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 Post subject: Hardwood top?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 5:25 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2016 11:22 am
Posts: 94
Anyone ever throw rosewood on for the soundboard? I've been thinking about trying it out.


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 Post subject: Re: Hardwood top?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 6:06 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:50 pm
Posts: 2281
Location: Seattle
I heard an all BRW guitar from Mexico, it was pretty but sounded rather weak. Rosewood is a good sounding tonewood but it is rather dense for its stiffness. To make a top with the right stiffness you end up with a top about twice as heavy as it should be.

Koa works OK for a top.

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 Post subject: Re: Hardwood top?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:32 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
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Location: Hegins, Pa
they are too heavy to make a good top .

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Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center
Board of Directors of Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans
http://www.bluescreekguitars.com


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 Post subject: Re: Hardwood top?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:17 am 
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I think there have been guitars with mahogany tops, and I've seen very nice dulcimers with walnut tops. There are undoubtedly hardwoods that will make a reasonable guitar top...but not rosewood.

If you want to try it though, have at it!

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 Post subject: Re: Hardwood top?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:44 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:50 am
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Location: Chadds Ford, PA
Mahogany has been a fairly common top for guitars. I have two (pics posted here somewhere). The quality of sound is excellent, in fact, my daily player is one of the two. Other than Koa, not so sure other hardwoods, like the dalbergias would be acceptable. Maybe walnut?

-d.


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 Post subject: Re: Hardwood top?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 8:39 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2016 11:22 am
Posts: 94
I know it's heavier, but what if I shave it thin?


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 Post subject: Re: Hardwood top?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:50 pm
Posts: 2281
Location: Seattle
There is a ratio how stiff by how heavy. Rosewood is stiff but it is very heavy. If you make the top thin it will not be stiff enough and sound bad. If you make the top the correct stiffness it will be too heavy and sound bad. That is why it is not used as a top wood unless you want a wall hanging.

There maybe be things you can do with a plywood top, maybe thin veneer of rosewood laminated to spruce.

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 Post subject: Re: Hardwood top?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 5:20 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 5422
Location: Hegins, Pa
the hard woods I know that were used and worked
Mahogany
Catalpa
Koa
Poplar

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John Hall
Blues Creek Guitars Inc
Authorized CF Martin Repair Center
Board of Directors of Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans
http://www.bluescreekguitars.com


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 Post subject: Re: Hardwood top?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:31 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:14 pm
Posts: 28
This doesn't answer your question but I too was "cautiously" curious as to other wood types for a sounboard top as well. I decided to play it safe and stick with the traditional Spruce top until I gain further experience.

Interesting is that another instrument that utilizes a soundboard is a piano. Like CF Martin, Steinway & Sons have been at this game for a long time. I'm sure both companies have spent boat-loads of money researching and experimenting with alternative woods for their soundboards.

An interesting quote from Steinway's website:

"All STEINWAY soundboards are made with Sitka spruce, the most resonant wood available." -end-

Key words above are "the most resonant".

source: http://www.steinway.com/news/articles/t ... -richness/

Martin & Co. established in 1833
Steinway & Sons established in 1853


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 Post subject: Re: Hardwood top?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:31 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:14 pm
Posts: 28
This doesn't answer your question but I too was "cautiously" curious as to other wood types for a sounboard top as well. I decided to play it safe and stick with the traditional Spruce top until I gain further experience.

Interesting is that another instrument that utilizes a soundboard is a piano. Like CF Martin, Steinway & Sons have been at this game for a long time. I'm sure both companies have spent boat-loads of money researching and experimenting with alternative woods for their soundboards.

An interesting quote from Steinway's website:

"All STEINWAY soundboards are made with Sitka spruce, the most resonant wood available." -end-

Key words above are "the most resonant".

source: http://www.steinway.com/news/articles/t ... -richness/

Martin & Co. established in 1833
Steinway & Sons established in 1853


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