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favorite wood for acoustic guitars

GUEST,Owain 21 Apr 02 - 11:10 AM
Clinton Hammond 21 Apr 02 - 11:32 AM
catspaw49 21 Apr 02 - 12:23 PM
GUEST,John Of The Hill 21 Apr 02 - 12:51 PM
GUEST 21 Apr 02 - 03:16 PM
Mr Red 22 Apr 02 - 07:53 AM
53 22 Apr 02 - 10:04 AM
Metchosin 22 Apr 02 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,Owain 22 Apr 02 - 03:07 PM
catspaw49 22 Apr 02 - 03:24 PM
John MacKenzie 22 Apr 02 - 03:50 PM
Metchosin 22 Apr 02 - 05:24 PM
catspaw49 22 Apr 02 - 05:42 PM
Ned Ludd 22 Apr 02 - 05:48 PM
dwditty 22 Apr 02 - 05:48 PM
GUEST,jack 22 Apr 02 - 06:31 PM
catspaw49 22 Apr 02 - 06:48 PM
GUEST,jack 22 Apr 02 - 07:00 PM
DonMeixner 22 Apr 02 - 07:09 PM
catspaw49 22 Apr 02 - 07:47 PM
Phil Cooper 22 Apr 02 - 11:16 PM
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Subject: favorite wood for acoustic guitars
From: GUEST,Owain
Date: 21 Apr 02 - 11:10 AM

Answering another thread brought this question to my mind. What is your favorite combination of woods, i.e. what do you think has the best sound, overall? Please, expand on points and forgive me if this has been posted before as I'm new to the Mudcat. I'm partial to walnut for sides and back with red cedar for the top. Ebony for the bridge and fretboard, mahogany for the neck.


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Subject: RE: BS: favorite wood for acoustic guitars
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 21 Apr 02 - 11:32 AM

I'm partial to cedar for the top... I just like the sound..

;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: favorite wood for acoustic guitars
From: catspaw49
Date: 21 Apr 02 - 12:23 PM

Some opinions gathered on this thread.--click here


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: favorite wood for acoustic guitars
From: GUEST,John Of The Hill
Date: 21 Apr 02 - 12:51 PM

Owain, My main guitar is a Larrivee L-03W, Sitka spruce top, American black walnut back and sides, ebony fretboard and bridge, mahogany neck. I find it to be a very versatile instrument responding well to both finger and flat picking. The last time I was in the shop where I bought this guitar, the one instrument that stood out from the many I tried was a Lowden F-23, cedar top, claro walnut back and sides, so I guess I must be a walnut fan, too. What are some more specifics on the guitar you are playing? John


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Subject: RE: BS: favorite wood for acoustic guitars
From: GUEST
Date: 21 Apr 02 - 03:16 PM

Balsa


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Subject: RE: BS: favorite wood for acoustic guitars
From: Mr Red
Date: 22 Apr 02 - 07:53 AM

I was told that Stradavarius used old old furniture where he could (given the joints &/or nails) simply because it has demonstrated all the shrinkage and shaking it is going to do if treated well and you can hit it and hear it's final qualities better. The seasoning of woods is a black art and a long one. I have heard of logs being tied in streams to wash out the sap but they still have to be dried slowly. Fruit woods are usually quoted but isn't maple/sycamore often used for musical instruments?


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Subject: RE: BS: favorite wood for acoustic guitars
From: 53
Date: 22 Apr 02 - 10:04 AM

My guitars are made from all of the select woods, so it would be hard for me to decide on my favorite.


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Subject: RE: BS: favorite wood for acoustic guitars
From: Metchosin
Date: 22 Apr 02 - 02:29 PM

usually something from some endangered species list or old growth forest.


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Subject: RE: BS: favorite wood for acoustic guitars
From: GUEST,Owain
Date: 22 Apr 02 - 03:07 PM

Thank you Spaw for the connection. Was interesting reading and I learned quite a bit...


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Subject: RE: BS: favorite wood for acoustic guitars
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Apr 02 - 03:24 PM

Thanks Owain........That was a good thread and there are others too with some decent info on other woods too.

Geez Mets......you're depressing today.....but pretty accurate! Actually a lot of instrument makers are using other, more available woods and saving the endangered stuff for the very few. I still prefer mahoghany/spruce (Adirondak) because of the sound, but everyone has a particular sound they like more.

As to maple.....hell yes! Especially if you already like mahoghany, maple is just moreso! Maple can be especially effective in other instruments outside of guitars and probably finds more use in mandos, dulcimers (hammered and Appalachian both), than it does in guitars. All of the framing and sound transmission bracing in my Hammered Dulcimers is maple as well as the pin blocks.   Since the sound of an Appalachian Dulcimer originates in the fretboard, maple, when combined with walnut or cherry for the box, makes for a very bright and loud lap dulcimer, all other things being relatively equal.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: favorite wood for acoustic guitars
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 22 Apr 02 - 03:50 PM

Apparently all the early Yamahas were made from wood salvaged from old buildings, which is why the early ones were so good. Having tried and fallen in love with a Martin D45K, I guess I've got to say Koa wood, wish I could afford the guitar.
Giok


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Subject: RE: BS: favorite wood for acoustic guitars
From: Metchosin
Date: 22 Apr 02 - 05:24 PM

just one of those days Spaw.......actually, I was trying to make myself laugh.


