difference between rosewood or mahogany back and sides?

simonm
Amateur luthier
Posts: 6214
Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 10:22 am
Location: Germany, Kronberg (near Frankfurt).

Re: difference between rosewood or mahogany back and sides?

Post by simonm » Sat Feb 18, 2017 5:50 pm

joachim33 wrote: …. Below about 500€ they were mahagoni back above rosewood (they had the Alhambra and Salvador Cortez brand) . To me there was a noticeable improvement in sound with the more expensive models. The guy in the store said that the rosewood was a key ingredient here. ....
How about the key ingredient is more care in the building process in the more expensive ones? But the marketing guys find it easier to differentiate based on the visible colour difference? Most people, especially beginners, buy with their eyes not their ears.

nmshu1
Posts: 247
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:16 am

Re: difference between rosewood or mahogany back and sides?

Post by nmshu1 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:15 am

I like guitars with Mahogany back and sides. I have two such kind of guitars...
Otto Vowinkel Concert
German V. Rubio Concert

User avatar
joachim33
Posts: 152
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2017 8:21 pm
Location: Skåne

Re: difference between rosewood or mahogany back and sides?

Post by joachim33 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:50 am

joachim33 wrote:I went into a shop in summer and bought a guitar. Below about 500€ they were mahagoni back above rosewood (they had the Alhambra and Salvador Cortez brand) . To me there was a noticeable improvement in sound with the more expensive models. The guy in the store said that the rosewood was a key ingredient here. I went with a rosewood guitar :D

Though if you have handled both and can't hear a difference, I am not sure what to recommend you.

From a purist point of view I would not buy a build in pick-up system. One can always use an external mic if the need arises.
When writing this, I wasn't aware of the endangered species regulation (CITES) changes that came into force in January this year. All rosewood is now on that list.

By buying a Rosewood free guitar one might save some hassle in future. But just because the sides and backs are Mahagoni, does that mean that instrument is not affected by CITES and will continue to do so? I don't know.

Asking documents when buying and keeping them well filed seems prudent to me at this point.

Thura2017
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:47 am

Re: difference between rosewood or mahogany back and sides?

Post by Thura2017 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:32 am

I prefer the colour of the rosewood, but I can't really differentiate the difference in tone between rosewood and mahogany.
Yamaha C70
Yamaha CG111s
Yamaha CG112Ms
Yamaha CG151c
Yamaha CG171s
Yamaha CG180sca
Yamaha CG192s
Yamaha SLG130nw
Antonio Picado model 60
Amalio Burguet 3A
Alhambra 5PA PT
Antonio Lorca model 12
Cuenca model 40R
Esteve 4st
Takamine C128
L Luthier Sig 08

MessyTendon
Posts: 1257
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:33 am

Re: difference between rosewood or mahogany back and sides?

Post by MessyTendon » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:17 pm

It's a factory guitar built more robust than a Spanish style guitar...so really the premium you pay for the Rosewood, is in my opinion not really worth it. But if you want to have a more "premium" wood go with the Rosewood, since it will be more controlled and difficult to acquire, it would be a more valuable feature. But if you never intend to sell the guitar maybe go with Mahogany.

The Godin/La Patrie/Seagull products are generally well made, they have access to good Cedar. In fact I would go with Cedar over Spruce.

Keith
Posts: 1215
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 5:48 pm
Location: Land of Daniel Boone

Re: difference between rosewood or mahogany back and sides?

Post by Keith » Sun Jul 02, 2017 12:48 pm

To address an issue raised by the OP. In my experience mahogany, all things attempted to be equal other than the wood for side and back, tends to have a more treble tone whereas rosewood tends to have a more bass tone. With the loss of hearing (to the OP, sorry to hear about your ABI) the wood choices may make a difference in that one wood may have better auditory penetrance than the other. A trip to Guitar Center might help--only to get a better fix of which wood, if any, allows for better penetrance. Even listening to steel strings may help.

As to rosewood and the new CITES dictates, the burden is on the guitar company (I believe they are based in Canada). Once you have the guitar the only burden will be if you attempt to sell the guitar across country lines. If you live in USA and want to sell the guitar within the USA there is, as I understand the law, no issue.

I see the OP lives in Rolling Meadows Illinois. If you decide to check out the auditory differences between the two woods you have a lot of options. There are a couple of Guitar Centers in Chicagoland, the closest is/was in Arlington Hts. You could try the Old Towne School of Music on Lincoln Ave or the Chicago Music Exchange also on Lincoln Ave.
be true to the one you love but have many flings with different guitars

ddray
Posts: 382
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:10 pm

Re: difference between rosewood or mahogany back and sides?

Post by ddray » Sun Jul 02, 2017 1:46 pm

joachim33 wrote:
Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:50 am
joachim33 wrote:I went into a shop in summer and bought a guitar. Below about 500€ they were mahagoni back above rosewood (they had the Alhambra and Salvador Cortez brand) . To me there was a noticeable improvement in sound with the more expensive models. The guy in the store said that the rosewood was a key ingredient here. I went with a rosewood guitar :D

Though if you have handled both and can't hear a difference, I am not sure what to recommend you.

From a purist point of view I would not buy a build in pick-up system. One can always use an external mic if the need arises.
When writing this, I wasn't aware of the endangered species regulation (CITES) changes that came into force in January this year. All rosewood is now on that list.

By buying a Rosewood free guitar one might save some hassle in future. But just because the sides and backs are Mahagoni, does that mean that instrument is not affected by CITES and will continue to do so? I don't know. ...
Certain species of mahogany are protected. While I certainly agree with the intent of the regulations, there needs to be a little (er, a lot) more clarity and uniformity.

User avatar
Chris Sobel
Luthier
Posts: 1034
Joined: Sat May 04, 2013 8:44 am
Location: Vancouver, WA

Re: difference between rosewood or mahogany back and sides?

Post by Chris Sobel » Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:47 am

I think the tone will depend on the mahogany; there is a lot of variation within the species and geographical origins. Mahogany is generally low damping and the dense stuff can sound just like rosewood. I think overall the sound is going to be slightly drier but we're talking maybe 5%. I love mahogany and have a large stock of it and I think it makes a great classical with the right piece and treatment. It also makes great steel strings but that's more accepted. There is a cool looking mahogany Simplicio on GSI right now and I bet it's fetching as much as its rosewood or satinwood peers...
CE Sobel Guitars

User avatar
guitarseller345645
Posts: 1031
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 1:15 am
Location: Far East

Re: difference between rosewood or mahogany back and sides?

Post by guitarseller345645 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 3:38 am

This is London Guitar Studio's description of mahogany, and since they handle so many guitars, I guess they are quite believable.

https://www.londonguitarstudio.com/clas ... e-mahogany

I had both an Admira Maria and an Admira Malaga long ago, and the difference was just like that stated above.

There are a lot of people who cannot distinguish between mahogany and rosewood - you should find out if you are one of them by trying out as many as you can, rather than just accepting some general "rule".

@Chris Sobel - which are the denser mahoganies?
Höfner HLE-SAZ
Kremona Fiesta FC

Return to “Advice on buying, selling or valuing a guitar”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot], Gary Macleod, kavor, RicardoMarcos, Sprucetop, SteveL123, Taylor 25 and 7 guests