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Old 03-25-2018, 12:59 PM
Knives&Guitars Knives&Guitars is offline
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Originally Posted by Ernesto View Post
Hello luthiers and experts,
I am considering a custom built with either Wenge or Padouk back and sides. What I am looking for is a strong tone with good reverb and sustain, and some nice overtones and harmonic complexity, without lacking clarity. The luthier I have in mind recommends both, and the top would be Alpine Spruce. I wanted to ask what your experience with the two is, and which you would recommend soundwise. Also, which one has a better, more 'ringing' taptone? Thanks a lot in advance!
Hey Ernesto, I am neither an expert, nor luthier and unfortunately have not been able to audition either of those woods. And I also am very, very interested in knowing the sonic differences between the two. And I think Marcus point is well taken...obviously it boils down the the luthiers method of building that can make both the tops and backs sound. Yet, owning several guitars from the very same builder, model and top...but with different backs...I also believe that Back and sides can make some...some difference. And for many years I was involved in Drying out wood of many exotic species from all over the world in another profession, using wave form meters so I developed a fondness for numbers.
So for fun, and My interest on how woods effect tone, I have been researching the different Stats on the different woods. ...and this could be of some help
So here is how it breaks down.
Wenge's Specific Gravity is .72 to .87 (there are always variances in this figure as it can change from tree to tree)
African Paduak is .61 to .75 ( Burma paduak is nearly the same as Wenge)
Janka is nearly the same between Wenge and AFrican Paduak at 1,930 & 1,970
Mod or Rupture is 21, 990 for Wenge and 16,830 for African Paduak
Elastic Modulus is 2,550,000 for Wenge and 1,700,000 for African Paduak
Crushing Strength is 11,710 for Wenge and 8,130
Dry Weight of Wenge is 54lbs and 47 lbs for African Paduak
Don't know if Burma Paduak is used...but if it is then Wenge and burma paduak=are more equal..nearly the same SG and same Dry Weight.
I am sure that most of the numbers above don't effect the sound that is Specific Gravity and Dry weight...that possibly might give some clues.
Having worked with Both Wenge and Paduak(again not musically but finishing wise)...I can tell you that both of them are opened pour-grained..Wenge probably more so. Big pours. As the guitar is unfinished on the inside this could have a wonderful effect. I myself, am dying to know.
**I recently received a custom order of a wood that I could not audition...and only found three you tube videos using that wood. Studying the numbers...helped a little bit. And I am happy to say...the guitar came out sounding exactly like I had hoped and dreamed.
Here is what Tone wood Data source had to say:
Wenge=With quite thin plates, the sound is similar to Indian Rosewood but with the projection of Brazilian, it cuts through, is lively & responsive, and sustains well. Low damping, resonant, with a fine ring to it. Well-defined bass and superb trebles with kids that shine. Very good separation of voice.
Paduak= Some say its sound falls somewhere between Maple and Mahogany. Yet more builders say it is definitely on the rosewood side of things, nice overtones without being overbearing, a little heavier on the mids and bass, like Rosewood is. Short to medium sustain. Punchy with even balance from bass to treble.
These are only two opinions...and who knows..others might not even agree with those two statements above.
However...again..Marcus has a super valid point...and talk with the builder to really define what will work best for yourself. Analyze your playing style. That is another important factor. For my playing style...a certain type of sound works best...and it is usually quite a bit different than other playing styles. My friend was blown away by my newest guitar...and thought it was my best sounding guitar by far...but when he played that did not sound as good with his style as some of my other guitars...for him...but for me it was the opposite...As I am a hard player and he is soft.
All I can say is you are on the right track...ask as many questions as you can..that is what I did...and I got lucky...and it worked for me..Big time.
Anyway...Good luck...and I will dying to know which wood you choose..Please keep us informed on the differences of sound.
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