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  • wild cherry as a tonewood

    What do you guys think?

    Yay or nay?

    I've gotta give it a definite nod to yes. I've played Art & Lutherie guitars with bodies made ENTIRELY of wild cherry that sounded excellent. And they were LAMINATE. It wasn't exactly a very complex tone, but it was a very nice up front sound. I wish I had a guitar like that when I was searching for my first acoustic.

    I've heard it referred to as being more ecologically friendly, which may just be bull****************, but if it is then that's a plus in my book.

    I wonder what a guitar made entirely of solid wild cherry would sound like? The top would need to be pretty thin, but I'm sure it could be done. Not sure if that's a good idea though...
    "The wisest man I ever knew taught me something I never forgot. And although I never forgot it, I never quite memorized it either. So what I'm left with is the memory of having learned something very wise that I can't quite remember." -- George Carlin

    --Member of The Reasonable Fellers Union, established 7/20/04--

    Be kind.

  • #2
    It was my understanding that Cherry is too dense to be a good tone wood. I also didn't think it had any favorible resonance properties.

    I think using a laminate will also deaden its ability since grain patterns are are not inline.

    Mike

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    • #3
      These A&L guitars are made entirely out of the Cherry, all laminates and still sound amazing for what they are.



      As far as cherry being a good tonewood, it does serve a purpose. The Seagulls have a laminate of Cherry between the Mahogany on the Mahogany bodied models, which gives the tone more treble according to LaSiDo, so I take it it is dense. However, as for making it sound good, I think it has something to do with LaSiDo being able to make one heck of an instrument.

      Heck, Bob Taylor made his infamous "Pallet Guitar," so there's some woods that can be used to make a guitar that one might not traditionally consider.

      FYI, I was told by a dealer that canadian companies who transform canadian wood into finished products get subsidies from the Canadian government since so much canadian wood is sent around the world to be processed. And I imagine that there is plenty of Cherry in some areas of Canada...I mean, come on, what else are you going to do with all that empty space and no people....

      Dustin
      "I LOVE YOU LONGTIME!" - lug
      Take that IWLP, I win! - collinwho
      If I wanted facts I'd read wikipedia. - collinwho
      Winner of oldivor's post of the bla award! - 4/24/06
      Winner of the Zamfir Post of the Day Award!!! 4/4/08

      HCBF Hierarchy (according to lug)

      Admins -> Lug -> Super Mods -> Mods + BOALG -> Hall of Fame Members -> Senior Members -> Members -> Junior Members -> SubJunior Members -> Mikgag & I_Want_A Les_Paul

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      • #4
        I've built with it. Hard to get a nice set without pitch pockets. I thought it kind of sounded like maple more than anything else. slightly less bright. You do have to cut it thin. It finishes easy without a lot of filling. Seems to darken a lot as it ages, sometimes the sides and back will take on different colors over time.
        "I don't want to be immortalized through my work. I want to be immortalized by not dying." Woody Allen

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        • #5
          Originally posted by i_wanna_les_paul
          However, as for making it sound good, I think it has something to do with LaSiDo being able to make one heck of an instrument.


          This is what I immediately thought, too. But I believe Martin is even making a few guitars with wild cherry back and sides: http://www.martinguitar.com/guitars/choosing/woods.php?b=b

          As for the tonal properties, I believe LaSiDo describes it as having the attack of maple with some of the mellow qualities of mahogany. I guess that's why it sounds good on the Seagull's combined with a solid cedar top.

          It just really surprised me that a guitar made of this wood, let alone laminates of this wood, sounds pretty darn good.
          "The wisest man I ever knew taught me something I never forgot. And although I never forgot it, I never quite memorized it either. So what I'm left with is the memory of having learned something very wise that I can't quite remember." -- George Carlin

          --Member of The Reasonable Fellers Union, established 7/20/04--

          Be kind.

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm guessing Martin is doing it due to the "Certified Cherry" thing, kind of like the Gibson LP "Smartwood" series. Just to be good conservationists and give people another option.

            Dustin
            "I LOVE YOU LONGTIME!" - lug
            Take that IWLP, I win! - collinwho
            If I wanted facts I'd read wikipedia. - collinwho
            Winner of oldivor's post of the bla award! - 4/24/06
            Winner of the Zamfir Post of the Day Award!!! 4/4/08

            HCBF Hierarchy (according to lug)

            Admins -> Lug -> Super Mods -> Mods + BOALG -> Hall of Fame Members -> Senior Members -> Members -> Junior Members -> SubJunior Members -> Mikgag & I_Want_A Les_Paul

