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-   -   Do mahogany top guitars open up with time? (https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=321065)

blacknblues 12-13-2013 09:12 AM

A lot of different perspectives..

I agree that if a guitar doesn't sound good to begin with all the time in the world probably won't turn your 'sows ear into a silk purse'. However, I do have a sitka-topped guitar that to my ears has become more responsive over the years.

ljguitar 12-13-2013 09:20 AM

Hi blacknblues...

I had a middle school student who I helped shop for his 000-15, and it was pretty harsh sounding when it was new.

He grew up, went through high school, and right before he went away to college and I was asked to do a photo shoot. I told him to bring along 'artifacts' which were meaningful to him, and he brought the 000-15 which was at that point 5 years old.

While shooting the pics, I grabbed it and played a few bars. Wow…how that guitar has changed! Here's a pre-edit proof shot...

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2142/1...d28c0b2e10.jpg


I like it when guitars 'open-up', 'age' or whatever you want to call it.



jmg257 12-13-2013 09:21 AM

Quote:

I would expect that form a Gibson but not a Martin. Goes to show how little these "lifetime warranties" mean
Various companies' warranties only apply in the US & Canada re:full coverage/limited lifetime etc.

ljguitar 12-13-2013 09:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blacknblues (Post 3731016)
…what happens to mahogany after 80 years?

Hi b-n-b....

Hope you are around and in good health to find out in 80 years.



flaggerphil 12-13-2013 09:50 AM

I owned this all-mahogany 1964 Gibson LG0 (seen here in December 1965) from 1964 until 1976 and it most assuredly opened up over that time. Wish I'd never sold it...

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/u...band1965-1.jpg

I have a 1996 Taylor 412-M that I bought used in 2007. It sounded pretty good when I bought it and it sounds even better now. I recently bought a Taylor 528e and a 322. Both sound amazing now...if/when they open up over the years they will sound unbelievable!

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/u...ps8662f970.jpg

http://i657.photobucket.com/albums/u...psadd7e170.jpg

BTW, Bob Taylor says that most guitars will open up over time whether you play them or not. FWIW.

blacknblues 12-13-2013 09:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ljguitar (Post 3732098)
Hi b-n-b....

Hope you are around and in good health to find out in 80 years.




Actually, I only need to wait about a month...I recently bought a 1934 Martin 00-17 off of Craigslist that went directly into the shop for a neck reset:


http://i1113.photobucket.com/albums/...Martin0017.jpg

ljguitar 12-13-2013 09:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blacknblues (Post 3732118)
Actually, I only need to wait about a month...I recently bought a 1934 Martin 00-17 off of Craigslist that went directly into the shop for a neck reset

Hi bnb...

Looks like a fun little machine!



Shades of Blue 05-31-2016 01:40 PM

I never experienced this with my acoustics, but I thinking it may be because they were opened up when I bought them. I had a 414ce for about a year and it sounded the same when I sold it as it did the day I bought it. My 15 year old Seagull S6 I suspect I never even realized it opened up because I was such a new guitar player. Other than my Seagull and the Taylor 414, I've never kept an acoustic more than a year. I've been an electric player my entire live and really only plinked around on the Seagull from time to time.

As I get older, I am gravitating towards acoustic more and more. I'm honestly flirting dangerously close to becoming primarily acoustic as I haven't touched my electrics in close to a year.


PS (sorry for old thread resurrection....didn't realize it when I posted)

dneal 05-31-2016 01:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ted @ LA Guitar Sales (Post 3731157)
...Bottom line, any all solid wood guitar will improve with age.

Tell the classical players that. ;)

merlin666 05-31-2016 01:59 PM

If you don't like the sound of your guitar now then good luck with waiting for the magical opening up to happen. I bought a higher end guitar in the mid-70s mainly for it's crisp and bright sound. Didn't play it for more than 30 years, and when I played it again I found it sounded fairly boring and unbalanced, with a tad too much overtones. Now if it "opened up" and I simply didn't like the result, or my hearing changed with age and exposure to other instruments ... who knows ...

WHguitarNYC 05-31-2016 02:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bowie (Post 3731345)
Goes to show how little these "lifetime warranties" mean. I would never buy a new guitar just for a meaningless warranty if I could find the same one used.

I can't talk specifically to Gibson's warranty but for Martin, unless you're in North America, Martin does not honor the warranty - I believe it would be up to the dealer.

Wade Hampton 05-31-2016 02:14 PM

What I have found is that guitars with hardwood tops - whether mahogany, koa or walnut - tend to take three to four times as long to fully open up as similar guitars with spruce tops tend to take. The wood of the top is harder, so it takes longer.

When shopping for a new guitar, whether all-mahogany or spruce-topped, I agree that it's best to find one that has a good sound while still brand new. That's always the safest practice.


whm

Ted @ LA Guitar Sales 05-31-2016 03:24 PM

Wow, yet another zombie thread. :)

RP 05-31-2016 03:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ted @ LA Guitar Sales (Post 4955665)
Wow, yet another zombie thread. :)

Since the OP asked specifically about opening up after 80 years, maybe we should consider this particular zombie a progress report....:guitar:

smurph1 05-31-2016 03:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ted @ LA Guitar Sales (Post 3731157)
The short answer is yes, like other tone woods, Mahogany will open up with time. It will take a bit longer to notice a difference than with a Spruce top guitar, but a bit faster than Koa. Bottom line, any all solid wood guitar will improve with age.

I tend to agree with this. No scientific evidence, but it's what I believe. :)


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