Mahogany vs Mahogany With Maple Top

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by MartinC, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. MartinC

    MartinC Member

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    From the Suhr site:
    Mahogany – A popular wood used in set-neck guitars and acoustics, Mahogany is strong in the mid-mids with a good high-midrange bark. Contrary to popular belief, Mahogany is not dark – just strong in the mids that gives it the aural illusion that it's compressed. Mahogany body is best when mated with Mahogany neck.

    Mahogany Back / Quilt or Flame Maple Top – This is another killer combination when mated with a Mahogany neck with various species of Rosewood for fingerboard material. Maple extends the range of Mahogany with more brilliance and punchy lows. The Mahogany back and neck combination works well in the bolt-on design and is highly recommended for those seeking a thick woody tone.
    My question about this is, with an all mahogany body, will notes played in the upper registers (top E and B strings up past the 15th fret for example) be lacking in volume when compared to a mahogany body with maple top, all other things being equal? Or will it just be a different tone, with the same volume?
     
  2. Vintage-tone

    Vintage-tone Gold Supporting Member

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    I really don t believe that you can say yes or no to that.
    It depends on so many parameters such as the quality of your fretjob, your neck, you scale, your set up to start with and then of course the quality of the assembly of your whole guitar.
    A good builder can make a great guitar with modest woods and a lousy one slaughter the best woods ever, turning em into a dead instruments...
    This just reflects Suhr's views and opinions about woods. I personaly love mahogany bodies with maple neck and brazilian boards like my old 63 Mahogany Tele :D It's very personal and subjective. It also depends on what kind of mahogany, one piece or multiple pieces bodies, thickness, what kind of glue is involved etc etc ...
    It's just a different tone and different vibe, feel depending on what you d pick . They both are great choices considering you'd pick a good builder to make em come to life.
     
  3. MartinC

    MartinC Member

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    Maybe I need to put the question differently:

    Does the tendency for mid-focus that you get with mahogany only bodies translate into less volume in notes played on the top 2 strings above the 15th fret, when compared to a maple topped mahogany body? ... generally speaking ... all other things being equal.

    By the way, I'm not reading into the Suhr take on things that mahogany with a maple top is superior to straight mahogany. I'm just wanting to make sure I understanding what's being said.
     
  4. Figher53

    Figher53 Member

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    I think I know what you're asking, but I'm not sure. If I read you right, you're asking if all other things being equal, would a maple top add volume?

    I don't have any scientific evidence one way or the other, but I can tell you that I'm not lacking for volume when I play my all mahogany Les Paul Junior or my Les Paul Standard. They're just different flavors. Go for the tone you prefer. A well built guitar will sound/feel just as loud whether it's maple topped or not.
     
  5. Fangosa

    Fangosa Member

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  6. MartinC

    MartinC Member

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    Thankyou! That's almost exactly what I'm asking ... with a little extra information it would be exact:

    I think I know what you're asking, but I'm not sure. If I read you right, you're asking if all other things being equal, would a maple top add volume to notes played in the upper registers (15th fret and above on the top E and B strings)?
    Is there any of that apparent on your guitars ... ie, high notes seem lacking in volume compared to lower notes ... moreso than on other guitars you've tried?

    Thanks again
     
  7. playon

    playon Supporting Member

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    No.
     
  8. Birddog

    Birddog Member

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    My Mahogany Top Classic LP is not lacking at all in upper register volume. In fact, side by side with my Standard, it may have a bit MORE bite in the upper registers. Of course, we're also comparing Classic 57's to Burstbuckers , but for me the Mahogany Top is not lacking in ANYthing. It actually cuts through a live gig mix a bit better than the Standard.

    Here's a little Mahogany goodness for you. My 2007 Classic Antique MT:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. oscar100

    oscar100 Member

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    more snappy with maple top
     
  10. Brian Krashpad

    Brian Krashpad Member

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    I have several all-mahogany bodied guitars (Hamer Special, Schecter Tempest Special, Gretsch Electromatic Special Jet, DeArmond Jet Star) and don't notice any lack of volume in the high registers compared to my maple-capped guitars (LP Classic, LP Studio DC, Fernandes Ravelle).
     
  11. MartinC

    MartinC Member

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    Thanks people ... I shall go forth and play a few, knowing what to listen for ...
     
  12. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    I wonder what we hear, when we don't know what to listen for?

    Almost sounds like the power of suggestion.

    I think I'm gonna use this one piece maple neck on my maple cap light mahogany body. I like what I hear, even though I'm not supposed to hear what I'm hearing.




    Bubban0v
     
  13. MartinC

    MartinC Member

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    That's not really what I meant ... I was just checking whether an all mahogany guitar should be expected to have a relative lack of volume when played in the upper registers.

    When trying out all mahogany guitars in future, if I pick one up that has that characteristic, then I'll know it's a dud and not par for the course ;)
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008
  14. Vintage-tone

    Vintage-tone Gold Supporting Member

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    Man you re going to force me to play beyond the 5 th fret ! It s scary down there I don t think i can do it !
    but no I really never noticed anything like that on all mahogany LP compared to maple top ones for example.
     
  15. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    I don't think there's that much of a difference. Sometime compare an SG, Les Paul and an Explorer. Chances are they'll be about the same volume. Usually the SG and Explorer will sound a little warmer. That's about the only differences.
     
  16. MartinC

    MartinC Member

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    yeah ... a few cobwebs up that end of my guitars too ... but you just never know when a freak face-melting moment is gonna hit you ... now imagine you get the face right, but the note just leaves you looking like an air guitarist :eek:
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008
  17. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Member

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    Some day soon, we'll have a non-invasive test we can perform on each guitar neck and each guitar body. The test will compare the structural characteristics and grain alignment of the individual pieces, so we can marry up those pieces best suited for one another. This would apply to the individual pieces of wood making up the necks and bodies as well.

    Suddenly, we have super-guitars everywhere. Science will replace romance, and with the mystery gone, people may move on.

    I apologize. I just find great differences between two identical examples of the same guitar model, whilst one or more of these examples ends up sounding pretty much precisely the same as an example of a model assembled of another type of material. Puzzling. :)
     
  18. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    A Maple Cap makes a "HUGE' difference to my ears & attack feel ...
    Changes everything about an axe...

    For instance, I love the older PRS EG series made in the early 90...
    But will qualify those that I love have to have Maple tops ...
    since I've bought about three of em without through out the years...
    and they were quite dull sounding in comparison!
    __________________
     
  19. FractalGarden

    FractalGarden Member

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    Good morning, thread. It's now 6 years later. Have you learned anything?
     
  20. THebert

    THebert Member

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    I've had a PRS cu24 and std 24 at the same time. The difference is not so much in volume, more difference in attack. The maple top makes the attack sharper while I would say the std was more 'smoother' so to speak. I do think the maple makes the high end sound a bit brighter.
     

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