Back and Sides Curiosities

Viewing 2 reply threads
  • Author
    • #2808
      Acoustic Soul

      Have you guys ever blended back and sides?  Either two different rosewoods or mahogany and rosewood?  I wondered if that experiment had ever happened to achieve a different EQ response than what happens with one wood.  Say, getting more fundamental low end or woodier and clearer mids out of a very rich and wet rosewood.

      -Do low frequencies vibrate more on the low side of the back and sides or at that point is it all over the sound cavity?

      – Or do you just limit it to pairing a top wood with a back and side wood for a reason?


      Also, how does old growth effect the tonal response of the woods?  I figure it just makes it sound woodier and older from what I can tell from the few in person experiences I had.  It occurred to me though that I thought The Tree would have done the same thing for mahogany, but in reality if I’m correct it just added overtones which isn’t necessarily a beneficial thing if someone wants dry, mid forward old mahogany sound a la gibson.  It kind of made the mahogany more rosewood like or shimmery.


      I thought of these white listening to the podcast and after recently visiting Carter’s Vintage and Artisan on our road trip.  It’s always good to have something in your hands and learn more about the Santa Cruz lineup!

    • #3260
      Richard Hoover
      Senior Moderator

      Dear AS,

      Laminated sides are well represented in classical construction and almost never in known makes of steel strings. Thus I am sampleless in order to do any A,B with similar guitars. It would certainly make the sides stiffer, though that is what we are manipulating when we use different hardwoods in the sides and back. If I was to extrapolate, which is all I can do for this question, I’d say that using woods in laminate that are denser in combination would lend brightness to tone while lesser density lessens clarity.

      I pair woods for their combined density to manipulate the clarity of tone, in this back and sides are both important.

      Old Growth is a subjective term, I’m going to use it to describe virgin, or an unmolested ecosystem that allowed trees to grow at steady rate, not accelerated by opening the canopy to nourishing sunlight. These trees would accordingly be denser than ones that grew quickly when unnaturally exposed to excess sunlight. These latter, fastgrowing trees will have wider annular rings and less stiffness. We just learned above the effects of more or less density on tone.

      All the best,                                                                                                                                                                                         Richard




    • #3265
      Acoustic Soul

      Wow, that’s really interesting!  I do permaculture so I can totally relate to the old growth forest thing.  That is a very good point, if it grows in a mature forest it would be different.  Thanks for the insight!  How cool

      Have you ever seen someone do one piece of a back mahogany, and one piece rosewood.  Or one wood for the sides and one for the back?  It seems like it would be too complicated to balance and blend everything, but just wondering if it has been done…. as opposed to what I understand laminate materials being stacked to be.

Viewing 2 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.