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Author Topic: Can you hear the difference between Mahogany & Rosewood?  (Read 904 times)
headsup
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« on: December 26, 2017, 03:23:53 PM »

another view.

https://www.npr.org/2017/11/30/567063448/a-battle-of-guitar-tonewoods-can-you-hear-the-difference
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2017, 04:31:03 PM »

Well, sure. At least, I think I can. At least, with my guitars. Wouldn't bet much on a blind test but it would be interesting. 
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AZLiberty
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« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2017, 07:00:17 PM »

Quick sound clip of:

Larrivee OM-03  (1998 so actual South American Mahogany)
Larrivee OM-03R (also 1998.  Engelmann/EIR)
Rainsong Shorty (OM size, 12 frett, Carbon Fiber)

https://soundcloud.com/rocket_song/3-guitars-sound-samples

All have Phosphor Bronze strings, though of varying age.   I wasn't about to install new strings on 3 guitars just for this little test.
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George
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« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2017, 09:29:09 PM »

Good read.  I have conducted similar tests with a real time analyzer on my computer (it is a stock product included with a digital mixer intended for musicians).  These features are also wonderful for extremely accurate EQ.  Certainly every guitar, as well as the myriad of top/back/side combinations, has different tonal nuances that long time players can readily identify.  I agree with the article, it is completely up to the player/listener as far as which one sounds better...  me, I like them all...
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George
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« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2017, 01:16:35 AM »

Well, sure. At least, I think I can. At least, with my guitars. Wouldn't bet much on a blind test but it would be interesting. 
Yeah, I’d like to think I can. But I can imagine being embarrassed by the blind taste test.
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« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2017, 01:20:34 AM »

Yes. 

Ed
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mike in lytle
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« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2017, 02:29:09 AM »

 
On otherwise identical guitars, same age, same manufacturer, same bracing, same top, same strings, played in my lap, listened with my own ears....
I played the L40-M and L40-R when the local dealer received them at the same time, same age, same bracing, same top, assuming same strings...
The difference was large. I posted the review.
Only a guitar in the lap listened with ones own ears....
Mike
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tulk1
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« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2017, 03:22:33 AM »

I could hear the difference in the NPR clips. Agreed on the blind test, tho'. But on those two clips with each clearly called out as to which was which, yeah, I could hear a difference. My mind tonite tells me I'd prefer the Rosewood. But I didn't dislike the 'hog.
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« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2017, 04:31:21 PM »

Side by side I can tell.  The rosewood has a blooming/opening effect whereas the mahogany has clarity due to its quicker decay.
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mattwood
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« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2017, 08:06:50 PM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdq7gDr4MXM
Here is a good comparison by Michael Watts on a pair of Froggy Bottoms.  Actual playing starts around 3:20.
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Walkerman
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« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2017, 04:51:51 PM »

Of course....

Rosewood rolls off the tongue, like a Scottish brogue
Mahogany crawls off the tongue like a baby’s first utterance of mama







 
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B0WIE
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« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2017, 08:46:29 PM »

The differences aren't hard to tell. I think where people go wrong is thinking they prefer one or the other, always. Back woods are a small contributor to the tone. Changing top wood qualities, bracing, body size etc, will do far more to the sound than the back wood.  For some reason though, everyone is fixated on the back wood.
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D-02-12
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« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2017, 09:32:01 PM »

The differences aren't hard to tell. I think where people go wrong is thinking they prefer one or the other, always. Back woods are a small contributor to the tone.

When I bought my first Larrivee the salesman did the smartest thing he could have done, said "come get me if you need anything" and left me alone with the guitars.

I spent maybe an hour and a half playing an OM-03R, OM-03, and OM-09.

I definitely preferred the richer (more overtones) sound of the rosewood guitars to the mahogany.  Ended up with the -03R because I just couldn't justify the price increase to get the gloss model, even though the neck was 1/16" wider which I prefer.    This was back in 1998 when the -03 series all had 1-11/16" nuts.

Two days later my wife went to the same shop and bought the OM-03 for herself.
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L07 Shooting Star
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« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2017, 08:25:13 AM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdq7gDr4MXM
Here is a good comparison by Michael Watts on a pair of Froggy Bottoms.  Actual playing starts around 3:20.

