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Advanced Jumbo Herringbone

#61 User is online   bobouz 

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 01:37 PM

View Postj45nick, on 09 October 2017 - 10:29 AM, said:

You would think that somewhere along the line, Martin has made some conscious choices about materials, balancing one property or material characteristic against another.

As I mentioned in another recent thread discussing the same topic, historically, we know that some of the most highly regarded guitars and mandolins ever built have utilized ebony for the bridge and fretboard. Clearly, ebony in this application is an excellent wood, as is rosewood (all the while keeping in mind that there are world-wide variations of these woods that will each have their own particular characteristics).

Tonal variations will be subtle, and only one small part of the complex mix that delivers the final sound of an instrument. Satisfaction with that sound will then depend on another set of complex factors, including playing style and what an individual's brain and ear prefer to hear.

One of the most pleasingly dry & percussive instruments I own is a 2002 J45-Rosewood, with an ebony board and bridge. If anyone were to tell me that the tone of this guitar is somehow being held back by the ebony onboard, I would say the reality is that in this particular instrument, ebony was one of many perfect build choices, based on a very satisfying final result.

I like ebony and rosewood equally for the bridge, and prefer ebony for the fretboard, but rosewood is also fine. When considering a purchase, it virtually becomes a non-factor. The key considerations for me will always be playability first, then tone, then aesthetic considerations. And beyond that, it just depends on how much my OCD kicks in!
> Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES 125T / '90 Tennessean / '00 J-100 Xtra
'02 J-45 Rosewood / '02 SG Faded-moon / '06 ES 335 / '09 ES 339
'10 ES 330L / '11 ES 335-P90s / '12 ES 330 VOS / '12 LP Special
'12 J-185 / '13 LG2-AE / '13 Midtown Kalamazoo / '14 J-15
> Epis: '66 FT45n Cortez / '00 AIUSA-John Lee Hooker 1964 Sheraton
'05 McCartney 1964 Texan (Terada-Elitist) / '09 Elitist 1965 Casino
> Martins: '00 OOO-16 / '01 Custom Rosewood D / > Ibanez: '81 M-340
> Guilds: '73 F-30R / '74 F-40 / '76 G-37 / '92 D-6 / '94 JF-30 / '97 Starfire
'14 Savoy A-150b / > Breedlove: '10 American Series OO Mandolin
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#62 User is online   zombywoof 

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 01:54 PM

Not sure about flattops but with archtops an ebony bridge is the way to go.
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"I play so rough - I stomp 'em"
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#63 User is offline   Victory Pete 

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Posted 10 October 2017 - 02:29 PM

View Postbobouz, on 10 October 2017 - 01:37 PM, said:

As I mentioned in another recent thread discussing the same topic, historically, we know that some of the most highly regarded guitars and mandolins ever built have utilized ebony for the bridge and fretboard. Clearly, ebony in this application is an excellent wood, as is rosewood (all the while keeping in mind that there are world-wide variations of these woods that will each have their own particular characteristics).

Tonal variations will be subtle, and only one small part of the complex mix that delivers the final sound of an instrument. Satisfaction with that sound will then depend on another set of complex factors, including playing style and what an individual's brain and ear prefer to hear.

One of the most pleasingly dry & percussive instruments I own is a 2002 J45-Rosewood, with an ebony board and bridge. If anyone were to tell me that the tone of this guitar is somehow being held back by the ebony onboard, I would say the reality is that in this particular instrument, ebony was one of many perfect build choices, based on a very satisfying final result.

I like ebony and rosewood equally for the bridge, and prefer ebony for the fretboard, but rosewood is also fine. When considering a purchase, it virtually becomes a non-factor. The key considerations for me will always be playability first, then tone, then aesthetic considerations. And beyond that, it just depends on how much my OCD kicks in!


I have a 2016 J-45 Custom with Rosewood back, sides, fretboard and bridge. It may be my most favorite guitar that I own. Go figure.
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