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Old 07-24-2014, 02:48 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Chugiak, Alaska
Posts: 29,137

It's a good tonewood. The acoustic guitars made from oak I've had a chance to play (all five or six of them) had good trebles, good clarity and volume, but not a lot of overtones. It's not an especially distinctive-sounding tonewood, which is probably why it doesn't have much of a fan base.

I've played one or two 1920's or '30's parlor guitars made by Regal or Harmony that had oak backs and sides that were fairly low end instruments, with ladder bracing, movable bridges and tailpieces, and about twice that many modern oak guitars.

The modern ones were better, but had clearly been built with a lot more care and attention to detail.

If you're considering the purchase of an existing oak guitar and are just wondering what people think of oak as a tonewood, some of us think very highly of it, notably Al Carruth, a guitar builder who happens to love building with it. If you've had a chance to play an oak guitar and like it, by all means take the leap.

If, on the other hand, you're wondering whether to commission a custom guitar made out of oak, you should know going in that it will be difficult to re-sell should you ever decide to. Oak guitars are not particularly sought-after, and whether this is fair is irrelevant, because very few players are clamoring for oak guitars.

If it was me contemplating a purchase, if I'd already played the guitar and really liked it, I wouldn't worry about the resale value. But I don't think I would commission a custom guitar made from oak. I would insist on playing any oak instruments before I'd commit to buying one.

Hope that makes sense.

Wade Hampton Miller
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