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Tonewood Spotlight: Maple

Freja 132 NAT

By: Josh Lucas

One of the most well-rounded tonewoods, maple is often thought of as especially bright. While it is true that maple will add some sparkle to your tone, that’s far from being the whole story.

Maple, in general, is not quite as hard as rosewood, and not quite as soft as mahogany. Softer maples will impart a warmer tone, while harder maples will give a brighter glassier tone with more projection.

Our Freja 132, for example, has a maple back and sides with a spruce top–and when you look at the instrument, you can’t help but think “bright” with its all blonde appointments. Once you actually play the guitar, though, you immediately notice a warm, well-rounded tone, with–yes–a clear but resonant bottom end, and pronounced top end. 

Of course it’s beautiful to look at, but there’s also a reason beyond looks that maple has become a standard feature of many guitars. It sounds good, and gives its distinct sound to the instrument on which it is featured. So if you’ve had your eye on a maple guitar because it’s beautiful, but you’re worried it’ll give you a harsh tone–don’t worry. Maple’s pretty friendly, especially with the clarity and resonance of Andrew’s arcing body profile, and the Freja’s larger body size.