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Old 05-13-2018, 08:31 PM
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SprintBob SprintBob is offline
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Default Two Identical Guitars other than B/S, what do you hear?

Two identical guitars from same luthier, 000 size, 12 fret short scale.

Both have Adirondack tops.
One has mahogany back and sides.
One has rosewood back and sides.

How would you best describe the primary sonic difference(s) you will hear between the two.

Thanks for looking and your response.
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Old 05-13-2018, 09:06 PM
ALBD ALBD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SprintBob View Post
Two identical guitars from same luthier, 000 size, 12 fret short scale.

Both have Adirondack tops.
One has mahogany back and sides.
One has rosewood back and sides.

How would you best describe the primary sonic difference(s) you will hear between the two.

Thanks for looking and your response.
All things being identical the rosewood will be more blended and resonant. Generally, mahogany will have more note separation/articulation with a little less sustain and resonance. My personal pref would be the latter.
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Old 05-13-2018, 09:15 PM
Willie Voltaire Willie Voltaire is offline
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You just can't isolate any single variable and say with any certainty how it affects tone or to what degree. There's no such thing as "two identical guitars."

But to play the game, I'll say that rosewood tends to be more overtone-rich, while mahogany tends to more strongly emphasize the fundamental note. Rosewood also tends to be (or seem) louder, with more "scooped" mids, while mahogany is often more midrange-forward. But there will be many exceptions to these tendencies, depending on myriad other factors, including the individual pieces of wood you're listening to.
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Old 05-13-2018, 09:18 PM
gitarro gitarro is offline
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Unfortunately there is no such thing as 2 identical guitars. Even 2 guitars built from woods cut from the sane trees will sound different frlm each other.
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Old 05-13-2018, 09:31 PM
mcduffnw mcduffnw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie Voltaire View Post
You just can't isolate any single variable and say with any certainty how it affects tone or to what degree. There's no such thing as "two identical guitars."

But to play the game, I'll say that rosewood tends to be more overtone-rich, while mahogany tends to more strongly emphasize the fundamental note. Rosewood also tends to be (or seem) louder, with resonant lows, sparkling trebles and more scooped mids, while mahogany is often more midrange-focused. But there will be many exceptions to these tendencies, depending on myriad other factors, including the individual pieces of wood you're listening to.
This^^^Mr. Voltaire speaks the truth!!!

Willie is...IMO...right on in his tonal descriptions of the possible differences you MIGHT hear between Rosewood and Mahogany guitars of the same body style and top wood. I might add that too me, Rosewood tends to have a more reverby...wetter...sound, and Mahogany a clearer...dryer...sound. BUT, I have heard both of these tonewood combos have the exact opposite sound of what I just described as "typical"

BUT...as he points out...the differences are ONLY potential differences, and you may hear them...or not...depending on how each guitars soundbox...the top/back/sides and all the bracing...links up and works together as a unit.

Try to avoid going to listen to these guitars with any...or too many...pre-conceived notions about what you are going to hear.

Just hear what you will, and go off of that.

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Old 05-13-2018, 09:49 PM
redir redir is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gitarro View Post
Unfortunately there is no such thing as 2 identical guitars. Even 2 guitars built from woods cut from the sane trees will sound different frlm each other.
And in fact I did just that. Two guitars built from tops and sides cut off in succession from the same logs. Same bracing as best as I could come close too, same dimensions, same thicknesses, same scale length, same woods all round, same.....

Different sound...

