Fender Yngwie Malmsteen Stratocaster, maple or rosewood fingerboard?

Guys, I’m interested in buying Yngwie Malmsteen Stratocaster, but I’m not sure about the finger material, maple or rosewood? Most of the guitars I own have a rosewood fingerboard, but I also own a maple fingerboard guitar and I like it. Do you have a recommendation?

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You’re never going to make contact with the fingerboard on a scalloped neck, so probably just go with what you think looks nice :wink:


If in doubt, I think you should go for maple because that’s what YJM uses.

There is no doubt that rosewood is a superior material (it can be unfinished, etc.), but as @LuckyMojo points out, you’re likely unable to touch it, hence it should look pristine. (Then again, everybody wants “aged” guitars these days, go figure! :rofl:)

Be sure to share photos when you get it!

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Thanks! What do you think about the sound? Is there any noticeable difference?

Thanks a lot! That makes sense. Of course I will post pictures.

I always like having a nice maple fingerboard just for the visual change.
It feels different just from the look, the fretboard just seems more open lol weird way to describe it, but thats what I feel with a maple vs my rosewood, just a nice change n brighter, actually makes playing more fun for for me


In terms of objective sound, the maple should have a hint of more sustain due to the harder wood the frets are glued to.

I read before that Rose Wood was a selling point because it didn’t stick to your fingers as much and so improved playability, tho like has been said the scallop makes that a mute point.

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Been using one for a while now, maple version. Personally I’d get the maple for a few rather weak reasons being that its your first YJM sig, zero maintenance since it’s got the nitro, no need to oil etc, maple maybe easier to refret too, it’s what the maestro prefers, he does say it’s only about how it looks. So yeah I got nothing :roll_eyes: :smiley:

The only thing I’d add is the wear that builds up along the edge under the fret board after years of playing will look cool, you will never wear the board itself, there is zero contact.

I’d probably get the one that I can have in my hands the quickest. Congrats mate, it’s the greatest production line fender in my opinion which ever current model you get!

edit: the only thing to do to the guitar if at all besides constantly fiddling with the setup till it’s dialled in for you ( this may take you a year to figure out depending on where you are at in your journey), is to disconnect the neck pickup tone control, the guitar stock is perfect in every way for me, don’t try upgrading tuners etc, there is absolutely no point, at one point I had raw vintage saddles and springs, those RV saddles add a nasty top end if your playing through a plexi or high gain marshall, and the springs never worked well with the YJM strings, 3 is where it’s at with the Carl Verheyen setup, but don’t bother with the angled claw as long as the G is going up a minor second ( or third, I forget). Also if you go with the YJM gauge (it’s not just 8-46, the spread is a bit different, I use stringjoy.com custom, they last long and settle within in a few mins of playing), def try to use high action (2 mm at the 12th minimum) the thing will scream, avoid pointy picks too :wink: Good luck, do let us have a full report on they honeymoon phase as well.

PM me if you need to any help with the setup, I’ve been setting up my strats for 20 years. It’s very easy but there’s a sequence to things that helps.


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Thanks mate :+1:t2: I think it will be a maple neck.

Thanks, thanks a lot! This is one of the most detailed and best answers I have ever received. I’ll contact you if I have a problem. Thanks again!


I love my maple neck Malmsteen strat, much better than any of my rosewood guitar’s neck.


@Twangsta wrote: " 3 is where it’s at with the Carl Verheyen setup, but don’t bother with the angled claw as long as the G is going up a minor second ( or third, I forget). Also if you go with the YJM gauge (it’s not just 8-46, the spread is a bit different, I use stringjoy.com"

Good point you make here, with all due respect to Carl of course. The angled claw only changes total string load. The sustain block cannot “see” individual string load, left to right across the sustain block.

On all my setups, I use only genuine Fender Tremolo Springs. I had a YJM strat recently that came to the local tech for warranty service because it would not stay in tune. The owner had installed some sort of coated, low tension spring in it. When we installed the Fender springs, no more return to pitch problems.

You mention “RV” saddles and I’m not familiar with that term. Can you enlighten me???

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@Twangsta wrote: " def try to use high action (2 mm at the 12th minimum) the thing will scream, avoid pointy picks too :wink: "

Action height. You raise a good point. I’m running .028"/.032" first fret action height (based on nut slot depth) and .070" at the 12th. This seems to give me the greatest ease of getting under the strings with an unscallopped board.

Pointy picks…

Back in the 1980’s, I gigged for a living with an Ibanez Destroyer DT555 with triple humbuckers. I started playing with the rounded edge of my pick to keep from banging the middle pickup and now, it’s become a habit I cannot seem to shake.

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I started out on an 18 fret, 1959 Sears Silvertone with a single, Duncan Quarter Pounder plugged directly into a JTM30. I cannot believe how many options players have now!!!

Photo of me recording August 5, 2020 World Trade center, Long Beach, California:

Photo of me in 1981 - Photoshoot for the band “Troubled Youth.”

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Raw Vintage brand of after market replacement parts.

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Ahhhh!!! I get it. Thanks!!!

I made these. It’s an import Fender (1982 MIJ Stratocaster) with 52.5mm spacing. I found this to give me the best overall string spacing at the bridge and down the fretboard.

However, I found that Gotoh offers these under part #S11.

I also made my own brass sustain block because the zinc block was cracking. Does the YJM Stratocaster use a brass block???

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Rosewood isn’t superior.


It depends on what you mean by “superior.” I define “superior” to mean that it works with an unfinished neck. Note, however, that roasted maple doesn’t have to be finished [but this is not what Fender uses]. But I am biased: My favorite neck right now is scalloped unfinished Macassar ebony (from Warmoth).


It looks beautiful. How do you keep the brass from being tarnished?


I wipe the saddles and nut down with Tri-Flow and it seems to leave a protective film. I’m also using C46400 marine grade brass alloy…

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