The Rise of Roasted Maple Guitar Necks
First off, roasted maple necks are NOT a new thing. Well, not super new at least, you can find them on some high-end electric guitars from the late ’90s and early 2000s. There has also pretty much always been the choice to buy aftermarket roasted necks as well. So, why is it just now that we are hearing of this feature everywhere? Truthfully, it pretty much just comes down to the fact they are amazing! It seems that it has simply taken a little while for people to recognize their awesomeness. Now I know what you are thinking, isn’t it really more having to deal with the increase in the cost of roasting a neck? The answer is no. In fact, the actual cost difference between the two types of necks is practically nothing. I have been told firsthand by guitar companies that their difference in cost to opt for a roasted neck instead of the traditional route is pennies. Need more proof? Head over to Warmoth and look at their in-stock options for replacement necks. Both the roasted and unroasted necks start at $197.00 exactly. That’s right all you Fender owners, you don’t have to ruin your mother’s oven to climb aboard the roasted train.
Why do you need a roasted neck?
Having a roasted flame maple neck will instantly make you a much better guitar player, and you can take that as an internet guarantee! Other than the god tier guitar skills, roasting in an oven yields a superior neck. Once a plain maple neck has sat in a 300 degrees oven, it comes out lacking the sugars and moisture that exist in maple. With these impurities out of the wood, you have a neck that is more stable and pristine, overall. What this actually means to you as a player is that the neck is pretty locked down, not many (if any) adjustments should need to be made in its lifetime. Oh, and did I mention that they feel AMAZING. No joking here, you can totally tell an enormous difference in how smooth a roasted neck is to a non-roasted. Many barely even need any finish, some light oil at the most and they are ready to go. I can’t stress this enough if you have yet to pick up a guitar with a roasted neck… you need to do so.
What brands have decided to roast?
Recently, Reverend guitars have become one of the main advocates of these necks. Just head to their website and take a look for yourself, they don’t have a single bolt-on leaving their factory without a visit to the oven. Reverend’s are a great example of how much roasting your neck changes the way they feel. Personally, this change alone has really made me want to pick up another guitar from them. But as you probably have seen, it’s not just Reverend utilizing the oven. In the past few years, we have seen brands such as Charvel, Schecter, and Ibanez all put out new roasted neck models. For these releases, the necks have been the stars of the show, so it’s clear that manufacturers are listening aware of the benefits here. You know that this thing is official now that even Fender has started to release limited runs of guitars sporting this new trend.
This is no trend, my friend.
In no way are we going to see a halt in the production of roasted necks. It just makes way too much sense to continue to roast, no more naked maple necks I say! Yes, some traditionalist guitar lover has likely just thrown his phone against the wall in sheer disgust that I would even have the gull to suggest such a thing, but I digress. To me and many others, roasted is the right way to go. Hopefully, in the coming years, we will see even more of these necks out on the market. More guitars with roasted necks mean more quality instruments being made, and we should all be for that. So, go out and try one for yourself, I promise they will not leave you without a positive result. I cannot, however, say the same for your wallet!