They both sounded like guitars and in fact sounded like guitars that were in the same 'family'. In this case an 000 family of guitars. But, they clearly had different tones. Was one better then the other? Beauty is in the ear of the beholder.
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Old 05-13-2018, 10:30 PM
tadol tadol is offline
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Generally - mahogany will be a little more fundamental and a little more midrange bump, rosewood will be more richer in overtones with a more midrange scoop. But so much of that depends on the particular wood, and how its all built and braced.
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Old 05-13-2018, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tadol View Post
Generally - mahogany will be a little more fundamental and a little more midrange bump, rosewood will be more richer in overtones with a more midrange scoop. But so much of that depends on the particular wood, and how its all built and braced.
I have a guitar with rosewood back and sides and a guitar with mahogany back and sides and although they are different builders and dimensions this is a very good general view.
Short but precise, nice one tadol.
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Old 05-13-2018, 11:04 PM
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Thanks - I got lucky that maple wasnít included as an option -
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Old 05-13-2018, 11:12 PM
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Thanks - I got lucky that maple wasn’t included as an option -
Just so happens I also have a guitar with maple back and sides and if rosewood has a 'dished' tone then mahogany must be 'domed' and maple is pretty much a flat straight line.

BTW .. they're all good.
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Old 05-13-2018, 11:17 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Just to add to what's already been posted, rosewood will typically give you more bass response, as well.

For me this is a benefit in Triple O, Double O and other smallbody guitars, more of a hassle and more of a problem with dreadnought guitars and larger. In those sizes, the size of the body cavity alone gives you a lot of bass already, and so having rosewood back and sides boosting the bass response even further can create EQ problems onstage.

Naturally, there are all sorts of workarounds available, and it's simply a matter of personal preference for me. But it's no accident that I own a mahogany Martin D-18 and not a rosewood HD-28.

Hope that makes sense.


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Old 05-14-2018, 02:22 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Back in 2013, I made the following comparison between two Collings guitars , one with EIR and the other with Mahogany.



There are some other comparisons of similr guitars with slight wood dffernces on my channel.
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Old 05-14-2018, 05:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post
Back in 2013, I made the following comparison between two Collings guitars , one with EIR and the other with Mahogany.



There are some other comparisons of similr guitars with slight wood dffernces on my channel.
It is very hard to hear any difference between those two excellent guitars. The bass did not sound boomy or muddy at all on the DS2H and I focused on trying to hear any kind of loss of midís compared to the DS1 and again if itís there, itís extremely subtle.

Thanks to all for the responses so far. The question is hypothetical in that itís hypothetical to build two identical guitars that other than the top woods, all else is exactly the same. It makes a lot of sense that if building a smaller body guitar, the bass response of the rosewood guitar would be a plus. Iím a big fan of adirondack tops as I really like the harmonic high overtones for solo fingerstyle playing and I wondered if mahogany or rosewood would interact differently with that top versus a sitka top. Perhaps not.

To turn the conversation a bit, how do you think a ziricote B/S would sound in the same comparison? Iíve been listening to a lot of videos of ziricote B/S guitars and like what I hear.

Iím doing research for a commissioning of a custom guitar, thus the questions and again very appreciated.
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Old 05-14-2018, 06:47 AM
musicman1951 musicman1951 is offline
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I agree with the universal agreement on the generally found differences between the two woods.

Certainly part of your choice has to be based on the kind of music you like to play. As a mostly fingerstyle player who lives for sustain, for me the rosewood would be an easy choice.
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Old 05-14-2018, 07:51 AM
Oldguy64 Oldguy64 is offline
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I’ll have to agree that no two guitars are the same.
I have two Alvarez cutaway dreads.
Both have solid Spruce tops and Rosewood back and sides.
One is all solid, one is laminate b/s.
They are both warm and extremely responsive.
But the laminate backed guitar is “Jane Mansfield” bold, beautiful, and downright “voluptuous” tone.
The all solid guitar is “Mariska Hargitay”. Same boldness, same beauty due to shared DNA, not quite as voluptuous in tone. Not at all hard on the ears.

My Sapele backed guitar, also a Dread, is more responsive in some ways.
I believe it is the better guitar for plugged in work, as it doesn’t do the crazy overtones that the others do. But if the Rosewood guitars are Jayne and Mariska, this one is “Heather Thomas”. Bolder, brasher, and a little more “in your face” tonewise.

But it’s also a different maker and that will account for a lot of the difference.
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