A Question about Rosewood

FiestaRed

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What kind of rosewood is the darkest in color? Which of these is consistently darkest -- madagascar, brazilian, or indian?

-Mark
 

PB Wilson

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778
Madagascar rosewood has a more reddish color to it with inky black lines.

Brazilian rosewood is all over the place with red hues, dark brown, light brown (cocoa-colored), inky black lines and I've even seen some that have a green tint to them.

Indian rosewood is probably the most consistently dark. Most of what I've seen is dark brown with a bit of purple. It's less wild looking than the other two and looks dignified to me.

Do an image search to get a feel for how they look or check out Allied Lutherie or Luthier's Mercantille for pics.
 

PB Wilson

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778
Madagascar


Brazilian


Indian


Now obviously these are three random examples, and you must take into account the picture being under exposed or over exposed or using a filter, but you get the idea.

Check out other rosewoods at Gilmer Wood.
 

PB Wilson

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No problem. I have a bit of a fetish for exotic wood.

So, are you choosing a fretboard or something else?
 

FiestaRed

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21,422
Fretboard. I bought an ash body with see-thru white finish, and it needs a neck. I'd like the darkest rosewood possible to offset the white body, and match the dark tortise shell pickguard. Musikraft makes some nice necks with the neck carve that I like, so I'm looking at purchasing one.

-Mark
 

PB Wilson

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778
When dealing with luthier supply houses, I have found that asking nicely for exactly what you want goes a long way. The folks at Luthiers Mercantille and Allied Lutherie have gone the extra mile to find me some wood that matched what I was envisioning in my head. If you want the darkest fretboard they can find, ask and see what they can do.
 

PB Wilson

Member
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778
That's up to debate. I personally haven't been able to attribute a particular tone to a fretboard wood, but others may have different experiences.

I'd probably choose one due to looks, but that's just me.
 

BPlexico

Gold Supporting Member
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782
well one other variance to consider when choosing a rosewood board may be the degree of porousness of the board - I have a variety of guitars with different rosewood boards - and some are definately "smoother" in feel than others. That being said, I dont think one could attribute that to any particular species - the smoothest I have is a SG with a BRW board that has few prominent pores on the surface....but that is not consistant across all the ones I have with BRW fingerboards...
 

dave251

Member
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330
I can definitely tell a difference between the ebonies and rosewoods on my guitars. I'll typically use black ebony and cocobolo(Mexican rosewood). I"ve also used macasser ebony(brown striped) and indian rosewood for boards.

The ebony seems to have a bit more refined, if somewhat harsh edge to the tone; the rosewoods are more open, resonant and "raw" sounding....sort of like the difference between an amp with a pretty serious negative feedback loop and one that's just straight through the output transformer....not that one is necessarily better than the other, just a bit different.

I personally prefer the cocobolo for MY guitar designs.

YMMV
 

PB Wilson

Member
Messages
778
If you want a rosewood look, but without the pores, go for Pau Ferro. It wears well and is as smooth as silk. Cheap too! I've got a 9' Pau Ferro board that's 11" across that should keep me busy for a long while whenever I dive into my guitar-making hobby.
 

Jack Briggs

Member
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1,607
Originally posted by FiestaRed
What kind of rosewood is the darkest in color? Which of these is consistently darkest -- madagascar, brazilian, or indian?

-Mark
African Blackwood (dalbergia melanoxylon).
 




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