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  • Tone wood

    For acoustic, I honestly believe they have a very small effect on electric guitars but they've absolutely got an effect on acoustic guitars.

    What do you like and whyand strictly asking about acoustic guitar.

  • #2
    Let me preface by saying that every piece of wood is different. Every guitar is different. Buying an acoustic without playing it first is therefore crazy. At best, we can make generalities about stuff - but the generalities will not always hold true. That said:

    I like spruce top dreadnoughts with rosewood back/sides. Or at least after playing dozens of dozens of acoustic guitars played this is what seemed to keep popping up as my favorite sound. They're clear and bright and respond really well both finger and flatpicking. There were a few cedar top guitars that also sounded quite lovely fingerpicked, but I didn't like them as much for flatpicking. Mahogany back/sides with a spruce top doesn't sound as bright as I like. The deep, dry voice of mahogany top acoustics is great when someone else plays them, but they don't seem to work in my hands. Especially didn't like fingerpicking on them. My preference for that wood is always smaller body guitars and if you're going with mahogany, make the whole guitar out of it.

    The bracing that a guitar uses has a pretty dramatic shift in the voice of a guitar too - probably as much or more than the wood used . . . I tried some Martins with forward shifted vs rear shifted bracing and consistently preferred the forward shifted - something in the low end sounded much nicer and the guitars felt more alive. I also tried a couple differently braced Taylor models that used the same woods and sounded quite different as well. It led me to believe that we should be arguing about guitar bracing at least as much as tone woods.
    Last edited by GuitarStv; 09-14-2020, 04:05 PM.
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    • #3
      Absolutely, I think racing has a dramatic effect on it for sure

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      • #4
        Acoustic

        Body shape / depth
        Sides not so important
        Back maybe

        Top solid spruce sounds great
        Cedar and mahogany tops have unique sound too

        Neck material makes a difference

        String gauge affects volume projection

        How high the action is affects tone and volume
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        • #5
          I actually like carbon fiber...light and strong, with lots of highs and lows, with reduced mids. That's the EQ I like.
          Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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          • #6
            I agree with Mincer. Carbon fibre is my fave unfortunately I do not own one. I do think of putting a bag over my buddies head and stealing his.

            Hey Mincer, what are you up to this weekend? Wanna jam?

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            • #7
              Spruce top, Rosewood back and sides is the magic recipe for me.
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              • #8
                I used to have an Ovation collector series. I don't remember what the soundboard was, but that thing sounded just as good unplugged as not.

                Sent from my SM-A115A using Tapatalk

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                • #9
                  The top is critical in an acoustic......in the wood and bracing. Its the only scenario where tap tone actually can be used to predict and also tune how the final instrument will perform.
                  The shape gives also makes for differences in eq balance.
                  And like with all instruments, the neck has important functions when it comes to sustain. It's a long unsupported thin section, and can easily dampen vibration if it's a poor selection of timber.

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                  • #10
                    It's just like electrics. You can go into a shop, pick up two guitars with identical specs on paper, and there will be differences in tone and response between them. And you also might pick up two guitars of very different woods/specs, and the two will sound more alike than not. Does it really come down to the "species" of the wood? Or does it come down to individual pieces of wood, which are only placed in to general ranges of characteristics by species...with some overlap between the species? Is it actually controllable? I dunno, and neither does anyone else, in the true meaning of the word "know."

                    The main difference is that with acoustic, you're stuck with it, while with electric, you can easily adjust and/or mod to compensate for it.

                    My favorite sounding guitar happens to be a D-35 style (i.e. 3-piece back) made in the '70s of Brazilian rosewood, with a spruce top and a mahogany neck. It also happens to have a Spanish neck joint. Ebony board.

                    My second favorite is an all maple (except the top) jumbo by Guild, a vintage 1968 model. Also an ebony board.

                    The two sound remarkably alike in terms of e.q. But the dreadnaught is louder and a little bit more even/balanced in tone. The jumbo has a slightly less "sparkly" high end, and not as much aggression in the midrange.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by PS412 View Post
                      I agree with Mincer. Carbon fibre is my fave unfortunately I do not own one. I do think of putting a bag over my buddies head and stealing his.

                      Hey Mincer, what are you up to this weekend? Wanna jam?
                      Gig on Friday, then outta town to have a nice weekend in Mt Dora. Studio session on Wednesday. Happy the gigs are starting again.
                      Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mincer View Post

                        Gig on Friday, then outta town to have a nice weekend in Mt Dora. Studio session on Wednesday. Happy the gigs are starting again.
                        Should be a good time. I know the local bands here are really chomping at the bit. My wife and I want to go for a good night out dancing as well.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by solspirit View Post
                          For acoustic, I honestly believe they have a very small effect on electric guitars but they've absolutely got an effect on acoustic guitars.

                          What do you like and whyand strictly asking about acoustic guitar.
                          Then you'd be wrong. I have built over 230 guitars so far and if there's one thing I am absolutely aware of, it's that wood species absolutely makes a difference. I have made several exactly identical guitars only different woods and the differences are stark.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by PS412 View Post

                            Should be a good time. I know the local bands here are really chomping at the bit. My wife and I want to go for a good night out dancing as well.
                            Yeah, going out for fun isn't something I will do yet. Performing at a festival or something, though, the performers are pretty far away from the crowds if they want to be.
                            Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mincer View Post

                              Yeah, going out for fun isn't something I will do yet. Performing at a festival or something, though, the performers are pretty far away from the crowds if they want to be.
                              I hear you. Our little slice of the pie has been, well, uneventful. Have a good gig.
                              Sorry solspirit, back on topic.

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