The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 12-12-2013, 01:41 PM
blacknblues blacknblues is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 356
Default Do mahogany top guitars open up with time?

I know that spruce and other similar types of wood open up or improve with time, but what happens to mahogany after 80 years?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-12-2013, 01:46 PM
mstuartev mstuartev is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,330
Default

scientifically I can't say
I had a 1934 Martin 0-17 (all mahogany guitar) that sounded really good. Definitely open
__________________
Pogreba Baritone Weissenheimer 'Weissenborn style" (awesome!)
Pogreba Standard scale Weissenheimer "weissenborn style" (amazing!)
Lazy River short scale weissenborn
30's Oahu Squareneck
Mainland Tenor Uke
2001 Everett Laurel 00
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-12-2013, 02:02 PM
catdaddy catdaddy is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Backroads of Florida
Posts: 5,102
Default

I will give you a full report on my Martin J-15 in 2088.

In the mean time I can tell you that there was a noticeable opening up of that guitar after about one year. That kind of change is something I've observed in every new guitar that I've ever owned regardless of the type of wood involved. I suspect it may be more of a general construction settling process rather than 'opening up' of the top alone. Since that time I haven't noticed any change.
__________________

AKA 'Screamin' Tooth Parker'


You can listen to Walt's award winning songs with his acoustic band The Porch Pickers @ the Dixie Moon album or rock out electrically with Rock 'n' Roll Reliquary
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-12-2013, 02:22 PM
stephenT's Avatar
stephenT stephenT is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,856
Default

I bought my OO-15m custom pretty much fresh from Martin via LA Guitar Sales. I noticed an improvement after a few days of playing it in, but that's the case with most any guitar. It sounds real good now but it sounded real good when new.

I've had a couple OM-15s and they didn't change much. I did put one of the OM-15s on a tonerite and it loosened it up a little.

I think an all mahogany guitar needs to sound pretty good from new to improve much over the years.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-12-2013, 02:52 PM
Ted @ LA Guitar Sales Ted @ LA Guitar Sales is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Southern California
Posts: 12,247
Default

The short answer is yes, like other tone woods, Mahogany will open up with time. It will take a bit longer to notice a difference than with a Spruce top guitar, but a bit faster than Koa. Bottom line, any all solid wood guitar will improve with age.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-12-2013, 02:57 PM
themissal's Avatar
themissal themissal is offline
TooManyGuitars
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 4,782
Default

I would not buy one if you do not like the tone out of the box. My current D15s (Mine and my son's) are 4 years old, and I do not notice a difference from when we bought them. This ain't bad; we love them when we bought ours!

#1's:

Mine:

__________________
Videos:
https://www.youtube.com/user/salfromchatham/videos

Soundcloud:
https://soundcloud.com/salfromchatham

覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-12-2013, 03:03 PM
fishstick_kitty's Avatar
fishstick_kitty fishstick_kitty is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Portland, ME
Posts: 2,747
Default

I know this is anecdotal, but Richard Hoover (Santa Cruz) specifically chooses old "aged" mahogany when building the 1929 all mahogany guitars to get that open sound. I personally think it makes a big difference compared to other brand new mahogany guitars...so I would say that the aging process will have an affect for sure.
__________________
'13 Huss & Dalton TOM-M
'10 Martin OM-21 Special
'11 Homemade Strat
Ibanez AS73 w/ Lollar P90s
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-12-2013, 03:10 PM
Tony Done Tony Done is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Toowoomba, Australia
Posts: 1,990
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted @ LA Guitar Sales View Post
. Bottom line, any all solid wood guitar will improve with age.
Some just get worse (and worse and worse....) with age. Did I ever tell you about my J-40?

FWIW, I wouldn't buy any guitar on future expectations, and my J-40 expereince is the reason I favour oldish guitars when buying.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-12-2013, 03:14 PM
Bowie Bowie is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,787
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Done View Post
Some just get worse (and worse and worse....) with age. Did I ever tell you about my J-40?

FWIW, I wouldn't buy any guitar on future expectations, and my J-40 expereince is the reason I favour oldish guitars when buying.
Please elaborate, I'm interested in this story.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-12-2013, 03:17 PM
psychojohn psychojohn is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Rome, GA
Posts: 2,550
Default Yes but...

