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Old 12-30-2012, 07:30 PM   #1
Sir-Shredalot
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All Rosewood Les Paul?

So i tried a fender rosewood body strat. my god it was very sweet.

i am looking to have an all indian rosewood les paul made.

Would this be feasible, and would i need some maple on this or would it be suitably balanced?
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:23 PM   #2
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That would be one hell of a "dark" sounding guitar. Pretty damn heavy (weight wise) too.

The tone you want is really up to you, but I have the feeling that an all rosewood Les Paul with a set neck and humbuckers is going to be way too warm and muddy sounding to cut through the mix.

I think you should try one out and see if you like it first before you have one built. That's a pretty tall order for a custom guitar.
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:31 PM   #3
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My back cries in pain at the thought of that heavy of a guitar, would sound nice though.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:16 PM   #4
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Rosewood and maple will end up about the same weight. If you don't want it to break your back, you'll want it chambered. Rosewood is such an open, oily and warm-toned wood that chambering won't really effect the tone or sustain, you'll just be saving your spine.

Warmoth used to be able to make such a thing, but they're not allowed to make Gibson-style bodies just yet; they say they're working on new designs that will be similar (but sufficiently different so they don't get sued). Any private luthier or smaller builder should be able to make it for you too, but expect it to cost a lot. If you think that an all-rosewood neck costs about twice what a plain maple & rosewood one does from companies like Musikraft and Warmoth, and that Fender charge a few extra thousand for all-rosewood construction, not to mention that carved tops are always going to be significantly more expensive than flat top guitars, well, you can see that a rosewood Les Paul is going to cost a ridiculous amount. I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up being twice what a regular Gibson Custom Shop reisssue LP costs.

Best thing you can do, really, is get in contact with a smaller company or luthier near you and get chatting. This is the sort of task that many companies would simply outright deny, and if someone is up for making it then it's not like you'll have a lot of options. The theory behind it is simple—it'll be very, very heavy and very warm-toned—the real question is whether you can get it made and how many loans you'll need to take out to pay for it.
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFlibble
Any private luthier or smaller builder should be able to make it for you too, but expect it to cost a lot. If you think that an all-rosewood neck costs about twice what a plain maple & rosewood one does from companies like Musikraft and Warmoth, and that Fender charge a few extra thousand for all-rosewood construction, not to mention that carved tops are always going to be significantly more expensive than flat top guitars

I can't say I blame them for the jump in price. Aside from the cost of the wood itself, rosewood dust can be poisonous, and getting some in your lungs can really mess them up. Considering the amount of cutting, routing, sanding and additional work that goes into making a body, I'd sure as heck want to be paid extra since I have to take the extra steps to protecting my lungs.
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Old 12-31-2012, 11:15 AM   #6
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i don't think there deserves to be a price jump for the reason of "now i have to take safety precautions"


we should be doing that anyways, and not charge someone more because of it.

all these meaningless price increases from luthiers drive me nuts. some i can understand, like a reasonable increase for incredibly expensive or hard to obtain woods. or for big/ complicated inlays.

but a 50$ price jump because the customer wants 24 frets instead of 22 seems a little unreasonable to me.
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Jillard
i don't think there deserves to be a price jump for the reason of "now i have to take safety precautions"


we should be doing that anyways, and not charge someone more because of it.

all these meaningless price increases from luthiers drive me nuts. some i can understand, like a reasonable increase for incredibly expensive or hard to obtain woods. or for big/ complicated inlays.

but a 50$ price jump because the customer wants 24 frets instead of 22 seems a little unreasonable to me.


I disagree somewhat.

That Luthier (especially if he/she has other people working for them) have to pay insurance premiums. As the potential risk grows, those insurance rates go up. They have to charge more to be able to make a profit. It's not entirely about "this is harder to work with", there are a lot more things the company (as a whole) has to think about. If the sawdust is toxic or the wood is harder to work with, they have to account for that. I know I would if I was doing it.

As far as the extra $50 for an extra 2 frets... I can understand that if they have to add/remove material to do it (such as in a set-neck design), and doing more of any type of work is going to take longer time to do.... That costs extra money. Maybe not $50 worth, but if I'm doing the extra work, I want to get paid for it.

