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  • Cocobolo vs. Indian Rosewood

    How does Cocobolo sound in comparison to Indian Rosewood, as a back/side wood with a Sitka Spruce top?

    I looking at a few guitars, including a Taylor 810-CE and an 810-CE Ltd with Cocobolo back/sides. I think I'd rather have an 814 because of the body shape, but I found a decent deal on the Ltd.

    Although, I'm not sure If I'd like the 10 body...it might be too boomy?
    Cameron CCV
    Diezel VH4
    Bogner 4x12
    '79 LP Silverburst
    '84 LP Silverburst
    '11 LP R9

  • #2
    I really like cocobolo. Well, I really like the look of it. And it's fun to say. The guy who custom built my banjo spoke highly of it -- he said it's one of the more stable woods in terms of resisting humidity, temperature change, etc. But the only cocobolo parts on my banjo are the fingerboard and armrest, so I don't know much about its tonal properties.

    Chris Bozung of CB guitars seems to like it as well:

    http://www.cbguitars.com/woods.htm

    "Cocobolo is probably closer in tone, color and figure to the finest-grade Brazilian Rosewood used on the classic guitars of yesteryear than any tone wood available today, and for far less money than the inferior-quality Brazilian currently available. Cocobolo offers everything Brazilian Rosewood offers, and more: increased power, increased sustain, increased volume, along with beauty of color and figure not available in Brazilian Rosewood for years.

    For the player seeking to capture the sound and beauty of the finest Brazilian Rosewood from the '40s and '50s, with the added benefits of greater power and sweeter tone, Cocobolo is hard to beat. I consider Cocobolo to be superior in every way to the currently-available Brazilian Rosewood, and with about one-third to one-tenth of the cost of Brazilian, Cocobolo is a real bargain. I cannot recommend this excellent tone wood highly enough."

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    • #3
      All I know about cocobolo is that it's beautiful. Haven't had any exposure to its sounds. Here's what LMI has to say about it:

      http://www.lmii.com/CartTwo/thirdproducts.asp?CategoryName=+Backs+and+Sides&Na meProdHeader=Cocobolo
      I guess I kinda lost control, because in the middle of the play I ran up and lit the evil puppet villain on fire. No, I didn't. Just kidding. I just said that to help illustrate one of the human emotions, which is freaking out. Another emotion is greed, as when you kill someone for money, or something like that. Another emotion is generosity, as when you pay someone double what he paid for his stupid puppet.I.K.F.C.E.S.C.Potato SocietySAWG

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      • #4
        interesting reads, thanks.

        Anybody have any experience with it first hand?
        Cameron CCV
        Diezel VH4
        Bogner 4x12
        '79 LP Silverburst
        '84 LP Silverburst
        '11 LP R9

        Comment


        • #5
          no real experience with it first hand... but just wanted to chip in that you need not worry about any taylor being boomy
          I.K.F.C. (Larris and Lions)
          E.S.C.
          Member of the No Cutaway Club
          hear me/click me/buy me

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          • #6
            I have built a few Cocobolo guitars.

            Now I must qualify the following statements by saying that I personally don't think back and side wood contributes nearly as much to the sound of a guitar as most people seem to think. If such things could be quantified, I'd say that back and sides maybe contribute 10-15% to a guitar's sound. And the difference between the various species of rosewoods is minimal at best. Cocobolo is the same species (Dalbergia) as Brazilian, Indian, Honduran, Camatillo, and Madagascar rosewoods.

            If I was pressed to say what I think the difference between Cocobolo and the other rosewoods I would say that it falls somewhere in between Brazilian and Indian. It seems to impart that sort of "glassy" tone as Brazilian though a little less so. It's definitely more stable that the Brazilian that is available these days. Compared to Indian, I would say it produces a more "pure" tone with less of the darker overtones. From a woodworker's perspective, Cocobolo is VERY oily. It destroys sandpaper very quickly and must be glued with a special epoxy. Cocobolo bridges make me very nervous.

            But we're talking very minimal differences based on the wood I have personally worked with, so please keep in mind that my sample is very small.