Hi, that comparison link was very enlightening.  I could definitely hear the difference.  As to my preference?  I favor the rosewood, especially for my style of playing.  Yet it's hard to choose.  I think the player's style is a factor in choosing, but both choices work for all styles.  Ultimately the player must choose and there is no wrong choice.
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« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2018, 10:28:35 PM »

Rosewood/Mahogany debate go's on and on.  The pat answer is always that the mahogany offers more mid range than bass tone. But then you have to start talking about the body size.  I would likely fail the blind test too.  However, when I was shopping for a parlor guitar I think I noticed that the rosewood back and sides didn't have any low end.  They sounded cheap.  The Mahogany tone was fuller because of the added midrange.  Neither wood added much in the way of low end warmth.  I own the 00 custom (spruce top mahogany back) and the 000-40 all mahogany.  The 00 is beautiful and fun to play but the 000 sounds awesome.  It seems to do a little bit of everything.  But my newest addition (for Christmas) is the 000-60 .... ahhhh Cadillac.  Rob at Guitar48 helped me with that one and I love it!  Bill P.
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headsup
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« Reply #15 on: January 14, 2018, 04:59:19 AM »

There was once a standard theory going around- back in the day.
Rosewood for live, Mahogany for recording.

For years I subscribed to that theory, as I could hear the "edge" and string separation, and certainly the projection of the Rosewood guitars, over the sweeter sound of the Mahogany ones.


I would still maintain that today, except for the evolution of the acoustic guitar pick-up, making pretty much any guitar, fro any woods or laminate sound decent, through current mixing and outboard gear technology.

That being said, for one band leader and sound tech, the Larrivee C-09 BZ is ALWAYS the one requested for those gigs.

My personal favourite is a Larrivee OMV-50, seconded by a larrivee OM-60.
 Both have identical pick-up systems, and a blind test wouldn't do me much good.

Standing with-in 10 feet of  similar dated d-18's and D-28's, I'm pretty sure i could tell the difference with a blindfold.
Because larrivee is always evolving, with regards to body shapes, and bracing, (not to mention tone woods) even my OM collection would baffle me, 4 different models of OM, 4 different wood configurations.

I'd probably fail a blind fold test.
 They are ALL incredibly harmonically full sounding with a lot of sustain and harmonic overtones.
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Gary787
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« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2018, 02:30:04 PM »

I absolutely cannot. Even when I guess I am more wrong than right. There are likely 3 camps
1. People who can
2. People who think they can
3. People who cannot
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B0WIE
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« Reply #17 on: January 14, 2018, 06:49:18 PM »

There was once a standard theory going around- back in the day.
Rosewood for live, Mahogany for recording.

For years I subscribed to that theory, as I could hear the "edge" and string separation, and certainly the projection of the Rosewood guitars, over the sweeter sound of the Mahogany ones.


I would still maintain that today, except for the evolution of the acoustic guitar pick-up, making pretty much any guitar, fro any woods or laminate sound decent, through current mixing and outboard gear technology.

That being said, for one band leader and sound tech, the Larrivee C-09 BZ is ALWAYS the one requested for those gigs.

My personal favourite is a Larrivee OMV-50, seconded by a larrivee OM-60.
 Both have identical pick-up systems, and a blind test wouldn't do me much good.

Standing with-in 10 feet of  similar dated d-18's and D-28's, I'm pretty sure i could tell the difference with a blindfold.
Because larrivee is always evolving, with regards to body shapes, and bracing, (not to mention tone woods) even my OM collection would baffle me, 4 different models of OM, 4 different wood configurations.

I'd probably fail a blind fold test.
 They are ALL incredibly harmonically full sounding with a lot of sustain and harmonic overtones.

I believe that old statement was because mahogany has a clarity in the top end and drier overall tone that mixes easier amongst a band. Rosewood is wonderful in sparse mixes but can sometimes be muddier when a lot is going on.  That's a complete generalization though and both can be recorded adequately with the right techniques.

Not sure I'd agree about acoustic pickups though. They are not considered acceptable in high quality recordings and even the best ones sound pretty bad compared to a properly mic'd acoustic. Live, there's really not much choice so it's nice that pickups are sounding better than they used to. But, in the studio, there's few situations in which a good engineer will want to have the acoustic plugged in, in the studio.
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D-02-12
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« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2018, 03:09:48 PM »

Sry to mislead.
 absolutely about recording acoustic guitars with-out pick-ups.

Acoustic pick-ups were really invented so guitars (acoustic) could be as loud as other band instruments on stage.

Yes, back in the day, we mic'd them and there was lots of problems there for sure.
 Now the acoustic pick up technology can make any guitar sound decent on stage with pretty much any ensemble.
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