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  #16  
Old 05-14-2018, 09:47 AM
L20A L20A is offline
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Originally Posted by ALBD View Post
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.
My band mate has a Martin D-18 and a Martin D-28.
Both have Adirondack tops.
The above quote is spot on with these two guitars.
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  #17  
Old 05-14-2018, 10:45 AM
Alan Carruth Alan Carruth is offline
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I, too, have treid to make 'matched' guitars several times. I started with wood that was cut 'in flitch' for all the parts. The measured properties of the pieces were well within experimenntal error. Thicknesses and weights were controlled tightly. All the resonant frequencies of the 'free' plates were within a couple of Hz for the lower modes, and the mode shapes matched closely. The assembled modes were nearly identical. On the latest pair, the output spectra were so well matched up to 1000 Hz that one of my students remarked that if they were electronic amplifiers you'd have called them 'identical' They still sounded different in blind tests: not much different, mind you, but people can pick them out.

There's a lot of overlap in properties between different wood species. It's possible to find mahogany that is as hard and dense, and has damping as low, as some Indian rosewood. I'd guess that a guitar made with mahogany like that would have a 'rosewoody' sound, and might well be mistaken for rosewood in a blind test.

In factory production they design around the 'average' properties of the wooods used, and work all of the parts to the same specs. There's a fair amount of variation in the tone of the completed guitars, reflecting the variation in properties of the materials that went into them. The 'average' mahogany guitar will sound different from the 'average' rosewood one because of the difference in the average properties, but you might find some overlap. A hand maker will often vary the way the guitars are built to take advantage of or compensate for the differecnes in properties of the wood, both as to species and within species They will also often know some 'luthier tricks' that can move the tone to be more or less like that of another wood. Thus descriptions of the tone of different wood species are more likely to apply to factory instruments than hand made ones.

Obviously the best way to get the sound you want is to play a lot of guitars, and buy the one that works for you. You can't do that with a custom build, of course. In that case, find a builder who makes guitars you like, tell them what you want, and let them make it. It's always hard to describe sound, of course, and this won't always work. Still, an experineced maker who's already good at making the sort of sound you want should be able to come very close without too much trouble.
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Old 05-14-2018, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Alan Carruth View Post
I, too, have treid to make 'matched' guitars several times. I started with wood that was cut 'in flitch' for all the parts. The measured properties of the pieces were well within experimenntal error. Thicknesses and weights were controlled tightly. All the resonant frequencies of the 'free' plates were within a couple of Hz for the lower modes, and the mode shapes matched closely. The assembled modes were nearly identical. On the latest pair, the output spectra were so well matched up to 1000 Hz that one of my students remarked that if they were electronic amplifiers you'd have called them 'identical' They still sounded different in blind tests: not much different, mind you, but people can pick them out.

There's a lot of overlap in properties between different wood species. It's possible to find mahogany that is as hard and dense, and has damping as low, as some Indian rosewood. I'd guess that a guitar made with mahogany like that would have a 'rosewoody' sound, and might well be mistaken for rosewood in a blind test.

In factory production they design around the 'average' properties of the wooods used, and work all of the parts to the same specs. There's a fair amount of variation in the tone of the completed guitars, reflecting the variation in properties of the materials that went into them. The 'average' mahogany guitar will sound different from the 'average' rosewood one because of the difference in the average properties, but you might find some overlap. A hand maker will often vary the way the guitars are built to take advantage of or compensate for the differecnes in properties of the wood, both as to species and within species They will also often know some 'luthier tricks' that can move the tone to be more or less like that of another wood. Thus descriptions of the tone of different wood species are more likely to apply to factory instruments than hand made ones.

Obviously the best way to get the sound you want is to play a lot of guitars, and buy the one that works for you. You can't do that with a custom build, of course. In that case, find a builder who makes guitars you like, tell them what you want, and let them make it. It's always hard to describe sound, of course, and this won't always work. Still, an experineced maker who's already good at making the sort of sound you want should be able to come very close without too much trouble.

Alan,

Your experience above is consistent with what I hear with guitars I own and no doubt a skilled luthier can work with the build process to bring two different tonewoods closer to each other sonically. It’s hard for me to hear significant differences in the rosewood b/s and mahogany b/s 12 fret dreads Silly Moustache offered. I am going through the process you suggest with the builder I am talking to. He is asking me what I like the most tonally about the guitars I currently own and play and that is something that takes some effort to put into words.

