The Acoustic Guitar Forum

The Acoustic Guitar Forum (
-   General Acoustic Guitar Discussion (
-   -   Is Brazilian Worth the Upcharge? (

drbluegrass 12-28-2018 08:36 AM

It is worth it to me. I've owned two D28 style Braz rosewood (BRW) guitars. They both were easily the best sounding D28 style guitars I've owned or played, hands down. And I've owned and played countless high end acoustic guitars. I do think great sounding BRW is becoming more scarce every year. But it's also a fallacy that there aren't any "new BRW" guitars that sound as good as "older BRW". I've played some outstanding sounding new guitars with BRW. Dana Bourgeois and Prewar Guitars (and Bruce Sexauer) are still turning out superb sounding BRW guitars. And, Bruce Sexauer, the outstanding luthier who frequents this forum has stated he still prefers it over any other RW (paraphrased).

However, I'm very curious about Granadillo "rosewood" and the instruments being built by Prewar Guitars that are using it. I've read that it is extremely similar in tone to "old growth" BRW.

Now, having said all that, I have a very slight preference for mahogany and D18 style guitars vs RW and D28 style guitars. As a bluegrass flat picker I like the stronger mids and drier fundamentals of mahogany vs RW. I know I'm in the minority with that preference as there are more D28 style guitars in bluegrass vs D18 style guitars. But my preference is not a strong one. A great sounding guitar is a great sounding guitar regardless of tonewoods used. Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth.

Denny B 12-28-2018 09:10 AM

Oops, replied to wrong thread...never mind...

rokdog49 12-28-2018 09:15 AM


Originally Posted by Willie Voltaire (Post 5931104)
What something is "worth" is a relative and a personal thing. If I had tons of disposable income, then sure, it would be totally "worth" another two grand for Brazilian. But since two grand is the very top of my budget for any guitar, it wouldn't be "worth" it to me to sell all my guitars just for one Braz -- no matter how great it sounded.

Me too Willie.
Of course I'm in the segment that can't see the necessity for extravagant things even if I can afford them. I've played a number of fairly new and vintage Brazilian Rosewood guitars as well as Indian Rosewood ones.
I guess I just can't appreciate the difference...if there is any.

jaymarsch 12-28-2018 09:41 AM

To me it is also totally about the builder. I have played guitars made with cocobolo, Madagascar, Bois deRose as well as African Blackwood that I have liked as well if not better than some that I have played with Brazilian. The guitars that I have liked the most that have been made with Brazilian were made by luthiers who have a lot of experience building with it.


Herb Hunter 12-28-2018 01:26 PM


Originally Posted by jw3571 (Post 5931099)
I've never played a Brazilian Rosewood guitar, I've played Indian, Madi, Guatemalan, but not Brazilian. Everyone seems to speak about in such high regard, is it really that great? What are the tone differences between Brazilian and other Rosewood. How much extra would you pay for a Brazilian Rosewood guitar? If it was a $2k difference would you pull the trigger?

In my experience it is the quality of a specific wood set that matters rather than the species. If I found an exceptionally sounding Brazilian rosewood guitar I might be willing to pay the premium but it would have to be truly extraordinary. I’ve come across an occasional Indian rosewood guitar that sounds better than some Brazilian rosewood ones.

Again, what matters more than the wood species is the quality of the wood. For the record, I own both Brazilian and Indian rosewood guitars as well as guitars made of other tone woods.

Mycroft 12-28-2018 02:12 PM

It can be, if built by a builder who knows what they are doing with it, if it is a socially good set, and if you have the ears to hear.

There is a lot of visually stunning and sonically average Brazilian out there. Much of the slab cut and stump-wood, while beautiful, sonically is not worth the upgrade cost, in my book. But there is still some straight-grained quarter-sawn Braz on there in some builder's stashes that rings like a gong when struck with a knuckle. That tone is what sold me, and the set had been in the builders stash since the early 80s. Something about a trade involving a Volkswagen Beetle, some wood sets, a Mexican Gold mine and a couple of Virgins, I think.

The takeaway: just because it is Brazilian ain't enough. Now, if it is good Brazilian, properly built...

walknbass 12-28-2018 02:36 PM

Ive played/owned/and have BRG's they have a unique sound, if your ear likes that sound
then its worth it to obtain guitars of that wood, at whatever the cost. SO yes its worth the
upcharge if you like the sound of the wood. If its not to your liking then you just might
prefer a guitar of wood that cost less.

Misifus 12-28-2018 03:39 PM

It was $2K upcharge and I did pay it. FWIW, my wife heard the tap tone from across the room and insisted I buy it.

Yrksman 12-28-2018 03:48 PM


Originally Posted by jaymarsch (Post 5931572)
To me it is also totally about the builder. I have played guitars made with cocobolo, Madagascar, Bois deRose as well as African Blackwood that I have liked as well if not better than some that I have played with Brazilian. The guitars that I have liked the most that have been made with Brazilian were made by luthiers who have a lot of experience building with it.


Agree 100%.

I have 11 Brazilian Rosewood guitars. I would only order a new guitar in Brazilian if i knew that the luthier was used to working with it and Id played some consistent examples.

Steadfastly 12-28-2018 05:32 PM

No, it is not worth it and now that I have saved you all that money, PM me and I will give you my mailing address where you can send the cheque.:)

magictwanger 12-29-2018 01:05 AM

It's worth it "only" if you have the budget and can easily swing the price.I have 2 BRW guitars and a few Eir and mahogany guitars......I love them all,but got my Braz ones about 10 years ago.Now,might be a different story,as I recently retired and would like to take a few nice trips with the wife.

Still,Braz is fabulous,but so are many other guitar combos....Yup,the builder and individual guitar is where it's at.:)

s2y 12-29-2018 08:43 AM

I currently have one Brazilian guitar and one on the way. The Bob Thompson OM I have with Brazilian back/sides is exquisite.

ManyMartinMan 12-29-2018 08:51 AM

That's like saying is a Ferrari worth the cost. Even if it is, most can't afford the up-charge over their Honda. Looks great. Sounds great but the cost will be borne, most of the time, by those who can afford a guitar generally thousands more than a similar instrument built out of EIR or Mahogany. The greatest sounding guitars I've ever played, or owned, are Brazilian. But then, my 000-18 is the guitar I grab initially for recording and performing most of the time. Ease of play, versatility and superb sound makes it just as valuable as a BRW I have that's 10x the price.

Cincy2 12-29-2018 02:35 PM

Not to me personally any longer. I have had guitars with Amazon RW, Honduran RW, African Blackwood and Cocobolo I liked as much or more than those with Brazilian B/S's.


Steve DeRosa 12-29-2018 02:42 PM


Originally Posted by gitarro (Post 5931159)
It depends on the quality of the braz that is in question...

IME nothing - nothing - beats a first-rate Brazilian...

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:32 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum

vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=