You must try a Redwood Guitar!!

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
eyedoc
Posts: 484
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:39 am

You must try a Redwood Guitar!!

Post by eyedoc » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:17 pm

Hi,
A couple of months ago I purchased a Redwood top guitar made by James Frieson.
Of all the 40 or so guitars I have bought and sold over the last 25 years, this is my first Redwood.
There were a lot of mixed reviews about redwood tops, and they are not common for classical guitars,
but THIS ONE IS KILLER!!
It had as warm velvety tone, especially in the mid ranges, with proud bases and good, but not shrill trebles. The resonance and sustain
is dramatic, and it just gives you the warmest and coziest feeling to play (especially when I practice first thing in the AM at 6:30

If you ever get the chance to try a redwood guitar, do it!

eyedoc
Posts: 484
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:39 am

Re: You must try a Redwood Guitar!!

Post by eyedoc » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:27 pm

frie4.jpg
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Andrew Pohlman
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Location: SF Bay Area

Re: You must try a Redwood Guitar!!

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Wed Apr 19, 2017 6:12 pm

I absolutely love my Gore redwood top! My Master instructor, Ben Barron, didn't want to put it down when he tried it out! I had to demand he give it back so I could warm up for our performance... No exaggeration! Via Ben's connections at SF Conservatory, many there have heard this instrument and say it is one the best sounding guitars they have ever heard, which is no short praise!

I use Hannabach 815 basses, and flourocarbon trebles. The basic tonal qualities, the massive beautifully balanced overtones, responsiveness, clarity, articulation, note separation, sustain, volume and projection - all are unparalleled! The dynamic range makes me feel like I'm playing an electric and affords massive dynamic expression - with tonal quality maintained from the most subtle note to the most aggressive nail-damaging rest strokes.

If you review this thread, Trevor talks about the redwood neoclassical he built for me.

It looks far better in person, even after I stupidly scratched up the French Polish. But here are some photos BEFORE scratches:
gore redwood 01.jpg
gore redwood 02.jpg
gore redwood 03.jpg
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2013 Rodriguez FF Sabicas blanco
2015 Trevor Gore custom Neoclassical
- redwood top, Palo dorado B+Ss.

eyedoc
Posts: 484
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:39 am

Re: You must try a Redwood Guitar!!

Post by eyedoc » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:42 pm

Beautiful!!
Why "Neo-classical?"
Ron

Andrew Pohlman
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Location: SF Bay Area

Re: You must try a Redwood Guitar!!

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:55 pm

eyedoc wrote:Beautiful!!
Why "Neo-classical?"
Ron
I have severe injuries from dealing with violent psychotic patients. My left biceps tendon was ripped from the bone, with a navicular ("thumb bone") fracture. Took me 1.5 years to regain performance level skill. The neoclassical shape accommodates my altered anatomy. Besides necessity, it's innovative and cool.
2013 Rodriguez FF Sabicas blanco
2015 Trevor Gore custom Neoclassical
- redwood top, Palo dorado B+Ss.

souldier
Posts: 680
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:45 pm

Re: You must try a Redwood Guitar!!

Post by souldier » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:07 pm

I had the chance to play this very guitar that eyedoc purchased. Indeed it was a beautiful instrument. What stood out to me most about this guitar was the basses being just so deep and rich compared to other guitars I've played. Jim Frieson of course just makes phenomenal guitars so I think that is where most of the credit is due. In the end my heart still prefers Jim's spruce guitars, but the Redwood is definitely great if you're looking for something different to add to your collection.
"Success grants its rewards to a few, but is the dream of the multitudes.
Excellence is available to all, but is accepted only by a few." - Christopher Parkening

mmapag
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Location: Philadelphia Area

Re: You must try a Redwood Guitar!!

Post by mmapag » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:11 pm

I have heard Redwood described as having the best characteristics of both spruce and cedar. True based on your experience with this guitar?
'13 Esteve 7 SM
'75 Takamine 132 S
'99 G.V. Rubio Estudio, Cedar, Palo Escrito

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petermc61
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Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: You must try a Redwood Guitar!!

