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  #16  
Old 06-04-2023, 09:45 AM
Ralph124C41 Ralph124C41 is offline
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Originally Posted by FingahPickah View Post
Guilds tend to be heavier. I own a '73 dread and an '87 jumbo 12. Noticeably heavier than all of my other guitars, but "quiet" they are not.

The Guild D55 (Flag Ship Dread) was/is a serious Martin D45 sonic competitor. There may be other reasons yours seems quiet - i.e., over-humidified, strings, etc .

If you haven't already - try a set of Medium or Bluegrass gauge strings. I prefer phos-bronze or 80/20 depending on the guitar.. Some players say Ernie Ball Aluminum Bronze tend to produce the most volume.
I realize we are straying off the topic but that guitar to this day stumps me. Strings were always 13s D'Addario EJ-17s and it wasn't over humidified. I had a known luthier check it for loose braces, etc. As for loud strings, as i have posted, I have found the ABs to be the loudest strings I've played. I've bought four sets of mediums for $5 each at clearance at a local store and I may go back there to buy two sets of light mediums at the same price I think.

However that D-55 did sound and play great but I think my Hawaiian gigging shirt was louder than my guitar. LOL
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  #17  
Old 06-04-2023, 09:58 AM
FingahPickah FingahPickah is offline
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Originally Posted by Ralph124C41 View Post
... but I think my Hawaiian gigging shirt was louder than my guitar. LOL
HAHAHAHA ! Classic!!!
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  #18  
Old 06-04-2023, 11:15 AM
Jack_9 Jack_9 is offline
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Maybe too thick of a finish on your D55, I have a M20V that is an HD-28V knock off and it just sounds compressed and thin for having all solid woods. Its definitely lacks something compared to my Martin HD-28 special, a lack of liveliness so to speak.
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  #19  
Old 06-04-2023, 08:32 PM
The Bard Rocks The Bard Rocks is offline
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If you talk to enough folks, the vote will inform you that Englemann is indeed quieter. it has it's own thing going on, but there are many, many exceptions, and each instrument you play must be judged on it's own merits. Keep in mind you are buying one guitar, not hundreds.
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  #20  
Old 06-04-2023, 08:57 PM
RussL30 RussL30 is offline
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I think all spruce is just dependent on the individual piece.

I used to have an Engelman Taylor 710 that was a really loud and bold strummer. I also now have an Engelman/Koa Taylor GC and it has really good volume for a short scale and small body.

Of course people on forums say that cedar isnít good for strumming, but my loudest guitar is cedar topped.
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  #21  
Old 06-05-2023, 10:36 AM
SRL SRL is offline
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On everage, softer woods like Cedar and Engelmann and Redwood are going to be a bit quieter, due to a lower stiffness/weight ratio than stuff like sitka or red spruce.

But it really depends on the piece of wood. If you have a really nice tight-grained cut of Engelmann, or some old-growth redwood or high-altitiude cedar, they can easily approach the same strength/weight ratios as the spruces, allowing the builder to make a really loud guitar.

If the stiffness of the wood isn't there, then it needs more bracing or to be planed on the thicker side so achieve the same stiffness to counteract the string tension, and so you have more mass on the top and a quieter guitar.

I'd also caution about the "break in time" because on any of these woods, a brand new guitar is going to have more moisture in the top and braces and seem quieter than a 5yo or 10yo guitar that has dried out a bit and has less mass in the top.
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  #22  
Old 06-05-2023, 10:56 AM
zuzu zuzu is offline
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I fairly recently got a Yamaha LL6m with the Englemann top that sounds very good, but I thought did not have the sheer volume of my Guild D120 all hog, which happens to be quite a loud guitar. But I have been working through different string sets and trying different picks on the Yamaha, and it is looking like what I suspected was a high response, low head room tendency from it may actually have been the string/pick combo and my own lack of finesse in handling the very responsive top. I am starting to gel with the thing now.

Since Sunday week ago, I have played the guitar with my usual others on three occasions, Wednesday with a Dunlop Max Grip Nylon .88, Friday, the same in 1.14, and Sunday with a Dunlop Primetone 1.5, the smaller triangle with dull points, playing the thickest point. Received no feedback from my fellow musicians, all of whom have heard this guitar before, until Sunday. Playing at Sunday morning service, both singers (across the keyboard and bass player from my station) mentioned, unprompted, that they could hear the guitar live as well as in the monitors, and they liked hearing it that way.

Not sure if that is volume or projection, but I am sure I have achieved the desired effect, and am happy that I didn't just say "Well, Englemann isn't for me" or some such and put that guitar aside. We all know each acoustic guitar is different from any other, and the various top wood selections have different properties individually and collectively. That is a lot of variables!

Considering all that, I would encourage you to be adaptable within your style, and open to trying things with a certain guitar that may be a bit out of your comfort zone with any other. It may be that an instrument that fails to meet some of your preferences may nonetheless provide unanticipated rewards if you work with it a bit.
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  #23  
Old 06-05-2023, 01:15 PM
Alan Carruth Alan Carruth is offline
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SRL wrote:
"On everage, softer woods like Cedar and Engelmann and Redwood are going to be a bit quieter, due to a lower stiffness/weight ratio than stuff like sitka or red spruce."

Two points:

Stiffness to weight ratio is not really a material property. A 2x4 lying on it's wide side is nowhere near as stiff as the same 2x4 standing on it's narrow side, even though it's the same piece of wood. You have to take the structure into account.

