I guess I just don't like Rosewood

beecee

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I've kinda suspected this for the past year or so and last night sealed the deal for me.

Outside of the Wechter and a 70's era player grade D-28 I don't own any RW guitars. Not particularly fond of the Wechter, beautiful guitar but I guess I'm stuck with it or I can donate it to my daughters school band. The D-28...not even in the guitar room, stored away in it's case. I've been assured by the subject friend of this story that it is indeed a fine sounding D-28

I've recently sold a NH F-50R, NH F-512, NH F-30R, (the F-30R was more a nut issue vs RW), and the D-70, (whew for a moment there maybe I didn't like NH) and I think the current owners love them. I traded out a NH F-50R burst which had to be the best looking guitar I've owned but meh! So I've played and passed on several D-50's, F-50R's and some higher end other brands as I've found them all lacking. I've had this friend along a few times and he couldn't believe I passed on some of them as he thought they sounded great!

Last night I swung by his place to see his NG(s)D. Pulls out a factory fresh Martin D-45. Pretty! I prefer the look of the D-70 w/wood binding but I realize what a great instrument this is. He is a much better player than me and rips into a song. It really sounded good, very, nice um...good but didn't really blow my socks off. I played it for a bit and I guess I had that look on my face and he screams....you just hate rosewood don't you? That F-50R you passed on and that X and Y you didn't buy...you're just nuts Bill!!!

Here play this! Hands me a tired Martin D-15 hog.....aaahhhhh. A different look must have crossed my face. He shakes his head....you dummy...that D-15 was less than the sales tax on the Martin D-45...bwhahaha! For the record, he's not a snob, he as a bunch of players, a nice Guild D-50 and some cheapies so he's not pontificating over the pricing making it inherently a better guitar. But he assures me that the D-45 is a great guitar....for rosewood.

Odd huh?
 

GGJaguar

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Nothing wrong with that at all. I generally prefer rosewood on small guitars and sold off all of my (very nice) full-size rosewood Martins because they were just "too much" if that makes sense.
 

richardp69

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I love 'em all. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever met a quality guitar I didn't like. That being said, RW used to be by far my most favorite tonewood. I still like a good RW and like the dark, moody growl they provide you. However, they do tend to get a bit muddy at times on the bass side of things. I will say Maple is and has been my favorite for a whole now. But really, I think I need some of each, in fact, a lot of each.
 
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i love rosewood! i find the sound with rose wood has really defined highs and lows, the mids are kind of scooped. which works for me since i play and sing so my voice fills in the middle of the sound spectrum. if im going to a jam i often bring hog guitar as its more balanced between the lows mids and highs.
 

GardMan

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Hey Bill... Yes, I do love your old D-70! Play it most every day, along with my other three rosewood dreads (all the DV-7Xs). But I also understand where you're coming from, as it took me a couple years to grow accustomed to and begin to appreciate the richness of the rosewood tone. I've toyed off and on with writing a blog post re: my acoustic journey with Guild tone woods, but never really got started. In a nutshell... It took a gradual progression of guitars to "move" my ear from mahogany to rosewood.

For more than 30 years, the only guitar I played was my mahogany '72 Guild D-35...I'd occasionally visit a shop and try a few others, but always went home thinking that my old 35 sounded just as good as anything I played. My ear was just in tune with the way it sounded. Along the way, I bought a '78 D-35 for my then girlfriend, now wife. I played it some... but my old 35 was my "gold standard" for tone and playability.

In 2006, I started my "tone wood" sampling mania... after buying a '74 D-25M and '74 G-37 off eBay, and soon after a '92 D-55 in early 2007. While the D-25 and G-37 immediately "fit" my ear and became daily players, the D-55 didn't... the majesty and complexity of overtones just didn't sound "right" to my ear and my style of playing. It wasn't because it was a "dud"... in fact, as I look back, I now think it was actually an exceptionally good D-55... on par with the D-7Xs I now own. But, altho' there were a few songs I did prefer on the 55, it didn't became one of my daily players for years... my ears just weren't ready for it.

