Life after rosewood

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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Trevor Gore
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Life after rosewood

Post by Trevor Gore » Tue May 02, 2017 10:32 am

With the recent CITES rulings on rosewoods I thought it was time to build something using a somewhat less traditional back and side material. So out came the trusty Aus. blackwood coupled with a Euro spruce top and this is what resulted. It's my small body model with a tilt neck, magnetic arm rest, mahogany neck, falcate bracing, live back, figured jarrah bindings, bloodwood and boxwood purfling, compensated nut and saddle and the resonance tuning I normally do. Built as a show guitar, I thought I'd do an indigenous Aus. themed rosette and try to encourage players to move away from grain filled, super-shiny finishes. This is FP'd shellac on the body, finished "off the rag" with no cut and buff. The neck is finished in nitrocellulose.

It sold on its first trip out of my workshop, so I guess I'll have to build another!

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petermc61
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by petermc61 » Tue May 02, 2017 11:03 am

Nice work, Trevor!

I am just curious why you'd like users to move away from grain filled polished FP? Always thought that was a lovely way to finish fine timber.....

Cheers
Peter

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Trevor Gore
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by Trevor Gore » Tue May 02, 2017 11:49 am

petermc61 wrote:
Tue May 02, 2017 11:03 am
Nice work, Trevor!
Thanks, Peter.
petermc61 wrote:
Tue May 02, 2017 11:03 am
I am just curious why you'd like users to move away from grain filled polished FP? Always thought that was a lovely way to finish fine timber.....
Yes, but it isn't the only way and, after all, beauty is in eye of the beholder. A filled, glassy finish is inevitably thicker than a non-filled finish and the damping that adds is audible. There are very few fillers that don't veil the look of the timber in some way, too. However, not all woods look good without a fill, EIR being one of those (at least to my tastes). But it's OK for a fine guitar not to be super glossy, if the player doesn't want it to be.

However, for those who want glossy, I can certainly do it! Here's my archetypal Aussie back yard reflected in the back of an EIR gloss finish... :D

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Can you hear the banjos?
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petermc61
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by petermc61 » Tue May 02, 2017 12:07 pm

Now THAT'S a glossy finish.

You would have to mention the banjos wouldn't you. I've only just started being able to sleep alone at night....

italian_job
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by italian_job » Tue May 02, 2017 12:10 pm

very nice guitar, love the bridge as well.

Jim Kirby
Amateur luthier
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by Jim Kirby » Tue May 02, 2017 1:10 pm

Saw this guitar in Denver. It was beautiful, and the un-pore-filled finish still looks very nice. The guitar sounded great as well.

The wings on that bridge are really taken down thin - not rounded like our usual classical bridges. Trevor provided a lot of food for thought about the effects of bridge mass.
Jim Kirby
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Guitars? Heh, I can hardly play, and when I do it's one of mine.

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spanishguitarmusic
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by spanishguitarmusic » Tue May 02, 2017 3:13 pm

Very beautiful guitar, it must sound great as well! Thank you for sharing the pictures, enjoy!

vesa
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by vesa » Tue May 02, 2017 4:34 pm

Trevor can you comment what kind of effect the choice of the wood has on the sound compared to if it was EIRW?
Vesa Kuokkanen

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Dave M
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by Dave M » Tue May 02, 2017 7:32 pm

As ever the workmanship amazes...

In Europe, I'm in the UK, Maple is a serious contender for back and sides assuming we can get over buyers prejudices.
It really can look very pretty, and viz Trevor's comment does not need any pore filling.
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mmapag
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by mmapag » Tue May 02, 2017 7:42 pm

Trevor, so much to like here! A sustainable wood, an adjustable neck, no pore fill for less damping, falcate bracing....
Just lovely!!
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Trevor Gore
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by Trevor Gore » Wed May 03, 2017 10:51 am

Thanks, everyone, for the kind comments.
vesa wrote:
Tue May 02, 2017 4:34 pm
Trevor can you comment what kind of effect the choice of the wood has on the sound compared to if it was EIRW?
It's largely what you do with the wood rather than the species that dictates the sound. I doubt anyone would be able to identify the back and side wood in a listening test.

I build to specific resonance frequency targets for the top, back and air resonances. That takes out a lot of the variability that is often put down to wood species. However, some woods are too dense to make live back guitars, but with Aus. blackwood (and EIR for that matter) the usual density range is such that backs can be live or non-live. The overall mass of the guitar can be adjusted using additional mass attached to the sides of a guitar (inside the box) which takes yet another variable out of the proverbial equation. So applying these techniques I have a lot of choice in the type of sound I can get from most species of wood.

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bacsidoan
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by bacsidoan » Wed May 03, 2017 2:46 pm

From what I have seen in my guitar collection, a guitar with non-live gidgee back and ribs will be equivalent to African Blackwood (Dalbergia melanoxylon).

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Luuttuaja
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by Luuttuaja » Wed May 03, 2017 8:58 pm

That's a really beautiful guitar!

Leo
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by Leo » Wed May 03, 2017 11:21 pm

Very beauiful, and I like the way the headstock, back and rosette match up nicely. 8)

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Stephen Faulk
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by Stephen Faulk » Fri May 05, 2017 2:47 am

IMO most rosewood is not as good as Black Acacia, or Aus blackwood- We call it Black Acacia in the US. I'd rather have a trove of that than rosewood.

Nice rosette.
Patience at the bending iron pays in rounded dividends!

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