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blazar

Differences between Nato & Mahogany

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Hello

 

I don't know. Some people say this wood does that and that wood does this. I'm one of those heretics that think it doesn't really matter.

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I think we're all too lay'd back here to notice a difference. Now Hog v. Rosewood yea. But Nato v. Hog? Prolly not much if any.

 

There's another popular board (nameless :) ) that has lot's of purists, they might know? :facepalm:

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I'm even more of a heretic. I think the back and sides can be overwhelmed by other factors in term of sound to the point that it becomes irrelevant.

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I can definitely hear the difference between rosewood and nato/hog, but can't really distinguish (by ear, or even sight in many cases) between nato and hog. That includes laminate back/side guitars too.

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I'm even more of a heretic. I think the back and sides can be overwhelmed by other factors in term of sound to the point that it becomes irrelevant.

+1:thu:

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From my understanding,Nato is a Mahogany type of wood.Some say it is a type of Mahogany,a less cheaper version.You'd have to have a lot better hearing than me to tell the difference.

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I can out-heretic all of you. I believe it is impossible to know what the "nature" of the sound of the back and sides of a guitar are. To begin to get an idea you would have to do some scientific listening tests and I don't believe anybody has ever done that. I've done all kinds of scientifically valid listening tests but I wouldn't know where to begin with guitars. Comparing two different guitars at different times is meaningless. Completely meaningless. To get a valid sample you would have to test many, many guitars at the same time in the same room with exactly the same performance with a panel of listeners in a bias controlled environment. If it would be possible to make two guitars EXACTLY the same but with different back and side materials, you might convince me that it would represent a valid comparison but I'm not sure that's possible. I think you would need to do it with a statistically appropriate sample of instruments and listeners. It's a really difficult thing to do.

 

I'm not suggesting all guitars sound the same. They don't. But I doubt seriously that the composition of the back and sides has much or anything to do with it. I firmly believe nobody has done tests that I would consider scientifically valid to find out either.

 

So to all you heretics I can only say that I agree with you and go one step further to say that you can't even know the difference if there is one. You can think you do but, until you do it right, you would never convince someone experienced at bias controlled listening tests.

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I think a Mahogany Martin D15 smells fantastic. Mahogany seems to have less dark striations in the grain therefore a more uniform color as opposed to Nato I have seen. I think that Mahogany also tends to have a boomy-ness to it in acoustics guitars. All of these points are merely personal observations from owning two Mahogany guitars.

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I can out-heretic all of you. I believe it is impossible to know what the "nature" of the sound of the back and sides of a guitar are. To begin to get an idea you would have to do some scientific listening tests and I don't believe anybody has ever done that. I've done all kinds of scientifically valid listening tests but I wouldn't know where to begin with guitars. Comparing two different guitars at different times is meaningless. Completely meaningless. To get a valid sample you would have to test many, many guitars at the same time in the same room with exactly the same performance with a panel of listeners in a bias controlled environment. If it would be possible to make two guitars EXACTLY the same but with different back and side materials, you might convince me that it would represent a valid comparison but I'm not sure that's possible. I think you would need to do it with a statistically appropriate sample of instruments and listeners. It's a really difficult thing to do.


I'm not suggesting all guitars sound the same. They don't. But I doubt seriously that the composition of the back and sides has much or anything to do with it. I firmly believe nobody has done tests that I would consider scientifically valid to find out either.


So to all you heretics I can only say that I agree with you and go one step further to say that you can't even know the difference if there is one. You can think you do but, until you do it right, you would never convince someone experienced at bias controlled listening tests.

 

 

I feel sorry for all of those crash test dummies who suffer testing tonewoods on our behalf.

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I can out-heretic all of you. I believe it is impossible to know what the "nature" of the sound of the back and sides of a guitar are. To begin to get an idea you would have to do some scientific listening tests and I don't believe anybody has ever done that. I've done all kinds of scientifically valid listening tests but I wouldn't know where to begin with guitars. Comparing two different guitars at different times is meaningless. Completely meaningless. To get a valid sample you would have to test many, many guitars at the same time in the same room with exactly the same performance with a panel of listeners in a bias controlled environment. If it would be possible to make two guitars EXACTLY the same but with different back and side materials, you might convince me that it would represent a valid comparison but I'm not sure that's possible. I think you would need to do it with a statistically appropriate sample of instruments and listeners. It's a really difficult thing to do.


I'm not suggesting all guitars sound the same. They don't. But I doubt seriously that the composition of the back and sides has much or anything to do with it. I firmly believe nobody has done tests that I would consider scientifically valid to find out either.


