Hand Tools

Subject:
Not to mention....
Response To:
Tonewood ()

David Weaver
..matching the wood to the energy of the instrument and what you're looking for (I think skilled builders become extremely good at this).

So, you mention ebony for a clarinet, but ebony would make a terrible electric guitar and I don't think it could do anything good at all for a guitar top.

If the wood is acceptable, the maker is a bigger part of the equation than perfection in wood. If the maker is great, and the wood is really tops, then you get a standout instrument that will have a certain timbre and probably strong volume whether the instrument is played lightly or hard.

Since it's subjective, one never knows. As an example, I had a nice custom made HD-28 copy from a maker in tennessee. It was very sweet. If you played it hard, it had so much ring that it got cluttered. And I had a mahogany sided slope D guitar (a copy of a gibson design) with a better top and it was louder and extremely even - you could play it as loud as you could tolerate and it had the same clarity.....

....and strangely, when both were recorded, the quieter guitar sounded much bigger because of the complexity of the tone. So who knows! The same happens with amplifiers - some small amps that sound not so loud record into a really "big" sound and other amps that shake you and make your ears hurt in person don't come across the same.

very complicated topic! as dead as beech sounds, I hope at some point in the future to make an acoustic guitar out of american beech back and sides, quartered - I suspect it would be strong (I haven't built an acoustic yet). A whole lot can be manipulated if the spruce is good by adjusting how much mass is in the bridge, how the guitar is braced, etc.

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