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Old 08-08-2006, 10:37 AM
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Default Madagascar Rosewood vs. Cocobolo

Guitar Gurus,

I want to add a Taylor to my guitar collection, recently got a Martin 000C Steve Miller, but I am still kind of an acoustic novice (and old electric rocker who has played since 1966).

The Steve Miller is a short scale quilted Mahogany, very nice, but I want another primo acoustic and wonder about Madagascar Rosewood versus Cocobolo, 2006 814ce LTD or 914ce LTD.

I would love a Brazilian Martin but they are getting sky high prices right now. Anybody have thoughts on these woods? Is Koa worth consideration too?

Appreciate any feedback, thanks.
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Old 08-08-2006, 10:57 AM
sludgefactory sludgefactory is offline
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all are great woods. I prefer madagascar to cocobolo. I prefer both to koa.
BUt your ears may feel differently. Definitely try out some of these woods if you can track them down at local shops

there are many resources I'm sure you've found but this is a good concise place to start for info on woods:
http://www.sheppardguitars.com/new_page_7.htm

http://www.pantheonguitars.com/tonewoods.htm
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Last edited by sludgefactory; 08-08-2006 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 08-08-2006, 11:01 AM
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I believe this is the first time Taylor has used Madagascar Rosewood. So it would be kind of hard to compare. Madagascar Rosewood does get a lot of good comments from builders and players.
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:10 PM
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Michael Bashkin wrote this in an email

Quote:
Brazilian is considered the holy grail of b/s woods but is many times the prices of the other rosewoods. In brief, relative to sustain and overtones, in order from most to least: Braz, madagascar, coco, indian. The coco and mada ranking is really a toss up, and these differences can easily be swamped out by the effect of the top wood and how it is voiced.
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:23 PM
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Thanks all for the great links and info........

While the local GC has an 814ce and 914ce to compare I doubt they'll ever have the Fall limiteds to compare and they may be special order for GC.

Has anybody played this years Fall limiteds? Are they out yet?
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:29 PM
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In short, rosewood is rosewood and it really depends on how Taylor does the madrose. This is the first time they are using it I believe outside of the new R. Taylors. I think the reddish coco is more my taste than madrose.
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Old 08-08-2006, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmyAddison
While the local GC has an 814ce and 914ce to compare I doubt they'll ever have the Fall limiteds to compare and they may be special order for GC.

Has anybody played this years Fall limiteds? Are they out yet?
No they are not out yet. And believe me, you don't want to order from GC.
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Old 08-08-2006, 02:31 PM
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Yeah---DO NOT order from GC. If they open your case, the gorgeous guitar will be hung on a wall for any/all to screw around with, kill the strings, and scratch the back. Oh--humidity control? Fugettaboudit. (hey--Tony Soprano told me! )

As for Cocobolo, I've heard more than one luthier rave about it. It may be tough to bend, sand, etc. but it is about the most beautiful wood I have ever seen. It has properties like Braz rosewood. Now, let me tell you about MY experience with a '68 D-28 with Brax B/S: it sounded like crap, with a rag stuffed in it. This was with new strings. Maybe a bad example, but anyone lusting for Braz based on its repute, I feel---would be more satisfied with Mad Rose, Ziricote, Striped Ebony or Cocobolo. My 2 cents.
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Old 08-08-2006, 06:23 PM
Bevelman Bevelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Folkstrum
Maybe a bad example, but anyone lusting for Braz based on its repute, I feel---would be more satisfied with Mad Rose, Ziricote, Striped Ebony or Cocobolo. My 2 cents.
Not necessarily. You can get dogs with all of those woods as well. Play the guitars and make a judgement call based on that.
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Old 08-08-2006, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Folkstrum
Yeah---DO NOT order from GC. If they open your case, the gorgeous guitar will be hung on a wall for any/all to screw around with, kill the strings, and scratch the back. Oh--humidity control? Fugettaboudit. (hey--Tony Soprano told me! )


I would generally agree with this.. except I got very lucky with my Taylor GS as I happen to be there playing a few guitars on their wall, and most of them did look a bit worn for being "new". They had a box (factory packaging) out inside their humid room and opened it up in front of my eyes.. Of course a group of droolers huddled around it and went on and on about "the new GS" which lead me to ask to try it.. I did, and with in 30 minutes, it was mine!

It was nice to be able to know that it wasn't touched by more than 3 or 4 people before I took it home.. a rare thing at Guitar Center.
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Old 08-09-2006, 08:58 AM
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While I don't disagree about anything said re: GC I bought my Steve Miller there. Why, it was my only option to get it locally, next closest was 275 miles away, and I got it new with warranty 40% off list, a fair price.

They actually didn't have the guitar, had to transfer it from a Seattle store to Dallas but I had right of refusal, and the guitar was pristine, although I'm sure it was hanging on a wall in Seattle, it showed no typical GC let everybody play the guitar abuse. GC isn't all bad............
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Old 08-09-2006, 09:09 AM
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According to Bob Taylor, tonally, Madagascar rosewood is closer to Brazilian rosewood than any other wood he has come across. Until recently it was hard to harvest Madagascar rosewood because of insufficient industry infrastructure where they grow.

As far as tone is concerned, my preference would be for Madagascar rosewood, then cocobolo. Of all the koa guitars I've played, I can only remember one that sounded good enough for me to consider buying it. It was a limited edition of what was then Taylor's cheapest guitar. A guitar teacher was helping a student and his parents decide on a guitar. After he had played it, I picked it up and tried it. I told the shop owner that if the student's parents didn't buy it I would. They did and I left without it. Koa is very attractive wood but I find that with that one exception, I prefer rosewood, maple, mahogany and walnut to koa. Of course this is only one man's opinion.
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Old 08-09-2006, 09:25 AM
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Would you say that the rosewood is more consistent in tone than koa? Does this apply to EIR, coco, madrose, and braz as well? Which would you say is the most consistent... There's been much talk about inconsistencies and finding 'dogs'
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Old 08-09-2006, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaeger29
Would you say that the rosewood is more consistent in tone than koa? Does this apply to EIR, coco, madrose, and braz as well? Which would you say is the most consistent... There's been much talk about inconsistencies and finding 'dogs'
Well, if the extent of grain pattern variation is any indication, I'd expect Indian rosewood to be the most consistent. I think all tone woods are subject to a lot of variation. I've had luthiers tell me that identical guitars made from wood from the same tree and from adjacent cuts had a distinctly different tone. The good news is that Taylors have a reputation for greater consistency.

I prefer to buy guitars after I've played them yet if I were ordering one, and sooner or later I will order an R. Taylor or a Taylor 12-string, I'd choose the wood that appeals to me the most based on typical tonal characteristcs and not on the basis of what anectodal evidence suggests is the wood with the least variation in tone. Furthermore, there are other variables that at least partially account for tonal differences between otherwise identical guitars.

Last edited by Herb Hunter; 08-09-2006 at 03:52 PM.
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Old 08-09-2006, 01:41 PM
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From this thread and some research it does seem Madagascar rosewood gets a little higher praise than Cocobolo, which make me wonder why the 814ce LTD gets the Mada and the 914ceLTD gets the Cocobolo?
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