Poll
Question: Do you prefer (if you could omly have one) Mahogany or Rosewood?
Mahogany (Kkaya)
East Indian Rosewood

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Author Topic: Mahogany or Rosewood?  (Read 839 times)
rosborn
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« on: February 03, 2018, 05:19:43 AM »

Hello All,

 

Since there was a recent thread on this topic...sort of...I thought I would follow it up with a poll.  Please vote and, if you would, explain in a response why you prefer one over the other.  If you like both, please vote only once and use your response to expound on that.

Thanks!

Rob
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AZLiberty
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2018, 06:03:27 AM »

I have found that I prefer the fuller sound (more overtones) of Rosewood compared to Mahogany.
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« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2018, 09:00:23 AM »

Completely depends on the rest of the instrument. IMO, it's like asking "which belt, brown or black?"
Really depends what it's going with.   You should choose the back wood to go with the guitar but people seem to get it backward.
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« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2018, 02:04:19 PM »

I tend to prefer four primary back/side woods, with Mahogany being my least favorite.  In any case, the top should be the driver.  Rosewood, Koa, Flamed or Quilted Maple and then maybe Mahogany, if I do not choose some other exotic back/sides wood.
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« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2018, 03:19:27 PM »

Completely depends on the rest of the instrument. IMO, it's like asking "which belt, brown or black?"
Really depends what it's going with.   You should choose the back wood to go with the guitar but people seem to get it backward.

So, let’s say we’re talking a Larrivee OM-3R vs a Larrivee OM-3M...no preference there?


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rosborn
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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2018, 03:20:38 PM »

I have found that I prefer the fuller sound (more overtones) of Rosewood compared to Mahogany.

My preference, too, is Rosewood for the very same reasons.


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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2018, 04:08:41 PM »

I have never really been a fan of rosewood guitars until I played Larrivee's.Owned a LS09 and a LS10.Sold both as I'm more a maple fan.
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« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2018, 04:43:22 PM »

I haven't met a wood I didn't like.
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« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2018, 05:02:19 PM »

I also prefer the sound of Rosewood back and side wood.

My Rosewood LV-10 is without a doubt my favorite all time guitar.

My '77 Larrivee Classical is also Rosewood, and I absolutely prefer its tone over my prior Cordoba C9 with Mahogany.

But when the mood strikes, my L-03 Mahogany really makes me smile too.
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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2018, 10:01:53 PM »

So, let’s say we’re talking a Larrivee OM-3R vs a Larrivee OM-3M...no preference there?


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Depends what I'm playing.  I've had many guitars in both rose and hog, and each excelled at different things.  Sometimes, the rosewood guitars are too dark, other times, the mahogany too dry.  It's such a small factor when it comes to the overall sound that it's one of my last considerations when it comes to selection.  Maker, top wood, bracing, body shape, and even strings are higher on my list of considerations.  The back wood is simply the pepper, it's not the steak.

That said, I'm finding that I usually prefer walnut to both, as it manages to be fast and crisp like mahogany, with richer overtones that don't muddy up like rosewood can.  But, my preference is all situationally dependent.
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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2018, 10:30:06 PM »

 
If I could only have one, it would be mahogany, based on my Larrivee experience.
Besides, since the majority of people around me would have rosewood, I could borrow a rosewood if I needed one.
Mike
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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2018, 11:18:29 PM »

Depends what I'm playing.  

That said, I'm finding that I usually prefer walnut to both,,,

That was my first thought, but my experience is limited.  In fact I have not played a mahogany Larrivee.

True or false, rosewood is best suited for small bodied guitars.
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« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2018, 11:53:28 PM »

Mahogany...  in my hands, at least.   Regardless of size.

I have had same size guitars in both mahogany (sometimes Honduran, sometimes other pseudo-mahoganies), and without fail, I prefer the mahogany versions. 

The rosewood guitars I have liked have all been big (dreadnaught).

Ed
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« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2018, 12:18:35 AM »

I’ve never had the opportunity to play a Larrivée with mahogany or walnut.  So I honestly can’t say I wouldn’t like it.  But of all the guitars I’ve played, it always comes back to rosewood.  Maybe it’s a fingerstyle thing.
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« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2018, 02:45:34 AM »

I had always been a rosewood lover, until I found my L-05MT.  For forty years, I loved the lush sound that rosewood provides, the sparkling trebles, the powerful bass.  Mated with a very fine, responsive spruce top, I didn't think that anything else could really compare.  And then ... I found my Larrivee hanging in a pawn shop, rescued it, had some minor repairs done, got it beautifully set up, and finally took it home.

