Guess the wood

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
madrilla
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Guess the wood

Post by madrilla » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:08 am

The specs of the guitar say mahogany. Is it a variant or subspecies?

Image

thanks

Edit: changed the title, difficult to know for certain.
Last edited by madrilla on Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

simonm
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Re: Classify the wood

Post by simonm » Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:50 am

madrilla wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:08 am
The specs of the guitar say mahogany. Is it a variant or subspecies?
...

thanks
I have no idea what wood it is. :-)

A photo through the sound hole might help in order to see the unfinished wood. "mahogany" in a commercial sense refers to lots of different timbers of difference species - in fact of different genus's. In many ways "mahogany" is a completely meaningless term which simply means that it is not rosewood, not maple, not oak and that it is of tropical or sub-tropical origin.

madrilla
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Re: Classify the wood

Post by madrilla » Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:59 am

Thanks. So mahogany can be anything, but the "regular" type of mahogany does not have this pattern? I see also a slight flame effect.

Sound hole pic:

Image

simonm
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Re: Classify the wood

Post by simonm » Sun Nov 05, 2017 11:47 am

madrilla wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:59 am
Thanks. So mahogany can be anything, but the "regular" type of mahogany does not have this pattern? I see also a slight flame effect.
It will be interesting to see someone else's opinion. I have no clue on this one. Mahogany would not have occurred to me but as there are so many "mahoganies" that is not a surprise. I think it looks nice. :-)

Alan Carruth
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Re: Classify the wood

Post by Alan Carruth » Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:56 pm

I've never seen mahogany that looked like that either. If I had just looked at the picture without any prompting I'd have said it was some sort of walnut. Both the striped color figure and the curly grain are fairly characteristic. Most of the Peruvian walnut I've seen is a darker brown than that, and not as striped; there may be other tropical or sub-tropical walnuts I'm not familiar with.

As has been said, mahogany is such a desirable wood that many others that are only superficially like it are graced with that name in trade. Unless you can get a botanical name you may never find out what it really is. OTOH, since the B&S contribute little to the sound of the guitar, any wood that is stable and hard enough can make a decent instrument if it's used properly.

simonm
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Re: Classify the wood

Post by simonm » Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:32 pm

Alan Carruth wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:56 pm
… If I had just looked at the picture without any prompting I'd have said it was some sort of walnut. ...
Interesting. I originally wrote that it reminded me of a walnut too (or a possibly rosewood) , but I edited it out before I posted. :-)
I would not be totally surprised if it is a (very well done) laminate.

Ben B
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Re: Classify the wood

Post by Ben B » Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:44 pm

Agathis/Dammara?

bftobin
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Re: Classify the wood

Post by bftobin » Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:48 pm

It looks exactly like some of the Ovangkol I have in my stash. The colors don't vary very much, only how much dark striping there is.
One of the 'African Rosewoods'. I much prefer it's color compared to the Bubinga, but the working properties are the same.

Brent

simonm
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Re: Classify the wood

Post by simonm » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:05 am

bftobin wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:48 pm
It looks exactly like some of the Ovangkol I have in my stash. The colors don't vary very much, only how much dark striping there is.
One of the 'African Rosewoods'. I much prefer it's color compared to the Bubinga, but the working properties are the same.

Brent

I think you have it nailed. When the guitar was made, no buyer would have ever heard of ovangkol so it might have been marketed as mahogany to put it in a specific price category. A quick search turned up a yamaha ovangkol which was pretty much identical to the above pictures.

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Beowulf
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Re: Classify the wood

Post by Beowulf » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:00 pm

simonm wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:05 am
bftobin wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:48 pm
It looks exactly like some of the Ovangkol I have in my stash. The colors don't vary very much, only how much dark striping there is.
One of the 'African Rosewoods'. I much prefer it's color compared to the Bubinga, but the working properties are the same.

Brent

I think you have it nailed. When the guitar was made, no buyer would have ever heard of ovangkol so it might have been marketed as mahogany to put it in a specific price category. A quick search turned up a yamaha ovangkol which was pretty much identical to the above pictures.
+1 :okok: I had a look in my Yamaha catalogue and it does look very similar to the ovangkol on the CG162. From the wood database:
ovangkol.jpg
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1971 Yamaha GC-10

madrilla
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Re: Guess the wood

Post by madrilla » Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:51 pm

Thanks everyone and well done bftobin for recognizing it.

Any thoughts on it compared to mahogany or rosewood?

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Beowulf
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Re: Guess the wood

Post by Beowulf » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:52 pm

madrilla wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:51 pm
Thanks everyone and well done bftobin for recognizing it.

Any thoughts on it compared to mahogany or rosewood?
For characteristic comparisons with mahogany or rosewood (many varieties), try here: http://www.wood-database.com/ovangkol/
1971 Yamaha GC-10

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guitarseller345645
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Re: Guess the wood

Post by guitarseller345645 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:10 am

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Last edited by guitarseller345645 on Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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bftobin
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Re: Guess the wood

Post by bftobin » Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:53 am

Much more like rosewood. There's a youtube video by a guitarist named Reuben...can't remember just off hand. He plays three guitars by the same maker.
One is EI RW, one is Braz RW and one is Ovangkol. In the end, he feels the Ovangkol guitar sounds best to his ear. That being said, when I visited Sergei De Jonge at his workshop he said he didn't think the side and back material made much of a difference. Back in the nineties, some well known builders said that if they could not get Braz RW they would stop building and Romanillos says he prefers the sound of Med Cypress. Go figure.
I would just say that it's a wood that produces guitars as good as any rosewood.

bftobin

madrilla
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Re: Guess the wood

Post by madrilla » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:17 pm

Thanks bftobin. Ovangkol seems, from what I heard (mostly from steel string clips), similar to rosewood with slightly less bass. Might be a good option if one thinks that rosewood is too skewed towards bass.

Yes I watched some of Ruben videos before. He does not like cypress at all. He prefers cherry, ash and ovangkol given the choice. But then he is a flamenco player who is not looking for a traditional sound.

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