Larrivee Guitar Forum

Main Forums => Larrivée Guitars => Topic started by: Jiro34 on March 25, 2009, 02:50:36 PM

Title: MH or RW
Post by: Jiro34 on March 25, 2009, 02:50:36 PM
Quick ? for Forumites...I noticed that most of the FIII orders are for MH guitars. Is there a reason or this? The price is only a hundred bucks more, so why the descrepancy? Does it mostly come down to preference for color? Some prefer the color of RW, while some prefer the MH color? Or is it more the tone issue? If so, generally speaking, what is the difference between the MH and RW tone?

Beginner questions, so my apologies :doh

Title: Re: MH or RW
Post by: hellostarling on March 25, 2009, 03:02:26 PM
Having just compared the OM-50 to the OM-60 (plus others) for about 1.5 hours, I think I can make a few personal subjective comments.

First, and usually, there is more of a price difference between the two woods, depending on their place of origin. And price is always a factor, especially right now.

Second, there is of course a color preference. I would have, and still do, prefer rosewood, but the fact remains that a lot of builders do rosewood very well, while few builders do mahogany like Larrivee. Simply stunning.

And last, but not least, there's the tone. Just about everyone here will say that rosewood has more overtones, but what does that mean? When I compared the two, I would say that, in layman's terms, the tone of mahogany was more focused, like a narrow laser cutting right to the point. Whereas the rosewood was more like a ray of sunshine, broader and fuller.

But that's just me. I'm sure someone else may say something completely different... and it won't be wrong. You just have to follow your own heart.

Title: Re: MH or RW
Post by: Jiro34 on March 25, 2009, 03:10:18 PM
Cool comments HelloStarling.... I liked your description of the sounds. Looking forward to other comments...

Title: Re: MH or RW
Post by: gtrplayer on March 25, 2009, 03:10:55 PM
To me it's definitely tone and your style of playing.  IMHO for fingerpicking, Larrivee builds a better mahogany guitar than an a rosewood.   Just my opinion so keep those cards and letters at home.  


Title: Re: MH or RW
Post by: pfl on March 25, 2009, 03:11:23 PM
Other factors play into it as well - even though it's a very different guitar than the Forum III, my D-28 is rosewood and I wanted to vary things up and have a nice mahogany guitar to play in addition.  

Title: Re: MH or RW
Post by: RoundLakeDT on March 25, 2009, 03:12:06 PM
Yep, tonewood questions are like wine analysis... can be very subjective

In general many people feel that rosewood tends to produce more bass, while mahogany emphasizes the trebles a bit more.  

The "woody" tone of mahogany has traditionally been associated with blues, since a lot of the original artists in the 1930's played country blues on mahogany instruments (either mahogany back/sides or tops too).  However - back then those were the common instruments for blues simply because they were cheap (mahogany being found at the lower end of many maker's lines), rather than necessarily because the blues guys were intentionally seeking them out.  But by now the tone has become somewhat associated with the blues

Generally the maker has a lot more to do with the tone than the woods.  As Starling indicated, Larrivee does great things with mahogany so perhaps that's why a lot of F-III's were chosen in that wood.  Also the hog-on-hog look is pretty cool

Just another $0.02

Title: Re: MH or RW
Post by: Vancouver Southpaw on March 25, 2009, 05:30:28 PM
I went for the all-mahogany FIII hoping for a really "woody" sound and despite having a chance to play Tuffy the Pug's all-hog lefty FIII the day of the factory tour, I'm not really sure  what to expect when mine finally arrives  - that whole day is a bit of a blur now and there were so many guitars being was heavenly, but not the best way to really assess the tone quality of the instruments. My decision was also  highly influenced by having a couple of rosewood/spruce guitars in my collection already (a Larri OMV-09 and a Taylor 814ce) - both are great axes but I'm still wanting to hear trees falling in the forest...


Title: Re: MH or RW
Post by: jeremy3220 on March 25, 2009, 05:35:41 PM
Here's a pretty good comparison of the same Larrivee model with the only difference being mahogany on one and rosewood on the other.

Title: Re: MH or RW
Post by: Dale_I on March 25, 2009, 07:51:30 PM
Someone posted this a while back. It is a scan of a diagram that accompanied a tonewood article. I thought it might be beneficial here.

[attachment deleted by admin]

Title: Re: MH or RW
Post by: aarra on March 25, 2009, 09:09:36 PM
I believe that it is a matter of personal preference.  If we all had the same taste, everyone would be driving the same car (wasn't that the idea behind the Volkswagen?).  I chose Rosewood because I thought there would be a more extreme contrast with the spruce top;  I already have a Mahogany OM-05 and wanted something completely different;  Rosewoods that I've tried have a deeper, rich tone;  the price differential was reasonable.  Just my thought process.

Title: Re: MH or RW
Post by: es-335 on March 26, 2009, 02:13:04 AM
I wonder where bubinga fits in the chart above

Title: Re: MH or RW
Post by: prof_stack on March 26, 2009, 06:00:52 AM
I've had 4 Larrivees, all mahogany.  I owned the great SD-50 for a couple of years before the Martin D-18GE pushed it out of the house.  The GE also knocked out the 000-15S "cult" guitar.  So when the FIII came along I decided to finally get a Larrivee with rosewood back and sides.  I've always enjoyed the Larry rosewoods in the stores.  So I am really looking forward to getting my fingers on the LS-03R.