The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #15038   Message #132448
Posted By: Rick Fielding
05-Nov-99 - 10:38 PM
Thread Name: Brazilian vs. Indian Rosewood
Subject: RE: Brazilian vs. Indian Rosewood
I've mentioned this before but it may be appropriate here. A number of years ago I participated in an experiment held in a New York guitar maker's shop. Twenty guitars were played (by one person) while about 10 of us listened with blindfolds on. We could (and did) ask the player to go back several times to guitar #2 (or 4, or 18 etc.) and then we rated them for tone, volume, presence etc.
The ones who were asked to be on the panel had to be able to differentiate between two notes played one right after the other that were a scant hair apart in pitch. The store owner wanted to make sure that his guinea pigs had really good ears.
Anyway, the winner..to our horror..was a medium priced Yamaha with a solid top and rosewood VENEER sides and back. The finest Brazilian rosewood D-28 (an old one too) came in something like 11th! From what I remember, we pretty much hated a couple of Guilds and Gibson Hummingbirds (or Doves) I do remember that a Catseye (Japanese hand made) rated highly as did a Franklin. There may have been a Larrivee as well but I'm not sure. There were about six vintage Martins and a couple of new ones, and they were rated all through from almost the top to almost the bottom. For what it's worth, I picked the Yamaha first, and the Brazillian 4th or 5th.

The funny thing about this is that I found out a few days later that the owner did exactly the same test with different people but with NO blindfolds! Naturally it was win place and show for the old Martins..followed closely by the Gibsons. Trailing badly were the Japanese guitars!
I guess it shows that when you see "Brazilian" you probably "think" Brazilian.
Oh the reason the owner did this was cause he was introducing a newer inexpensive line of guitars in his store, and he felt the proof was in the pudding. They were Yamahas..of course.
Me, I love the "look" of the word "Martin"..still a sentimentalist after all these years.

Rick