At the end of the day it is all about profit margins. And extra $20 or $50 here or there adds up to a lot at the end of the year to the bottom line, especially if you are doing lots of orders. Being a small time luthier isn't exactly the highest paying job in the world...
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:01 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by stonyman65
I disagree somewhat.

That Luthier (especially if he/she has other people working for them) have to pay insurance premiums. As the potential risk grows, those insurance rates go up. They have to charge more to be able to make a profit. It's not entirely about "this is harder to work with", there are a lot more things the company (as a whole) has to think about. If the sawdust is toxic or the wood is harder to work with, they have to account for that. I know I would if I was doing it.

As far as the extra $50 for an extra 2 frets... I can understand that if they have to add/remove material to do it (such as in a set-neck design), and doing more of any type of work is going to take longer time to do.... That costs extra money. Maybe not $50 worth, but if I'm doing the extra work, I want to get paid for it.

At the end of the day it is all about profit margins. And extra $20 or $50 here or there adds up to a lot at the end of the year to the bottom line, especially if you are doing lots of orders. Being a small time luthier isn't exactly the highest paying job in the world...


As a business owner, making guitars, my insurance policies are not affected by what woods I am working with each day/week. I have standard policies for both health and liability, neither of which change should I happen to be using more toxic materials.

I too agree with Jason, charging more to work with different materials is a big no-no for me. I charge a set rate for labour, with slight increases for things like carve-tops, etc, then add the cost of materials on top. A rare, exotic wood would bump up the cost of a build, but only because the materials cost more to buy in. Price would not go up because any of those materials are more toxic.
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by SerpentineGtars
As a business owner, making guitars, my insurance policies are not affected by what woods I am working with each day/week. I have standard policies for both health and liability, neither of which change should I happen to be using more toxic materials.

I too agree with Jason, charging more to work with different materials is a big no-no for me. I charge a set rate for labour, with slight increases for things like carve-tops, etc, then add the cost of materials on top. A rare, exotic wood would bump up the cost of a build, but only because the materials cost more to buy in. Price would not go up because any of those materials are more toxic.


Could you quote me for an indian rosewood les paul (if you could do that?)
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Old 01-01-2013, 12:18 PM   #10
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yeah, exactly. the only upcharges i give are when wood or inlay materials cost more. i then bump the cost up by roughly the amount extra that it cost me for the materials/shipping.

other than that i try to offer all the best upgrades as a stock option, that way, although I tend to have a higher starting cost, its kind of like those 'no hidden fees' cell phone plans. you know what you are getting for the price that is listed.

bigger companies i can understand, but for small luthiers and stuff, theres often not an amount of difference in the amount of work for a custom option.


example: i've seen guitar companies add an upcharge for having offset dots instead of regular dots. WHAT? same amount of work.


that's a ridiculous extreme, but i think the principal applies to other things, in the context of smaller and midsize luthier companies.


edit: sir shred, i sent you a pm a couple days ago, just btw
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:44 AM   #11
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There was some research a while ago which suggested that the type of wood an electric guitar is made from doesn't affect the sound. There hasn't been much research into it despite everyone believing it to be common knowledge. So it'll be interesting to hear an all rosewood guitar that's bright. I think the main contributors to the sound are the pickups and other electronics and how the strings are mounted. Through body gives a fair amount more brightness.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Jillard
i don't think there deserves to be a price jump for the reason of "now i have to take safety precautions"


we should be doing that anyways, and not charge someone more because of it.

all these meaningless price increases from luthiers drive me nuts. some i can understand, like a reasonable increase for incredibly expensive or hard to obtain woods. or for big/ complicated inlays.

but a 50$ price jump because the customer wants 24 frets instead of 22 seems a little unreasonable to me.

I enjoyed reading this. It proves you make guitars out of love for the instruments and the craft instead of seeing it as a way of making a profit. I believe that will make the guitars better.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WholeLottaIzzy
There was some research a while ago which suggested that the type of wood an electric guitar is made from doesn't affect the sound. There hasn't been much research into it despite everyone believing it to be common knowledge. So it'll be interesting to hear an all rosewood guitar that's bright. I think the main contributors to the sound are the pickups and other electronics and how the strings are mounted. Through body gives a fair amount more brightness.


