• New Sponsor: ShipNerd, Ship Your Gear with Us... for less! Click Here.

mahogany topped guitars?

music321

Member
Messages
3,793
what sort of character do mahogany-topped acoustics have? I'm guessing dark. how do they compare to cedar? I'm guessing their better in terms of durability, at least. I see that simon and patrick offer a "woodland pro" folk in all mahogany. I can't try one, and don't know what to think...
 
Messages
12,071
I have 2 hardwood Martins and I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Always play before you buy, and get a 3 day return policy for ALL guitars
 
Messages
5,167
I have owned a few, including a Martin OOO-15S and my current Guild M-120. Softer and less strident than either spruce or cedar is how they sound; nicely balanced with a tonal emphasis on the fundamental note.
"Dull" or "boring" is not how I would describe them, but then I have fully functioning ears...
 

Dereksslide

Member
Messages
3,297
I have owned a few, including a Martin OOO-15S and my current Guild M-120. Softer and less strident than either spruce or cedar is how they sound; nicely balanced with a tonal emphasis on the fundamental note.
"Dull" or "boring" is not how I would describe them, but then I have fully functioning ears...
Mine probably need cleaning... ;)
 
Messages
5,167
Mine probably need cleaning... ;)
Ha! I expect if someone is accustomed to blooming harmonics and dominant treble response then an all-mahogany guitar might sound a bit 'lacking'. You have to consider them as being different, rather than dull. After years of playing Telecasters I switched, briefly to a Les Paul. Sounded to me like someone threw a blanket over my amp after turning the treble right off. It's just something you adapt to, and I love having different flavours to play with.
 

Dereksslide

Member
Messages
3,297
Possibly, I'm worried if I clean them then I won't like my guitars!

Funny thing is I like songs that have been recorded with all mahogany guitars, I just don't like them when I play them. I have never played one that is of an equivalent standard to my two acoustics though so that might be part of the problem.
 
M

Member 37136

Body shape and depth have a lot to do with how a mahogany-topped guitar will sound; a D-15M sounds different than a 00015M, for example, in spite of their shared material. To me, the smaller bodies bring out a more pronounced "mahogany" tone -- drier, woodier, less harmonically complex. I've played mahogany dreads that don't sound that much different from spruce.

Mahogany guitars are a bit of an acquired taste. It took me nearly 15 minutes to get used to mine! Now it gets as much play time as the others, and sometimes more.
 

zombywoof

Member
Messages
4,687
I guess I am just not a fan. Too "polite" sounding if that makes any sense. In general though I prefer a small body guitar with a mahogany top to a jumbo or a dread.
 

True Vintage Guitar

True Vintage Guitar
Vendor
Messages
98
Here's mine, it's at the luthier now getting the bridge reglued. I like Mahogany but it is a different game then Spruce. It's well worth a try at least!

 

Pitar

Member
Messages
1,858
Dull, lifeless, flat, boring... :D

I'm not a fan as you might be able to tell.
Yea, that's about right; especially the boring part. It might be good for thumping out a rhythm back beat in a mix I suppose, but I'm a soloist. I had a Martin 000-17S for about a month. Looked better than it sounded.
 

magicaxeman

Member
Messages
1,373
I've just switched to a Guild M-120 and don't find it dull and lifeless at all, in fact it works really well for finger picking & alt tunings.

One thing I did find out years ago was the tone we hear when playing can be very different to the tone that's projected from the guitar, I've had spruce topped guitars that where over the top when it came to treble when recorded or from the listeners point of view, conversely I've had others that just sounded "dead" (Taylor mini GS) from both perspectives.
The only spruce topped guitars I've had that got the balance right where an Ovation 1994 collectors series and a Blueridge BR - 343 "Gospel", both had fantastic soft V necks as well.
 

Seorie

Member
Messages
431
mahogany topped guitars were introduced as a 'budget' model, it's almost unthinkable now but it was cheaper to make an all mahogany bodied guitar.
As such they have a tendency to sound harsh, sharp and brittle, what I would consider 'edgy' character, this can be put to good use in certain (musical) situations.
Do your homework - how are they used and by whom ?
 

Residentia

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
160
I played a Martin 000-15S at Gruhn's some years ago, sounded good. I have played many hog gtrs which were not very resonant, seemed to lack highs, and were dynamically challenged. Recently, I played the best mahogany gtr I have ever had my hands on, a new Martin 00-15, I think. Very Very nice.
MS
 

Chris_M

Member
Messages
233
Notice all the differing opinions in this thread? lol :rotflmao


Some say sharp, brittle, harsh others way dull, lifeless...

I personally love my 1943 Gibson LG-2 with mahogany top. But instead of making sweeping generalizations I suggest you try a bunch of guitars with mahogany tops OP.
 

THebert

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,455
Nick Drake most often used an all mahogany acoustic, you might check that out.
 
Messages
5,167
Nick Drake most often used an all mahogany acoustic, you might check that out.
Actually we don't know for certain what he used, and when. He has been pictured with a mahogany Guild M-20, also a Levin and a D-28 at some point.
There's a not much information on his equipment, no concert footage and much of what we 'know' is anecdotal. On the cover of 'Bryter Layter' he is shown with the Guild, but an interview with the engineer on the sessions seems to recall a larger guitar, possibly the D-28. The fact that he preferred the tone of dead strings identifying his guitars by sound is pointless really.
Back to the guitars though and I have the modern version of the M-20. Contrary to some of the negative comments here it's a fine-sounding little guitar. As long as you don't expect this little thing-and it's just a shade bigger than a Martin size O-to be a harmonic laden dread and re-calibrate your ears to the tone of mahogany, you'd love it.
 

Dereksslide

Member
Messages
3,297
Actually we don't know for certain what he used, and when. He has been pictured with a mahogany Guild M-20, also a Levin and a D-28 at some point.
There's a not much information on his equipment, no concert footage and much of what we 'know' is anecdotal. On the cover of 'Bryter Layter' he is shown with the Guild, but an interview with the engineer on the sessions seems to recall a larger guitar, possibly the D-28. The fact that he preferred the tone of dead strings identifying his guitars by sound is pointless really.
Back to the guitars though and I have the modern version of the M-20. Contrary to some of the negative comments here it's a fine-sounding little guitar. As long as you don't expect this little thing-and it's just a shade bigger than a Martin size O-to be a harmonic laden dread and re-calibrate your ears to the tone of mahogany, you'd love it.
This is my main issue. Maybe I should persuade my wife that I need an all mahogany guitar to broaden my horizons... :D
 






Trending Topics

Top Bottom