With a material you can measure the 'Young's modulus' (abbreviated as 'E'): how hard it is to stretch a given size piece. Then, if you know, say, what size beam you're going to make out of it, you can predict the stiffness, or you can design a beam to have the stiffness you need with that piece of wood. So what counts is the relationship between the Young's modulus and the density. A given size pieces of wood, of course, tends to be stiffer along the grain than across it: E along the grain is higher than E across the grain.

Cross grain E values on softwoods, such as spruces, vary a lot depending on how the wood was cut from the tree. The E value is highest if the annual ring lines are exactly perpendicular to the surface ('perfectly quartered'). The difference can be astonishing: well quartered wood can be more than ten times as stiff across the grain as wood with the ring lines at 45 degrees. This doesn't seem to contribute much to a guitar top structurally, but it's important acoustically.

Long grain E values actually track the density pretty well in softwoods: if you know the density you can predict the long grain E value within 10% about 60% of the time. The same relation holds for all softwoods I've measured: all of the spruces, White pine, hemlock, fir, Western red cedar, redwood, and a bunch of others.

There is also an average difference in density between the various species. Just looking at the 'usual suspects' Western red cedar is least dense on average, Engelmann a bit denser, then Euro, Sitka, Redwood, and Red ('Adirondack') spruce. However, there's also a wide range of density variation within a species. I've seen some Engelmann spruce that was as dense as any Red or Sitka, and some that was down close to the average for WRC. So far the densest piece of spruce I've looked at was European, and about 300-400 years old.

Second point:

Remember that 2x4 on it's side? You can make a low density piece of top wood with a low E value as stiff as you need it to be by just making it thicker. As it turns out, the way this works means that at a given stiffness the lower density top (say, WRC) will weigh less than the higher density one (say, Adirondack). The lighter top is easier for the strings to drive, and can make more sound, all else equal. 'Loudness' and 'power' are different things, of course...

Now, if you make that low density WRC top as thin as you would a higher density Adirondack one, the cedar top won't sound the same. It also might not be stiff enough to hold up over the long term.

Long story short; tops have to be worked differently to get the best out of them. Factories can't do that. It's quite possible to make a loud guitar with lots of headroom using a WRC top, but you have to work it right. You're unlikely to hear one out of a factory, and even most luthiers don't go for that very often, but that doesn't mean it can't be done. Whether any particular individual will actually hear the resulting instrument as 'louder' will depend, in part, on how it's presented. We do tend to hear what we expect to hear, which is why 'blind' tests are so useful.
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  #24  
Old 06-05-2023, 02:39 PM
thefsb thefsb is offline
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Isn't there more variation among the pieces of wood of each variety than there is between the varieties?
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  #25  
Old 06-05-2023, 02:54 PM
Scolaguitar Scolaguitar is offline
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My Northwood 000 is topped with Engelmann and it is very loud and responsive. It seems more forward than the adi, and sitka top dreads we own but could be the body size. It's a deep body, same depth as dread.
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  #26  
Old 06-06-2023, 06:39 PM
FingahPickah FingahPickah is offline
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Default Engelmann/Maple - Wow!

https://acousticmusicworks.com/produ...-top-maple-new

Lack volume? Too bright?

I would guess not.

Last edited by FingahPickah; 06-06-2023 at 06:47 PM.
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  #27  
Old 06-07-2023, 12:33 AM
douglasfan1 douglasfan1 is offline
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I have guitars with Adi spruce and Engelmann spruce respectively (though different body size), I would say that the volume of Engelmann spruce top guitar is quieter. Don't get me wrong, it should be loud enough, but when the volume reach it's max and you put more force on picking, the top will then distort and will not give you any increment in volume. Comparing with Adi spruce, the more force you put in, the more volume you get.

However, it responses better with light touch finger picking. The tone is more complex (or warmer, more beatiful or colorful). If you are a player with a light to medium touch (won't strum or picking vigorously), then it will not be a problem.
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  #28  
Old 06-07-2023, 01:20 AM
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I love Engelmann and I've owned a couple guitars using it as a top wood. I try to not generalize, but generally if maximum volume is your priority, it's probably best to look at other tonewoods. My fav thing about Engelmann isnt so much the quantity but more the quality of tone it tends to produce. It's warm and comes to volume with minimal effort. The volume ceiling (*generally*) isnt what I've heard from other woods but it has a beautiful voice. Lynn Dudenbostel, for instance swears by it. Warm, round, thick, smooth, good stuff!!
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  #29  
Old 06-07-2023, 04:34 AM
marciero marciero is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by douglasfan1 View Post
I have guitars with Adi spruce and Engelmann spruce respectively (though different body size), I would say that the volume of Engelmann spruce top guitar is quieter. Don't get me wrong, it should be loud enough, but when the volume reach it's max and you put more force on picking, the top will then distort and will not give you any increment in volume. Comparing with Adi spruce, the more force you put in, the more volume you get.

However, it responses better with light touch finger picking. The tone is more complex (or warmer, more beatiful or colorful). If you are a player with a light to medium touch (won't strum or picking vigorously), then it will not be a problem.
This was exactly my impression of Englemann based on playing Taylors in the 1990s. The Engleman always sounded sweeter and richer but seemed to compress with heavy pick force. Now 35 years later I have an Engleman 910 and it is very rich and sweet, but I am not hearing the compression and I dont think its quieter than my other dreads, including a sitka Taylor and an adi Collings. So at this point I am wondering if my earlier impressions were solely based on my experience playing them or if it was biased by having heard or read that.
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  #30  
Old 06-07-2023, 07:16 AM
abn556 abn556 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FingahPickah View Post
https://acousticmusicworks.com/produ...-top-maple-new

Lack volume? Too bright?

I would guess not.
Now that is a beautiful Collings.

+
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