            Comment


            • #7
              Of course tone is subjective, but I haven't been pleased with Cherry.
              Tom

              www.orsino.lunarpages.com

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              • #8
                Oddly enough, after researching it I think conservationists are wrong about the whole Brazilian rosewood issue. The main reason Brazil is being deforrested is due to agriculture. Trees are felled to provide grassland for cattle. Now if the trees were made VALUABLE to farmers...far more valuable than their cattle.... perhaps they would nuture, plant and preserve trees instead of slash and burn agriculture. Erosion wouldn't happen as an added benefit. But since it's illegal to sell the wood I guess they'll have to make ends meet chopping down trees to make way for their cattle...etc....
                "I don't want to be immortalized through my work. I want to be immortalized by not dying." Woody Allen

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                • #9
                  and is part of a program to select non endangered woods and woods "rescued" from pulpwood operations. Pretty amazing if you think about it. I have heard that you can actually get quality spruce from building supply and lumber stores if you spend the time selecting the pieces that got quartersawn acceptably.

                  As for the cherry tone contribution, I have heard from folks whose opinion I trust that it doesn't have any kind of remarkable tone. INterestingly, the Seagull Wild Cherry laminates guitars can sound real good however. I have a Wild Cherry Ami by Art & Lutherie division of Seagull. It sounds just fine - makes a great blues guit if you're OK with 1 11/16 inch nut width...

                  I am very interested in the composite guitars too... CA especially

                  I'd like to learn to make them someday as soon as I find the time..

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think as far as ecologically friendly goes, the story is that Lasido gets the wood from trees that fell in the Canadian National Forest and uses the wood for guitars. Nothing wrong with that - I did try one of these Art & Lutherie all laminate guitars and they really are pretty decent.

                    However - I still feel that spending a little extra for a Seagull S6 is worth it - having a solid top does make a difference, even if its cedar and not spruce.

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                    • #11
                      What's Bob Taylor's infamous "Pallet Guitar"?
                      Setting a bologna sandwich on fire is not cooking.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cstime
                        What's Bob Taylor's infamous "Pallet Guitar"?


                        Some info on the Taylor pallet guitar.
                        "I LOVE YOU LONGTIME!" - lug
                        Take that IWLP, I win! - collinwho
                        If I wanted facts I'd read wikipedia. - collinwho
                        Winner of oldivor's post of the bla award! - 4/24/06
                        Winner of the Zamfir Post of the Day Award!!! 4/4/08

                        HCBF Hierarchy (according to lug)

                        Admins -> Lug -> Super Mods -> Mods + BOALG -> Hall of Fame Members -> Senior Members -> Members -> Junior Members -> SubJunior Members -> Mikgag & I_Want_A Les_Paul

                        Comment


                        • #13


                          That's hilarious! I can't believe I'd never heard of that before.

                          I think it's a really slick-looking guitar, too; the pallet oak and 2x4 top have a very cool-looking grain.

                          I'm intrigued. How much do they cost? I wonder if Kephart's (one of the local music stores) carries 'em.....
                          Setting a bologna sandwich on fire is not cooking.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I don't know how much they are. I was looking online and saw somewhere a mention of a limited run of 25 or something...could be wrong though.

                            While we're mentioning the "alternative wood" guitars, here's a mando made by the Mid-Mo guys (good instruments by the looks) went one step further than "laminated"....Mid Mo Plywood Mando
                            "I LOVE YOU LONGTIME!" - lug
                            Take that IWLP, I win! - collinwho
                            If I wanted facts I'd read wikipedia. - collinwho
                            Winner of oldivor's post of the bla award! - 4/24/06
                            Winner of the Zamfir Post of the Day Award!!! 4/4/08

                            HCBF Hierarchy (according to lug)

                            Admins -> Lug -> Super Mods -> Mods + BOALG -> Hall of Fame Members -> Senior Members -> Members -> Junior Members -> SubJunior Members -> Mikgag & I_Want_A Les_Paul

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Lakewood makes a spruce/cherry OM-sized guitar that I got to try (although for some reason missed that one out in my photo adventure). I don't recall its being particularly remarkable, but at the same time, not unremarkable either; which, when you consider I was surrounded by Lakewoods incl. a few in Brazilian RW, speaks well of cherry.

                              There's a place in Germany that has been relisting one on eBay for months and months so I guess they're having trouble selling it - pics and specs (in German) are here:

                              Lakewood Cherrypicker on eBay

                              The 12th-fret inlay is tastefully done, and the headstock looks nice too (also in cherry).

                              I also saw an interesting custom-ordered guitar at the Brook workshop that they called the fruit and nut - it had a 3-piece back made of walnut with the middle piece of cherry:

                              Picture of Brook "Fruit & Nut"

                              And I would guess that when you consider the small amount of impact that the back and sides have on the overall tone, and the environmental aspect, a nice bit of cherry ain't a bad idea. Looks good too!

                              Cams
                              Brook Tamar / Guild DV4 / Heiner D Model A / Brook Bovey / Supportive Wife

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