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Is flamed maple softer than non flamed maple?

Discussion in 'Bass Guitars' started by thndrstk6, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. thndrstk6

    thndrstk6 Mockup Artist

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    I heard from a friend (who has a fairly trust worthy opinion) that the more
    flamed a piece of maple is the softer the wood is. He said that that's why a
    lot of people like the sound of vintage Gibson Les Pauls because they don't
    have the flamed top on them. I also noticed that Elrick uses a kind of maple
    for their necks that they are calling "hard" maple. This maple has absolutely
    no flame to it at all.

    If this is the case then wouldn't it be better to get a bass made of standard
    maple or a maple with a low grade flame?
     
  2. Lex

    Lex Warwick Endorser

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    I used to own a '90 SS1 that was made from 'Rock Maple'... it had no flame in it. Whether it was harder or not is debatable... it definitely has a look to the grain that makes it appear harder. But hard to categorically say one way or another.
     
  3. thndrstk6

    thndrstk6 Mockup Artist

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    How did it sound?
     
  4. Michael J

    Michael J

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    Well, it wouldn't be better per-say, it would just provide different tones. Just like ash is softer so it sounds different, some prefer that tone. Maybe Warwick decided that flamed maple sounded more appealing...?
     
  5. Lex

    Lex Warwick Endorser

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    About the same to be honest.
     
  6. thndrstk6

    thndrstk6 Mockup Artist

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    Cool. Thanks for the info.
     
  7. golem

    golem Philosopher King

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    `

    Necks are "rock maple", which is a different maple
    than that which is used for body wood. I don't know
    if it's a different species or just a different part of
    the tree. Some rock maple necks have some flame
    or other figuring to them, and this is considered a
    desirable thing not just for appearance [it's the back
    side after all ... ] but cuz the mixed up grain is less
    likely than a "straight" grain to go all warpy into one
    direction. IOW, it's self balancing, similar to a multi
    laminated neck.

    I have seen a wood worker [speaker cab builder]
    whack rock maple with a hammer leaving no dent !
    I spoze there are different grades of rock maple so,
    boys and girls, don't try that at home ....

    Rock maple may possibly be not so much a species
    or a particular part of the tree, but may be just the
    result of differences in climate. Swamp ash is also
    known as southern ash. Baseball bats are northern
    ash. The longer growing season in the south makes
    for a wider grain and therefor a softer wood ... but
    AFAIK both of these types of ash wood are of the
    same tree species, just grown in different places.

    I know that cherry wood from Hokaido is the most
    prized Japanese cherry, cuz it's cold in the northern
    sea islands of Japan. Therefore the grain is tighter,
    and so the wood is stronger.

    `
     
  8. flipper_gv

    flipper_gv

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    AFAIK rock maple is a grade of maple. Godin makes almost all of their necks with rock maple which comes from thSilverleaf Maple, which is (if I'm right) present mostly on the north east of north america. Since I'd be surprise Gibson imported maple from canada in their early days and their tops are made from Rock Maple, I'd say that they used another species that was just as hard.
     
  9. +JohnnyBoy-

    +JohnnyBoy-

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    I always believed that flamed and quilted maples are affected by external infuences, it is not part of the grain. So "flamed" maple could very well be "rock" maple that has been infuenced to produce an aestheticallt desired effect.

    I recall (I'd have to jump in the Wayback machine to find it) watching a segment of a news show about a gentlemen who was freeing submerged logs from the Great Lakes and finding outrageously figured flamed maple.

    I find it hard to believe that there is a noticeable difference between the hardnesses of flamed vs. quilted vs. rock maple. I would be so bold as to say there is as much variance from tree to tree and board to board as there is species to species of maple.

    I'd say the custom shop could give us a definitive answer.
     
  10. Goran

    Goran

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    +1
     
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