Suhr Classic S Paulownia opinion?

Brooks

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5,732
My #1 partscaster started w/ a MJT alder body. I have a compressed lumbar disc (see my avatar), so I have been cycling thru several lightweight headless options in the last few years (Steinberger, Kiesel, Strandberg); great playing instruments, but not as toneful... Finally tried an Eden paulownia strat body to replace my alder MJT, very impressed not only w/ the weight reduction but also the tone (slightly more "zingy" in the upper mids). As for the "balsa wood" comments, I have not had any problems, but my trem is decked & blocked.

 
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big mike

Cathode biased
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14,367
My #1 partscaster started w/ a MJT alder body. I have a compressed lumbar disc (see my avatar), so I have been cycling thru several lightweight headless options in the last few years (Steinberger, Kiesel, Strandberg); great playing instruments, but not as toneful... Finally tried an Eden paulownia strat body to replace my alder MJT, very impressed not only w/ the weight reduction but also the tone (slightly more "zingy" in the upper mids). As for the "balsa wood" comments, I have not had any problems, but my trem is decked & blocked.


Nice guitar

Balsa is not paulownia
And balsa is not a cheap / bad wood.
Like anything it’s application… it just happened to be used in toys when a lot of us were younger (balsa) so it gets painted with the ‘cheap’ brush.
 

Faded

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4,148
I'm not convinced the strength of a wood type barely above Balsa would be good for a guitar. Screws under stress, like the neck bolts and vibrato bridge pivot screws, may require some sort of harder wood inserts to keep from wallowing out. This is what's kept *me* from investigating this wood as a body wood. I've already had issues with a couple of other wood species that have require an oak or rock maple insert as a sturdy base for screws under stress.

But maybe some people don't stress a guitar as much as I do, and it would work for them.

Exactly the reason I wouldn’t buy one. Same with Empress, Basswood or Okume. Perfectly fine for some, not for me.
 

Husky

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13,019
Different Solid woods have properties that work or don’t work for guitars and there are a few woods that are light I don’t like the sound of but this is a good one. Plywood is not a solid wood but nobody seemed to mind much when Fender has used 9 pieces for a body when you include the top and bottom veneer to hide the glue joints.

My Dad always told me one of the worst insulting things you can do is spell someone’s name wrong, so make sure you always get that right, it’s only 4 letters after all.
I have guitars made of basswood. I just said I knew nothing about paulownia being used on the Shur guitars. L I was just Shocked that Shur used it for the body is all.
 

Brooks

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5,732
Plywood is not a solid wood but nobody seemed to mind much when Fender has used 9 pieces for a body

My other partscaster has a plywood body (80s Martin Stinger import), also has a killer neck and plays/sounds way better than it should!

 

Go Cat Go!!

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6,947
Geee ya think they just might of hated the guitar due to something else besides the wood used? Wow, and it’s “Suhr”

Just because a cheap guitar was made with it is not an indicator of the quality of the wood used ?


I remember when pau ferro was a premium wood. Then Fender replaced rosewood with pau ferro and it became a cheap wood to the masses. Most of them probably never heard of pau ferro before. Shame.
 

OotMagroot

Silver Supporting Member
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10,205
Different Solid woods have properties that work or don’t work for guitars and there are a few woods that are light I don’t like the sound of but this is a good one. Plywood is not a solid wood but nobody seemed to mind much when Fender has used 9 pieces for a body when you include the top and bottom veneer to hide the glue joints.

My Dad always told me one of the worst insulting things you can do is spell someone’s name wrong, so make sure you always get that right, it’s only 4 letters after all.

Things are much worse than they seem. You may have fell victim to the ever maniacal......AUTO CORRECT!!!!!
 

Maliben

Member
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1
After a year of playing my Paulownia T daily I appreciate it even more. At 6 lbs. 0 ounces I play longer with less fatigue & that's worth it to this old timer. The surprise bonus besides the weight reduction was finding it's more tonally responsive & therefore more versatile than most others Ts with SS pup config which is probably due to the pups & not the wood, but a keeper either way
 

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GV Quinn

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I'm not convinced the strength of a wood type barely above Balsa would be good for a guitar.

You don't sell as many guitars as he does, so I'm going to go with what he says. No other reason.

