private stock/artist pack guys, how are you speccing maple necks?

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by CatStrangler, Oct 12, 2015.

  1. CatStrangler

    CatStrangler PRS Enthusiast

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    A few recent NGDs ( ahem, you Les, don't try to hide) have me gassing for a maple neck. I have experience in the past with bolt-ons and Fender scale, but no set maple necks. What wood combinations do you dig with yours (FB, body back, top, scale length), and why? I will definitely have a trem. Thanks so much for your responses!
     
  2. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Who me? Hide?

    I'm not going to be much help, I think, but I'll share...I've had a few maple neck PRSes. One was a bolt-on SAS, so let's not count that, since it's set neck info you're after.

    Of the set necks, two were CU22 Soapbars, one with a maple fingerboard, one with IRW. Both had mahogany backs and maple tops. The new McCarty is the only other. The McCarty has a maple neck with Braz fretboard. All of them have been 25 inch scale length.

    Here's where I'm not much help: there wasn't one I didn't think was cool.

    Unplugged, in terms of sparkle and snap, the Braz fretboard on the McCarty sounds closer to the maple/maple CU22 Soapy than the maple/IRW Soapy. But it's still different from maple/maple, and I like it better.

    The IRW CU22 Soapy was a little mellower.

    The only other thing I know was that Jack Gretz spec'd the maple on the McCarty as "dead quartersawn." I'm not sure whether that's important, or even whether that's how it's always done. But that was the spec on my McCarty, and the only reason I know that is because it was on the spec sheet.

    In retrospect, I would have preferred a gloss neck to the satin neck mine came with. However, it wasn't available that way for this order, so it wasn't an option. And I didn't know that would be the case until I received the guitar.

    As a general rule I still prefer a mahogany neck to maple; however, there's a reason for this. It's because I generally play with at least some hair, and often with a little gain, especially on the bridge pickup. So the warmer 'hog neck seems to suit those tones more, to my ear. The more gain, the less bright I want the guitar to be.

    However -- here's where the maple neck really shines -- I prefer the maple neck with a clean amp. This is especially the case with the neck pickup, but also there are times when it's great to get a crisp, almost Tele-like, tone from a clean amp. Again, the maple neck is perfect for this. The clarity is outstanding.

    But also, I wanted something that would sound different from what I already had. And this one does. I do think the 58/15s are a superb match for the maple neck, by the way.

    I hope this helps.
     
    #2 LSchefman, Oct 13, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015
  3. Whitecat

    Whitecat Goes home to Starla

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    I've owned a couple maple-necked PRSi in the past, still have one, and have tried a few others.

    For me, and in contrast to Les, satin is the winner, given the option. The feel is spectacular and is approaching rosewood for the smoothness.

    My current maple-necked PRS is a wood library CU24 with a birdseye maple neck and African Blackwood fretboard. It's great - more of an ebony feel than rosewood. The instrument sounds superb. Not necessarily better or worse than a mahogany-necked version or something with a different fretboard wood, and how much of the tone I can specifically ascribe to that combo is up for debate, but I can say it works. ;)
     
  4. CatStrangler

    CatStrangler PRS Enthusiast

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    These are helpful comments. WC, I do have african blackwood on several guitars and it mixes well with mahogany, good to know that you enjoy it with the maple neck as well.
     
  5. Dancing Frog

    Dancing Frog Senior 513 Whore

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    I have PRSi with a variety of woods with maple necks. I think I have 513's with just about every popular wood combination, but I think I prefer my PS 515 with a maple neck and Brazilian rosewood fret board on a maple topped mahogany body. 513's have a 25.25 inch scale length. It has just the right amount of top end bite coupled with a touch of warmth from the mahogany body and was actually brighter than my 513 one off with a maple neck and fretboard. Good for blues and most rock. Surprisingly, it was almost as bright as my 305 with an alder body and maple neck and fret board, 25.5 inch scale. The 305 is in more of a fat strat territory. Bright with less mid range warmth. The one with the least is amount of mid range warmth is the 513 Swamp Ash. It has a maple neck with a rosewood board. It is probably the brightest of them all among the set necks. Swamp Ash scoops the mids accentuating the highs and lows. It is great for high gain where fully saturated amps can be a little bit dark.

    I think if I were aiming for more bite with the maple neck and mahogany/maple body combo, I'd probably go with an ebony fret board. I have a 408 with an ebony board and the notes just jump off of it when compared with its rosewood brother.
     
    #5 Dancing Frog, Oct 13, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2015
  6. CatStrangler

    CatStrangler PRS Enthusiast

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    Thanks DF, I was initially thinking BRW fretboard, but I do like some bite. I do have to spend some more time thinking about the overall tonal goals, but it does sound like it will be different than mahogany, which is my intention anyway.I am also thinking about using a 24.5" scale which may push me further into the ebony/ABW end of the spectrum.
     
  7. XiXora

    XiXora New Member

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    I got a ebony on maple for my Tremonti. I love the smooth feel to the finish as it isn't finished like the mahogany necks. This is a pretty well tested and safe mix tonally for my rock/metal tones.

    I have nothing to compare it to PRS-wise yet… 10 months and counting on my IRW neck Custom 22 ship date.
     
  8. RedGuitars

    RedGuitars New Member

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    Jack Gretz is killing me...

    He has two guitars right now, a wood library McCarty, and a McCarty Vine both in guess what color?... and both with flamed maple necks.

    $10K for the pair which is no where in the realm of my budget world - but damn they are nice!
     
  9. Whitecat

    Whitecat Goes home to Starla

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    Are the stained maple necks gloss or satin?
     
  10. Kred

    Kred Thankful today

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    I have a wood library Custom 24 with a satin maple set neck and Brazilian rosewood fretboard, Compared to my vintage Telecaster with a gloss maple bolt-on neck and gloss maple fretboard, the PRS feels "softer". The Tele feels like a car fender ;), the PRS feels like a leather rooftop.
     
  11. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I have one of Jack's Wood Library McCartys, and it's stellar in every way. I love it. It's also a heck of a deal, when you compare the price to the Vine, which is made of the same stuff basically except for the decor.
     
  12. guitarman001

    guitarman001 New Member

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    I have a 2013 Experience mdoel and a 2014 Wood Library model. Both have satin maple necks (with ebony fretboards) and they're simply amazing - my Suhr also has a maple neck (and fingerboard). I LOVE the light snappy nature of maple and how light and reactive it is.
     
  13. aduayer

    aduayer New Member

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    IF we talk about how the neck feels in my hands, Brazilian rosewood necks are the real deal. but somehow, I love the maple neck/ebony board combo. satin feels perfect to me. right now my favorite guitar is a tele from Suhr with roasted maple neck/fingerboard with swamp ash body, I wish PRS had more options with Swamp ash bodies. anyway...
     

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