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  #16  
Old 12-27-2018, 09:26 PM
guitar george guitar george is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChalkLitIScream View Post
You pay thousands extra for the BRW for it's availability. Not for its tone. A BRW guitar won't sound 3k better than the same one with EIR. In fact, I'd argue the opposite. Now that brw is so rare, you're left with the scraps and all the great pieces have likely already been used
I agree with this assessment. It's scarce, so, you pay a lot more for a guitar made of scarce Brazilian rosewood. The tone might be better when compared to some other guitars or it might not be. Paying the big premium isn't any sort of guarantee.
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  #17  
Old 12-27-2018, 09:26 PM
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Hi JW...
I've played for more than 55 yrs, and I own some wonderful guitars. I've played about every guitar I can put my hands on.

The best two guitars I ever played were both Brazilian Rosewood/German Spruce. One was a Somogyi OM and the other a small bodied Sheppard...And both were shown in 2005 at Healdsburg.

It is ALWAYS about the builder, and with high end builders are seemingly able to extract something extra from Brazilian.

I'd gladly fork over 2 grand extra (if I had it) for either of those two.



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  #18  
Old 12-27-2018, 09:27 PM
mmasters mmasters is offline
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In my experience, only about 1 in 3 brazilian rosewood guitars have that magic sound. I would look for a guitar already built with brazilian that has that sound if you're going to pay that much money. Otherwise you're just paying a premium and rolling the dice on whether you'll get a guitar you'll be happy with.
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  #19  
Old 12-27-2018, 11:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChalkLitIScream View Post
You pay thousands extra for the BRW for it's availability. Not for its tone. A BRW guitar won't sound 3k better than the same one with EIR. In fact, I'd argue the opposite. Now that brw is so rare, you're left with the scraps and all the great pieces have likely already been used
Sometimes.
True, it's certainly diminishing returns in terms of the money to tone ratio. (But what isn't like that when you get into its upper echelons?) And yes, there are a number of mediocre BRW sets floating around, but there are also some really nice ones. High quality sets have been salvaged from shipwrecks, reclaimed from old church beams, or produced from unused stock.

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Originally Posted by gitarro View Post
It depends on the quality of the braz that is in question and the ability of the luthier to exploit that tonal potential. But the right set in the right hands can help make an incredible guitar with tonal qualities that you cannot get with any other wood.
^this^
The luthier is key. Not only are they building the instrument, but their experience and reputation is essential--any luthier worth their salt won't use an inferior BRW set simply because it's BRW; they'll reject it because they know an inferior set will make an inferior instrument. But when they have a high quality, it outshines the acoustic properties of other high quality woods. That doesn't mean every guitarist prefers those acoustic properties or that those properties align best with every guitarists style, but in terms of physics BRW has been shown to--on average (individual sets WILL vary)--have superior velocity of sound and resonance to other tonewoods. It's more than just tradition that makes BRW so highly regarded.
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  #20  
Old 12-28-2018, 12:10 AM
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When you play a guitar that,is “the guitar”, you know it. When you play a Brazilian that is “the guitar”, you never forget it.
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  #21  
Old 12-28-2018, 04:47 AM
lowrider lowrider is offline
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Originally Posted by jw3571 View Post
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?
Can you play this guitar right now? Does it sound $2k better than Indian RR?

If you can, then it's up to you. It's your money. If not then the answer is no. If the guitar hasn't been built yet then neither you nor the guitar maker can tell you if the sound that comes out of it is worth another $2k.

Last edited by lowrider; 12-28-2018 at 04:59 AM.
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  #22  
Old 12-28-2018, 04:53 AM
Parlorman Parlorman is offline
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I own several Brazilian Rosewood bodied guitars and have owned quite a few others. The great ones are magical instruments that I would gladly pay a lot of money for. I've also had some that were far from great, including from top builders like Martin and others.

Personally, I would be reluctant to pay a huge premium to have a BRW guitar built - not knowing how it would turn out. However, when I play one of the magical ones, all bets are off.
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  #23  
Old 12-28-2018, 05:02 AM
Steel and wood Steel and wood is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChalkLitIScream View Post
You pay thousands extra for the BRW for it's availability. Not for its tone. A BRW guitar won't sound 3k better than the same one with EIR. In fact, I'd argue the opposite. Now that brw is so rare, you're left with the scraps and all the great pieces have likely already been used

If its just for show or a bucket list, go right ahead. But if you're looking for a nice guitar to play and love, I feel the extra money could go toward better grades of wood, bling, ergonomics (rib and arm bevel), or even a more prestigious builder.
Yep, this. (Doubt there is any discernible tone difference between each of the rosewood species and agree that you are paying a whole lot extra for the Brazilian variety because of its rarity).