So to all you heretics I can only say that I agree with you and go one step further to say that you can't even know the difference if there is one. You can think you do but, until you do it right, you would never convince someone experienced at bias controlled listening tests.

What you're talking about is perfection and life outside the lab isn't like that.

 

I know what I've heard in my time, in all sorts of live situations and on my workbench. I can tell the difference in sound between rosewood and mahogany or laminate vs solid in most cases.

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What you're talking about is perfection and life outside the lab isn't like that.


I know what I've heard in my time, in all sorts of live situations and on my workbench. I can tell the difference in sound between rosewood and mahogany or laminate vs solid in most cases.

 

 

I couldn't agree more. :thu:

 

The variation in tonal nuance between timber varieties, solids and laminates can be heard, if you know what to listen for.

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If Nato is the Mahogany I know as Vietnamese Mahogany, (local to SE Asia), I don't think it sounds very good.

 

The Maple guitars here sound fantastic. VN Rosewood & IR can be great but are more hit & miss.

 

The Hog guitars I've heard here have a very dark tone. Good for warm, fat harmonic notes, but not much else.

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I received the Nato guitar in the mail, and compared to my Martin D15LE, it has less depth in the bass-mids and has a predominant sharp treble. Mahogany seems to have a greater warmth across the board. In the scheme of things, the top is the most important part of the guitar; the sides effect the timbre (color).

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I received the Nato guitar in the mail, and compared to my Martin D15LE, it has less depth in the bass-mids and has a predominant sharp treble. Mahogany seems to have a greater warmth across the board. In the scheme of things, the top is the most important part of the guitar; the sides effect the timbre (color).

 

And what is it that leads you to believe it results from the Nato and not from the bracing or thickness of the top or any number of other issues?

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And what is it that leads you to believe it results from the Nato and not from the bracing or thickness of the top or any number of other issues?

I believe he constructed 300 guitars in the same shop, with the same tools (and wood from a single tree) and only changed a single variable on each. Then he got 500 qualified listeners with doctorates in guitar listening to listen to all of them at the same time in a room designed for the purpose.

 

I believe he tried to have the theorem published, but it got rejected because different parts of the tree may exhibit non-identical tonal characteristics. ;)

 

Either that or it's just his opinion.

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I've heard this same nonsense for years from audiophiles. Sorry, it is just as nonsensical when it comes from musicians. Just as there are sonic differences between electronic audio playback systems there are sonic differences between musical instruments. But to ascribe those differences to anything that pleases you is guesswork at best. I know that beyond a doubt. Personally, I just enjoy the sound without worrying about what part of the instrument or what factor in its construction caused it. I love music and musicianship just like you do. I'm just a little more pragmatic about the physical instrument itself.

 

I'm still trying to understand why people think bridge pins have a sound. There is certainly no logic for it. It can only be a belief fed by bias and placebo. Hold these beliefs if you like but some of us aren't going to play there until someone comes up with real evidence that bridge pins have a sound.

 

If you want to compare the sound of a classical nylon strung guitar picked with finger nails to the sound of a steel strung dreadnought played with a plastic pick, I'm on board with the dramatic difference in sound. When you start trying to distinguish what is a subtle difference between two steel strung dreadnoughts, then I suspect some things, like the bracing or the thickness of the top make so much more difference than bridge pins or side material, that getting hung up on those things is caused by sonic differences in personal bias rather than sonic differences in the materials themselves. It's OK. It's human nature. It affects all of us humans.

 

My favorite Chinese made guitar only cost me $500. As it turns out the Chinese are capable of making decent instruments when they are motivated to do so. Is it as good as a $4000 one? It is to me. Otherwise I would buy a $4000 one. I have $4000 and I can use it for a guitar if I want to. I've played $4000 ones in the hope that I would experience some sort of sonic ephiphany. All I can say is that there are subtle audible differences between them and mine and whether one is better than another gets down to bias and preference rather than some universal truth. Different is not necessarily better.

 

I guess it is my doctorate in listening tests that causes my insanity.

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My favorite Chinese made guitar only cost me $500. As it turns out the Chinese are capable of making decent instruments when they are motivated to do so.
Is it as good as a $4000 one? It is to me.

 

Precisely!

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I don't know where you've been the last 200 years, but I have been a guitarmaker for over 35 years. This is what I do for a living, and you sir, have no clue what you're talking about.

 

I don't guess, when I taptune woods, I know.

