Stoopid question

TBurst Std

Senior member
As I have mainly used mainline type neck woods, curious as to your thoughts on how much neck back wood versus neck fretboard wood contribute to the overall tonal quality of the neck itself.
For instance back contributes 75%, fretboard 25%? Is it 50/50?

Offer your thoughts.
There is a local shop I go to that sold it's soul to fender. I picked up two american strats, exactly the same in every way except that one has a rosewood fretboard and the other has a maple fretboard. I knew there were differences before this but the truth was never clearer. Same thing with their teles and their J basses. maple is consistently more articulate and rosewood is consistently more warm, even with different body woods on the instruments. (alder strats, mahogany teles, and ash basses)
Yep full understand that. But was curious for those that have played multiple different neck woods (more than just what you see in a store as mahogany/rosewood, mahogany/ebony, maple/maple, maple/rosewood, maple/pao ferro, maple/ebony, rosewood/rosewood) - if they had a thought about contribution levels (%s) of back wood versus fretboard wood to tonal qualities.
I can't give you any percentages.  But I can tell you that the neckback has FAR greater impact on the overall tone.
out of all the woods (neck, fb, body, top), neck back most likely has the biggest impact..
thickness of the neck and body construction (solid/hollow) also have quite an impact.
I know a lot of experts say that the impact of wood is as big as changing strings, but I am quite sure that woods have quite an influence on tone, sustain and overal 'personality' of the guitar.

besides that, I love exotic wood necks for many reasons: feel, speed, looks, and it is a nice custom touch as opposed to maple/mahogany
I though all the tone was in the color of the inlays  :icon_scratch:
well, yeah... I don't care what woods you use... just saying it'll make a difference.

Some would disagree about the neck backs being the biggest factor since the string energy is transferred more directly to the fretboard from the frets. I think that back wood and fretboard wood are both significant factors, although I couldn't put a percentage on it...
yes... pickups are significant as well... even so, I would not ignore either the tone of the pickups or the tone of the wood as a factor... both are very significant.
TBurst Std said:
Offer your thoughts.

subject title says it all  :toothy12:

I also see a whole lot of opinions and significantly little scientifically deduced facts in this thread. sadly all the genius so far has failed to recognize and account for the simple (and sometimes significant) variance of mechanical properties within a wood species, and how this makes it impossible to assign a specific tonal quality to a specific wood with absolute authority.

  :icon_thumright: props to jimh (pickups), Marko (sandpaper grit), and Rouse (inlay color) for posting the only relevant thread substance to date  :icon_thumright:

all the best,

i was thinking the way to tell would be to compare a rosewood neck with ebony fretboard to  a ebony neck with a rosewood fretboard,  although it still would not give you percentages ... my guess is 66% one way or another.
All I can say is that you guys must hear a hell of a lot better than I do!!!!  :confused4:
Wow this thread was dormant for 12 years.  There are some The Aaron warmoth vids that demonstrate the significance, or lack thereof, different neck and fretboard woods impart to overall sound.
My eye opener in this question was kind of settled for me when I owned 2 G&L F-100 II.
The one I still have is a 1 piece maple neck, so obviously we can call that a maple fret board.
The other guitar, (sold it, and is on my 'kick me for selling it' list) was a maple shaft, ebony fret board.

Swapping the necks back and forth on these made it obvious that a lot of the tone was in the neck.
The 1 piece maple has more fundamentals - mid range frequencies - or maybe we could call it 'growl.'

The maple / ebony was a bit wider sounding with less lower mid range.
400 - 500 - 640 - that fundamental solidity.

How subtle or obvious the differences are / were, I suspect, is totally subjective.
Some people might not have noticed.

And to add to the confusion, this was 2 very specific necks.
An other 1 piece maple might sound different, as might an other maple / ebony.

I will add to this, that I think the neck wood evaluations on,
are pretty accurate when it comes to tone.
Based on owning Warmoth necks with:
maple / ebony
padouk / bloodwood
bloodwood / ebony
Pau Ferro / Pau Ferro

If I had to guess at percentage - I'd say 60% for the shaft 40% for the fret board. Maybe 50 /50? I don't know.
It's just a guess.