Last edited by Steel and wood; 12-28-2018 at 06:35 AM.
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  #24  
Old 12-28-2018, 06:27 AM
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I would suggest that no upgrade/option is worth the money if we're talking math. You just can't make the math work.

I think it comes down to two things:
1. Can you hear an improvement?
2. Is that improvement worth the cost to you?

Once you get to the level of guitar where you're changing the rosewood every difference is going to be quite subtle. And obviously every set of Brazilian is not equal.

Last year I chose between two Lowden's with different woods. I paid $3,000 more for the African Blackwood/sinker Redwood guitar. The other guitar was very nice. The difference in a pure math/percentage sense was relatively small. But for me the difference was between beautiful and exactly the sound my ear was looking for.

I quickly and gladly paid for that sound. I have not had one day's worth of regret. So for me the answer to the two questions was yes and yes.

But there have been plenty of times when the answers were yes and no. It's hard to argue with the heart, and there are times when you simply don't wish to.
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  #25  
Old 12-28-2018, 07:11 AM
Goodallboy Goodallboy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DenverSteve View Post
When you play a guitar that,is “the guitar”, you know it. When you play a Brazilian that is “the guitar”, you never forget it.
You describe my experience better than I did.
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  #26  
Old 12-28-2018, 07:33 AM
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My Taylor 916 has Brazilian and that guitar just rings. I'd compare it to my Olson (with EIR).
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  #27  
Old 12-28-2018, 07:42 AM
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A couple thoughts:

Trying to explain the value to someone about something that falls on the flat portion of the value curve of diminishing returns will always elicit a variety of opinions because the X-axis is is tangible but the Y-axis is based on euphonious perception. To some the answer is “yes” and to others “no”.

My opinion is it is worth it only if 1) a seasoned, quartersawn set is available; 2) you are working with a custom luthier who has experience in integrating the wood into their building paradigm; and 3) you desire a guitar with a full deep bass, and trebles with a glass-like ringing sustain. Some folks are attracted by some aesthetic aspects to boot with some of the figuring that can occur.

Not everyone wants #3, nor is it the best for certain styles of play. For some folks and styles of play, maples or mahoganies can be the cats meow. In too many cases of late, #1 is lacking due to avalability or an unwillingness to pay the premium for the quality set.

African Blackwood, Cocobolo, East Indian Rosewood, Honduran Rosewood, Madagascar Rosewood and Yucatan Rosewood are all fantastic tonewoods, but are all different than Brazilian Rosewood in how they contribute.

My $.02
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  #28  
Old 12-28-2018, 07:46 AM
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It is getting harder to get in good quality anymore but it's not all stump wood either. This stuff was cut in the 1960's



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  #29  
Old 12-28-2018, 08:02 AM
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I've owned one BRW guitar; it was made by a luthier that almost exclusively only used BRW. His sets were first rate and he knew how to use them. It had a wonderful sound. I've gravitated to smaller instruments, so unfortunately I did end up selling it due to its body size and lack of a soundport.

Here's a photo of the Brazilian back/side set that was used:


I would not get a BRW guitar just because it's BRW. If it wasn't a great set (quartersawn and lively), and if it wasn't made by someone that knew how to get the most out of it, I'd have no interest.

For rosewoods, my preference is BRW but I also enjoy denser RW such as Cocobolo and Honduran. But, as others have said the glassy top end is not always what I want. One of my current guitars is made with Pernambuco and the other is Cuban Mahogany. I'd imagine my next, if I get another, will be a 00 body in Honduran Mahogany, but if a magical BRW 00 or OM appears I may need to get it.
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  #30  
Old 12-28-2018, 08:23 AM
J Patrick J Patrick is offline
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...most of the wowza guitars I have played both new and vintage were Brazilian Rosewood....in fact pretty much all of them....yes I have played some Brazilian Rosewood guitars that were not wowza....in fact pretty ordinary....so my conclusion is yes when used on the right guitar...it’s worth it...
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