It's like someone saying 'pine is too soft for construction'. I question if someone's in a position to say that at all.
 

Mikhael

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3,631
You don't sell as many guitars as he does, so I'm going to go with what he says. No other reason.

It's like someone saying 'pine is too soft for construction'. I question if someone's in a position to say that at all.
Thanks for the vote of confidence. I'm not saying he's wrong, but I've had a couple of bodies of softer wood (one being Paulownia) whose two-point vibrato pivot screws wallowed out rather quickly. Granted my use of the bar may be a little brutal, but not as bad as Vai. But I do prefer a somewhat harder wood, for stability. I DO like the weight though. :)

Does Suhr use inserts for the pivot screws on vibrato-equipped guitars?
 

GV Quinn

Member
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355
Thanks for the vote of confidence. I'm not saying he's wrong, but I've had a couple of bodies of softer wood (one being Paulownia) whose two-point vibrato pivot screws wallowed out rather quickly. Granted my use of the bar may be a little brutal, but not as bad as Vai. But I do prefer a somewhat harder wood, for stability. I DO like the weight though. :)

Does Suhr use inserts for the pivot screws on vibrato-equipped guitars?

And I reckon those bodies were softer, as I said about pine. It’s not all equal, I’ll bet Suhr cuts it at a hard point, uses harder pieces and dries it right. I’d say if chosen right it can be very strong. Sorry to hear you had an issue though, I had the issue with a Les Paul, bridge tilted forward, had to redrill and remount the bridge, at a slight back angle, so if it moved again it’d settle straight enough.

And there’s an insert, yes.
 

Mikhael

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3,631
And I reckon those bodies were softer, as I said about pine. It’s not all equal, I’ll bet Suhr cuts it at a hard point, uses harder pieces and dries it right. I’d say if chosen right it can be very strong. Sorry to hear you had an issue though, I had the issue with a Les Paul, bridge tilted forward, had to redrill and remount the bridge, at a slight back angle, so if it moved again it’d settle straight enough.

And there’s an insert, yes.
Yeah, I have a Hamer with a mahogany body whose pivot screws wallowed out their holes. I drilled big holes, put in oak dowels, then put inserts in those. Solid as a rock now, for over a decade, and good tone/sustain to boot.

Yep; no two pieces of wood are the same...
 

GV Quinn

Member
Messages
355
Yeah, I have a Hamer with a mahogany body whose pivot screws wallowed out their holes. I drilled big holes, put in oak dowels, then put inserts in those. Solid as a rock now, for over a decade, and good tone/sustain to boot.

Yep; no two pieces of wood are the same...

Sorry if I was curt with you before. I didn’t mean to come across that way.

Oak or teak is very solid. I used teak for plugs cos it was there, it was a bitch to turn and trim.
 

Mikhael

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3,631
Sorry if I was curt with you before. I didn’t mean to come across that way.

Oak or teak is very solid. I used teak for plugs cos it was there, it was a bitch to turn and trim.
Yeah, I discovered that myself. Those and rock maple are hard on tools (and patience)...
 

tooter007

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541
Guitarfetish have been selling Paulownia bodies for years, very inexpensively too. I bought one of their "s" -type bodies years ago, I swear the thing was filled with helium! Made a very fun and crazy lightweight partscaster. Ironically paired it with a Warmoth neck with cost about 4x the cost of the body, but still came in under $400 all said and done and a very nice guitar. Key is in the setup of course.

Link to Guitarfetish paulownia bodies for example....

 

JasonE

Member
Messages
701
John is a smart man that knows what he is doing. I am sure there are different grades of paulownia with different hardnesses. I have 3 suhr guitars and I can't fault any of them for anything, two of them are custom builds. If John feels comfortable using it, I would trust his judgement. I personally would not buy a basswood or paulownia guitar. I just don't like them. I tend to favor traditional woods. I am not a huge fan of 24 fret guitars either but that is all my own preference.
 

Husky

Member
Messages
13,019
Things are much worse than they seem. You may have fell victim to the ever maniacal......AUTO CORRECT!!!!!
Are you saying auto correct takes Suhr and turns it in to Shur? Unless we are in biblical times that isn’t really a word to be corrected to ;-) and auto correct usually ignore caps.
 




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