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  #1  
Old 01-16-2020, 09:39 PM
wguitar wguitar is offline
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Default Please educate me about moonwood tops

Hi,

What is "moonwood", and how special (or not) is it as a guitar top ? Tone, projection, volume, warmth, etc. Most ads you see that mention moonwood at least give me the impression that it's something special. Is this true or is it just marketing of a cool name for wood ? If you've played a "moonwood" guitar what are your thoughts?

Thanks!
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:43 PM
foxo foxo is offline
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How do they grow moon trees without rain and oxygen?
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:56 PM
AZLiberty AZLiberty is offline
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Marketing term.

European/Italian/Austrian/Alpine/Moon/German... it's all Picea Abies

Sold the one guitar I had with a Picea Abies top (a Larrivee). Too much clarity, not enough overtones.
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:13 PM
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Erithon Erithon is offline
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My understanding is it has to do with the harvesting process. Apparently it is a centuried technique. The idea is one harvests the log during a certain phase (or phases?) of the moon when resins/sap content are at their lowest. I imagine this has to do with the moon's gravitational pull. To further minimize the resin/sap content, traditional moon spruce is harvested in winter when a tree's growing period is dormant.

Is this marketing? Yes, but it is also a (the?) traditional European method of logging, pre-dating the modern expansion of the industry. Studies have shown the moon is a statistically significant variable in moisture loss, shrinkage, and relative weight.

What does this mean for acoustic guitars? Well, luthiers let wood season before building with it because seasoned wood is more stable. And the seasoning process involves the evaporation of resins/sap. So moon spruce is wood that, in theory, should act as if it has been seasoned for longer than it really has.
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:45 PM
mcduffnw mcduffnw is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erithon View Post
My understanding is it has to do with the harvesting process. Apparently it is a centuried technique. The idea is one harvests the log during a certain phase (or phases?) of the moon when resins/sap content are at their lowest. I imagine this has to do with the moon's gravitational pull. To further minimize the resin/sap content, traditional moon spruce is harvested in winter when a tree's growing period is dormant.

Is this marketing? Yes, but it is also a (the?) traditional European method of logging, pre-dating the modern expansion of the industry. Studies have shown the moon is a statistically significant variable in moisture loss, shrinkage, and relative weight.

What does this mean for acoustic guitars? Well, luthiers let wood season before building with it because seasoned wood is more stable. And the seasoning process involves the evaporation of resins/sap. So moon spruce is wood that, in theory, should act as if it has been seasoned for longer than it really has.

Erithon describes the idea and process and history behind it really well!

Now...does it make for consistently better sounding guitars?

In my experience...no...no it doesn't.

I have played great guitars with moon spruce tops, and I have played very pedestrian guitars with moon spruce tops, either way, made by boutique factory/small luthier group/and solo luthiers.

It is generally a VERY handsome looking top wood, as most of the moon spruce tops I have seen were rated as "Mastergrade" tops, most with very tight and even grain, no runout, a great deal of silking, and some with really gorgeous bearclaw or hazelfecht patterning in the grain.

But even with the obvious stellar visual caliber, tonally, they are/were just as hit and miss, made into a guitar, as any other topwood.

duff
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:12 AM
BluesKing777 BluesKing777 is offline
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You will not see real moon spruce unless you have 3 things: secret handshake, secret code and the completion of a strict guitar ‘owner’ competency test.

The real good stuff is harvested on rare summer solstice full moons from fall down trees on the north slope of a secret Italian alp. There was a recent event in 2016 but the previous event was in 1948. The Elves leave a mark at about 7 feet up the bark. This section of wood can only be used by royalty.

Luckily, my luthier’s father knew someone who knew someone and stashed a small pile of 48! My deep body custom 00 has the ‘48 moon spruce top with Gabon ebony back and sides......on a solstice, it actually has a blue glow! True!

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Old 01-17-2020, 10:46 AM
Inyo Inyo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erithon View Post

It has to do with the harvesting process. The idea is one harvests the log during a certain phase (or phases?) of the moon.
Rumor has it that Brian May used a guitar made of moonwood when recording "Fat Bottomed Girls." The wood was felled during a full mooning, of course.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:16 AM
Cool555 Cool555 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erithon View Post
My understanding is it has to do with the harvesting process. Apparently it is a centuried technique. The idea is one harvests the log during a certain phase (or phases?) of the moon when resins/sap content are at their lowest. I imagine this has to do with the moon's gravitational pull. To further minimize the resin/sap content, traditional moon spruce is harvested in winter when a tree's growing period is dormant.



