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VintageToneGuy

What are the tonal characteristics of a 'all mahogany' acoustic?

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i prefer all mahogany guitars... not really sure how to describe such subtle differences in words

 

the high notes are simultaneously mellow and sustainable

the mid range is very "power chord" sounding, growly

 

dare i compare the sound to electric amplifiers, spruce would be the "marshall" with high end definition and mahagony would be the more muffled (in a good way) sounding mesaboogie, that just loves to growl, and takes a little bit of shriek out of the high end

 

the day i bought my d15 i was trying out 50+ spruce/cedar topped uitars and just shrugging them all off then fell in love, worth trying

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I've never considered one, but am really curious as to what the tonal characteristics of a all hog acoustic would be. Thanks for your input!


vtg

 

To me, all mahogany sounds warm, mellow.

I have an all hog 0015. Warm and mellow. That's how I perceive it.

 

Also got a hog body, spruce top Tanglewood. it's a bit brighter than the 0015. But by no means bright.

 

All very subjective though.

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Bump. :)

 

I was trying to lookup the stiffness/weight of mahogany, when I found this quote from Bourgeois that I found interesting.

 

"We found the key to making a good mahogany top is thicknessing the wood to approximate the weight and stiffness of spruce," Bourgeois explained. "The nominal price of mahogany, when compared to spruce, is bringing it back into production by some builders, but it

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Bump. :)

 

I was trying to lookup the stiffness/weight of mahogany, when I found this quote from Bourgeois that I found interesting.

 

"We found the key to making a good mahogany top is thicknessing the wood to approximate the weight and stiffness of spruce," Bourgeois explained. "The nominal price of mahogany, when compared to spruce, is bringing it back into production by some builders, but it

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I've owned lots of mahogany guitars.

I sold the Martin 00-15 and the 000-15S.

I still have a 1934 0-17.

Still have several Larrivees, from the Parlor up to an SD-50.

This is a Larrivee L-05.

DSCF0575.jpg

Overall, the Larrivees sound a lot better to me. And they look much better, too. Of course, it's all so very subjective. I like them better than the Martins. Others will disagree.

 

Here's a parlor, a 00 and the L (all Larrivees)

DSCN1274.jpg

They respond well. The mahogany is stiff like spruce but a little heavier. They are great for articulating single notes [read: fingerstyle]. Not the overtones associated with rosewood back and sides. Probably not quite as loud as a spruce top.

We can talk all day long but ultimately, you just have to play one (or several).

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The old saying for mahogany, if I recall an article I once read correctly, is fast attack, low sustain. That is, the notes ring out quickly but sustain a shorter amount of time. That way, when you are doing bluegrass flatpicking runs, the notes don't run over one another, you can hear each clearly. To my ear, in addition to this characteristic, mahogany (I am talking about sitka/mahogany, or similar guitar, not the all hog models) is a bit more brilliant and woody sounding than rosewood.

 

Rosewood, on the other hand, has a slower attack and a longer sustain, thus producing all sorts of overtones that rosewood is famous for. To me, rosewood sounds darker and more lush than mahogany, with a bit more sonic heft to it.

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Q How is the neck on your 0-17? Those are FINE guitars!

Not the deep V. More like a baseball bat. Mine needs a neck reset, but I've been putting it off. Just sold a couple of guitars this week and another on its way so maybe now is the time.

Strange but every older 0-17 I have seen or heard about all seem to be from year 1934. They must have cranked out a shitload of 'em that year.

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