Jump to content

Recommended Posts

  • Members

I my whittle brain:

 

Agathis = cheaper alternative to mahogany

 

Basswood = a tonewood that is said to sound somewhere between alder and mahogany.

 

Basswood is used on some very expensive axes, like the signature model Steve Vai and Joe Satriani Ibanez models.

 

I have a Squier Tele Custom II that uses Agathis. It's a decent guitar with somewhat of a darker tone.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

Originally posted by Fosse Fox



Nope....Agathis is a softwood and not even vaguely related to mahogany.

 

 

Correct that it is softwood (as from a conifer), but not necessarily a soft wood (as in dents easily). "Mahogany" is a trade descriptive name for wood that comes from various deciduous trees of several genuses and many species that grow on 5 continents, many of which are botanically only vaguely related. Agathis similarly includes a range of species, and within those species there are individual specimens that provide furniture quality mahogany-like wood, and others that supply pallet wood or pulp for paper.

 

I agree that some agathis guitars sound great and are of medium weight.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

Originally posted by 23miles

I have had a couple of DeArmond guitars made of agathis ~ pretty darn nice for the relatively small price I paid.

x2. I have an older DeArmond M75 from way before Fender that just vibrates with resonance. It has a deep, warm tone too which I attribute to the Agathis. Paired with DeArmond's USA Goldtone humbuckers it is much darker sounding than my Gibson Vintage Mahogany with Burstbucker Pros, and overall rivals it for interesting, satisfying and 'professional' tone.

 

Maybe it's that particular era or run of DeArmond's, but when I hear prople crapping on Agathis as a viable product it tells me there must be more than one grade of the wood. Maybe you have to try and see on a axe-by-axe basis but I would not hesitate to consider Agathis for any future guitar purchase.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

As JP correctly noted, agathis is an Asian pine. And yes, used as a mahogany substitute. I've had one agathis guitar, a DeArmond M-75, mine was heavy as feck. Sounded fine though.

 

Basswood is much lighter, I have a basswood Tele, and it's neck-heavy! Don't mind it tonally but just too light to feel right to me.

 

BK

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderators

Originally posted by jerry_picker




Correct that it is softwood (as from a conifer), but not necessarily a soft wood (as in dents easily). "Mahogany" is a trade descriptive name for wood that comes from various deciduous trees of several genuses and many species that grow on 5 continents, many of which are botanically only vaguely related. Agathis similarly includes a range of species, and within those species there are individual specimens that provide furniture quality mahogany-like wood, and others that supply pallet wood or pulp for paper.

 

I would agree, if you'd said that "mahogany has BECOME a trade descriptive name for...." Mahogany is still only Swietenia mahogani......even macrophylla isnt "true" mahogany as Chippendale et al would have accepted it, although accepted today as the next best thing, and after that the deciduos varieties of genus Khaya. Everything else is not mahogany, despite what loggers and lumbar firms have named it....e.g. "commercial mahogany", just like the many teak substitutes like iroko, but that doesnt make iroko teak, even if the end user feels good if their kitchen fitter calls it that for their benefit. Agathis like wise will never have the same kudos as mahogany as its simply not able tone wise to achieve what M. macrophylla does.....and this is reflected in the acoustic makers choice of linden/basswood as a more suitable choice. Agathis is there cause it flippin grows in abundance.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

Originally posted by Fosse Fox



I would agree, if you'd said that "mahogany has BECOME a trade descriptive name for...." Mahogany is still only Swietenia mahogani......even macrophylla isnt "true" mahogany as Chippendale et al would have accepted it, although accepted today as the next best thing, and after that the deciduos varieties of genus Khaya. Everything else is not mahogany, despite what loggers and lumbar firms have named it....e.g. "commercial mahogany", just like the many teak substitutes like iroko, but that doesnt make iroko teak, even if the end user feels good if their kitchen fitter calls it that for their benefit. Agathis like wise will never have the same kudos as mahogany as its simply not able tone wise to achieve what M. macrophylla does.....and this is reflected in the acoustic makers choice of linden/basswood as a more suitable choice. Agathis is there cause it flippin grows in abundance.

 

Then the number of guitars that are truly mahogany is vanishingly small.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderators

Originally posted by jerry_picker



Then almost NO guitars are mahogany.

 

In the purest sense of the word no, but we accept readily as Chippendale did albeit reluctantly that Swietenia macrophylla is OK, acceptable, the next best thing, and as such usable on quality acoustics, Gibsons etc. I don't for a second think that a certain budget guitar suppliers 129 USD LPs are made from Swietenia. Interestingly....well to ne anyway is that theer is somewhere in East Anglia, (east England) a chappie with a rather nice cche of Swietenia mahogani from the 18th century....turned up at one of the workshops used by Chippendale before he went through his lean period, pre machines. Not quite sure how much.

 

Although why Korina isn't adopted more than it is is beyond me.....some would swear that it out mahoganys mahogany.

 

BTW Jerry, a complete VVG prewired SP90c with Fatocaster is winging its way acroos the Atlantic...thanks for the advice:thu:

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Members

Originally posted by Fosse Fox



Would you like some canapes kind sir? I know popcorn is your usual nibble but as Jerry and I are of a more culturd nature I thought maybe some nice canapes, bruschetta and a glass of wine would be cool?

 

 

nachos, baby - nachos :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...