Life after rosewood

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
ddray
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by ddray » Sun May 28, 2017 2:41 pm

attila57 wrote:
Fri May 05, 2017 5:42 pm
Hi there,

Talking about life after rosewood, have you ever thought of what world may come after cocobolo, maple, spruce, cedar, even boxwood? I guess the world of plywood. And after plywood? The world of man-made stuff... And will that be environmentally friendlier than wood? If yes, why don't we only make such guitars now? If no, why do we rush towards that direction? I think, we should make fewer instruments, but only the best quality stuff. Anything but that is worthless scrap, and as such, pure waste. Just think: the sheer amount of guitars available actually makes the guitar as such, within easy reach to everyone, less valuable.

Another thing: in the old days people had one guitar. Now everyone has lots, and no one's ever satisfied, and never ever will be. So what's the point of making new instruments, especially inferior ones? :?: Using thousands of tons of scrap to produce similarly worthless scrap, destroying nature in the process... I think it is mass production that threatens the future of the guitar. If only hand-made, quality instruments were built, guitars would be more expensive, luthiers would prosper, people would have fewer, better guitars, probably they would be more satisfied and less scrap would be produced. Actually, I prefer breathing new life into old, discarded or forgotten instruments. There's so many out there...

BTW, the shown instrument looks great. :bravo:

Attila, worried about the future of the guitar and the musical instruments in general.
I see your point, and it's obviously the big "factory" makers who are the main culprits in gobbling up so much wood. However I think the guitar in its many forms has always been sort of a "plebeian" instrument, and most people are just not going to be able to afford handmade models with 4-digit+ price tags, and those who can afford them will continue to buy 3 or 4 or 12 or whatever. And the statement that anything other than pricey handmade guitars is "worthless scrap" is demonstrably false. So your argument is ultimately elitist. Different and more plentiful wood is the answer, as this thread demonstrates. Is rosewood *really* that much "better" or is it just the appeal to "luxury" that makes it popular? The only thing I really care about is the tone. Make one out of cardboard that has a good tone, and I'm there.

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attila57
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by attila57 » Mon May 29, 2017 8:31 pm

ddray wrote:
Sun May 28, 2017 2:41 pm
... the statement that anything other than pricey handmade guitars is "worthless scrap" is demonstrably false. So your argument is ultimately elitist. Different and more plentiful wood is the answer, as this thread demonstrates. Is rosewood *really* that much "better" or is it just the appeal to "luxury" that makes it popular? The only thing I really care about is the tone. Make one out of cardboard that has a good tone, and I'm there.
Hi ddray,

I'm sorry to tell you that owing to environmental issues in the not so distant future even your cardboard guitar will be considered elitist... :D

Attila
Last edited by attila57 on Mon May 29, 2017 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Music to hear, why hear'st thou music sadly?
Sweets with sweets war not, joy delights in joy...

William Shakespeare, Sonnet 8

ddray
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by ddray » Mon May 29, 2017 8:38 pm

attila57 wrote:
Mon May 29, 2017 8:31 pm
ddray wrote:
Sun May 28, 2017 2:41 pm
... the statement that anything other than pricey handmade guitars is "worthless scrap" is demonstrably false. So your argument is ultimately elitist. Different and more plentiful wood is the answer, as this thread demonstrates. Is rosewood *really* that much "better" or is it just the appeal to "luxury" that makes it popular? The only thing I really care about is the tone. Make one out of cardboard that has a good tone, and I'm there.
Hi ddray,

I'm sorry to tell you that owing to environmental issues in the not so distant future even your cardboard guitar will be considered elitist... :D

Attila
:lol: True enough. And it's still wood product, eh? "My cardboard is European cardboard, not that cheap American or Chinese variety..." It's human nature I guess.

