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  #1  
Old 01-13-2018, 11:59 AM
svea svea is offline
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Default A Rosewood Worthy of Comparison

We've all likely drooled over the much heralded Brazilian Rosewood examples of our favorite guitar models on websites at one time or another. I'm very guilty of this. I currently don't own a Brazilian Rosewood guitar, but I think I would like to. Dang though, they are expensive!

The thing that sort of kills me though, as I look through images on dealer websites are descriptions of guitars with those "other" rosewoods. To quote one example, "The Santos Rosewood (a.k.a. Pau Ferro) is a more than worthy adversary to the heralded Brazilian". Oh yeah, says who??

I think Martin got it right when they searched for a worthy substitute for the rosewood to replace their dwindling supply of Brazilian. Indian ain't no chopped liver!

Svea
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Old 01-13-2018, 12:08 PM
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DenverSteve DenverSteve is offline
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To me what ultimately matters is the finished product. There are Brazilian's out there I wouldn't give you $1,000 for and there are BRAZILIANS that are worthy of all the hyperbole and hysteria heaped upon them. It is truly a fantastic wood in the proper build. I have experienced sounds from Brazilian guitars that I've never heard from anything else. However, as you stated, there is no shortage of fabulous guitars built from Mahogany, EIR, Madagascar Rosewood, Maple......and other woods. The adage, "seek and ye shall find", applies to guitars as much as everything else. Seek, search, play and find a wonderful guitar - regardless of the woods involved - and you will be a happy guitar player indeed.
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Old 01-13-2018, 12:10 PM
ManyMartinMan ManyMartinMan is offline
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Ahhhhhhh...... A Rosewood by any other name...........
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:43 PM
Goodallboy Goodallboy is offline
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I own a Brazilian guitar and it may be a coincidence but it's the best guitar I've ever played.

The only other that came close was a Goodall made with Cocobolo, that many consider a Brazilian contender.

Disclaimer: These were made by Lance McCollum and James Goodall. That great builders made them matters more than the wood, but when you pair them together, it can be incredible.
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:03 PM
L20A L20A is offline
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What a guitar sounds like is very subjective.

We like to lust after what we can't have.
Brazilian Rosewood is a good example of this.

If guitars were still being mass built with BRW we wouldn't be having this conversation.

The wood used is only one part of a finished guitar.
I have heard and played BRW that was fantastic sounding and some that I would not want to own at all.
It would be interesting to be able to hear pre war guitars that were built with IRW to see how they compare to BRW from the same era.

My guess is that there would be standout guitars from both woods.
There would also be some less than stellar guitars made from both woods.

I was at a Tony Rice concert where he stated that his guitar wasn't that great sounding but he liked the neck and the way that the guitar mic'd. He said that he had other newer guitars that sounded better acoustically to him.
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:14 PM
mercy mercy is offline
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There are two things about a guitar, the way it looks and the way it sounds. Lots of woods look as good and better than Braz but they dont have the potential that Braz sounds. Just look at those prewar Martins, they dont look all that great to me but the sound. Go ahead and get a guitar with Santos Rosewood or Indian for that matter, I hope you all get something else so the price of Braz will will come down.
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Old 01-13-2018, 06:56 PM
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I had a thought. Brazilian rosewood is pretty much old growth from what I can surmise. East Indian rosewood would generally be plantation stock not cut from a mixed forest where it had to compete with other trees. Maybe a EIR would be on par with a Brazilian if it were cut from the wild, assuming it was a good tree to begin with.
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Old 01-13-2018, 07:39 PM
mercy mercy is offline
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The problem with EIR is it eats energy, its called damping, where Braz uses it. Its just a fact that the two trees are different.
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Old 01-13-2018, 08:38 PM
Steadfastly Steadfastly is offline
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There are a number of factors that go into creating a guitars tone that in many cases, I feel that Brazilian Rosewood is overstated. I think marketing plays a big part in this and the hype that marketing creates, means more money in the pockets of the manufacturer.
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Old 01-13-2018, 08:53 PM
Mr Fingers Mr Fingers is offline
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I consider myself lucky because BR is not my favorite tonewood. In following many endless discussions of tonewoods, I have concluded, perhaps wrongly, that BR does indeed sound best -- to people whose tonal preferences are derived from other BR guitars! There's a very pervasive Martin BR dreadnought tonal standard in the acoustic world. I wouldn't argue against it, as it is a great sound, but at the same time it's certainly not the only great tone out there. Old mahogany generally has the tone I like better. I honestly haven't heard a RW or other alternative to BR that sounds the same, or or different/better. I'm no expert, but IMO these other woods can sound great, but not better. I'm also not big on using wild BR grained wood -- stumpwood, sapwood, branching -- that was not used in the past for structural reasons but is popular now for cosmetics. Of course, good mahogany is disappearing, too.
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Old 01-13-2018, 08:54 PM
Jabberwocky Jabberwocky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mercy View Post
The problem with EIR is it eats energy, its called damping, where Braz uses it...
That is not a problem. That is a characteristic. I love Maple and Walnut, too. They have different damping to EIR and BRW. But that is not a problem. It is a characteristic of the wood. It imparts a different tonal characteristic or colouration. But colouration is not a problem i.e. a flaw. It is just a characteristic.
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Old 01-13-2018, 08:57 PM
Tico Tico is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mercy View Post
The problem with EIR is it eats energy, its called damping, where Braz uses it.
That's quite a claim.
Show us your scientific proof.
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Old 01-13-2018, 09:14 PM
Goodallboy Goodallboy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L20A View Post
What a guitar sounds like is very subjective.

We like to lust after what we can't have.
Brazilian Rosewood is a good example of this.

If guitars were still being mass built with BRW we wouldn't be having this conversation.

The wood used is only one part of a finished guitar.
I have heard and played BRW that was fantastic sounding and some that I would not want to own at all.
It would be interesting to be able to hear pre war guitars that were built with IRW to see how they compare to BRW from the same era.

My guess is that there would be standout guitars from both woods.
There would also be some less than stellar guitars made from both woods.

I was at a Tony Rice concert where he stated that his guitar wasn't that great sounding but he liked the neck and the way that the guitar mic'd. He said that he had other newer guitars that sounded better acoustically to him.

He was most likely referring to his SCGC Tony Rice Professional.

It had Brazilian back and sides.
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  #14  
Old 01-13-2018, 09:54 PM
svea svea is offline
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I love all of the replies so far! Thank you. So, I won't quote every one for the sake of space. Some random thoughts came to mind while reading all of this so far.

How is it that a tone wood could eat energy? That is an interesting concept.

We do lust after things that we either can't have or would have a difficult time achieving/owning. But this is about sound, not so much about lust.

My eyes are bigger than my stomach. My ears are influenced by my appetite. All the senses are important. Why buy a lousy looking expensive guitar, when you can have the whole package!!

If it is largely about marketing, then why do we always seem to return to the Holy Grail of tone wood for reference?
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  #15  
Old 01-13-2018, 10:30 PM
SongwriterFan SongwriterFan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svea View Post
How is it that a tone wood could eat energy? That is an interesting concept.
All tonewoods "eat" energy. They certainly don't create it. It's all a matter of degree and complexity.
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