I find myself building and promoting, or is that promoting and building more maple guitars recently. I’ve really come to love this wood in its many figured varieties. Flamed or curly maple, birdseye and quilted maple allhave their own unique visual characteristics. It took me a long time to warm up to the idea of maple as a guitar wood, but now I really enjoy working with it. I guess in the early days, you could say I was a bit of a purist, using only Mahogany and Rosewood. In recent years, though, I’ve become increasingly interested in using good alternative tonewoods, such as Padouk, Sapele, Honduran Rosewood and, of course, Maple.
Another appealing aspect of maple is in the range of effects that can be achieved with it. Because of Maple's natural canvas-like tint, staining can produce a wide range of appealing shades as well as traditional and non traditional sunburst finishes. For those who prefer not to mess with mother nature, you can’t beat the pure beauty of natural figured maple. It really is a very versatile wood.
Though I still use and respect Rosewood as a superb tonewood for guitars, I’m very glad to see the acceptance of these alternatives to the guitar maker's arsenal. Variety can only make this fascinating world even better!