Brian M
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by Brian M » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:41 pm

What comes after... maple? Maple grow like a weed, fast and big, all around this part of the U.S. I saw a guitar on a West Coast purveyor's website with beautiful native U.S. "red maple" back and sides. Assuming that refers to Acer rubrum, it's common as mud in swamps hereabouts. Here's one I planted when I was sixteen, dug it up out of the swamp at the end of the street and transplanted it to a damp spot in my front yard.Image

If we run out of maple, then the end of the world will truly be upon us.
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Trevor Gore
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by Trevor Gore » Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:36 pm

Thanks for bumping this thread. I noticed I missed a few questions from Craig:-
craig bumgarner wrote:Can I ask about the finish? When you say "off the rag" shellac, I can guess but can you expand on that a little? Just wipe on coats? Just a few? Many?
What does "no cut" mean?

I gather from the pictures you are not tinting. With light shellac coats, how would you stain or tint? Especially the top? In the genre I build, some tinting to replicate vintage guitars is desirable. I've been doing this by spraying tinted shellac early on in the FP process. Keeps it uniform, but it takes a number of FP sessions to bury the spray texture.

Also, why nitro on the neck? Durability?
Finishing an open grain timber like Aus. blackwood has its own issues. For example, if you sand it, the slurry fills the pores which means you have to clean them all out to keep the open pored finish. The trick, of course, is not to sand at all, but that means your shellac application has to be pretty flawless. Finishing "off the rag" means that there is no post-finishing cut (=sanding) and buff and you leave the finish as it is, straight after the last polishing session. How many "coats" you put on is up to you, but you don't actually need many to provide a thin contiguous finish if you don't sand any off. The more you put on, the more you tend to fill the grain and the more likely it is that you will need to flatten it, which defeats the object of this style of finish.

Regarding tinting - I try to avoid all that, so can't comment on the best way to do it. What you are doing sounds as good as anything. Tinting/colouring can be a lot of work. This one (another alternative back and side wood - Aus. Tiger Myrtle) took a bit of doing. No grain fill on the B&S again as tiger myrtle is pretty well poreless. This one is nitro all over.

DSCF9871_Css.jpg
DSCF9799_C2s.jpg
Why nitro on the necks? I tend to grain fill the necks, usually an epoxy fill and use nitro for the extra durability. Necks are always bolt-on, so finishing them in different media is no big deal.
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Dave M
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by Dave M » Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:15 pm

So after all this time and so many replies, nobody seems to have asked the question: what is the black line in the heel? A bit of ebony - rosewood - carbon fibre composite...? We should be told!

And how on earth you get your bridges down to that weight I can't imagine.

As ever a great looking instrument and no doubt an impressively loud one.

Cheers Dave
Dave

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Trevor Gore
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by Trevor Gore » Tue Jul 04, 2017 11:46 pm

Dave M wrote:
Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:15 pm
So after all this time and so many replies, nobody seems to have asked the question: what is the black line in the heel? A bit of ebony - rosewood - carbon fibre composite...? We should be told!
You'll know by now that I subscribe to the "form follows function" school. So try designing one of these and you'll figure it out :D .
Dave M wrote:
Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:15 pm
And how on earth you get your bridges down to that weight I can't imagine.
No need to imagine. It's in the book (low density materials and composite construction).

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Tomzooki
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by Tomzooki » Wed Jul 05, 2017 1:06 pm

Trevor Gore wrote:
Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:36 pm

DSCF9871_Css.jpg

DSCF9799_C2s.jpg
If somebody had told me that one day I would say that a black top acoustical guitar is absolutely beautiful I would have answear that he is insane. But OMG! this guitar is truely an eye candy :shock:

But it must be a fingerprint magnet....
Benoît Raby, Engelmann sp/Ziricote
Yamaha GC-3A
11-strings alto guitar by Heikki Rousu, sp/indonesian RW

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Trevor Gore
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by Trevor Gore » Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:28 pm

Thanks, Tomzooki! This one definitely looked better "in the flesh". And yes, every sort of mark on it stands out a mile, which is another thing that made it really hard to photograph. More pics here if you need another sugar hit :D .

