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FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / Study Shows Wood Type Has No Discernable Effect on Sound

Previous 20 Messages  
Contributing Member

The older the violin

the sweeter the music.
Mar 13th, 2019 04:52 PM   Edit   Profile  

My old Guild D-46 has swamp ash back/sides.

People mistake if for maple, but it "out-roses" rosewood. A very powerful, big tone.

It certainly ain't maple.

Crappy photo

Contributing Member

North of Philly

Solid state = solid sound+light weight
Apr 16th, 2019 02:56 AM   Edit   Profile  

A few years back, SLM acquired the Sigma name for acoustic guitars. My friendly local purveyor bought some, and I purchased the second SF18CE he got in. I asked him about the SF28CE, and he got a couple of those in.

The 18 has cedar top and mahogany sides, the 28 is spruce/rosewood.

I thought I would prefer the 28, but ended up liking the sound of the 18 better, not as harsh sounding to my ears.

Contributing Member

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Apr 17th, 2019 07:59 AM   Edit   Profile  

I can appreciate the rosewood back and sides, they are powerful but for many years now I’ve preferred Mahogany. The three I mentioned above are all mahogany including the tops. I loved a few spruce topped hogs too. Particularly in the parlor sized guitars. That size guitar even sounds pretty good with rosewood.

The big dreads and jumbos with rosewood sound overwhelmed with overly complex overtones, to me. More like a piano, They have a great sound but chords seem just a bit to homogenized for my tastes, where as the chords of a hog reveal the individual notes. This is a generalization, I’ve heard some rosewood Dreads that were unbelievably amazing.

If I could ever afford a customized guitar it would be a 12 fret slot-head parlor, spruce top with aged or repurposed Brazilian Rosewood back and sides, Ebony or rosewood fingerboard. The only way that will ever happen is if I build it myself.

I have enough Brazilian rosewood for a few fingerboards. Just typing this out loud gets me excited about the project.

For a bass player I get, kind of, too excited about guitars, I can’t do them justice but I really like good sound easy playing six strings.

As for the blank statement of this threads title I think we can all agree it’s BS, it may be that it can’t be totally quantified but I have no doubt that a master luthier can pretty much build an instrument that will live up to his expectations even if it only generally meets his intended tone and performance.

Like baking a pie, if everything is done correctly it will taste wonderful even if not exactly like the last one.

I’ve got to inventory my tops, back and side sets. See what I’ve got.

(This message was last edited by hushnel at 10:11 AM, Apr 17th, 2019)

Contributing Member

East Tennessee

Apr 21st, 2019 11:17 AM   Edit   Profile  

My critique of the study is that the guitarists playing the instrument were the end point and it compared back/side wood, which obviously has much less effect than topwood.

The reason to spend thousands of dollars on a master-built guitar with AAA grade topwood is not so it sounds good to you (although it should..) it is for its projection in a concert hall.

Those guitars were all hand made by a respected luthier and probably all played similarly.

A better study would be to take AAA grade spruce top vs a pine top, have the same guitarist play well known pieces for a blindfolded audience of music critics. Very likely they would all pick the nicer wood.

I remember as a 20 year old comparing my nice classical to my older Yamaha classical after purchasing it and being slightly disappointed in the difference in my bedroom. The luthier instrument was louder and played nicer, but I still was drawn to the tone of the Yamaha.

Took both instruments to the concert hall at my University and played the same piece back to back. The difference was enormous and this is really where the value in high-end instruments is found imo.

Previous 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / Study Shows Wood Type Has No Discernable Effect on Sound

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