I haven't wanted to play anything else, since then, over two years ago.  Out of nostalgia, I've pulled out a couple of my previous favorites, and attempted to redefine and discover why I loved them so, but after a bit, with an audible sigh of relief, back out would come the Larrivee.  You know when you are visiting, and when you are home.

I had always been a rhythm player, with a big voice, playing all kinds of music.  I liked a fast, beveled, thick pick.  I liked pickups that produced a decent sound with little feedback for stage work.  I liked big guitars.

Now I'm almost strictly a fingerstyle player, and if I use a pick, (and that's not often) it's stiff and thin, for extra cut.  I switched to good condenser microphones for a cleaner, woodier, more authentic sound.  I sing even more dynamically for emotional effect, and instead of the guitar being just an instrument for accompaniment, it's integral to the sound mated with my voice.  I feel closer to the guitar with both hands on the wheel, so to speak.  The Larrivee has a clear, warm, resonant sound - strong in the mids, thick trebles, a perfectly balanced bass - very different from those softwood spruce tops.  It's not as loud, consistently, unless I really dig in with my right hand, but the clarity shines through when that happens, without that spruce top treble chime.

I realized, that all through those years, my previous guitars and I had been fighting each other, both in volume and in certain frequencies.  It was like singing while standing next to someone else who is singing the same part, and the louder you sang, the louder he sang, until both of you were virtually yelling in competition.

Those days are over, and I feel that everything I'm doing is much more effective.  There are still two voices, but we are singing different parts, complimenting each other, and taking turns with who gets the solo.

So ... it's been a long time coming, but for me, the vote is for mahogany.  And many thanks to Larrivee for making this lovely, lyrical, little brown-eyed beast, with the sweet, powerful growl.  I love it!

... JT


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« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2018, 07:13:52 AM »

Mahogany, there is nothing like it for tone.
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Strings4Him
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« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2018, 11:40:30 AM »

Mahogany, there is nothing like it for tone.

Which mahogany?  Honduras, khaya,  sipo, et cetera?
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« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2018, 12:34:24 PM »

I was never a big mahogany fan until I played my first Larrivee, an L-05.  It haunted me so that I ended up buying one.  Just a great tone, and I have found in Larrivees I actually like mahogany more than rosewood.
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« Reply #18 on: February 04, 2018, 06:33:39 PM »

Maple
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rosborn
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« Reply #19 on: February 04, 2018, 09:25:08 PM »

I had always been a rosewood lover, until I found my L-05MT.  For forty years, I loved the lush sound that rosewood provides, the sparkling trebles, the powerful bass.  Mated with a very fine, responsive spruce top, I didn't think that anything else could really compare.  And then ... I found my Larrivee hanging in a pawn shop, rescued it, had some minor repairs done, got it beautifully set up, and finally took it home.

I haven't wanted to play anything else, since then, over two years ago.  Out of nostalgia, I've pulled out a couple of my previous favorites, and attempted to redefine and discover why I loved them so, but after a bit, with an audible sigh of relief, back out would come the Larrivee.  You know when you are visiting, and when you are home.

I had always been a rhythm player, with a big voice, playing all kinds of music.  I liked a fast, beveled, thick pick.  I liked pickups that produced a decent sound with little feedback for stage work.  I liked big guitars.

Now I'm almost strictly a fingerstyle player, and if I use a pick, (and that's not often) it's stiff and thin, for extra cut.  I switched to good condenser microphones for a cleaner, woodier, more authentic sound.  I sing even more dynamically for emotional effect, and instead of the guitar being just an instrument for accompaniment, it's integral to the sound mated with my voice.  I feel closer to the guitar with both hands on the wheel, so to speak.  The Larrivee has a clear, warm, resonant sound - strong in the mids, thick trebles, a perfectly balanced bass - very different from those softwood spruce tops.  It's not as loud, consistently, unless I really dig in with my right hand, but the clarity shines through when that happens, without that spruce top treble chime.

I realized, that all through those years, my previous guitars and I had been fighting each other, both in volume and in certain frequencies.  It was like singing while standing next to someone else who is singing the same part, and the louder you sang, the louder he sang, until both of you were virtually yelling in competition.

Those days are over, and I feel that everything I'm doing is much more effective.  There are still two voices, but we are singing different parts, complimenting each other, and taking turns with who gets the solo.

So ... it's been a long time coming, but for me, the vote is for mahogany.  And many thanks to Larrivee for making this lovely, lyrical, little brown-eyed beast, with the sweet, powerful growl.  I love it!

... JT




Thank you for that awesome and wonderful (and heartfelt) testimonial.  That was just the sort of "why" I was hoping to get.
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