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Old 09-22-2021, 02:39 PM
Joel Teel's Avatar
Joel Teel Joel Teel is offline
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Default Question for builders (and also players) regarding Cocobolo.

I’m always thinking about guitars…as I suppose most of you do. Sitting here today contemplating a spec guitar to build in the background, I was looking at a fantastic set of Cocobolo, and trying to decide what I wanted to build with it. It’s big enough to pattern my “Solis” model, which has a 16” lower bout…It’s quartersawn and straight-grained, with a beautifully-homogenous appearance…and is perfectly suited for ???

This is when the question popped into my head…..”I wonder what other builders prefer to do with Cocobolo when all options are on the table?” So, I decided to ask…..

Builders, If you have a Cocobolo back & side set suited to build a guitar of any size…and visually suited to be paired with any imaginable soundboard…what do you usually prefer to build with it?…and why? Up to this point, I’ve paired Cocobolo with Sitka and Carpathian Spruces, as well as Tunnel-14 Redwood…but I’ve only built my “Solis” model, which is my largest guitar. Sonically, I liked the Cocobolo/Tunnel-14 combination best…but visually, it was a pretty dark guitar.

Players, I’m curious about your thoughts also. Do you have a favorite soundboard and size when it comes to playing Cocobolo guitars?

Thanks in advance for your input,
joel
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Last edited by TomB'sox; 09-22-2021 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 09-22-2021, 03:52 PM
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Hi Joel,

I’ve built dreds, OM’s and SJ-ish sized bodies with coco. It’s extremely versatile IME as you can shape the tone from bright to dark quite easily depending on your tonal goals. I’ve paired it with Cedar, Redwood, Lutz, Euro’s and Adi all with excellent results. Probably one of my favorite pairings is with LS Redwood. It makes a great FS guitar and absolute cannons in dreds.
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Old 09-22-2021, 05:05 PM
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I’m no expert, but I’m a player that likes Cocobolo. I chose to have an 0000 size guitar built with Italian/Cocobolo. Here’s the Cocobolo that was used. I love this guitar. I find it rich, deep, wet and warm sounding. That’s what I asked for and that’s what was delivered. I can’t say how much the wood selection determined the tone, but I’m happy with the outcome.

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Old 09-22-2021, 08:10 PM
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Carry on, folks.
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Last edited by Bruce Sexauer; 09-23-2021 at 12:03 PM. Reason: Communication issues
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Old 09-22-2021, 08:18 PM
Aspiring Aspiring is online now
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Joel,

I can comment based on my experience with the John Kinnaird West Coast coco / redwood that was brought back with me from B.I.G. and my alpine spruce / Coco Furch Little Jane.

I have to say that I love the visuals of the redwood / Coco combo (as well as the Alpine)

I don't find it too dark at all in a combo.

I love the tone as well in both instruments. How much that relates to the cocobolo I will leave to the luthiers

I do think the Coco little Jane has a lushness to the tone that my cedar / mahogany did not have and it helps the little body guitar but that the larger body Kinnaird certainly does more to come up with an overall stronger tone so my vote would be to use it on something a little larger.
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Old 09-22-2021, 08:35 PM
Dustinfurlow Dustinfurlow is offline
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My favorite Cocobolo guitars have been smaller, <15.5" wide builds. I gigged with a 15.5" Engelmann/Cocobolo Mayson for a few months last year and got to know it fairly well. While it wasn't the most astounding guitar overall, it behaved alot like the good, $5-20k guitars with Cocobolo that I've demoed at Cedar Rock. (Goodall, Buendia, Gerber, Bourgeois, etc)

I remember hearing John Slobod say in an interview that he felt Cocobolo is the one wood that has a predictable midrange dip, due to the large amount of bass response it can provide and bright treble akin to Brazilian. He made that statement based on his experience with how he voices and with the high quality, straight-grain stuff like shown above but I agree with him pretty much all the way. It's fun for fingerpicking or flat picking but there are some frequency spectrums that can get belittled fairly easy.

All that said, I feel that smaller guitars give some mids back while not letting the bass go crazy and that in the end makes for a guitar that feels more tonally balanced but still rich and powerful, as cocobolo is known for being.

My personal favorite examples have been with Sitka and Lutz tops, which tend to lean a bit more fundamental and not washed out with overtones. Adirondack with Cocobolo seems to eccentuate that mid dip previously mentioned - it can be a good or a bad thing, as with any other tonewood combo choice or maybe better to say "helpful" and "unhelpful" over good/bad.
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  #7  
Old 09-23-2021, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim McKnight View Post
Hi Joel,

I’ve built dreds, OM’s and SJ-ish sized bodies with coco. It’s extremely versatile IME as you can shape the tone from bright to dark quite easily depending on your tonal goals. I’ve paired it with Cedar, Redwood, Lutz, Euro’s and Adi all with excellent results. Probably one of my favorite pairings is with LS Redwood. It makes a great FS guitar and absolute cannons in dreds.
Thanks Tim…I’ve always appreciated your thoughts and insight.

-joel
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000/Concert, Sitka/Brazilian Imbuia

‘17 Two Hands Guitar Co.
0000/Auditorium, Sitka/Indonesian RW

‘93 Taylor 712 (I spent 20 years trying to convince the owner to sell me this guitar)

‘95 Taylor Limited Edition GAWS (I traded my Gibson J-200 for this guitar in ‘95)

TWO HANDS GUITARS
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Old 09-23-2021, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haasome View Post
I’m no expert, but I’m a player that likes Cocobolo. I chose to have an 0000 size guitar built with Italian/Cocobolo. Here’s the Cocobolo that was used. I love this guitar. I find it rich, deep, wet and warm sounding. That’s what I asked for and that’s what was delivered. I can’t say how much the wood selection determined the tone, but I’m happy with the outcome.

