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Old 10-11-2018, 04:51 PM
Lafayette Lafayette is offline
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Default Pao Ferro

I understand that this a substitute for rosewood. What the characteristics for this wood and is there any verdict on it yet?
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Old 10-11-2018, 05:04 PM
cuthbert cuthbert is offline
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I have a Strat with Pao Ferro fingerboard, that was unusual until few years ago.

It looks somewhat similar to rosewood but in reality it's as hard as ebony to work, even if it has open pores, I would consider it tonally in the mid between these two woods.
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Old 10-11-2018, 05:39 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Lafayette, most of the pau ferro on acoustic guitars that Iíve encountered has been used for fretboards, bridges and headstock veneers. Iím sure that some builders must have used it for guitar backs and sides, but that use isnít nearly as common as for the parts I mentioned.

As a fretboard wood, it feels no different than an Indian rosewood fretboard, at least the times Iíve had a chance to try it. The only guitar Iíve owned that I had pau ferro appointments was a Gibson WM-45 that I bought secondhand, and I didnít even learn that the fretboard wasnít rosewood until about a year after I bought it.

So it looked very rosewood-like, and the fretboard felt like rosewood under my hands, as well.

Hope that makes sense.


Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 10-11-2018, 07:44 PM
mercy mercy is offline
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Pao Ferro, Morado, is not open pore like EI Rosewood that is why I chose it for a strat fingerboard. It feels different to me. Its like having a dark brown maple fingerboard. I had always had EI boards but I got this old style finished maple strat and my playing immediately improved.
As for bodies it is not as efficient as other rosewoods, even EI. Because it looks like rosewood I expect it will be used more but I would choose any of the rosewoods, even EI, over it for a body say if a given builder gave me choices.
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Old 10-12-2018, 04:14 AM
Lafayette Lafayette is offline
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Default Pao Ferro

I was wondering because I saw this ad in a Music Zoo e-mail for a Washburn Revival Series RSG200SWVSK Solo DeLuxe Auditorium Vintage Sunburst implying it was replacing rosewood. Can anything replace rosewoood? Being curious I tried to find a sound demo on youtube, but came up short.

Are their any opinions on employing Pao Ferro for back and sides?
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Old 10-12-2018, 05:29 AM
Lafayette Lafayette is offline
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Default Pao Ferro

A side note of interest, because of the hassles concerning rosewood the Suzuki harmonica company will cease making the Pure Harp model of rosewood and will instead opt for walnut.

Is walnut another substitute for rosewood in guitar construction? If so why haven't we seen more guitars made of walnut?
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Old 10-12-2018, 07:53 AM
cuthbert cuthbert is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafayette View Post
I was wondering because I saw this ad in a Music Zoo e-mail for a Washburn Revival Series RSG200SWVSK Solo DeLuxe Auditorium Vintage Sunburst implying it was replacing rosewood. Can anything replace rosewoood? Being curious I tried to find a sound demo on youtube, but came up short.

Are their any opinions on employing Pao Ferro for back and sides?
Everything. Nothing. It depends by your point of view.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafayette View Post
A side note of interest, because of the hassles concerning rosewood the Suzuki harmonica company will cease making the Pure Harp model of rosewood and will instead opt for walnut.

Is walnut another substitute for rosewood in guitar construction? If so why haven't we seen more guitars made of walnut?
That is a good question not because walnut is a replacement for rosewood but because it's a very good tonewood that for some reasons has never been very popular.
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Old 10-12-2018, 08:46 AM
mercy mercy is offline
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walnut is an uncommitted wood, it sounds neither like mahogany or rosewood. It is beautiful but no sub for rosewood. I think the reason it has not been popular is that guitarists, unlike bassists, are a conservative lot. If it hasnt been done then were not interested. Of course there are exceptions but on the whole.
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:10 AM
jaymarsch jaymarsch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lafayette View Post
I understand that this a substitute for rosewood. What the characteristics for this wood and is there any verdict on it yet?
One of the nicest 00s I have ever played was a Pao Ferro and Italian Spruce guitar by Dana Bourgeois. It definitely sounded in the rosewood ballpark.
It was warm and clear with nice overtone content and a focused sound that 00s can have. I think it is a wood worth checking out in the right hands.

Caveat - it has more to do with the luthier than the woods IMHO.

Best,
Jayne
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:10 AM
alistairm alistairm is offline
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Granadillo is an excellent alternative, in terms of both tone and look. It looks more like BRW than EIR.
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:18 AM
merlin666 merlin666 is offline
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I think that the Blueridge higher end models (MSRP > $1400) switched to Pau Ferro, or Santos Rosewood as they call it. Not sure if related manufacturers like Eastman and Recording King have followed suit, or if they even have models in that class.
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:39 AM
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vindibona1 vindibona1 is offline
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PF, like most woods, seems to have different grades. The better grades can be beautiful. The cheaper grades look... cheap. Obviously PF would be used mainly for fingerboards and headstocks. But unlike electric guitars that have gone to PF for their fingerboards, it would have a different tonal role than perhaps rosewood or ebony as it presents the tonal nodes in the instrument. I don't think I've played any acoustics with PF yet.

With the new proposed CITES regualations of rosewood on finished instruments and parts it will be interesting to see what direction the industry going forward.
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Old 10-12-2018, 02:14 PM
marklm marklm is offline
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I had a Pao Ferro B/S and Engelmann top classical size steel string that was made by Steve Kinnaird. Fabulous fingerstyle guitar, it amazed a lot of my friends who had high end guitars. Very warm sounding, clear trebles that sang, well balanced, etc.The only reason that I sold it was because I had Steve make me a similar size Sinker/Wenge that I currently treasure. Personally, I think that the luthier is the key, because I have played a half dozen S. Kinnairds with all different woods, and they were all warm and excellent. Then again what I love in tone, may not be what the next person loves.
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Old 10-12-2018, 04:18 PM
mercy mercy is offline
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there is is good comparison, Wenge by the same builder sounds better than PF. Though some people might not think so, or think so for their application. Pau is prettier but Wenge has a better reputation.
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Old 10-12-2018, 10:42 PM
DMZ DMZ is offline
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Somewhere around Ď94 Taylor made some limited pau ferro 400s. I remember an artist named Jennifer Knapp loved that guiitar and recorded it. I think Bob Taylor once said in Wood and Steel that it was difficult to work with /glue and is a really toxic dust wood to work around. But as I recall people loved their tone.
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