Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Idunno

Good Comparison of Acoustic Guitars

Recommended Posts

What I hear in this comparison is the difference between mahogany and rosewood. The separation of notes is much more evident in the mahogany guitar, especially when strummed. The rosewood, in the absence of this comparison, could sound very nice on its own but in contrast to the mahogany I hear certain losses that are present in the mahogany guitar. I also notice more warmth from the rosewood so the question here is...

 

Does your ear, if it hears what I hear, make the trade-off choice between note separation and warmth? Or, as so many people do, just get one of each? Me? I use a cheap nylon string guitar with onboards and dial in what I want to hear.

 

Edited by Idunno

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I hear in that comparison is a $150 guitar vs a $5k guitar. It's an interesting comparison, but hardly a good one if what you're trying to do is compare the sound of the two types of woods used for the back and sides. The cheap guitar almost certainly is using laminates and not solid woods like the Martin, and that one difference alone makes any comparisons and any conclusions you may draw from them invalid IMO.

 

A much better comparison would be to get two models of the same guitar, from the same manufacturer, but with different back / side materials. The idea is to make everything the same except for the variable you want to test. That would give you a much better comparison.

 

FWIW, I think the Martin sounds much better than the inexpensive guitar... but I wouldn't chalk up the difference to the wood type - more likely the wood and construction quality...

 

FWIW #2, I find rosewood is usually warmer and has better bass, while mahogany tends to have more of a midrange focus. Neither is "better" - they're just different. Both are good. YMMV.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What I hear in that comparison is a $150 guitar vs a $5k guitar. It's an interesting comparison, but hardly a good one if what you're trying to do is compare the sound of the two types of woods used for the back and sides. The cheap guitar almost certainly is using laminates and not solid woods like the Martin, and that one difference alone makes any comparisons and any conclusions you may draw from them invalid IMO.

 

A much better comparison would be to get two models of the same guitar, from the same manufacturer, but with different back / side materials. The idea is to make everything the same except for the variable you want to test. That would give you a much better comparison.

 

FWIW, I think the Martin sounds much better than the inexpensive guitar... but I wouldn't chalk up the difference to the wood type - more likely the wood and construction quality...

 

FWIW #2, I find rosewood is usually warmer and has better bass, while mahogany tends to have more of a midrange focus. Neither is "better" - they're just different. Both are good. YMMV.

 

Agreed on point #2. Not a revelation describing a good/bad scenario.

 

I think the point is strictly about whether there is a $4,850.00 difference in the tonal qualities of the two guitars and has nothing to do with any other consideration. Does your ear hear find a significant quality difference in sound? Most of us here on the acoustic forum are pretty ear/wood savvy and from the perspective of that alone my ear for hog and EIR describes the differences in this demo. We would like to speak further on other contributing factors but that analysis is not up for discussion here. Strictly on the topic of sound alone, is there a $4,850.00 qualitative difference between these two guitars? If you think there is, say so and if you can support that claim in further discussion I'd like to read it. I cannot hear that kind of a difference in this demo. With regard to note separation in strumming, mahogany always surpasses rosewood whereas the latter will prevail in slower melodies where we want its warmth and mellower articulation to set the mood. That's what's happening in this demo. Otherwise, these two guitars are on par with each other in this guys hands. I'd wager that he could get the cheaper guitar in Spruce/EIR to ring indistinguishably from the Martin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Agreed on point #2. Not a revelation describing a good/bad scenario.

 

I think the point is strictly about whether there is a $4,850.00 difference in the tonal qualities of the two guitars and has nothing to do with any other consideration. Does your ear hear find a significant quality difference in sound?

 

Frankly, yes I do. A very significant difference.

 

Having said that, the cheap guitar still sounds like a guitar. The reality is that we can get a good deal on just about anything we need in the music instrument world, and it may give you 75-80% of what a nice instrument will give you, but as you go up in quality and try to get that last 10 or 20 percent increase in sonics and overall performance, the price starts going up fairly rapidly. Only you can decide where on that price / performance scale the economics vs performance makes sense for you.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen a couple of threads like that that just have me scratching my head. IIRC one was a comparison between a full size custom Collings and HPL Little Martin. That's beyond comparing apples and oranges. That's like comparing a freshly picked orange with TANG.

 

When it comes to cheap guitars, there are certainly advantages. Conversely, when it comes to expensive guitars there are limitations. With the former you have the issue of durability. With the latter it's about comfort and responsiveness. Tone is just one factor in determining the worth of one to the other - and most of the time it's still PURELY subjective.

 

To actually start such a debate just tells me that neither guitar is getting played enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It gets a little more interesting if you go to his "blind listening test". There he compares three totally different guitars, the D-42 (spruce over rosewood dreadnaught with lots of expensive bling), a 000-18GE (spruce over mahogany "small bodied" guitar) and the same cheap guitar from the last video. Totally an apples to oranges to kumquats comparison, but that should make it easier than just the subtle back and sides, eh?

 

The format seems fairly valid, same player, same song, same mic, pick, yadda yadda. He blends the clips together so you get to hear each guitar one after the other.