My tone wood sampling continued, and I added my ash-bodied D-46 in the fall of 2007. To my ear, the D-46 tone falls somewhere between mahogany and rosewood... it's richer and more full sounding than mahogany or maple, but no so bass-y as rosewood. The D-46 quickly became my main player (it also has a great neck!), and held that position for a couple years, even as I added a pear wood '71 D-44 in 2008 (sounded very similar to my D-35). My D-55 remained a "specialty" guitar, used for just a few songs. As I played the D-46 more and more, I got more accustomed to it's tone...

Then, in 2009, I found a '76 D-50 advertised on eBay, but at a local shop in SLC. After about 30 minutes of tryout and 15 minutes of bargaining, it came home with me. It seemed to "bridge" the tonal space between my ash D-46 and my D-55... it had the sparkling trebles of the D-46, but the stronger bass rumble of the D-55. It soon became my main player, despite having a neck profile that was a bit uncomfortable for my hands (less than 1-11/16" nut, with a rolled fret board that made the string spacing even narrower, but thick, front to back). I found as I played the D-50 more, I also started to play the D-55 more... I had grown more accustomed to the rosewood tone. For a couple years, the D-46, D-50, and D-55 were played nearly daily... until I moved into my DV-7X phase.

The D-35 is my oldest "friend," and I'll never part with it. It sounds great for a song I play in CGCGCE, and occasionally gets tuned to standard for old folk songs. My D-46 sings in DADGAD. But, both sound just a little "thin" to my ear, which is now "tuned" to the the sound of rosewood. Each of my four "limited edition" rosewood guitars sounds a little different... but each gets played nearly every day. The '94 DV-72s are closest in tone to my (now sold) '92 D-55, the '95 DV-73 is just a little brighter, and the '82 D-70 I bought from you (thanks!) reminds me of my former '76 D-50 (also sold), tho' a LOT more comfortable to play.

So for me, the transition from mahogany to rosewood was a gradual transition over a period of 6-7 years. Along the way, I had the opportunity to try out a number of great Guilds... If you asked which one sounded "best?" I couldn't answer... to me, there was no "good" or "bad," just different.

Now I'm going to go play my Guilds! Cheers!
 

HeyMikey

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I like rosewood... a lot. However I tend to play small to medium size guitars and I think it really helps to fill out their sound. I like mahogany very much as well, but maple the least for the size guitar, type of music, and style of playing I do most.

Yes Bill I’m still enjoying that F30R 👍
 

Westerly Wood

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i am right there with you Beecee. and i just bought bonneville's F30R lol
but that is for my shoulder so i always have a guitar to play when i am really in pain. that had a total purpose beyond tonewood, if you know what i mean.

but as i get older, i just prefer mahogany as the tone wood. and spruce tops. like the D40, D-18, taylor 510, Gibson J-45, Guild D35, even the arched D25s...those are where i want to be :)

all the while saving up for an F50...lol
 
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Tony Burns

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sapelle is a nice sounding wood -thou typically used on bargain guitars
Maple is another id consider -thou Brazilian is so different from EIR its a different animal.
so in my eyes is nice to have different woods for the mood of the day.
 

wileypickett

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Then, in 2009, I found a '76 D-50 advertised on eBay, but at a local shop in SLC. After about 30 minutes of tryout and 15 minutes of bargaining, it came home with me. It seemed to "bridge" the tonal space between my ash D-46 and my D-55... it had the sparkling trebles of the D-46, but the stronger bass rumble of the D-55. It soon became my main player, despite having a neck profile that was a bit uncomfortable for my hands (less than 1-11/16" nut, with a rolled fret board that made the string spacing even narrower, but thick, front to back). I found as I played the D-50 more, I also started to play the D-55 more... I had grown more accustomed to the rosewood tone. For a couple years, the D-46, D-50, and D-55 were played nearly daily... until I moved into my DV-7X phase.
Recommend you check out a D64 if you can find one. I bought mine from Walrus a few year back. It needed a little set-up work when I got it, but it's one of the best Guild purchases I've ever made. Its been at the top of the rotation for a few months now.
 

chazmo

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HERECY! :) Seriously, though, Bill, can't say you didn't try. You're not nuts.