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Subject: RE: BS: favorite wood for acoustic guitars
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Apr 02 - 05:42 PM

Well Mets, you gave me one anyway!!!(:<))

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: favorite wood for acoustic guitars
From: Ned Ludd
Date: 22 Apr 02 - 05:48 PM

My favourite classical is sitka table ,English yew back and sides, and ebony fingerboard.


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Subject: RE: BS: favorite wood for acoustic guitars
From: dwditty
Date: 22 Apr 02 - 05:48 PM

Rosewood for the richness.
Mahogany for the brightness and clarity.
Koa for beauty and balanced sound.
dw


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Subject: RE: BS: favorite wood for acoustic guitars
From: GUEST,jack
Date: 22 Apr 02 - 06:31 PM

Red spruce top, South Eastern Asian Rosewood back and sides,ebony bridge,fingerboard


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Subject: RE: BS: favorite wood for acoustic guitars
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Apr 02 - 06:48 PM

Couple of things..........All maple is not suitable and of those that are, several have very different characteristics.

On the Asian rosewood (Dalberdia oliveri)......I haven't heard any of the instruments made with this, but it's said that is better in many ways to Brazilian, but it also has a reputation of being a very tough one to work. Perhaps the finest tonal sounding rosewood is fraught with problems such as toxicity and workability and that is Cocobolo (Dalbergia refusa). I have used it in Hammereds and it is a bitch......beautiful and tonally superb, but the dust is toxic as is the wood giving everything from skin rashes to lung problems (wear a good mask). It is also extremely difficut to bend and gluing it is a supreme pain in the ass!!! Add to that, most finishes won't adhere to it too well either and you have Excedrin Headache #891!!!

I'll be anxious to see if the Asian becomes popular because the price and availability are similar to or less that Indian with a tone that supposedly meets or exceeds Brazilian.......Time will tell.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: favorite wood for acoustic guitars
From: GUEST,jack
Date: 22 Apr 02 - 07:00 PM

I've only built one instrument with S.E. Asian rosewood, -- an "o" sized 12 fretter-- right now it's my favorite guitar-- I've been dissapointed to learn that the supplier I bought this wood from is no longer selling the stuff--and I have noticed that it isn't listed in their most recent catalogue --Catspaw49, You mentioned adirondack/mahogany---that's a great choice also. I like ebony bridges and fingerboards-- even on mahogany guitars--


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Subject: RE: BS: favorite wood for acoustic guitars
From: DonMeixner
Date: 22 Apr 02 - 07:09 PM

My guitars are all Mahonany and spruce combinations. Any of the other typical woods like Maple and Rosewood I have found to be quirky. I always found the Rosewood to be a very brittle sound, except on a fine Lo Prinzi guitar that I played once and will say is the best sounding guitar I ever heard to this point. Maple always seems like it holds the sound and doesn't fully release it unless its an archtop with a spruce top.

Mahogany has a warmth and an expansive sound that I just admire greatly. The sound from my Guild and Martin seems to fill the room rather than explode into it. They also seem more resonant with a fuller sustain than the Rosewood D-35 Martin a friend has.

I have played a Black Walnut 00 sized guitar with a Spruce top that shares many of the Mahogany guitars characteristics. But it lacks the age they have for seasoning of the wood and sound. I will be greatly interested to hear this 00 Walnut/Spruce in 20 years.

I have small experience with Koas except for one Weisenborn Hawaiian I heard. I seemed to be the middle between Mahogany and Rosewood.

Don


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Subject: RE: BS: favorite wood for acoustic guitars
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Apr 02 - 07:47 PM

Jack, I agree on the ebony of course. I don't think most appreciate how much the fretboard has to do with sound quality although most would agree on bridges. Adirondak spruce also tends to be more open and sound better when new as you get less change over the years than with Engleman or Sitka.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: favorite wood for acoustic guitars
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 22 Apr 02 - 11:16 PM

I seem to like koa wood on the back and sides and cedar on the top. Though one of my guitars is spruce and koa. I've had two guitars, over the years, with cedar and they seemed to sound great right out of the box (a fylde orsino and a taylor k14c). Mahogony is a wood I've also preferred over rosewood for the back and sides. I have, however played a couple other rosewood guitars that sounded great. I like a nice lower register, with good sustain (so the notes can ring against each other). So, I guess, whatever woods enhance that quality is what I will go for. I also have a custom made cittern (Irish bouzouki, mandolin on steroids) that was made with a spruce top and koa back and sides (with a middle birdseye maple piece), with a thicker body, that has a great sustain.


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