Hi Paul,
That’s some beautiful Cocobolo…I’m glad you’re pleased with the guitar that it turned into.

-joel
__________________
‘17 Two Hands Guitar Co.
000/Concert, Sitka/Brazilian Imbuia

‘17 Two Hands Guitar Co.
0000/Auditorium, Sitka/Indonesian RW

‘93 Taylor 712 (I spent 20 years trying to convince the owner to sell me this guitar)

‘95 Taylor Limited Edition GAWS (I traded my Gibson J-200 for this guitar in ‘95)

TWO HANDS GUITARS
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  #9  
Old 09-23-2021, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aspiring View Post
Joel,

I can comment based on my experience with the John Kinnaird West Coast coco / redwood that was brought back with me from B.I.G. and my alpine spruce / Coco Furch Little Jane.

I have to say that I love the visuals of the redwood / Coco combo (as well as the Alpine)

I don't find it too dark at all in a combo.

I love the tone as well in both instruments. How much that relates to the cocobolo I will leave to the luthiers

I do think the Coco little Jane has a lushness to the tone that my cedar / mahogany did not have and it helps the little body guitar but that the larger body Kinnaird certainly does more to come up with an overall stronger tone so my vote would be to use it on something a little larger.
Hello again Aspiring…when we talked at BIG, I had no idea you lived in Seattle. My sister and her family have lived there for a very long time, and I’ve enjoyed visiting on many occasions. It’s one of my favorite places, though it’s been almost 20 years since the last time I visited. Congratulations on your new Kinnaird…John did a stellar job with it.

-joel
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‘17 Two Hands Guitar Co.
000/Concert, Sitka/Brazilian Imbuia

‘17 Two Hands Guitar Co.
0000/Auditorium, Sitka/Indonesian RW

‘93 Taylor 712 (I spent 20 years trying to convince the owner to sell me this guitar)

‘95 Taylor Limited Edition GAWS (I traded my Gibson J-200 for this guitar in ‘95)

TWO HANDS GUITARS
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Old 09-23-2021, 08:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustinfurlow View Post
My favorite Cocobolo guitars have been smaller, <15.5" wide builds. I gigged with a 15.5" Engelmann/Cocobolo Mayson for a few months last year and got to know it fairly well. While it wasn't the most astounding guitar overall, it behaved alot like the good, $5-20k guitars with Cocobolo that I've demoed at Cedar Rock. (Goodall, Buendia, Gerber, Bourgeois, etc)

I remember hearing John Slobod say in an interview that he felt Cocobolo is the one wood that has a predictable midrange dip, due to the large amount of bass response it can provide and bright treble akin to Brazilian. He made that statement based on his experience with how he voices and with the high quality, straight-grain stuff like shown above but I agree with him pretty much all the way. It's fun for fingerpicking or flat picking but there are some frequency spectrums that can get belittled fairly easy.

All that said, I feel that smaller guitars give some mids back while not letting the bass go crazy and that in the end makes for a guitar that feels more tonally balanced but still rich and powerful, as cocobolo is known for being.

My personal favorite examples have been with Sitka and Lutz tops, which tend to lean a bit more fundamental and not washed out with overtones. Adirondack with Cocobolo seems to eccentuate that mid dip previously mentioned - it can be a good or a bad thing, as with any other tonewood combo choice or maybe better to say "helpful" and "unhelpful" over good/bad.
Dustin,
Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts…you were quite insightful.

-joel
__________________
‘17 Two Hands Guitar Co.
000/Concert, Sitka/Brazilian Imbuia

‘17 Two Hands Guitar Co.
0000/Auditorium, Sitka/Indonesian RW

‘93 Taylor 712 (I spent 20 years trying to convince the owner to sell me this guitar)

‘95 Taylor Limited Edition GAWS (I traded my Gibson J-200 for this guitar in ‘95)

TWO HANDS GUITARS

Last edited by Joel Teel; 09-23-2021 at 08:44 AM.
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  #11  
Old 09-23-2021, 08:40 AM
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abcdefghij
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‘17 Two Hands Guitar Co.
000/Concert, Sitka/Brazilian Imbuia

‘17 Two Hands Guitar Co.
0000/Auditorium, Sitka/Indonesian RW

‘93 Taylor 712 (I spent 20 years trying to convince the owner to sell me this guitar)

‘95 Taylor Limited Edition GAWS (I traded my Gibson J-200 for this guitar in ‘95)

TWO HANDS GUITARS

Last edited by Joel Teel; 09-23-2021 at 10:51 AM.
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  #12  
Old 09-23-2021, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
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abcdefghij
You forgot ... klmnopqrstuvwxyz
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Old 09-23-2021, 02:54 PM
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My only experience with Coco is on my Wilborn Arum which has a Tunnel 14 troll top. Huge sound and tone that goes above and beyond that of most 14" guitars. I wouldn't hesitate to use redwood with cocobolo again...
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Old 09-23-2021, 04:03 PM
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As above.....my Doerr is Cocobolo/Lucky Strike Redwood.....lower bout is 15.5.

Ahead of the build, Tom described this combo as "magical"....no question he was right on the money. Big sound, and wonderful tone.
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  #15  
Old 09-23-2021, 04:24 PM
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Gotta give this thread a bump. Needless to say, I'm a huge fan of Cocobolo. I like the rich, dark sound and beauty it brings.

Great thread!
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