This is my first maple guitar – a small plantilla Bouchet braced spruce top. At the first touch, maple is not that attractive for a guitar maker. It is difficult to plane, bend, and keep clean. Workmanship mistakes are impossible to hide, but at least there are no pores to fill. Other than looks, it does not excel structurally. It is not very dense (helping power and projection) but not very light either (giving a spontaneous, airy and lively sound like cypress). If you want to leave some meat and weight into it, it is too stiff (here the flames actually help) The taptone is dull, suggesting a dry sound lacking overtones. And yet this is the wood of choice for bowed instruments, but those have a lot more energy at disposal and something that filters the power is a good idea. A violin with a cedar top, or rosewood body, would likely sound way too scratchy and metallic.
To my great surprise, the guitar turned out very well and this has become one of my favorite tonewoods. The color is not dry and simple, but just clean and pure. In comparison, rosewood almost sounds too cluttered and dark. There are plenty of overtones but discrete, not in-your-face. Trebles are clear and pure, and also can sound sweet (like cypress), something I can hardly hear in rosewoods. The sound is overall open and loud, more open and direct than on a similarly new rosewood. The clean and direct tone makes bad playing more evident than on rosewood.
Raw sample without varnish, nylon strings
-Austrian spruce soundboard, Bouchet bracing, 650mm scale
-Bosnian flamed maple back, sides and secondary headplate
-Madagascar rosewood headplate, neck spine and bridge
-Spanish cedar neck with ebony fingerboard
-Indian rosewood binding with bloodwood and maple back and sides purfling.