archtop has a 24.55" scale-length, maple neck, FWIW.

    Quote Originally Posted by bluejaybill
    I do think scale length is an important factor, with shorter lengths being in general more warm and longer having more top and bottom. It is most noticeable on Martins, comparing 000 size with OM size for instance. I currently own two with 25" scale length, it seems like nice compromise tonally and for playability.
    I have never owned two guitars that were the same except for either the necks' wood species or scale-length. So I really don't know how much weight to give these factors in tonal differences. I've often read things similar to what you say here, but I don't think I've seen well controlled blind tests of these differences, so I tend to be a bit skeptical. Sure, this guitar sounds different from that guitar, but there's usually more going on than just, say, a difference in scale length or wood species in the neck.