 

[video=youtube_share;4vAte7JCzfo]

 

I listened, guessed, and got the dread right each time. I did pretty good on the triple ought but missed it on two of the clips. And while I mostly didn't like the laminated one as much, as Phil says it does sound like a guitar and when you consider its price its really pretty amazing .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have never really bothered with wood when it comes to guitars. Way back when I started playing no-one mentioned wood, no-one cared about wood, I doubt if anyone knew what wood their guitars were made of: it just wasn't an issue. This guitar sounded like this; that guitar sounded like that. End of story.

 

I suppose that notion has always stuck with me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

- wish i could explain sound differences and brands as good as some of you folks , - What really matters is that a guitarist is

a decent player over what guitar they play . most of the local people who make their living around here playing out really cant afford

top end guitars - if you ask someone in the audience about how a guitar sounds their answer might be something like huuh ?

I dont think 9 out of 10 listeners and tell the difference between a 300 dollar guitar and a 3000 dollar guitar -its all about the performer.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Strictly on the topic of sound alone, is there a $4,850.00 qualitative difference between these two guitars?"

 

No. However, the sound of the cheap git sounds 'thin' rather than better-defined. It is all, has been said, very subjective. That said, I wouldn't pay €5,000 for ONE guitar unless I was wealthy, which I am not. Crazy, yes, not rich.

 

I'd find it more useful if the $150 guitar was compared to a low mid-range guitar like a Seagull S6 or something. What are those, $500? Would there be a qualitative difference between the $150 and the $500 guitar? Probably not as much as with the Martin, but it would be there.

 

My stuff was held up in transit for 3 months when I moved here (didn't tip the movers who had already shaken me down), so I was going nuts for a guitar and bought a €130 Tenson. Rubbish, but it got me through. Its tone was thin, one-dimensional, and not something I was happy with. I ended up giving it to a street person who needed a guitar for busking. If I were to play it along side my D-28, blindfolded, I'd know the difference, and I'd offer the Tenson up for firewood.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, let me try to illustrate without rambling. A lot of it has to do with workmanship and performance. For example, what's the difference between a Volkswagon Bug and a Porsche Carrera?

 

Discuss.

 

12604827.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good point - while the bling obviously won't influence the sound of the guitar, it's going to add quite a bit to the cost of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For example, what's the difference between a Volkswagon Bug and a Porsche Carrera?

 

 

Depending on the model of Carrera, maybe $2K vs 440K, 0-60 in forty seconds vs four, 80 mph (with a tailwind) vs 208, 40 mpg vs 8 Both will get you to the supermarket (or guitar store if thats where you want to go). Both can kill you but in one you'll be smiling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Depending on the model of Carrera, maybe $2K vs 440K, 0-60 in forty seconds vs four, 80 mph (with a tailwind) vs 208, 40 mpg vs 8 Both will get you to the supermarket (or guitar store if thats where you want to go). Both can kill you but in one you'll be smiling

 

...and neither will carry many groceries or a decent sized guitar, I'd warrant. All in all, you'd get more "bang for the buck" out of a hatchback Ford Pinto.

Edited by kwakatak

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These are three small bodied guitar - the outside ones are both Sitka spruce over EIR. One is an single ought (0), one is a triple ought (000). They sound different. The one in the middle is mahogany over mahogany, a double ought (00). It sounds different from the other differences

 

IMG_1781_zps62e38a89.jpg

 

These are two more single oughts, same as the one in the above picture, except that one is Lutz spruce over Brazilian rosewood, the other is Lutz spruce over Madagascar rosewood. I can't tell any difference between the three

 

b09c727b-119b-4ddc-b666-e08ddf3db110_zpsaym7rror.jpg

 

These are two "identical" Weissenborns, same wood from the same log but different bracing patterns. They sound different

 

IMG_0485.jpg

 

IMG_0538.jpg

 

These are two Les Paul style guitars - one is maple over mahogany, the other is spanish cedar (actually not a cedar) over mahogany. They have the same pickups and electronics, however one is chambered and the other is not. They sound different

 

IMG_2164_zps25a4a792.jpg

 

IMG_1941_zps4d2cb0e1.jpg

 

These are two electric guitars with the same pickups and electronics. The first is a "semi hollow body" based on an ES-335. The second is an archtop based (loosely) on a Super 300 or maybe an ES-175. One is red, one is yellow. They are both plywood, the red one is laminated maple over maple, the blond is laminated spruce over maple. They sound very different, yet kinda the same

 

IMG_3427_zpsf7za8tea.jpg

 

IMG_3588_zpspbi6xae9_1.jpg

 

 

Conclusion - size, shape, wood, construction, electronics, and color can make a difference in the way a guitar sounds. Or maybe not.

 

(and sorry about the pictures from the dark side, I know this is the acoustic forum, but if I don't plug them in they sound different too)

Edited by Freeman Keller
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did better then I thought on the blind test. Nailed Example 1 and 4. Totally whiffed on Example 3. EX 2 & 5 I mixed the Martins. Was a interesting experiment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
- wish i could explain sound differences and brands as good as some of you folks , - What really matters is that a guitarist is

a decent player over what guitar they play . most of the local people who make their living around here playing out really cant afford

top end guitars - if you ask someone in the audience about how a guitar sounds their answer might be something like huuh ?

I dont think 9 out of 10 listeners and tell the difference between a 300 dollar guitar and a 3000 dollar guitar -its all about the performer.

 

 

 

TO your point

 

[video=youtube_share;hhHRp2NxmFU]

Share this post


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.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...