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Suhr - Certified River-Recovered Old Growth Maple

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MarkF786

Member
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1,769
I'm curious about Suhr's "Certified River-Recovered Old Growth Maple"...

Who certifies the wood?

What are they certifying?

Where is wood obtained from?

After speaking with Stefan @ D'Pergo I'm looking to understand how his materials compare to other builders. I must say, he is very knowledgeable and quite convincing, but I'm be curious to hear the source of other builders' materials.

Mark
 

Joe_Steeler

Member
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810
I think I remeber watching a Dirty Jobs episode where this company up north, may Canada, was fishing old logs from the bottom of rivers. Either fallen trees or sunken logs from the logging industry.
The whole deal was based on the cold weather and how it preserved this old wood. They will bring them up, dry them and slice them into all kinds of slabs for furniture manufacturers and such. Saw some pretty nice pieces.

It seemed like a simple operation ran by about 12 guys. Maybe those same guys or others source their goods to John and others.
 
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15,346
So... the original question remains. Who certifies the wood? Is in an in-house process, or does it involve an actual, reputable third-party?
 

splatt

david torn / splattercell
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
25,567
in any case, mark;
i'm sure that john can answer your questions, himself.
he's a fairly regular poster on TGP.

dt / spltrcl
 

Brian Scherzer

Staff member
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5,150
I deleted several posts, including several that referenced the main one that needed deleting. I'm tired of the bashing. People need to get a life. Stick to the topic!
 

PFCG

Member
Messages
2,803
who says i dont gig? i play out alot, Ive been playing from nyc to italy, playing with national acts and getting paid alot of money.

Im just saying, that everyone is so hyped about old growth river recovered, and its really not all that better, i dont know why its a big deal.
 

lhallam

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
17,302
who says i dont gig? i play out alot, Ive been playing from nyc to italy, playing with national acts and getting paid alot of money.

Im just saying, that everyone is so hyped about old growth river recovered, and its really not all that better, i dont know why its a big deal.
Can't speak for gtrs, but I built two cabs.

One with modern pine the other with antique pine.

The antique was so resonant that I had to put dampers on it.

Better? Up to one's taste.

Different? You betcha.
 

Husky

Member
Messages
12,077
So... the original question remains. Who certifies the wood? Is in an in-house process, or does it involve an actual, reputable third-party?
Well if this is an honest question I'm glad to answer.
My source came when I worked at Fender from an friend who has been working with River recovered woods for many years. As far as certificates (which come with the guitar) it is the people who bring up the logs and engineered a revolutionary radio frequency drying system to dry the logs. They are specialists in this field and are well known for what they do. We deal direct with them. They have full cooperation and support of the government. They know when the logs have sunk and where the mills were as well as their complete history. Most of it was cut over 300 years ago. The certificates come from the company who supplies the wood and they are government regulated.

We don't use everything they send, just like most of our body wood I would say we return half right off the bat, then I go through full vibration analysis to make sure it is worthy and a compatible match with the body. This process is all done in house on our state of the art test gear. We have a patent pending on our process to excite the wood. The wood that doesn't meet the specs gets turned into firewood. For the pieces that make it we then re-dry in our own kiln until it meets our required moisture content and re-check it again for vibration characteristics (it does change). The wood sits at least 6 months in our shop to acclimate to the environment before we start the neck making process. After the neck is shaped it settles again for another month before we final true the fingerboard and fret the neck, then we cut the body for the guitar.

What actually has me more excited these days is our newest offering of vulcanized wood. This emulates much of the effect of being submerged in rivers and lakes without the wait time and IMO with more consistency. The Old growth northeastern maple is dried in an oxygen free dryer at 500 + degrees. The color is dark, almost like the color of Pau Ferro, the maple is the most stable I have ever seen and rings like a bell and is fat even on a slim neck. It is also giving me very even vibration response plots through the frequency spectrum. You can pour water on one side of the neck with no finish and the neck does not move. Truly amazing stuff, the first chord I played on a modern which went to Erik Buell (for you bike riders) just amazed me. Erik is loving this guitar.

It doesnt have to be 400 years old to sounds great. In fact Mike Landau recently picked one of our straight qtr swn slow growth necks in direct comparison to a flat sawn and a river recovered all on the same guitar. On the other hand Scott Henderson recently did pick the Old growth as did Steve Trovato and Steve Stevens. Some of it is very cool some not worth using for a truck pallet. I do happen to have a great stock of choice pieces right now but I would say the availability is seasonal.

If anyone has any questions please send me an email or give me a call!
 
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Joe F

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
653
I don't know about Suhr in particular, but certified river recovered wood is not all the same. And I do now that D'Pergo looks for specific things in the wood he uses, but I have never played one. I have no idea what Suhr does. Old wood is not good or bad because it's old. Same for river recovered, which is both old...and has spend a long time under water.

