Curly Maple

Maple—Bigleaf, European, and Rock ( Acer macrophyllum, Acer pseudoplatanus, Acer Saccharum). Maples grow in northern temperate forests all over the world, but these three are the ones most commonly used in guitar making. Bigleaf maple predominantly comes from the northwestern U.S.; European maple from Italy, Germany, and the Balkans; and rock maple comes form the northeastern U.S. (Rock maple is also known as sugar maple and produces sweet sap that makes maple syrup.)

Maple guitars have strong fundamentals, leading most listeners to describe them as bright. They don't have as much bass response as other woods, either. Maple guitars also have very short sustain. They may not be appropriate for melodic style players, but they are excellent for jazz and rapid-fire percussive playing.

These three maples certainly don't sound alike. Rock maple has the least sustain and produces the least bass. It is the most "maple-y" sounding of the bunch. Bigleaf maple is much softer and has the most bass, and a little more sustain. European maple falls between the other two.