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Maple, as a result of its greater weight and lower sound velocity, can be downright flat sounding, a blessing in disguise when a guitar is amplified at high sound pressure levels. This is why maple is the wood of choice for electric guitar tops. West coast big leaf maple is the softest and lightest of the maple family, with a wood grain that resembles waves. Aside from a visually breathtaking pattern, the wavy fibers of "curly" maple reduce the long grain stiffness and vibrate more freely. (This is the secret to the bright, clear powerful sound of the Parker Fly, a solid-body guitar made with a curly maple body.)
In acoustic guitar use, different species of maple, such as big leaf, sugar, and bearclaw tend to be more acoustically transparent due to their lower velocity of sound and high degree of internal damping. This allows the tonal characteristic of the top to be heard without the addition of significant tonal coloration.
Maple necks can impart a bright "poppy" tone that can do much to reinforce the top end of a large-bodied guitar.
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