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Tomzooki
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by Tomzooki » Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:20 pm

Trevor Gore wrote:
Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:28 pm
Thanks, Tomzooki! This one definitely looked better "in the flesh". And yes, every sort of mark on it stands out a mile, which is another thing that made it really hard to photograph. More pics here if you need another sugar hit :D .
The classical is even more beautiful! :shock:
Benoît Raby, Engelmann sp/Ziricote
Yamaha GC-3A
11-strings alto guitar by Heikki Rousu, sp/indonesian RW

iim7V7IM7
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by iim7V7IM7 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:28 am

Here is a beautiful guitar made for me a few years ago by California luthier Peter Oberg. It has a Western Red Cedar top and Black Cherry back and Black Cherry/Port Orford Cedar sides. This is an example of a "live back" instrument.

Image

This is a guitar made for me by North Carolina luthier John Buscarino. It has a Carpathian Spruce top and a carved Honduran Rosewood back. This is an example of a primarily "reflective back". The back is thicker towards the center of the arch (~3.6 mm) but is scraped to be much thinner (1.8-2.0 mm) in the recurve near the rims.

Image
2015 - John Buscarino, 650 mm, Carpathian Spruce/Honduran Rosewood
2014 - Peter Oberg, 640 mm, Western Red Cedar/Black Cherry

Douglass Scott
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by Douglass Scott » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:36 pm

iim7V7IM7 wrote:
Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:28 am
Here is a beautiful guitar made for me a few years ago by California luthier Peter Oberg. It has a Western Red Cedar top and Black Cherry back and Black Cherry/Port Orford Cedar sides. This is an example of a "live back" instrument....
Nice, I've never seen a black cherry classical guitar before but have long thought it would probably sound quite good. A few months ago I found and bought some highly figured boards that look similar to the material your guitar is made from. Do you know Peter's rosewood/cedar guitars well enough to know what the cherry back/sides does to the sound of your guitar?

iim7V7IM7
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by iim7V7IM7 » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:49 pm

Douglass Scott wrote:
Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:36 pm
iim7V7IM7 wrote:
Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:28 am
Here is a beautiful guitar made for me a few years ago by California luthier Peter Oberg. It has a Western Red Cedar top and Black Cherry back and Black Cherry/Port Orford Cedar sides. This is an example of a "live back" instrument....
Nice, I've never seen a black cherry classical guitar before but have long thought it would probably sound quite good. A few months ago I found and bought some highly figured boards that look similar to the material your guitar is made from. Do you know Peter's rosewood/cedar guitars well enough to know what the cherry back/sides does to the sound of your guitar?
No, unfortunately I cannot provide you with a comparison that you seek.

I can tell you that these materials in Peter's hands created a WONDERFUL guitar. When I commissioned this instrument, I asked him what woods that he had in his wood locker that he always wanted to build a guitar with? The answer was WRC and Black Cherry. The WRC set was also quite special acoustically, but had a bunch of distinct hard line that was likely to put off some players. Peter said this set was harvested from an Oregon forest in the 1980s.

Perhaps Peter will see your post and provide comment?

Image
2015 - John Buscarino, 650 mm, Carpathian Spruce/Honduran Rosewood
2014 - Peter Oberg, 640 mm, Western Red Cedar/Black Cherry

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Michael.N.
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by Michael.N. » Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:06 pm

I've built with the English version of cherry. It's in the density range of maple and walnut. I don't see it so much these days but it used to be a pretty common timber for the cheaper student lutes, always the plain unfigured wood. Extremely rare on classical guitars but you can say the same for walnut and quite a few other timbers.
Historicalguitars.

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martinardo
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Re: Life after rosewood

Post by martinardo » Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:30 pm

Bob, every time that I see your Oberg, I start uncontrollably drooling. That Torres inspired rosette

set against the WRC just does . . . something . . . to me :) A wonderful instrument, made,

seemingly, with a large amount of more sustainable materials.
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