Isn't there a machine that you can use to make 'em open up quicker. OOoops. !! Going to call troll on myself. Never mind.

Seriously though, I posted a question about the opening up process in general, and the consensus seemed to be play time was a central factor over age of guitar. I imagine that opening up time would vary with wood density as well, so that hog would open up at a different pace or rate than cedar, for example. My uneducated opinion.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-12-2013, 03:40 PM
Tony Done Tony Done is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Toowoomba, Australia
Posts: 1,990
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowie View Post
Please elaborate, I'm interested in this story.
This was maybe 18 years ago. I bought the guitar new because it sounded big and bright, good all round in fact. Over a period of about three years it turned into a miserable dull clunker, and I couldn't even get my mate at the music store to trade it for something else. Apart from the tone, it had other major issues, like the finish lifting in front of the bridge, a low neck angle and a fretboard extension that went up and down like a seesaw. - I couldn't get the action height anywhere near as low as I wanted it - about 1.6-1.8 mm. The importer (I'm in Oz) is responsible for the warranty, and the best he would offer was to steam the top back down again. No thanks.
I eventually did trade it, but at a big loss.


It had always been kept in my music room which is a good environment for keeping guitars, and I used a humidifier on it during dry spells. I'm quite confident that storage conditions weren't the problem, because my other guitars are just fine.

This might help you understand why I'm so cynical about more expensive/big name is better.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12-12-2013, 05:13 PM
Bowie Bowie is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,787
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Done View Post
This was maybe 18 years ago. I bought the guitar new because it sounded big and bright, good all round in fact. Over a period of about three years it turned into a miserable dull clunker, and I couldn't even get my mate at the music store to trade it for something else. Apart from the tone, it had other major issues, like the finish lifting in front of the bridge, a low neck angle and a fretboard extension that went up and down like a seesaw. - I couldn't get the action height anywhere near as low as I wanted it - about 1.6-1.8 mm. The importer (I'm in Oz) is responsible for the warranty, and the best he would offer was to steam the top back down again. No thanks.
I eventually did trade it, but at a big loss.


It had always been kept in my music room which is a good environment for keeping guitars, and I used a humidifier on it during dry spells. I'm quite confident that storage conditions weren't the problem, because my other guitars are just fine.

This might help you understand why I'm so cynical about more expensive/big name is better.
Wow, thx for sharing and sorry to hear that. I would expect that form a Gibson but not a Martin. Goes to show how little these "lifetime warranties" mean. I would never buy a new guitar just for a meaningless warranty if I could find the same one used.

My experience has been that they sound smoother with age but I do have a nice Tak that was too dark and murky for my tastes so it sat in the case for 5 years. Amazingly, when I pulled it out to start playing it again it was vibrant and shimmering. I wouldn't believe it if I didn't have old recordings to prove the difference. That experience re-invigorated my interest in acoustics.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12-12-2013, 05:18 PM
muscmp muscmp is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: socal
Posts: 7,509
Default

wood is wood! very simple!

play music!
__________________

2014 Martin 00015M
2009 Martin 0015M
2008 Martin HD28
2007 Martin 000-18GE
2006 Taylor 712
2006 Fender Parlor GDP100
1978 Fender F65
1968 Gibson B25-12N
Various Electrics

See my Virtual Music Instrument Museum below.

http://muscmp.wordpress.com/
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12-13-2013, 09:02 AM
addisj addisj is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: London
Posts: 106
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by muscmp View Post
wood is wood! very simple!

play music!
Not that simple, Laminate doesn't tend to change over time like solid wood does. Defo not in my experience.
__________________
1953 Gibson LG-1
2012 Gibson LG-2
2013 Gibson J35
2010 Martin 0015M
Gretsch G9220 Bobtail reso
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12-13-2013, 09:05 AM
Tone Monster Tone Monster is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 840
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by blacknblues View Post
I know that spruce and other similar types of wood open up or improve with time, but what happens to mahogany after 80 years?

depends but I had once a 63 Hummingbird that I wish I never gave up.
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:39 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=