Brighter acoustic guitar

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by bushmill, Feb 16, 2006.


  1. bushmill

    bushmill Supporting Member

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    So, I bought an Epiphone Materbilt on the used market...The AJ Model with the Rosewood back/sides and Spruce top, great guitar with excellent quality for the cash but find it a bit darker than I like. Basically, the acoustic is for strumming around the house (or I'd have a Hummingbird!) so I don't need anything high end....Would mahogany or maple bodies be brighter? I really dig the old Guild D25s and was looking at those....Any suggestions? Maybe different strings?
    Cheers!
     
  2. teleking36

    teleking36 Supporting Member

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    Generally, maple bodied acoustics tend to be brighter than many of the other standard tonewoods (i.e. rosewood, mahogany). Mahogany acoustics have more of a balanced sound with nice crisp highs, but definitely not as bright as the maples.

    My first acoustic was an Alvarez-Yairi DY-74 that had rosewood back and sides. Then i moved onto a Taylor 410-MA, which was a maple-bodied dreadnaught and it was significantly brighter than the AY. I've also owned a Taylor 612ce that had maple back and sides as well and it was pretty bright.

    I now own a Gibson Hummingbird Artist that has mahogany b&s and probably is the most comfortable sounding acoustic to my ears. It covers a lot of tonal ground for me. Closer to a mix between the RW and maple. Nice projection that isn't too dark and boomy, but also retains great brightness without losing any definition or becoming too harsh.

    For total brightness, go maple. For a good balanced sound, try out mahogany.
     
  3. RichSZ

    RichSZ Member

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    Without trying to sound like I'm trying to sell my Larrivee (which I am at the moment in the Emporium), the entry level Larrivee's (02's & 03's) are brighter than some of the other guitars I've played. Very bold and articulate. Mine has Sapele sides and back (like Mahogony) and a solid Spruce top.

    Also, some of the recent Taylor's sounded brighter too. Not sure what the guitar was made from that I played but it sounded very similar to my Larrivee. It was about $600 at GC.

    The Breedlove's sounded a little less bright but also sounded good but to me, weren't as clear as the Taylor.

    I also have a Gibson J-185 EC (not for sale) Spruce top w/ maple back & sides and I can say it is not brighter than the Larrivee. Don't get me wrong I love the Gibson, but the Larrivee, for pure acoustic tones, is one helluva guitar.

    -Rich
     
  4. omensixaxe

    omensixaxe Member

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    i think that taylor's are generally more bright across the board. regardless of the model, most taylors cant seem to shake that sound.
     
  5. 58flame

    58flame Member

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    I agree. Every Taylor I've ever heard is on the bright side.
     
  6. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    compared to rosewood, yes, generally speaking
     
  7. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    Agree with the above comments about maple and even mahogany being brughter than rosewood.

    Taylors, in general, are brighter sounding guitars. Not a bad place to start looking...
     
  8. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    I agree also on the woods thing. Mahogany is generally my favorite, as it has a sweet, pure tone (if you're lucky) and superior string balance (same deal.) Body size is important here too. The dreads can get boomy and dark. Not all, by any means, but my favorite guitars are the smaller bodied ones.
     
  9. Scott M.

    Scott M. Member

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    With regard to tonewoods, koa can be a bit on the bright tide. For the top, englemann can have that property also. I think you just need to play a bunch of different guitars to see what works for you.
     
  10. utterhack

    utterhack Gold Supporting Member

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    This really does seem to be the way of it...

    That said, fzfwyv's summary seems pretty accurate, at least to my ear.
     

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