Post by petermc61 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:04 pm

mmapag wrote:I have heard Redwood described as having the best characteristics of both spruce and cedar. True based on your experience with this guitar?
Sounds like a bit of a marketing line to me. If it were true you would see far, far more redwood guitars than you do. I suspect it just has its own sound, depending (of course) on each piece's characteristics and how the luthier thins and braces it.

souldier
Posts: 680
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:45 pm

Re: You must try a Redwood Guitar!!

Post by souldier » Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:34 am

mmapag wrote:I have heard Redwood described as having the best characteristics of both spruce and cedar. True based on your experience with this guitar?
Side by side, I got to compare this exact guitar with a swiss spruce frieson with the same madagascar back and sides. I'd say the redwood has deeper, more prominent basses and rounder trebles much like a cedar. The spruce has more focus and clarity across the board, a more prominent treble response that balances well with the basses, and is more colorful overall. So in short with this one limited experience, I'd say redwood just sounds more like cedar. In fact I felt it sounded more cedar than cedar! Eyedoc will be in a much better position to comment since he has owned several Friesons for long periods of time and has played them in the comfort of his own home.

It's important to note however that luthiers on this forum have found redwood to have a wider variation of properties from tree to tree, which can make it hard to really make generalizations about its tonal properties.
"Success grants its rewards to a few, but is the dream of the multitudes.
Excellence is available to all, but is accepted only by a few." - Christopher Parkening

mmapag
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Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:33 pm
Location: Philadelphia Area

Re: You must try a Redwood Guitar!!

Post by mmapag » Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:36 am

Interesting comments. Thanks!
'13 Esteve 7 SM
'75 Takamine 132 S
'99 G.V. Rubio Estudio, Cedar, Palo Escrito

eyedoc
Posts: 484
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:39 am

Re: You must try a Redwood Guitar!!

Post by eyedoc » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:14 am

I find the Redwood to have some of the mellowness of an aged spruce too, with more resonance or "headroom " as someone else described it. It really does hav its own personality, and I think it is extremely well matched with Madagascar back and sides, which tend to be brighter than Indian Rosewood. It has some of the warmth of Cedar, but not with the same crisp attack that my other Cedar guitars have, especially my Cedar/Madagascar one.
I'm not sure why there are not more Rosewood classicals out there, they seem to be more steel string acoustics in Rosewood
Ron

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rojarosguitar
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Location: near Freiburg, Germany

Re: You must try a Redwood Guitar!!

Post by rojarosguitar » Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:22 am

I love the colour of the reedwood top...
As to the sound, it is such a personal thing ... the most important thing is, you love and connect with it, no matter how it compares to what.
Congratulations ...
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

Andrew Pohlman
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Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2015 8:24 pm
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: You must try a Redwood Guitar!!

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Thu Apr 20, 2017 4:18 pm

mmapag wrote:I have heard Redwood described as having the best characteristics of both spruce and cedar. True based on your experience with this guitar?
I own a cedar top, spruce top, and the redwood top. They all fall into line with the generic statements about the different species. The spruce is on my flamenco - very tight and precise notes and tones. The cedar is on my beater guitar with actually too much resonances as to be muddy. And the redwood is the best of both worlds.

Now, I agree, the luthier plays a significant role in the tonal characteristics. But my experience with different instruments matched the generalizations.
2013 Rodriguez FF Sabicas blanco
2015 Trevor Gore custom Neoclassical
- redwood top, Palo dorado B+Ss.

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Muggins Simoon
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:27 pm
Location: Michigan, USA

Re: You must try a Redwood Guitar!!

Post by Muggins Simoon » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:58 pm

I love the Sequoia top on my 1995 Schneider. It is full, smooth, warm and has headroom. I would say it is between cedar and spruce somewhere, but is unique in its own way.
2011 Mathieu Trepanier Sitka/Koa
2000 Otto Vowinkel Concert Spruce/Brazilian
1998 Christopher Dean Spruce/Indian
1995 Richard Schneider Sequoia/Brazilian
1979 Dauphin Model 40 (Japan-signed label) Cedar/Indian

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