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Why do Maple Necks Have Protective Coats?

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unfinished necks (of any wood) are more likely to move over the years but generally work well as long as they are looked after - and feel nice too! this goes for maple as well - but if it is left unprotected it will get grubby quickly as its such a light coloured wood

but i guess you are talking about fretboards in particular where maple is usually finished but rosewood and ebony is not. rosewood and ebony are harder and more oily woods so wear a bit less, but are not really any more stable to climatic change than maple. they are also traditional choices on string instruments. most factories choose to finish maple necks as it will look nice for longer if its finished, some players prefer the glossier feel too but i like lightly oiled necks

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there is enough choice on oils and lacquer finishes to find a nice middle ground. Tru-oil for instance will give more protection whilst still feeling like an oil finish. or a couple of light coats of nitro lacquer feels pretty nice too

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