I've read thread after thread with great amusement about gents emphatically stating one type of wood is tonally superior for a guitar neck than another. To be brutally honest that tickles me to no end. This is Internet "cork-sniffing" of the highest order. And PLEASE Gents, don't take offense. I regularly engage in these pursuits as well. And I can state with absolute certainty that 99.9% of the "rosewood haters" are 10 times better guitarists than I. (I've heard a LOT of clips. I really enjoy when forum members post their music. It's a brave, noble, and personal act, and I truly love hearing "real" music as opposed to studio magic. Anyway...)
In keeping with my promise of a short rant, please allow me to share my view of rosewood necks. First and foremost, I LOVE the feel of the raw rosewood in my hands. It allows me to make a quick and personal connection to the instrument. I find a glossy finish on a neck to be cold and impersonal. Think of protected sex. Intercourse with a condom is still fun, but it's even better au naturel. Satin finishes are a lot better, but still pale in comparison to my grubby, little mitts. As far as feel, I prefer my Brazilian rosewood necks over the other types. The Braz necks I've owned and played typically have a more closed grain and a little slicker feel. Not that I don't also love Indian and other types. But generally Braz feels a little better to me.
Next up is pure vanity. I like the look of the woodgrain on rosewood. I realize that mahogany and maple can have great figuring (especially maple!!!) as well. But honestly, maple is a different beast in this discussion. Of the various rosewoods, again I prefer Brazilian. BRW can have some gorgeous, swirling grain that looks rich and classy. There's a reason Brazilian rosewood has gotten so scarce, and it's not because of guitars. It makes gorgeous furniture, and has been gobbled up for the furniture trade. I've also seen some Madagascar rosewood that looks pretty much exactly like Brazilian.
Tone-wise, I'll admit I can't tell a difference between the various rosewoods for necks. But I DO think it makes a difference with fretboards. I want closed-grain for the fretboard. Brazilian is my clear favorite due to its generally closed grain.
This brings me to the conclusion of my longer than anticipated rant. I can't help but wonder what sort of amps the "Rosewood Haters" are playing through? I have a ridiculous number of guitars, based on my meager talents. And they ALL sound a little different. All of my amps have Bass, Mid, and Treble controls, except for a Dr. Z with just a master tone and a Cut knob. With just a couple knobs tweaks, I can dial in "my" tone in a matter of seconds. Does the requirement to twist a knob or two mean a guitar is inferior tonally? If one doesn't want to tweak knobs during a gig, but changes guitars, perhaps an EQ stompbox for use with certain guitars would help?
I hope you all took this in the spirit it was written. I'm not coming down on anyone for their opinions...just pointing out the folly of Internet over-analysis (and adding my own!) Actually I'm glad when others perpetuate the myth that rosewood doesn't sound good. It keeps the prices lower for me!