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« on: March 04, 2006, 01:58:49 AM »

I'm a big friend of nature and enviroment and a happy owner of a d-05. But i'm concerned about the mahogny material in the guitar.
I now it's from south america, but is there anyone who knows if the production of larriveé guitars contribute to damage of the rainforest ?

/Joakim

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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2006, 03:42:38 AM »

http://www.traffic.org/mahogany/cites.html
Here is a link to a good article about South American Mahogany.
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2006, 08:24:26 AM »

I'm a big friend of nature and enviroment and a happy owner of a d-05. But i'm concerned about the mahogny material in the guitar.
I now it's from south america, but is there anyone who knows if the production of larriveé guitars contribute to damage of the rainforest ?

/Joakim

Stockholm/Sweden

I honestly agree that conserving our environment if one of the most important, and perhaps swept-under-the-carpet subject.  But, let's be realistic here.  If all the guitar company decided to use mahogany for their solidwood models, it would barely make a dent in the supply of mahogany.  A bigleaf mahogany tree is huge.... HUGE!!!!!! HUUUUGGGE!!!

What you do need to worry about is the furniture/hardwood floor Makers, and BOAT MAKERS usage of this wood.  Guitars is the last thing you should be worried about using mahogany.

Dont worry, the very little mahogany that went into your guitar is for a good cause, and it's not putting a strain onto the mahogany supply.  It's the other stuff.
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2006, 09:10:33 AM »

Hi Joakim. Same thought here. No wonder you're swedish, I think you all (people in Nothern Europe) are 50 years forward the others for respect of nature and other people, civic education and so on.
Several brands own some plantations they use right for the wood to build guitars. Even though, it's always very very bad to cut a tree.
As the natives say "a tree speaks".
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2006, 12:07:00 PM »

Calvin,

No disrespect meant to you, but this statement is indicative of the reason we are having difficulties here on the Mother Ship.

Quote
Dont worry, the very little mahogany that went into your guitar is for a good cause, and it's not putting a strain onto the mahogany supply.  It's the other stuff.

If there is a problem with supply it is something everyone has to worry about, not just people that use proportionately more. That is a justification that is used all too often, IMHO. "It's just a little bag of garbage", "The ocean is so large, what's one drum of toxic waste going to do?", "It's only a small war"

We are all responsible for the outcome, no matter how small our part.
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2006, 12:30:40 PM »

Hi Joakim. Same thought here. No wonder you're swedish, I think you all (people in Nothern Europe) are 50 years forward the others for respect of nature and other people, civic education and so on.

All good, but it looks pretty difficult to keep your money from the tax man up there:  High taxes

But that was 2003, maybe it's come down since?? ^_^




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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2006, 01:03:38 PM »

You're right, Ron. Even though if you ask to any person living in the "modern" western world about saving resources he might give you an answer. But you cant't ask the same stuff to an african starving to death.

That's true John, but they also have an higher lifestyle. So the question is you prefer lower tax and lower lifestyle or the opposite?
 :WNK>
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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2006, 02:53:04 PM »

I'm a big friend of nature and enviroment and a happy owner of a d-05. But i'm concerned about the mahogny material in the guitar.
I now it's from south america, but is there anyone who knows if the production of larriveé guitars contribute to damage of the rainforest ?

/Joakim

Stockholm/Sweden
Joakim,

I'm starting back at the top cause I couldn't see the tie to taxes and starving Africans.

The biggest cause of Rainforest destruction is clear cutting for cash crops and animal pastureland. The building industries (home, boat, guitar) surely don't help, but it's cheap food that hurts the rainforest the most. We could keep the forest sustainable if we properly planned the resourse. Unfortunately money is a bigger motivator than common sense.

BTW how did your first gig with the new Larrivee go?
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« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2006, 03:05:37 PM »

Ron, so even if guitar makers used less mahogany than was being replenished/grown over a certain period of time, it would still be a problem? I don't believe the problem is that people are using mahogany, but rather too much mahogany is being used. It seems like an over simplification to say all usage of mahogany is wrong.
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« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2006, 03:16:05 PM »

Ron, so even if guitar makers used less mahogany than was being replenished/grown over a certain period of time, it would still be a problem? I don't believe the problem is that people are using mahogany, but rather too much mahogany is being used. It seems like an over simplification to say all usage of mahogany is wrong.

No, my point was that we often justify our own actions by convincing ourselves that "we" are not the real problem, it is the other guy/gal that has to change. My belief is that it is up to all of us to modify our behaviour in order to save our resources.

So maybe your personal choice is to ignore the mahogany wood situation. That's OK, but please consider other things that you can do. There are enough problems out there that we can all choose something that we can make a difference in.
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« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2006, 03:32:20 PM »

No, my point was that we often justify our own actions by convincing ourselves that "we" are not the real problem, it is the other guy/gal that has to change. My belief is that it is up to all of us to modify our behaviour in order to save our resources.

So maybe your personal choice is to ignore the mahogany wood situation. That's OK, but please consider other things that you can do. There are enough problems out there that we can all choose something that we can make a difference in.
I guess the decision we need to make is would I rather have a mahogeny tree sitting in the middle of the rainforest, where no one will ever see it, or would I rather have 10,000 fine mahogeny guitars in the hands of players around the world.  To me, what makes a mahogeny tree special is what it can be used for, rather than the fact that it exists. That being said, I don't thnk that we should just go around cutting down trees willy-nilly.  In America, we have an extremely successful wood management system, where trees are harvested and the land is replanted, so there is always a supply.  I guess I look at mahogeny and rosewood the same way.  Those woods should be managed as a crop.
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« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2006, 03:39:44 PM »


The problem isn't use of mahogany, but over use of mahogany. So stopping over use of mahogany will fix the problem, not stopping the use of mahogany. One small group saving splinters of mahogany isn't going to help, that's just more for others to take. The ocean analogy doesn't apply. Not all useage of mahogany is wrong, it relys on how much we use, versus our resources. The ocean analogy differs because I don't think there is a "healthy amount" of toxic waste that should be in the ocean.
Not buying mahogany guitars may help save a tree for awhile, but it won't fix the problem and as others have mentioned it may not even make a dent in the problem. It isn't going to save our resources. You have to attack the problem directly, not buying hog guitars isn't going to do jack. It's like someone digging a hole with a back hoe, and you pretending you're gonna help stop the problem(digging the hole) by throwing a few grains of sand back in. If you really wanted to change something, chain yourself to a tree or go into law enforcement concerning that field.
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« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2006, 04:29:01 PM »

Joakim, thanks for raising this issue.

