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Old 05-26-2008, 08:16 AM
charlie45 charlie45 is offline
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Default price rosewood vs mahogany

"Indian rosewood guitars cost more than mahogany ones because they are very rare and hard to find."

I've read that mahogany (and sapele) are endangered species, indian rosewood is not, how come rosewood is more expensive??
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Old 05-26-2008, 08:30 AM
gtr4me gtr4me is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie45 View Post
"Indian rosewood guitars cost more than mahogany ones because they are very rare and hard to find."

I've read that mahogany (and sapele) are endangered species, indian rosewood is not, how come rosewood is more expensive??
That quote about indian rosewood was taken from a thread where is was posted as sarcasm. The poster did not literally mean to suggest that IR is "very rare".
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Old 05-26-2008, 08:30 AM
SKYHIGH SKYHIGH is offline
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Indian Rosewood(EIR) is not rare. They are plentiful...for now. Most vendors now priced their H. Mahogany almost same as EIR. It will only be matter of time IMO that H. Mahogany pass EIR in terms of price.

I don't know if being endangred is the only factor in high price although it certainly helps.
Look at African Blackwood versus Brazillian rosewood for instance. Most builder and vendors know that African Blackwood is rare even in comparison to Brazillian. However Brazillian costs roughly twice as much to African Blackwood if not more.

Now I don't know how endangered H.Mahogany is but I do think that it being in the list of CITES is a factor in it's price.
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Old 05-26-2008, 08:45 AM
Guitar Hack Guitar Hack is offline
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I did a search of the Mahogany issue. Mahogany is really several species of wood. 3 are in the Americas and there are several in Africa and indonesia. Though all are called mahogany they really aren't the same species alway. The American Mahoganies are all related to each other. They African mahoganies are related to each other but not to American Mahoganies. Some of the species are considered endangered in the American Species.

When you see mahogany is endangered it may only be a couple species and not the entire mahogany population types.

For Rosewood see below: http://www.easttexaswoodturners.org/wood-ROSEWOOD.htm

"Although the supplies of many valuable and prestigious tropical woods are declining at an alarming rate, the outlook for virtually all of the rosewoods is especially bleak. The highly selected and vividly pigmented heartwood of these species comes from only the most mature trees…in fact the color doesn’t seem to fully materialize until the tree actually starts to decline into decrepitude. Also, many of the better known rosewoods, such as those from Brazil and India are native to coastal forests where high human populations over literally centuries have heavily exploited the resource and where land is now too valuable for raising food crops to be dedicated to reforestation projects. As remaining stands of these timbers are harvested there is little likelihood they will be replenished in the near term…if ever."
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Old 05-26-2008, 02:46 PM
Brock Poling Brock Poling is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitar Hack View Post
I did a search of the Mahogany issue. Mahogany is really several species of wood. 3 are in the Americas and there are several in Africa and indonesia. Though all are called mahogany they really aren't the same species alway. The American Mahoganies are all related to each other. They African mahoganies are related to each other but not to American Mahoganies. Some of the species are considered endangered in the American Species.

When you see mahogany is endangered it may only be a couple species and not the entire mahogany population types.

For Rosewood see below: http://www.easttexaswoodturners.org/wood-ROSEWOOD.htm

"Although the supplies of many valuable and prestigious tropical woods are declining at an alarming rate, the outlook for virtually all of the rosewoods is especially bleak. The highly selected and vividly pigmented heartwood of these species comes from only the most mature trees…in fact the color doesn’t seem to fully materialize until the tree actually starts to decline into decrepitude. Also, many of the better known rosewoods, such as those from Brazil and India are native to coastal forests where high human populations over literally centuries have heavily exploited the resource and where land is now too valuable for raising food crops to be dedicated to reforestation projects. As remaining stands of these timbers are harvested there is little likelihood they will be replenished in the near term…if ever."
Mahogany as we know it is swietenia macrophylla (Honduran Mahogany) and Cuban Mahogany is swietenia microphylla. Swietenia's are the "true" mahoganies.

Sapele and African Mahogany are Mahogany "like" woods. They are both decent tonewoods, but not true mahogany.

In terms of what the big manufacturers do... I think you will see a shift of the lower price guitars moving to the African substitutes, but the higher priced guitars and the hand builts will have mahogany for as long as any of us care to worry about it. There is quite a bit of lumber around still, and if and when that can't be exported there are plenty of old bars and old furniture that can be "reclaimed".

I think the most noticable difference a mahogany shortage will produce is in neck stock. I think you will see lots more scarfed head stock joints (which are better anyway) and perhaps a shift to more plentiful materials. Neck stock has been skyrocketing in recent years. It is very hard to find clear honduran mahogany in 12/4 or 16/4.
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Old 05-26-2008, 03:31 PM
charlie45 charlie45 is offline
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still, has anybody an explenation for rosewood being more expensive, as it is not rare (I think I read somewhere it's being harvested).
Or is it just a remaining habit from the old days to bill rosewood guitars more expensive?
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Old 05-26-2008, 03:48 PM
ramsa ramsa is offline
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Question Figured Mahogany...

