What type of Rosewood? Please help identify.

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by Arc Angel, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. Arc Angel

    Arc Angel Member

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    Can anyone positively identify this Rosewood? Very fragrant. The indication is that it is old BR, but few people have been able to positively state what it is ..

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    Thanks :)
     
  2. larry1096

    larry1096 Member

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    Since the coloration of BR is so important in its identification, could I suggest something? Hold a white sheet of paper next to the guitar in every shot. Try to adjust your white balance until the photos show pretty close to 'real' white on the paper.

    I'm guessing that the coloration of those photos is not quite accurate. Pretty guitar, regardless, though.
     
  3. james russell

    james russell Silver Supporting Member

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    It's too hard to tell from the photos, but the sides and back look exactly like the Indian Rosewood on the first acoustic I built in 1979. Find someone with lutherie experience and have them take a look, or even better, a sniff. Brazilian and Indian both have very distinctive characteristic odors, and it's quite easy to smell the difference. Without having it in my hands, I would guess it's Indian.

    James
     
  4. Arc Angel

    Arc Angel Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion. It is quite light in color (although depending on your monitor who knows ;) how it may look in your case). In my browser, its looks fairly accurate.

    Its been described as being a "rubio" in color (spanish for light, blonde, etc.).

    Thanks James. Have you ever seen a lighter shade of Brazilian Rosewood (or a Amazon variant, etc.).

    Can someone describe the fragrance of BR, IR or Madagascar Rosewood. Most IR I've had or played haven't been very fragrant. This guitar is very aromatic.
     
  5. james russell

    james russell Silver Supporting Member

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    Hi Arc Angel,

    Yes, I have seen Brazilian Rosewood as light colored as your guitar. I just completed a classical last fall that was about the same color as your photos. There is something about the ribbon looking striping on your guitar that is making me lean toward an Indian guess. Brazilian can be all over the map as far as colors and grain, so yours could be Brazilian as well. I'm really not trying to be vague, it's just that Brazilian can vary so much.

    As far as odor is concerned, I'm not much help in describing it. My luthier friend Jason Schroeder says that he thinks Indian smells like urine when sanded or machined, and that Brazilian smells sweet. I can smell a similar Rosewood quality in both woods, but the Brazilian always smells kind of like an exotic aromatic perfume to me. I don't personally think Indian smells like pee, but it's definately not as sweet smelling as Brazilian.

    Anyway, blah blah, woof woof. I'll think about it some more and sniff some of each in my shop to see if I can articulate more about the differences in the two smells. I guess the term "cork sniffing" around here is pretty accurate for us gear tweakers.

    James
     
  6. Arc Angel

    Arc Angel Member

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    Thank you for your information James. The indication is that it is old BR, but in showing the guitar, I've had a few contra indications (i.e. " I don't think its BR") but no "positive" indications from those who say they don't think its BR of what it might be.

    BTW, The guitar was made by Andalusian Guitars. Here is the website:

    http://www.andalusianguitars.com

    I personally have two more:

    http://arcangel.fastmail.net/guitars/

    The one in the pictures above is the only one which whose tonewood confuses a few people.
     
  7. Lawn Jockey

    Lawn Jockey Member

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    Arc Angel, whatever it is, it is beautiful.

    How does it sound?
     
  8. DamianL

    DamianL Member

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    Hi there,

    Beautiful guitar...

    I think you might get an even better selection of opinions over on The Acoustic Guitar forum website...

    I am a member over there too and find that some great acoustic luthiers will happily chip in with advice on questions like this...

    Which is not to say that there aren't great luthiers hanging out here too! :)

    Just horses for courses, perhaps?

    Damian

    P.S. It's a bit light for Brazilian isn't it...but the grain does look similar...really couldn't say myself..looks a bit more Honduran to me (but what would I know..:confused:)
     
  9. pedalcr8z

    pedalcr8z Supporting Member

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    Lovely satin finish, I have a Lowden 0-23 steel string that is satin also. I've not seen a satin finished BR but have seen satin R's before. Who is the maker? Looks new also? I've also seen Cocobolo sometimes referred to as Mexican Rosewood in that exact color............post it on the
    Acoustic Guitar Magazine's Classical corner and you'll know immediately!
     
  10. soli528

    soli528 Silver Supporting Member

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    Have you tried contacting the builder? They may be able to narrow it down for you based on the guitars serial or something.
     