While I'd pass on a mahogany bedroom set (if there is such a thing - I know nothing about furniture), I agree that buying or not buying a mahogany guitar is probably not much of an answer (although it might suggest a certain virtue to buying used?). But there are things we can do, and talking about it is a great first step.  It can lead to greater consumer awareness, greater corporate awareness, better corporate policies, and even social/political pressure for change.   Guitars are surely not a huge part of the problem, but guitar companies can pay attention to where they get their wood and how it is harvested and they can advocate for better management of the resource. 

I would only add that those of us who DO buy these products probably have some responsibility (and self-interest) related to being aware of the issues and advocating for better practices related to how natural resources are harvested.  We could, for example, support environmental groups that work on these issues and encourage manufacturers to develop specific environmental policies (and I mean more than just building the ocassional 'smartwood' guitar) and describe them on their web pages.  I'm sure there are other things we could do too . . .





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« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2006, 06:45:16 PM »

Ron are you a vendor? Reading your answers it almost makes me wanting to buy something from you :GRN>
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« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2006, 11:11:55 PM »

Not that I am disagreeing, being a scientist in this field, I am actually particularly aware of the environment and what is considered toxic and what is not.  Furthurmore, it's much more important to get to root cause of damage than to simply say "every little bit helps".  Because in the real world, every little bit doesn't help.

The point is, you'd save alot more rain forest if you build one less boat vs 8,000 less guitars.  Heck if each of us drove our cars one less time a week, we'd be alot better off.  While it doesn't excuse us from overusing the environment there is a reasonable point of compromise.  To say that we shouldn't dump toxic waste into the ocean is very reasonable, but what type of waste?  There are certain types of waste with extremely long 1/2 lifes and there are ones that simply degrade as a result of photolysis, hydrolysis, biodegradation... etc within days if not hours.  Which brings me back to the point, you can't save any more or less rainforest by stop building guitars, because that is not the cause of what's killing the rainforest.  Currently one of The major problem lies in the slash and burn techniques for farmland, which can be traced back to the economic wealth of a country,which can be traced back to politics... etc.  But I assure you, guitars are not one of them.
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« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2006, 03:22:54 AM »

Calvin is right about the political situation in countries like Brazil. Slash and burn and create a place to send landless peasants takes pressure off of the very small elite minority who control all of the agricultural land and all of the wealth of the country. I don't think declining to select mahogany for a tone wood is going to have a measurable impact on the problem. Still I am happy to see manufacturers like Martin and Larrivee step up to do what they can before the mahogany becomes too scarce to even offer it at all. The deforestation of South America is just one issue that's part of the larger problem of global warming. As the worlds population swells the demand for resources grows. As the climate continues to change all of the worlds remaining forests could suffer the effects and many species of trees will be in jeapordy. In years to come the discussion may include using spruce for soundboards or any wood for that matter. Western US mountains are suffering remarkable losses of lodgepole pines from secondary effects of warming. The Beetles that attack and weaken these trees are increasing in numbers due to the warm winters. Thats just one small example. Melting the polar ice pack is going to do some very bad things to the oceans which will have a huge impact on climate. The problem is so big that I'm not sure anyone has laid out all of the consequences. We in the US have the embarrasing distinction of being the biggest per capita consumers of energy and raw materials by a large margin. With the industrialization of the third world the problem is going to accelerate as those countries become mass consumers and producers. I'm betting that it will only be addressed when alternative solutions become profitable to those who now exploit resources.  Rant over. Sorry to go so far off the reservation on this thread.
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« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2006, 09:02:11 AM »

It's quite okay Jim. Ron makes a good point to start somewhere too.

I am not a pessimist, so I have to believe that what we are doing right now is a investment for development in human technology and ethics; and that someday we will all become responsible members of this world as the human race progress to that sustainable level of ethic.  Until then, playing your guitar is alot less damaging then to say go for a 200 mile drive down to the neighbor state/province/country.

So enjoy your mahogany guitars while you can (Because no one does mahogany like Jean... and the family), when it becomes as restricted as Brazilian, we will be happy that 1. we still have a piece of the history and 2. somewhere someone is becomming more responsible.
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« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2006, 12:01:26 AM »

Thanks for all your answers.
My conscience is in god condition. Way back in the beginning of the 90's me and a couple of friends where active in rainforest saving questions.
If i'll remeber right we brought  in about 10.000$ in concerts and so on. We had a lot of fun and the rainforest in costa rica get their share.
I can pick my D-05 in peace. afro

/Joakim
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« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2006, 02:44:06 AM »

The obvious answer is a question, and I'm not trying to be funny, but why aren't more guitar makers using maple and walnut versus mahogany and rosewood? They're both highly available, not endangered, and very replenishable. Other than Breedlove, I don't think many of the mid to large guitar companies are using such woods. I certainly prefer walnut and maple for their looks if nothing else, and they both sound great. You can't tell me that a maple neck on a maple guitar doesn't look better than a mahogany one.

Andy
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