Great sound clip: guitar maker discusses sounds of different trees.
Jul 18, 2008 at 4:26 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 3

DrBenway

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About a year ago, NPR ran this segment, called "The Music of Guitar Wood." A master luthier (guitar builder) taps different varieties of spruce to demonstrate the varying sounds that different trees produce. The differences are clear and startling.

Beyond that, the sounds, particularly from the Adirondack spruce, are absolutely beautiful. He produces a sustained, resonant tone by simply tapping the raw wood. My first thought was that this material would make a gorgeous sounding drum.

This maker specializes in repairing and reproducing vintage Martin acoustics, and he briefly (and beautifully) plays an original to demonstrate the sound he aims for in his own instruments. His commentary throughout is fascinating and betrays a touching love of his work, particularly when he reveals that he builds his instruments from trees that he personally felled.

Maybe the world isn't all bad after all.
 
Jul 18, 2008 at 5:22 AM Post #2 of 3

tjkurita

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Cool!

I can attest to the quality of Adirondack (red) spruce sometimes over some kinds (Sitka, for example), all things being equal of course. I own an Ad. top Collings dreadnought. It is one of my favorites. Also, the back and side woods make a big difference. I like Sitka or Englemann with Rosewood, actually. And Adirondack with Mahogany.

I have heard great things about European spruce as well. I had a European spruce topped guitar for a little while, but I didn't spend enough time with it to get its sound in my head.

I used to be obsessed with woods and the tonal qualities of each variety of spruce and all that. I bought lots of different guitars with different woods and I personally found that build quality and age makes a much bigger difference in a guitar's tone. Then again, I'm not a luthier!
 
Jul 18, 2008 at 5:29 AM Post #3 of 3

DrBenway

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Quote:

Originally Posted by tjkurita /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Cool!

I can attest to the quality of Adirondack (red) spruce sometimes over some kinds (Sitka, for example), all things being equal of course. I own an Ad. top Collings dreadnought. It is one of my favorites. Also, the back and side woods make a big difference. I like Sitka or Englemann with Rosewood, actually. And Adirondack with Mahogany.

I have heard great things about European spruce as well. I had a European spruce topped guitar for a little while, but I didn't spend enough time with it to get its sound in my head.

I used to be obsessed with woods and the tonal qualities of each variety of spruce and all that. I bought lots of different guitars with different woods and I personally found that build quality and age makes a much bigger difference in a guitar's tone. Then again, I'm not a luthier!



Since I'm not a musician (just a lover of music) I had no idea that there were such subtle differences from one wood to another. I knew from guitar playing friends that certain woods were preferred over others, but this clip so vividly demonstrates the different qualities of different woods! I envy that guy his talent and his obvious pride in and satisfaction with his work.

P.S. Do you play electric as well?
 

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