I agree with you there. That was a very interesting study, and they should do some more work on it - they will be considered wrong and be disputed no matter what they learn, but the whole subject is a bit of a grey area to begin with, and there's a lot of bad information and misunderstanding, I think. I know a guy who is very into analyzing sound, and he said there can be as much difference between two different pieces of the same species of wood, than there can between two different species. .

I could very easily believe that a lot of what we interpret as differences in sound between 'tonewoods' could well be some kind of a placebo effect. I'm not saying that wood makes no difference, but I personally believe that the difference is nothing like as major as people believe in an electric guitar.

Now I'll go and hide myself before the people of this forum come and burn me at the stake . I don't want to get into an argument with anyone about it, or cause any upset. I'm really no expert about the subject.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:14 AM   #13
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I'm really just popping in to stand next to Izzy and Carl as a show of solidarity.

Depending on your chosen pickups, effects and amplification, I wouldn't expect the body wood to make a noticeable difference.

HOWEVER, if you've got your heart set on one and can get someone to build it for you then why the hell not? I'm just saying I'd be surprised if it sounded markedly different. YMMV. Oh, and LPs and Strats are intrinsically different, so I definitely wouldn't expect it to sound like the Strat you tried.

If you're interested you can go here and listen to recordings of six of my guitars, all made of different woods, all sounding pretty much exactly the same.

None of them are rosewood, but I wouldn't mind betting if I had one and ran it through the same signal chain, it would end up sounding pretty much exactly the same, too.

Of course, this doesn't prove that the wood doesn't make a difference, but it does prove that with this particular set-up any differences that there might be are wiped out by subsequent signal processing.
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:02 PM   #14
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When it comes to the type of wood, I think certain woods will definitely add to the sustain and resonance (also depending on the neck joint) but saying the type of wood dictates the tone is a bit much, I think. The only thing I take into account when it comes to the wood is the fretboard and possibly for the top and that's only for aesthetic reasons. I prefer the feel of ebony and the look of maple.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:04 PM   #15
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thanks for all this. I feel i can hear a noticible difference re basswood and mahogany for example. ive tried hundreds of guitars but the rosewood strat was very sweet sounding.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:52 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Jillard
i don't think there deserves to be a price jump for the reason of "now i have to take safety precautions"


we should be doing that anyways, and not charge someone more because of it.

all these meaningless price increases from luthiers drive me nuts. some i can understand, like a reasonable increase for incredibly expensive or hard to obtain woods. or for big/ complicated inlays.

but a 50$ price jump because the customer wants 24 frets instead of 22 seems a little unreasonable to me.

I agree about the cost difference between 22 and 24 frets. However, I think if a luthier needs a little incentive to work with toxic woods, they shouldn't be criticized for charging extra. This doesn't mean that they deserve to charge more. It is a competitive market, so if a different luthier is fine with no upcharge for toxic materials, then the informed consumer should consider going to him.

I assume you build and sell guitars, and you don't seem to take issue with someone wanting a guitar made from toxic woods, so you should be happy with your competitors charging more. That just means more sales for you.
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:04 PM   #17
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wood doesn't effect the sound of a guitar....thats why all the super strats made from alder that have humbuckers and fixed bridges sound exactly like a les paul....and why those chinese basswood tokai sound just like a gibson


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Old 01-04-2013, 08:32 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sytharnia1560
wood doesn't effect the sound of a guitar....thats why all the super strats made from alder that have humbuckers and fixed bridges sound exactly like a les paul....and why those chinese basswood tokai sound just like a gibson



I think that's taking it a bit far. The Tokais are good guitars but against a Gibson, it doesn't really compare. Surely if that was the case, everyone would buy the cheapest guitars and put Gibson hardware in them?
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:48 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by WholeLottaIzzy
I think that's taking it a bit far. The Tokais are good guitars but against a Gibson, it doesn't really compare. Surely if that was the case, everyone would buy the cheapest guitars and put Gibson hardware in them?
I think there may have been a smattering of sarcasm in sytharnia1560's post.

However, if the intention was to imply that wood makes a difference because an Alder, fixed-bridge super-strat with humbuckers doesn't sound like a Les Paul then I feel I should point out that there are many more differences between a $100, Chinese knock-off and an $8000 Gibson that are all just as (if not more) likely to make them sound different.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:23 AM   #20
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Pfft, sarcasm on the Internet is useless. I sure as hell hope he was being sarcastic
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