 

btw, bridgepins make no difference in tone by themselves, they really just affect bridge mass, and that affects tone.

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I've heard this same nonsense for years from audiophiles. Sorry, it is just as nonsensical when it comes from musicians. Just as there are sonic differences between electronic audio playback systems there are sonic differences between musical instruments. But to ascribe those differences to anything that pleases you is guesswork at best. I know that beyond a doubt. Personally, I just enjoy the sound without worrying about what part of the instrument or what factor in its construction caused it. I love music and musicianship just like you do. I'm just a little more pragmatic about the physical instrument itself.


I'm still trying to understand why people think bridge pins have a sound. There is certainly no logic for it. It can only be a belief fed by bias and placebo. Hold these beliefs if you like but some of us aren't going to play there until someone comes up with real evidence that bridge pins have a sound.


If you want to compare the sound of a classical nylon strung guitar picked with finger nails to the sound of a steel strung dreadnought played with a plastic pick, I'm on board with the dramatic difference in sound. When you start trying to distinguish what is a subtle difference between two steel strung dreadnoughts, then I suspect some things, like the bracing or the thickness of the top make so much more difference than bridge pins or side material, that getting hung up on those things is caused by sonic differences in personal bias rather than sonic differences in the materials themselves. It's OK. It's human nature. It affects all of us humans.


My favorite Chinese made guitar only cost me $500. As it turns out the Chinese are capable of making decent instruments when they are motivated to do so. Is it as good as a $4000 one? It is to me. Otherwise I would buy a $4000 one. I have $4000 and I can use it for a guitar if I want to. I've played $4000 ones in the hope that I would experience some sort of sonic ephiphany. All I can say is that there are subtle audible differences between them and mine and whether one is better than another gets down to bias and preference rather than some universal truth. Different is not necessarily better.


I guess it is my doctorate in listening tests that causes my insanity.

 

 

Doctorate in listening tests? Pmsl :lol: Perhaps an apprenticeship or course in luthiery wouldn't go amiss?

 

Without any need to mention ability to purchase, prices, or wear a lab coat, a greater part of personal impressions depend upon the degree of ear wax present in a player's ears during instrument test-drives, as well as auditory perception, etc..

 

Variations in an instrument's component parts can and do produce varying results, but none more so than it's primary structural elements.

 

A guitar is the sum of it's parts and the luthier's goal is to produce discernably characteristic end results via structural design, material manipulation and variation via voicing. Each maker voices his/her instruments in their own way and just as many schools of thought exist when it boils down to the ways in which back & side timbers can influence tonal output.

 

One consitant theme throughout the industry is that they do.

 

Indeed, Torres illustrated the importance of the soundboard and bracing above all other elements with his papier mache guitar and this is very true, but many tend to forget the fact that he'd voice every single part of an instrument's soundbox before signing it out of his workshop. Including back and sides.

 

The principle reasons behind the use of differing back & side timbers are to colour to the voice of an otherwise bland sounding instrument. A back & side's varying resonant frequencies are more than capable of producing quite diverse effects when tied in with factors such as soundboard thickness &

bracing, soundbox volume (Capacity), soundhole size, bridge mass & density, etc.. The list goes on, but no single element exists in isolation whilst each serves a specific purpose as part of the whole.

 

Do back and sides make a difference? Yes, but the degree by which able to depends upon the maker and one luthier's rosewood back & side set will always possess different characteristic properties to one by another. Regardless of timber variation from one log to another.

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All I know is, my son's FG700S (solid sitka spruce top, lam nato back/sides) sounds different than my FG730S (solid sitka spruce top, lam rosewood back/sides). Other than the back/side materials, they are the same. Yet they sound quite different.

 

On the other hand, the FG735S I had prior to the current FG730S, (exact same wood and construction) sounded the SAME as the FG730S.

 

So even with laminated back/sides, the difference is clear (to some of us).

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Trust me, Mr. luthier, after 10 years of bias controlled listening tests I know exactly what I'm talking about but I'm not going to overcome common belief systems. OK, I'll get out of this thread. My input is obviously not popular. Take care.

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Trust me, Mr. luthier, after 10 years of bias controlled listening tests I know exactly what I'm talking about but I'm not going to overcome common belief systems. OK, I'll get out of this thread. My input is obviously not popular. Take care.

 

Well Mr. fmw, after you've mastered guitar design, crafting, wood selection, tap tuning, and built a few hundred successful guitars, then you'll know something about this. Until then, rather then trust the opinions of a woefully misguided individual, I'll continue to trust my ears, and my skills. Good day.

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