Thanks for the insightful response.

Bob
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  #19  
Old 05-14-2018, 11:47 AM
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it's my experience that string choice AND players 'tone'- with the music in full flow would all but over ride much of the subtleties ascribed to different b/s wood so if it's a 'good' sounding-guitar / strings and played with a nice touch - it's most likely u'll hear just that and NOT the odd / even % of harmonic partial differences between these two timbers.
Who knows - ya might hear 'The Music'
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  #20  
Old 05-14-2018, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by westman View Post
it's my experience that string choice AND players 'tone'- with the music in full flow would all but over ride much of the subtleties ascribed to different b/s wood so if it's a 'good' sounding-guitar / strings and played with a nice touch - it's most likely u'll hear just that and NOT the odd / even % of harmonic partial differences between these two timbers.
Who knows - ya might hear 'The Music'
I think as my experience as a player grows, my ability to hear the differences gets better because I understand what I am listening for better. In my original post, I was wondering if a specific top wood (the adirondack I called out) would also be a significant factor but I do not think it really is.

Picks, strings, player style are HUGE. Every time I hear someone say a Taylor (for example) is too bright, I think that could be addressed to a large degree with string and pick selection.
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  #21  
Old 05-14-2018, 10:44 PM
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"Other than BS"?

Gee, that seems kind of cynical .....
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  #22  
Old 05-15-2018, 06:29 AM
Tony Burns Tony Burns is offline
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IMO you should talk to the luthier your considering your build with
he/she if they are a highly qualified ( have made alot of guitars and have a great reputation ) will know what wood they prefer for the description of the sound you want . Some builders will make a guitar more Martinesgue or Gibson like for Example - or build you a guitar with their unique sound .
By the way all posts have a little B/S -thats life.
asking anyone exactly which wood is best for the sound you describe is a imperfect senario.
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  #23  
Old 05-15-2018, 06:55 AM
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There's no way to predict what one guitar being built will sound like. There's less ways to pre-determine what two guitars similar but with different woods will sound like. For me the only way is to A/B them side-by-side and pick the one that sounds best to you.
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  #24  
Old 05-15-2018, 12:19 PM
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For the sake of this hypothetical discussion, I tend to equate them to the classic solidbody recipes for tone:

- The Rosewood one would sound like a Fender Strat through a Fender amp with Reverb - clean, crisp highs, clear lows and, well, reverb!

- The Mahogany one would sound like a Gibson Les Paul played through a Marshall with no reverb - more mids, more compression, and no after-ring.

That's how I think about it.
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  #25  
Old 02-19-2019, 11:55 PM
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I agree with most here that the mahogany has a bite to it, more highs, a better rock and roll acoustic guitar IMO, than Rosewood, which is richer, fatter and kind of hovers in place.
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  #26  
Old 02-20-2019, 05:55 AM
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I can't hear anything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  #27  
Old 02-20-2019, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
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.


Wade Hampton Miller
No Wade, it doesn't. I have played the D-18 and the D-28 and I found the D-18 had more bass than the D-28. Is that what you are saying in your post why you have the D-18?
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  #28  
Old 02-20-2019, 12:31 PM
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No Wade, it doesn't. I have played the D-18 and the D-28 and I found the D-18 had more bass than the D-28. Is that what you are saying in your post why you have the D-18?
You should read Wade’s post again. He’s saying rosewood made more sense for him for a good low end on smaller body guitars (OM, 00, 000) and mahogany for larger bodies (dreadnaught). Makes sense to me but for you, YMMV.
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  #29  
Old 02-20-2019, 07:46 PM
Johan Madsen Johan Madsen 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.

Rosewood will provide a darker kind of tone , more overtones and “reverb” kind of effect, stronger bass, more scooped mids, and slightly metallic kind of trebles.
Mahogany will have an overall woodier and warmer kind of tone , dryer and more direct sounding, less overtones and IMO more balanced overall tone. I would go for the mahogany one but that’s just me, it also depends on the kind of music you play.
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  #30  
Old 02-20-2019, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by SprintBob View Post
You should read Wade’s post again. He’s saying rosewood made more sense for him for a good low end on smaller body guitars (OM, 00, 000) and mahogany for larger bodies (dreadnaught). Makes sense to me but for you, YMMV.
Perhaps, but I would like to hear Wade's response. No disrespect to you, Bob. I always like to get it from the horse's mouth, so to speak. BTW, what does YMMV stand for?
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