  11. Nuclearfishin

    Nuclearfishin Supporting Member

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    I've worked with a bunch of Brazilian and like the folks said, you can't tell just by the color/grain. As far as smell, BRW smells exactly like a piece of Bazooka bubble gum to me. If you scratch a bare piece of the wood, it will distinctly smell like bubble gum, while Indian will smell nothing like that. Once you smell Brazilian it is very easy to identify based on smell and you will recognize it instantly.
     
  12. Arc Angel

    Arc Angel Member

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    As an update, the good folks at AcousticGuitar.com forums led me to Mr. Roberto Gomes in Sao Paolo Brazil. He was find enough to reply and attempt to identify the tonewood:

    "By the photos you sent me would be very hard to positively indentify this wood of your guitar. It´s not pau ferro, caviuna, morado or santos rosewood. However at first instance looks like Brazilian rosewood (Dalbergia nigra) from early growth trees from the Northeast State of Minas Gerais - Brazil. Does it have a very sweet smell in a warm temperature? If so, it could be what I call "rubber rosewood" which is the less dense sample of this specie and with almost no resin on it although looks nice. It has a tendency to give a quite sweet tone. Have in mind tha BR has 6 sub-species clearly indentified and, of course, that´s a huge variations from tree to tree.
    Could you send me a high resolution photos from the inside of the back (no finished)?

    Best regards,

    Roberto Gomes
    www.gomes.guitars.nom.br"

    After sending him pictures as requested (inside of back through soundhole) I received the following answer:

    "Does the wood of the sides has the same internal colour of the back? It´s smell is sweet with some dampness that reminds cocoa? Or is a dry sweet that might( hardly) smells like popcorn?
    By the last photos you´ve sent of the back I would say that in 90% probability the "rubber rosewood" I´ve mentioned but by the outside look the wood of the sides are diferent from the back.
    Could you also send me a picture of the back with the guitar standing?

    Best regards,

    Roberto Gomes
    www.gomes.guitars.nom.br"

    For anyone interested, here are the photos of the guitar:

    Pictures (back and sides)

    and ....

    Soundhole Pictures (Bare Wood back and sides)
     
  13. Dotneck

    Dotneck Member

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    sure is a pretty thing...are the colors accurate? To my eye the photos seem shifted to the yellow a bit...but I don't have any neutral reference.
     
  14. in a little row

    in a little row Member

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    Yea the smell always tips me off...this wood could be Pao Ferro as well...


    j
     
  15. Baconator

    Baconator Member

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    It looks a lot like ovangkol to me - I've got a Taylor made with it and the back looks similar. Granted, in this photo the grain is a little stronger.[​IMG]
     
  16. Arc Angel

    Arc Angel Member

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    As an update, Mr. Gomes from Sao Paolo was able to identify the tonewood (in his opinion at least) as follows:

    I sent the pictures of the inside (back and sides) and the description of the smell to Mr. Gomes in Sao Paolo.

    His final message:

    "Yes, that´s it. Brazilian rosewood ( Dalbergia nigra) early growth tree, mainly occurs in the Northeast State of Minas Gerais near the border of the State of Bahia. Low resin, lightest spefic weight of D. nigra´s, sweet smell and tone as well, more stable than average, glues very well, keeps it´s smell for a long time. Light grey chocolat brown with some black stripes. Also can have some dark green shadings. Nice wood.

    Best regards,

    Roberto Gomes
    www.gomes.guitars.nom.br

    Dotneck,

    The color is a little off in the pics. It is darker and browner in real life.
     
  17. rhythmeister

    rhythmeister Member

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    Yeah, the smell is often the giveaway. My Brazilian Larrivee smells very, very sweet - specifically a bit chocolatey. When I open the hardshell case, that sweet smell just pours out.

    OTOH, my Indian Rosewood guitar smells like...well, wood.

    Cheers,
    Blair
     
  18. JRenn

    JRenn Member

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    That's as Brazilian as I've ever seen. The color streaks are much too far apart to be characteristic of Indian. Looks like you've already heard that from someone else, though.
     
  19. Nuclearfishin

    Nuclearfishin Supporting Member

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    A nice smell coming out of a case is tricky in the sense you need to be sure you are smelling the actual wood. I know many builders who buy cedar oil, rosewood oil, or some other nice smelling oil and rub some on the inside of the guitar. The oil will keep it smelling nice for years (literally). I can't remember the supplier but there are plenty of really nice smelling oils.

    Cheers!
     

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