#1
what's the quality of agathis?i want to buy a new guitar, an ltd mh 250 and it's a very nice guitar.i searched on google about the quality of agathis and some people said that it's a very bad wood and some people said that is as good as alder or a bit lower quality than alder or mahogany.

here's a link with the guitar: http://www.magazinuldemuzica.ro/ESP-LTD-MH250-STBLK-_-24807.html

in $ it costs 830$
#2
Agathis is concidered a budget type of wood. I'm sure you can get something with better wood for $800. The hardware may be a bit inferior, but you can upgrade that... you can't upgrade wood
#3
agathis is not considered budget wood. It is cheaper than mahogany and alder but thats not because its crap wood. As with anything in life, you get good Agathis and duds, just the same as you get excellent alder guitars and complete duds.

Agathis is said to have tonal qualities similar to mahogany and i believe its a bit softer than mahogany.

Its cheaper due to its abundance in asia (apparently...)
#4
check this out..

What is Agathis?
Agathis is the name for a genus of giant tropical conifer trees found in rain forests in the tropical far east and the southwest Pacific. The genus is a member of the Araucariaceae, the plant family which includes the monkey-puzzles and Cook-pines as well as the recently discovered Wollemi Pine, a botanical “living fossil” from New South Wales in Australia. The Araucariaceae belongs to a group of plants known as the conifers, which also includes the pine family (pines, spruces, larches, firs, cedars), the podocarp family (podocarps, kahikatea, totara, etc.) and the cypress family (swamp-cypresses, giant sequoias, junipers & cypresses). The timber is immensely useful (see below) and is increasingly used, or so it would seem, for making guitars.

Where does Agathis come from?
Agathis grows in rain forests right across southeast Asia and the western Pacific, from Malaysia in the west through Indonesia, Brunei, the Phillippines, and Papua New Guinea to Australia (Queensland), New Zealand (northern North Island), the Santa Cruz group of the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Fiji in the east. A little map is available below: the shaded areas indicate parts of the world within which stands of the tree may be found, rather than vast forests of the trees. Where most of the wood being used in guitar-making comes from I do not know, but it seems unlikely to be New Zealand (where most of the forests are protected) or or New Caledonia (where many Agathis stands have been logged out). Click on the map for a larger version.

The distribution of Agathis - click on the map for a larger version in a new window


What sort of wood is it?
Agathis species are often called ‘kauri’/‘kaori’ or ‘dammar’/‘damar’ (from Polynesian and Malay words respectively), and the timber is sometimes referred to as “commercial grade mahogany”.

Conifer wood is often called ‘softwood’, although conifers vary greatly with respect to the structural properties of their wood, and the lumping together of all conifer woods as ’softwoods’ is not always helpful.

The following information on Agathis wood is taken from page 39, section 8.1 (Timber) of T. C. Whitmore’s 1977 publication “A first look at Agathis” (published by the Commonwealth Forestry Institute, Oxford).

“The timber is straight-grained, with a fine, even, silky texture and a lustrous surface. It is pale straw to yellow-brown in colour, uniform, light, strong, knot-free and easily worked. Density at 15 percent moisture content was 0.47 gm/ml (29.4 lb/cu ft) .”

“The comment in New Zealand that ‘there is no more generally useful softwood’ can be applied to all Agathis. Uses are legion, including for panelling, cabinet-making, joinery, turnery, mouldings, pattern-making, battery separators, piano parts and artificial limbs. The wood has no odour and is therefore good for tea-chests and butter-boxes. It is highly sought after for boat-building and for masts.”

“The timber is not durable but takes preservatives easily.”

Is it suitable for making guitars with?
I should first of all say that I know nothing about musical instrument making beyond what one can discover from reading several independent webpages on the subject. The consensus appears to be that Agathis is no better or worse than many other commonly-used timbers, but is not the best wood for the purpose.

I suggest a look at the following websites, among others:

Musical Instrument Makers’ Forum: http://www.mimf.com/
GIM Custom Guitars: Malaysian Exotic Woods: http://www.gimguitars.com/wood2.html (see Damar minyak - Agathis borneensis)
Slaman Guitars FAQ: http://www.slamanguitars.com/faq.html


Is Agathis wood a sustainable resource?
Sometimes! Unfortunately, the best guitars are usually reckoned to be made, regardless of the type of wood, from trees of more than 200 years old. Although it is, of course, perfectly possible that national and private forest operations could provide renewable, plantation-grown or managed-forest timber grown on this sort of long-term cycle, in reality the main source for this sort of timber is likely to be primary forest - that is, old-growth forests being logged for the first time.

There are Agathis plantations in many parts of the world and much of the Agathis timber on the world market is probably plantation-grown, but as with all tropical timbers, if you wish to be environmentally responsible then you should ALWAYS err on the side of caution and buy only wood that the supplier can prove is certified as coming from a sustainable timber source.
#5
Agathis can be good in theory, but it's mostly used on cheaper guitars where cheaper cuts of wood are used, so it's not like you're getting top-quality agathis.

Agathis is tonally around the same as limba (korina) - it's just a touch lighter-toned than mahogany is. It's got very unusual note decay though, it doesn't sustain well, it's a soft wood and will dent easily and it weighs quite a lot despite being so soft. it also has very ugly grain. It's just not used in better guitars because if you're going to spend more on a guitar you could just get mahogany, limba or even just higher grade basswood, all of which will be in the same ballpark tone-wise and will be stronger and usually lighter.
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#6
Quote by MrFlibble
Agathis can be good in theory, but it's mostly used on cheaper guitars where cheaper cuts of wood are used, so it's not like you're getting top-quality agathis.

Agathis is tonally around the same as limba (korina) - it's just a touch lighter-toned than mahogany is. It's got very unusual note decay though, it doesn't sustain well, it's a soft wood and will dent easily and it weighs quite a lot despite being so soft. it also has very ugly grain. It's just not used in better guitars because if you're going to spend more on a guitar you could just get mahogany, limba or even just higher grade basswood, all of which will be in the same ballpark tone-wise and will be stronger and usually lighter.

Yep.

Also, that's fairly interesting that it's similar to Limba.
And who says something that's soft is always lighter?
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#7
Kauri in new zealand has been dying out for many years, mainly due to disease and harvesting for kauri gum, but it is a beautiful wood when finished. i have no idea on the tonal aspects of it, but i would like to make on myself someday
#8
I have had 2 agathis guitars. I liked the way they sounded, my M100FM and a bc rich warlock. Its not a bad tonewood its just different. People who say other wise are idiots.
Last edited by Darkdevil725 at Dec 15, 2011,
#11
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