            As with all woods of the same species, there is going to be overlap in the characteristics due to natural variations in the wood. All of these woods vary somewhat in their physical properties to the point where these comparisons become nothing more than broad, and sometimes inaccurate, generalizations.

            So, if you find there to be a difference between the sound of a Cocobolo guitar and an Indian rosewood guitar, chances are pretty good that it has much more to do with other factors than the particular variety of rosewood. Buy the one you like more.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have built a few Cocobolo guitars.

              Now I must qualify the following statements by saying that I personally don't think back and side wood contributes nearly as much to the sound of a guitar as most people seem to think. If such things could be quantified, I'd say that back and sides maybe contribute 10-15% to a guitar's sound. And the difference between the various species of rosewoods is minimal at best. Cocobolo is the same species (Dalbergia) as Brazilian, Indian, Honduran, Camatillo, and Madagascar rosewoods.

              If I was pressed to say what I think the difference between Cocobolo and the other rosewoods I would say that it falls somewhere in between Brazilian and Indian. It seems to impart that sort of "glassy" tone as Brazilian though a little less so. It's definitely more stable that the Brazilian that is available these days. Compared to Indian, I would say it produces a more "pure" tone with less of the darker overtones. From a woodworker's perspective, Cocobolo is VERY oily. It destroys sandpaper very quickly and must be glued with a special epoxy. Cocobolo bridges make me very nervous.

              But we're talking very minimal differences based on the wood I have personally worked with, so please keep in mind that my sample is very small.

              As with all woods of the same species, there is going to be overlap in the characteristics due to natural variations in the wood. All of these woods vary somewhat in their physical properties to the point where these comparisons become nothing more than broad, and sometimes inaccurate, generalizations.

              So, if you find there to be a difference between the sound of a Cocobolo guitar and an Indian rosewood guitar, chances are pretty good that it has much more to do with other factors than the particular variety of rosewood. Buy the one you like more.




              Thanks for the insights. And that is a beautiful looking guitar. Is it one you built? Any more pics?
              Cameron CCV
              Diezel VH4
              Bogner 4x12
              '79 LP Silverburst
              '84 LP Silverburst
              '11 LP R9

              Comment


              • #8
                no real experience with it first hand... but just wanted to chip in that you need not worry about any taylor being boomy


                I'd say the 410-CE I used to own was on the boomy side.
                Cameron CCV
                Diezel VH4
                Bogner 4x12
                '79 LP Silverburst
                '84 LP Silverburst
                '11 LP R9

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the insights. And that is a beautiful looking guitar. Is it one you built? Any more pics?


                  Thanks! Yes it's a parlour from a few years ago. Cocobolo back and sides with an Engelmann Spruce soundboard. The only other digital pic I have is this:

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Very nice!
                    Cameron CCV
                    Diezel VH4
                    Bogner 4x12
                    '79 LP Silverburst
                    '84 LP Silverburst
                    '11 LP R9

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Basically, I'm torn between a stunning Taylor 810-CE Ltd Cocobolo/Sitka Spruce or spending $700 more for a used Santa Cruz OM Rosewood/Spruce.
                      Cameron CCV
                      Diezel VH4
                      Bogner 4x12
                      '79 LP Silverburst
                      '84 LP Silverburst
                      '11 LP R9

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks! Yes it's a parlour from a few years ago. Cocobolo back and sides with an Engelmann Spruce soundboard. The only other digital pic I have is this:


                        Man Bjorn! That is one hot looking guitar! Do you have a web site? How much would something like that go for? The Diamond should be your trade mark

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Man Bjorn! That is one hot looking guitar! Do you have a web site? How much would something like that go for? The Diamond should be your trade mark


                          Hey thanks, GrandStation!
                          Check your user CP.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'd like to know if you sell them as well...why don't you shoot me a PM.
                            Cameron CCV
                            Diezel VH4
                            Bogner 4x12
                            '79 LP Silverburst
                            '84 LP Silverburst
                            '11 LP R9

                            Comment









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