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Old 08-21-2014, 02:04 AM   #1
andrew625
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Cool Tonewood by density

Hey all!!

So recently I've been trying to learn more about the wood used in guitar construction. There are a few websites describing the general characteristics of different types of wood. However, I can't seem to find a place where the wood is sorted by its hardness or density.

Can someone sort the wood commonly used in guitar construction by hardness/density??
Also, if there's a thread about tonewood characteristics that I haven't found here? If so can someone share it again??
Thank you thank you so much!!
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:38 AM   #2
Garthman
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I wouldn't worry too much about wood. Most of what you hear about "tonewood" is hype.
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:26 AM   #3
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http://tonewooddatasource.weebly.co...7689846.png?656
is this what you're basically looking for ?
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garthman
I wouldn't worry too much about wood. Most of what you hear about "tonewood" is hype.


Oh boy here we go.
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Old 08-21-2014, 11:08 AM   #5
Captaincranky
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If you're on about "density", every wood has a typical range of weigh per cubic foot.

"Tonewood", is sort of a term applied to all woods used in guitar construction.

However, mahogany for guitars, comes from the same trees as mahogany for furniture, and all the characteristics of any species in commercial use are available with a simple Google search. In fact, I think even Bing or Yahoo could find those stats for you as well.

What sounds good, is usually left to a luthier's good judgement when selecting wood for any particular instrument.

Softwoods, (coniferous species in general), are used in the soundboards and its braces. While hardwoods, (deciduous species), are generally used for the back, sides, and necks.

Because of the scarcity of species, (and hence cost), used for the construction of musical instruments, new sources are being investigated, "sapele" being just one example.

Learn more here: http://www.pantheonguitars.com/tonewoods.htm

Last edited by Captaincranky : 08-21-2014 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:54 PM   #6
Tony Done
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Look up timber (or specific timber) density and Janka rating. There's a mountain of stuff on the internet. Also try guitar tonewood properties.

Here's one example:

http://ejmas.com/tin/2009tin/tinart_goldstein_0904.html

If you are doing this as an aid to buying, whatever you read about tonewoods, especially b&s timbers, should be taken as nothing more than a broad generality. Tone largely depends on construction, the particular piece of wood and luck. Eg Martins vary very substantially among individual guitars of the same model. Cosmetics and tradition also have a big influence on timber choices, and these choices may conflict with optimising tone.
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Old 08-22-2014, 04:11 AM   #7
andrew625
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Thank you guys for all of the responses. The main reason I'm asking is because I wanted to know how to suggest guitars to others. For example, when someone asks "what kinda of guitar should I get if I like 'warm' sound". Between these common types of top wood, Mahogany, Spruce, Cedar and Sapele, which is the brightest and warmest? I've got a general idea between Spruce (bright, more articulate) and Mahogany (mellow and rounded) but where would you place Cedar and sapele? Thanks
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Old 08-22-2014, 03:23 PM   #8
Tony Done
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew625
Thank you guys for all of the responses. The main reason I'm asking is because I wanted to know how to suggest guitars to others. For example, when someone asks "what kinda of guitar should I get if I like 'warm' sound". Between these common types of top wood, Mahogany, Spruce, Cedar and Sapele, which is the brightest and warmest? I've got a general idea between Spruce (bright, more articulate) and Mahogany (mellow and rounded) but where would you place Cedar and sapele? Thanks


Sapele is like mahogany, cedar is powerful and "bouncy"', but lacks headroom. IMO it works very well for nylon string guitars and fingerpickers, but not for heavy-handed flatpickers. Takamine have been using cedar formany decades to liven up what would otherwise probably be dull laminated b&s guitars. As a fingerpicker I have often found that a cedar top on a lam b&s guitar works very well.

EDIT. A lot is in the build. I have an all-sapele (at least I don't think it is mahogany) kona lap steel, that is the most lightly built acoustic I have ever seen. There is nothing mellow and rounded about its sound, it is loud and totally unsubtle; I put brass bridge pins in it to mellow it down a bit.
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Last edited by Tony Done : 08-22-2014 at 05:29 PM.
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Old 08-24-2014, 10:00 PM   #9
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The article referenced about various woods used for guitar making was most interesting. Thank you for sharing the URL.
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Old 09-03-2014, 02:16 AM   #10
andrew625
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Sweet! Thank you all for sharing!!
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