Several hundred maple species exist, although there are four primarily used in guitarmaking. They are Western Big Leaf maple, Eastern maple (North American), European Red Maple, and American Red maple.
Maple figures prominently in the violin family of instruments, as well as in archtop guitars. Historically, many nylon-stringed guitars have been made with maple as well. Two examples are flamenco and classical guitars built by Torres, and Panormo guitars made in England. Maple can have the effect of “warming” the sound, and making the instrument sound more “intimate.” Maple’s higher dampening properties tend to emphasize the fundamental tones. With overtones and harmonics subdued and in the background, the guitar acquires a more immediate, focused sound.
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