Back in the old old days there was a ton of logging the only efficient way to transport the wood was down river. Tons of the stuff was sent down river. This was the case even when Stradivari was making violins and his spruce was sent down river from the alps. In the USA, there was a lot of northern american/canadian wood that was sent down river for industry. Not all of the wood made it. Some sank, some got jammed up and never made it down river. This was wood that was cut for logging but has been in cold water preserved rather well for 100 or more years. When you recover the wood though there is in many cases a difference between the recovered wood and the wood as it was when it was first cut. Micro-organisms fead on the sugars in the cell structure of the wood. When this has happened, the wood has more space in the cells. Some say it will vibrate more, and be a better tone wood (if you know how to pick this stuff). As a classical player for example, I deal with spruce tops that have to "open up" which means that the sap/etc. need to slowly travel and settle to areas of the top that do not vibrate as much and the only way to do that is to play it alot. You get something like that with river recovered wood. not to mention you get species that may not be here anymore or you get grain consistency that you can't get anymore except from protected areas. As many know, the little ice age was the reason why the tight and consistent wood grain is seen in the famous Cremonese violins. So there really is something to this. Same as there being something to using pine from a barn build in the 1800's. But at the end of the day wood is wood.
 

DC1

Member
Messages
15,391
What actually has me more excited these days is our newest offering of vulcanized wood. The Old growth northeastern maple is dried in an oxygen free dryer at 700 degrees. The color is dark, almost like the color of Pau Ferro, the maple is the most stable I have ever seen and rings like a bell. It is also giving me very even vibration response plots through the frequency spectrum. You can pour water on one side of the neck with no finish and the neck does not move. Truly amazing stuff, the first chord I played on a modern which went to Erik Buell (for you bike riders) just amazed me.

I'm intrigued by this!

Are you going to offer this as a neck wood option?

Have you tried the process with body woods?


thanks

dc
 

Foxtrot

Senior Member
Messages
1,025
I think I remeber watching a Dirty Jobs episode where this company up north, may Canada, was fishing old logs from the bottom of rivers. Either fallen trees or sunken logs from the logging industry.
The whole deal was based on the cold weather and how it preserved this old wood. They will bring them up, dry them and slice them into all kinds of slabs for furniture manufacturers and such. Saw some pretty nice pieces.

It seemed like a simple operation ran by about 12 guys. Maybe those same guys or others source their goods to John and others.
I watched a show like that as well. Come to find out, the company didn't do it legally & they were fined about 10,000 USD. I think the one I saw was Ax Men on the History Channel.

I'm not sure who does the certification & all the jazz, but it's probably the Forestry Dept. in charge of the permits. Not so sure about outside the US.
 

DC1

Member
Messages
15,391
I do have some test bodies to try, We are offering it now yes! I'm going to make myself a modern with one.
Here is a link to Eric Buell's guitar with the Vulcan neck. There is no extra color on this neck.
http://gallery.me.com/suhrguitars#101077&bgcolor=black&view=grid
Wow, I like that.

I assume it doesn't get brittle?

Does it move around less with weather changes? Is that a pau ferro FB BTW?

Have you tried the vulcanized maple for an all maple neck yet?

Sorry for all the questions.

Now I am dying to hear this stuff...

dc
 

Husky

Member
Messages
12,077
Wow, I like that.

I assume it doesn't get brittle?

Does it move around less with weather changes? Is that a pau ferro FB BTW?

Have you tried the vulcanized maple for an all maple neck yet?

Sorry for all the questions.

Now I am dying to hear this stuff...

dc
No brittleness in the tone, it sounds fat for days and rings. The response is very even. Yes that is a Pau Ferro board I will do the 1 piece maple maybe totally unfinished for myself. We have not seen these necks move at all, even when we abuse them with moisture. So much so that I may try some necks without truss rods (always a favorite tone for me) If you want to know more just send me a PM and I'll give you my direct email I check all day. :dude
 

Joe F

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
653
>If you read the post directly above yours, I think John Suhr explains what he does very well.

I typed that before he posted. We were typing at the same time. So I return your minutia...with more minutia for all to enjoy!
 

chinstrap

Member
Messages
1,072
I sure don't pretend to know anythiing definitive about the subject, but I have recorded a friends Timeless Timber DW drumkit, and is the most singularly loud and resonant percussion instrument I have ever heard. I have recorded dozens of DW and other premium kits and there is no comparison tonally. It tends to make me believe there is something to recovered woods.
 

jcs

Member
Messages
8,078
wow no truss rods! thats pretty cool.

i remember randy rhoads having a flying v built with an old danelectro neck with no truss rod, i can imagine it being very resonant!
 

Drowned Rabbit

Black Beauty Beats Burst
Messages
2,704
Suhr gets some great Maple,
ask anyone who owns one of
his guitars. Here's a Bird's Eye
neck on a Modern they made
for me recently. Seriously cool
stuff...



 
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