Diff'rent strokes for diif'rent folks. :) All good.
 

Neal

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I have sold every single rosewood guitar I have ever owned, except for my Huss & Dalton dreadnought, which is currently my primary performing guitar. Funny thing is, the H&D sounds a lot like a mahogany guitar.

I have had a number of great Guild rosewood guitars pass through my hands! D-55, D-50, F-50R, F-30R. For some reason, they all sounded "metallic", compared to the woodiness of their mahogany counterparts.

Different strokes, I guess.

I am still waiting to play a D-28 or Advance Jumbo of any vintage that blows me away. Chances are the one that does will be $50,000. The best guitar I have ever played was a Brazilian '93 Collings D3 I encountered at Retrofret in Brooklyn once. It was special, and way better at $7000 than anything else in the shop, including a bunch of prewar Martins tagged at three times the price.
 

Rayk

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I love them all as well . Maple I never cared for but I now own my first so I could change my mind .

I’m still enjoying my CO-2 it has a very rich tone good sustain also the Adirondack Top . I really like it . The Orpheum is hog and the f212xlce which is a phenomenal 12 string . Also the OM 120 . Which pretty darn good also .

but I have to say rosewood just does it for me . The sustain , overtones it just comes together for me . I opened all my guitars for a check up make sure there ok .

they were fine and I just ran hand a long the strings for the heck of it . I put them all back in place then My guitar my Blueridge 180a dread as I opened her she looked so nice and clean and shinny. I gave her the strum they all the strings on them all were detuned .

when I did this on the Blue I had to take a double look she sound amazing to me just sitting in the case . I’ve play played her in a long time . She’s Rosewood and I was drooling a bit . Lol I have sure she’s back in rotation . 😊
 

steve488

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Beware Guildness violation!!!! (somewhat)
I cannot speak for any other factories but the Taylor factory in El Cajon had a great arrangement in their showroom the last time I was there (OK that was 2014). Playable for comparisons is a set of acoustic guitars in 2 configurations. One is all the same tonewood construction, but in each body shape so you can compare how the body affects the tone. The second set is all the same body (dreads when I was there) but with different tonewood combinations to allow comparison of the different woods affect on the tone.
It confirmed for me that the rosewood body sounded the best.... and went home and bought a Guild rosewood dread.
 

Br1ck

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I've been primarily a mahogany advocate for a while, though I keep a rosewood around forthe change of pace. After a week of playing my Martin D 35, my Guild D 35 sounds thin and whimpy. But after about 20 minutes, I get hooked again. My Martin D 35 is very dry for rosewood, and the only D 35 I've ever really liked. My Texan is loud and brash, perfect for rockabilly and promoting a bass line. Then for a real change of pace I have my 00 15 12 fret. Mahogony suffers because Martin never made fancy ones, and mahogany had no prestige until the tree came along.
 

dreadnut

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My '99 DV52 is a beautiful guitar, but I had to give the nod to my '76 D25M for overall volume and tone. That made it easier to give the DV52 to my son.

These days I'm spending a lot of time fingerpicking my recently acquired '88 D15.

So now all I have are these 'Hog Guilds; you'll get no argument from me!
 

twocorgis

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It took me about forty years to realize that I like mahogany guitars better, but better late than never I guess. I always thought rosewood guitars were better because thy cost more, but when I bought my Martin D18 David Crosby 11 years ago, I realized I was wrong all along. And then came the Bourgeois Slope D and the Gibson WM45. I think that rosewood works very well with 12 strings though, and I've yet to hear a 12er that sounds as goos as my 2010 F512. I had a late Westerly JF65-12 that was louder, but not better.
 

Sal

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I seem to prefer mahogany too. And I love my aged maple F40. I had a '71 Martin D28 but didn't play it much; though I understand the 70s were not the best years for Martins.
 

Westerly Wood

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Just noticing: It appears, as we all get more seasoned, most of us grow a serious appreciation for mahogany as a main tonewood. This is really interesting.
 
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