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  #16  
Old 08-22-2017, 10:35 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Tippy, I've played quite a few more Macassar ebony guitars than I have instruments made from African ebony, and to me there's really no comparison: I've vastly preferred the Macassar ebony instruments every time. I think black African ebony is great for fretboards, bridges and headstock veneers, but Macassar ebony is considerably more versatile when used for backs and sides.

I've never played an African ebony guitar that I wanted to own, but I've never played a Macassar ebony guitar that I DIDN'T want to own. Macassar ebony is a truly great tonewood. African ebony, in my limited experience with it, most definitely has not been.


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  #17  
Old 08-22-2017, 11:44 PM
TKT TKT is offline
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Just got a Maccassar back and sides, Sitka top concert. It's got 80/20 Elixirs on it, which worried me until they started to settle, it was so brash, almost harsh, and thin sounding, and I was pretty bummed. I was going to change them out but figured I might as well just play it a few weeks first, and get to know it. And it had suffered a cross country trip, but it seems to be recovering.

Every day now it's a little better, I think it might also have been a little too humidified. Now it's getting nice clear and crisp notes, much more sustain and volume, and it has great projection, it really can be loud, louder even than my big voiced EIR "parlor" that's not much smaller. Yet responds great to finesse. Also developing more natural reverb, which is why I think it was a little damp. It's 5" deep at the lower bout so it has a lot of space for bottom end.

Not quite the sustain of my smaller rosewood, nor the complexity of the overtones, but nicely balanced string to string. I do want to put a different string on it sooner rather than later, and would welcome any suggestions from owners.

I had wanted a Macassar guitar for a few years, but waited until one caught my eye. Had to stretch a lot for it, but so far looks like it's going to be my alpha guitar in my standard scales.
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  #18  
Old 08-23-2017, 12:13 AM
tippy5 tippy5 is offline
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Thank you Wade for the reminder of the different species. I wonder how many ebony tone wood species there are?

TKT, Keep playing that. Glad to hear you are opening up the new beauty. Mine sounds better after the first year. It is a marvel to have this caliber, and such a different flavor, of tone.
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  #19  
Old 08-23-2017, 12:52 AM
Johan Madsen Johan Madsen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commonbird View Post
Thanks, that sounds good.

Any mainstream/cheaper manufacturers making those?
You'll find some macassar ebony Taylor, but as stated by Wade macassar ebony sounds probably pretty different to this , I don't know exactly what kind of ebony it is on the video but it looks and seems to sound more like african ebony than macassar in my opinion. I've never heard about Furch using macassar.
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  #20  
Old 08-23-2017, 02:17 AM
BluesKing777 BluesKing777 is offline
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I just did a quick recording of the Cargill mentioned earlier with a Neumann KM184 to mixer and iMac.

No excuse but I have a really sore thumb but wanted to show a few strums. The guitar is currently in CGCFGC and here is a slow sort of track complete with the heavy rain outside my window and a frog calling!:

https://soundcloud.com/bk7-3/sadgad777



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  #21  
Old 08-23-2017, 05:20 AM
Johan Madsen Johan Madsen is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesKing777 View Post
I just did a quick recording of the Cargill mentioned earlier with a Neumann KM184 to mixer and iMac.

No excuse but I have a really sore thumb but wanted to show a few strums. The guitar is currently in CGCFGC and here is a slow sort of track complete with the heavy rain outside my window and a frog calling!:

https://soundcloud.com/bk7-3/sadgad777



BluesKing777.
It sounds pretty dry and full, but I don't have much experience with atchtop. But it does look beautiful!
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  #22  
Old 08-23-2017, 11:29 AM
Johan Madsen Johan Madsen is offline
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Originally Posted by CodeBlueEMT View Post
I own a 2013 Taylor 616ce Spring Limited (African Ebony/Euro Spruce). It's a great guitar, especially for fingerstyle. A lush piano-like tone. Doesn't handle aggressive strumming very well.

Good luck finding one to play.
Is it too dark sounding for aggressive strumming ?
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  #23  
Old 08-23-2017, 03:53 PM
CodeBlueEMT CodeBlueEMT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johan Madsen View Post
Is it too dark sounding for aggressive strumming ?
Not too dark, but it can get muddy. Get on it aggressively and the notes tend to walk over each other. It lacks the snap other tonewoods have for aggressive strumming.
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  #24  
Old 02-20-2019, 12:53 PM
paulr1 paulr1 is offline
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Default Taylor 2013 616CE Limited Edition African Ebony

Sorry, but I couldn't disagree more with the postings on this thread!! Even though its an old thread I couldn't let the comments go.

Some background. African Ebony is typically only used for fretboards and small items as it is very hard to come by, if at all, in sizes big enough for B&S. In 2013 Taylor released a limited edition for the 614/616 model and only 99 616 were made out of the 300 planned.

They then substituted Macassar Ebony and while many people said that Taylor substituted a more expensive wood, Taylor stated that it wasn't the case. You can verify this on Taylors website.

You can find more info on the sound of the Taylor 2013 Ltd 616/614 on Youtube the links that were provided. Taylor provided a great description of the sound etc on their website:

https://www.taylorguitars.com/guitar...ns/spring-2013

"Compared to the Macassar ebony we’ve used in the past, this species — the same African ebony we use for fretboards and bridges — has a higher density, which translates into subtle tonal differences. “Tonally, it shares a little of Macassar’s low-end damping factor,” says Taylor master luthier Andy Powers. “Macassar has a pretty clear sound, while also being fairly overtone-heavy. This African ebony has a really rich, ringing character with a linear quality across the tonal spectrum.”

These 2013 Ltd African Ebony guitars compare very well with the PRS Affican Ebony at 1/2 to 1/3 the price. Keep in mind that you can't even get a custom guitar made with African Ebony B&S as there are no trees that big to provide the wood. So these guitars are not only rare but you won't be able to get a custom made one due to the rarity of the wood size.

Personally, I fell in love with the tone. I had a Martin Andy Summers edition that was beautiful both visually and sonically and was ready to get a Taylor 814 back in 2013. I would go to the local guitar shop (Guitar Showcase, SJ CA) and play the 2013 limited 616 and compare it with the Martins and Taylors etc they had and always came back to the 616 as the larger body and tone was incredible to my ears.

As a flat picker but also a hard rock style player I found the richness and ability to project with the 616 body. Definitly a guitar that can be played on stage with out an amp. All of my fellow players gravitate towards my African Ebony or its tone and they are mainly electric guitar players or have Takamine acoustics etc. They did not know anything about the wood or the guitar but were intrigued to play it and immediately noticed the tonal qualities.

Some people claim it doesn't have the response or attack like maple or their Takamine but I found it was a matter of learning how to play it to get the most from the guitar. Of course I prefer to let the richness ring out and let the notes fade to really hear the beuty of the sound.

So having owned and played the guitar over the last ~6years and comparing it to other guitars that I play at stores or friends, I keep coming back to the African Ebony. Thats my 0.02

Paul
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