On a side note, I was suprised to see the upcharge most builders are getting now for quilted mahogany back/side sets. With other species being used for Honduran mahogany, it seems like the genuine stuff might be getting harder to obtain, especially in figured or quilted stock...
(Excluding "The Tree"...)
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Old 05-26-2008, 04:10 PM
strangeman strangeman is offline
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Exclamation Because It's Kicka** Stuff!

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie45 View Post
still, has anybody an explenation for rosewood being more expensive, as it is not rare (I think I read somewhere it's being harvested).
Or is it just a remaining habit from the old days to bill rosewood guitars more expensive?

I would think, other things being equal, even boring, blingless EIR can command a higher price due to the quality tone it produces. It's kicka** stuff, plain and simple.

In a recent conversation I had with a sales person, I commented on the attitude of many toward EIR. He snickered and said "Yeah, and we're gonna be really sorry when it's gone...really sorry!" Sounds like we may be there fairly soon.
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Old 05-26-2008, 05:24 PM
Brock Poling Brock Poling is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlie45 View Post
still, has anybody an explenation for rosewood being more expensive, as it is not rare (I think I read somewhere it's being harvested).
Or is it just a remaining habit from the old days to bill rosewood guitars more expensive?
The trees are not as big. You get more yeild out of a mahogany tree than a rosewood tree.
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Old 05-26-2008, 05:28 PM
Brock Poling Brock Poling is offline
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Originally Posted by strangeman View Post
"Yeah, and we're gonna be really sorry when it's gone...really sorry!" Sounds like we may be there fairly soon.
Well the quality certainly is in freefall. Finding the straight grain, dark, purple/red sets that used to be the "mastergrade" stuff is pretty tough now, and there are much more "character" sets being sold in the AA quality.

There is nothing wrong with the less traditional looking sets, but I think it is a sign of what is to come when they start grading the lumber on a curve.
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Old 09-14-2008, 06:36 PM
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Default Tonewood can be costly Bling

Quote:
Originally Posted by ramsa View Post
On a side note, I was suprised to see the upcharge most builders are getting now for quilted mahogany back/side sets. With other species being used for Honduran mahogany, it seems like the genuine stuff might be getting harder to obtain, especially in figured or quilted stock...
(Excluding "The Tree"...)
Yeah, wood from "The Tree" is between $300 and $600 a board foot if you can find it! Then when you buy it you end up being afraid to use it.
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Old 09-14-2008, 07:51 PM
Made In Canada Made In Canada is offline
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I've been watching these Hog discussions closely as I love Hog guitars.

This is a pic of a Recording King 000 with Hog back and sides. It's not mine but looks almost the same. What kind of Hog would this be? Why is this what I consider very attractive wood still inexpensive while Martin now makes most if not all of it's 15 series guitars out of Sapele?

I actually suspected it was Sapele but have been told it is indeed some kind of Hog.



This actually is mine, you can see the sides, I don't have a good picture of the back yet.

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Old 09-14-2008, 08:03 PM
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Tim McKnight Tim McKnight is offline
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Both look like ribbon stripe Sapele to me but it is difficult to tell from the pics though. I have some striped Honduran Mahogany that looks very similar.

EIR has always been higher priced in the wholesale market place and these prices ultimately get passed on to the consumer. Both woods have increased about 200-300% respectively over the last decade. I agree with Broc in that I suspect Honduran Mahogany may surpass EIR soon because of the CITES restrictions. When you see the big factories making the switch to Sapele and Khya that tells you that they are having difficulty obtaining wood in large enough volumes to support their production requirements. Their demands are quite different from ours though but I suspect there will always be wood floating around for us little guys though
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Last edited by Tim McKnight; 09-14-2008 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 09-14-2008, 08:45 PM
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Default Hog Top

How do you folks feel about Hog tops. I loved an old OO-17 from 1947 that I parted with years back. (Much to my regret). I'm thinking about a hog top because I had a few side sets break, so it's a great solution. My gut says go for it.
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Old 09-14-2008, 09:13 PM
Hodges_Guitars Hodges_Guitars is offline
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This is sort of on-topic for the thread and you may find it of interest. The prices I have been paying for EIR over the last 3 years has jumped quite a bit and the quality has dropped at the same time as is mentioned above.

One of the dealers I buy EIR from actually is a broker in India and has been filling me in on some of the politics of the EIR trade within India. Until some of these political issues betwen the regions are settled (in India), the price for this wood will continue to rise as production and harvesting of the tress will continue to slow down. This will drive the prices for this wood even higher and you will see a lot of the existing inventory of lower grade sets being used to fill in while the unrest is evident.

I have seen with my own eyes large warehouses of Honduran Mahogany that is sitting here in the states but cannot be distributed because of some of the red tape of the CITES treaty. Prices are rising and the supply (at least to the states) is dropping because of some of this red tape in importing the wood. In the mean time, supplies are still pretty abundant for the Honduran, but there may come a time when the blemish free wood we have been used to seeing is gone and all that is left to build with is lesser quality woods unless some of the restrictions are eased or at least clarification is made on existing stocks of the wood that currently exist.

I agree that the african substitutes for the Mahogany are pretty good woods and make excellent tonewoods.

In the mean time, I am stocking up on domestic tonewoods so that I can build with woods that are not endangered and for the time being easy to acquire. I feel that at some point there will be a demand on these domestic woods that will make them harder to find also.
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