Is this marketing? Yes, but it is also a (the?) traditional European method of logging, pre-dating the modern expansion of the industry. Studies have shown the moon is a statistically significant variable in moisture loss, shrinkage, and relative weight.



What does this mean for acoustic guitars? Well, luthiers let wood season before building with it because seasoned wood is more stable. And the seasoning process involves the evaporation of resins/sap. So moon spruce is wood that, in theory, should act as if it has been seasoned for longer than it really has.

This is very close to what I remember reading on another thread here on Moon Spruce. I remember there was a video attachment also.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:22 AM
Cool555 Cool555 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BluesKing777 View Post
You will not see real moon spruce unless you have 3 things: secret handshake, secret code and the completion of a strict guitar ‘owner’ competency test.

The real good stuff is harvested on rare summer solstice full moons from fall down trees on the north slope of a secret Italian alp. There was a recent event in 2016 but the previous event was in 1948. The Elves leave a mark at about 7 feet up the bark. This section of wood can only be used by royalty.

Luckily, my luthier’s father knew someone who knew someone and stashed a small pile of 48! My deep body custom 00 has the ‘48 moon spruce top with Gabon ebony back and sides......on a solstice, it actually has a blue glow! True!

BluesKing777.

This is very creative! Using your Nic to tell a story.

7....7 feet.
King....royalty.
Blue....blue glow.

I enjoyed it and it put a smile on my face!
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:50 AM
phavriluk phavriluk is offline
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I thought that moonwood harvesters needed to wear tinfoil hats when harvesting.
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Old 01-17-2020, 05:44 PM
BluesKing777 BluesKing777 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cool555 View Post
This is very creative! Using your Nic to tell a story.

7....7 feet.
King....royalty.
Blue....blue glow.

I enjoyed it and it put a smile on my face!

Thanks Cool....

More info:

My luthier told me a few years AFTER building my custom 00 that the moon spruce top came from the same mountainside as the wood used in Stradivarius instruments......he also said he didn’t tell anyone this anymore because people had called him rude names for being too fanciful in his marketing.

I can tell you that my custom 00 deep body is a wonderful guitar, a real Excalibur, probably waiting for the fantastic playing and way more deserving rightful owner to turn up and take it!


BluesKing777.
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Old 01-17-2020, 06:55 PM
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Bruce Sexauer Bruce Sexauer is offline
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A lot of "marketed" things are not the good stuff, which is often why they have to be marketed. The good news is that "Moon Harvested" wood that I have seen (and used) is no worse than any other wood.
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Old 01-17-2020, 07:26 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wguitar View Post
Hi,

What is "moonwood", and how special (or not) is it as a guitar top ? Tone, projection, volume, warmth, etc. Most ads you see that mention moonwood at least give me the impression that it's something special. Is this true or is it just marketing of a cool name for wood ? If you've played a "moonwood" guitar what are your thoughts?

Thanks!
My thoughts are that it's mostly marketing and mostly hooey. A good top is a good top, regardless of which species of spruce it is or what phase the moon was in when the wood was harvested.

No, what I have found makes the MOST difference when it comes to moon spruce quality is whether the guys who harvested the wood were wearing lederhosen at the time....

Austrian foresters celebrating after a successful moon spruce harvest



˚˚˚

Hope this helps!


Wade Hampton "Jawohl, Mein Herr!" Miller
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Old 01-17-2020, 07:58 PM
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DenverSteve DenverSteve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
My thoughts are that it's mostly marketing and mostly hooey. A good top is a good top, ...
Yeah. Just buy guitars that you like and the woods won't matter.
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  #15  
Old 01-17-2020, 08:47 PM
Kitkatjoe Kitkatjoe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
My thoughts are that it's mostly marketing and mostly hooey. A good top is a good top, regardless of which species of spruce it is or what phase the moon was in when the wood was harvested.

No, what I have found makes the MOST difference when it comes to moon spruce quality is whether the guys who harvested the wood were wearing lederhosen at the time....

Austrian foresters celebrating after a successful moon spruce harvest



˚˚˚

Hope this helps!


Wade Hampton "Jawohl, Mein Herr!" Miller
I just left the sleeping guitar thread now on to guitars that maybe full of moon 🌙 glow.😅 Now if we can only wake them up.😅
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