Maple Necks on Mahogany Bodies : Tone?

Ironwolf

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Hi all,



I see that PRS is offering this combination a lot recently, so I am imagining that a few people can compare head to head and compare and contrast the differences to the classic hog neck on hog body,

I am mostly interested in the rosewood fretboard on the maple neck tone (on the mahogany body) but maple neck with maple fret board seems to be widely available as well.

Hers a quote from the suhr discussion board about maple neck mahogany body. NOT Recommended.

Well, that's kind of hard to describe. My first experience of a Mahogany body with Maple neck guitar was a Brian Moore C90 when I was working at Fender. I couldn't really put my finger on it but it just didn't sound or feel right. It was like, "It's not fish nor fowl. So what is it?" Personally, I thought that guitar and other guitars from different manufactuers with that wood combination just felt and sounded weird. Sorry if I can't elaborate any better than this as I can usually describe what I like or don't like fairly well. I just don't think they really resonate well together and that the tone is not particularly well-balanced. There's a good reason why it isn't a commonly featured combination by guitar builders. If someone likes it, that's cool, but it's not a combination that John or I'd recommend.

I am sure some individual guitars can sound great, but I often can only by PRS's sight unseen, what can I expect from this combo?
Describe with some scientific or rational language EQ or gain structure,

warm is only a little helpful. i.e.mahogany is warm maple is cold.
 

Ironwolf

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The elements that I like to consider are rhythm chord work with light gain percussive style (hendrix), moderate gain power chords (slash), and solo work like (santana). how do the sounds change across those elements with neck 1 (mahog) vs Neck 2 (maple). more appropriate or less appropriate. good for one type or harder to dial in for the other element.
Snappy sounds good for hendrix type of rhythm playing. or like a telecaster?
 

AP515

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The short answer - Best tone I own.

Now the long answer. I had my first PRS, 2006 Cu24, so hog body with maple cap and hog neck, rosewood fretboard. I picked up a 95 Ce22 Standard, so hog body maple neck, rosewood fretboard. The day I bought it I got home and sat down in front of the amp to play it. I started clean with just a hint of break-up and noodled with a few tunes. I had to stop and look at the amp to see if someone had messed with my settings. Everything sounded different, more alive. Not just more "treble" but more alive, "Snappy" as PH says above. So I A/B'd the Custom and the CE, and no matter where I set the EQ, the CE was just more vibrant. This was before I went through the whole "tone woods make a difference" debate so for me it was a revelation. I didn't know what it was about the guitar, but my ears sure knew the difference.

Now the CE has Dragon 1's. The Cu24 has the HFS/Vintage. 24 frets Vs. 22. I get that there are complications. I'll just say that before I knew what people say about maple necks, my ears heard the difference and my learning about them followed.

Last thing. I'm not saying my Custom doesn't sound good. It sounds great. But I will hear a difference when I play each. The Custom will kill when I want more warmth and power. The CE will kill when I want more highs and definition.
 

Ironwolf

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The short answer - Best tone I own.

Now the long answer. I had my first PRS, 2006 Cu24, so hog body with maple cap and hog neck, rosewood fretboard. I picked up a 95 Ce22 Standard, so hog body maple neck, rosewood fretboard. The day I bought it I got home and sat down in front of the amp to play it. I started clean with just a hint of break-up and noodled with a few tunes. I had to stop and look at the amp to see if someone had messed with my settings. Everything sounded different, more alive. Not just more "treble" but more alive, "Snappy" as PH says above. So I A/B'd the Custom and the CE, and no matter where I set the EQ, the CE was just more vibrant. This was before I went through the whole "tone woods make a difference" debate so for me it was a revelation. I didn't know what it was about the guitar, but my ears sure knew the difference.

Now the CE has Dragon 1's. The Cu24 has the HFS/Vintage. 24 frets Vs. 22. I get that there are complications. I'll just say that before I knew what people say about maple necks, my ears heard the difference and my learning about them followed.

Last thing. I'm not saying my Custom doesn't sound good. It sounds great. But I will hear a difference when I play each. The Custom will kill when I want more warmth and power. The CE will kill when I want more highs and definition.


Excellent description, I appreciate the story, that is something I thought might be possible with the right configuration of body mass and pickups. I do like a little more presence from the guitar and maple might just offer that. but hopefully not too much loss of the warmth.
thanks
 

ViperDoc

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I have nothing but good things to say about mahogany, but a maple neck commands a more aggressive tonality to me. Personally, a maple neck and Brazilian Rosewood board is my combination of choice. Unbelievable sound.
 

NCPRSGUY

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Id rather have maple neck over a mahogany. IME its a bit brighter, more bite/sizzle, bouncier, and snappier. I like it.

Why I think John and those guys don't recommend it is because look at what market they cater to. Guys paying big sums of money to chase holy grail vintage tones. As good as those guys are at what they do they are not reinventing the guitar. They are not trying to push the issue and have guitars with unique tones that don't compare to others.

"It's not fish nor fowl. So what is it".... If it sounds good its good. Simple enough. This is sort of the same reason PRS gets a lot of hate from others. "It doesn't sound like an LP, it doesn't sound like a Strat, it doesn't sound like a Tele"... No but it sounds like a great PRS!
 

Kred

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If you like the "dark and woody" tone, a maple neck may not do it. If you want more "bite and dynamics", maple and rosewood are a great combo. A maple neck into an uncompressed overdrive really does it for me.
 

Tramp

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This thread really has me itching to try a maple neck/RW board with a mahogany body. Aside from the CE22 and various Private Stocks, what models should one look for?
 

AP515

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Anything that has the artist pack option will get you the maple neck. To get the all hog body you will need to find a Standard. If they start making a new CE standard you will be set.
 

Tramp

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Anything that has the artist pack option will get you the maple neck. To get the all hog body you will need to find a Standard. If they start making a new CE standard you will be set.

Thanks. I'm still thinking maple cap, unless that makes things too snappy (a fairly hard thing to do, in my book).
 

AP515

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Then pick your favorite model and artist pack it and you will have your maple neck.
 

Dancing Frog

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In my experience which was just with 513's, the maple neck and fret board ones have a distinctly more top end, but decidedly less harmonic bloom than the hog neck with the rosewood fret board. I found the one with the maple neck with rosewood board one to be the most snappy of all.
 

Ironwolf

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This thread really has me itching to try a maple neck/RW board with a mahogany body. Aside from the CE22 and various Private Stocks, what models should one look for?

here is what I have my eye on! a bit pricey the 594 So i do wnat a lot of vintage tone, but like the idea of more bite but not too much.
NAWrITi.jpg


Mahogany and flame maple wow:eek::oops::rolleyes::) will it sound awesome
 

Ironwolf

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Wow those are 2 beautiful pieces of wood.
the tight dense grain in the mahogany and the birdeyes maple.
pretty stunning.

String to string clarity when chording is something I hear a lot for maple tones or certain pickups.
would that apply?
 

PeteHill

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Just a mote. I bought a 2014 Gibson LP Studio, which also had a maple neck. Poor instrument though
 

Gonzo71

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I strongly suspect that the instances where people are saying they're happy with the maple neck/mahogany body combo is that there is also a maple cap on the body.

The CE's are a great example of this, many 70s Les Paul's also. I'm of the option that sonically the CE's are the best guitar that PRS made (I'm in 2 minds on the new incarnation).

John Suhr is speaking of a maple neck/mahogany only body.
 
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