The mid-range frequency is the sweet spot for most acoustic Isn’t all mahogany the same? Still, caveat emptor (oops) – “true” does not mean “genuine.”. It’s the sort of sound that is rich like gravy-soaked meat and potatoes and the Sage Mahogany does a great job of conjuring a plump, chewy sound that feels more expensive than it is. Post Apr 30, 2011 #1 2011-04-30T23:24. Sharp chisels glide through with a crispy, satisfying crunch, a harbinger of the clear tones the finished instrument will produce. What it lacks in dramatic visual appeal and breathless testimonial from wood-sniffers, it more than makes up for in suitability for instrument construction. A strap button on the neck heel helps to make this guitar ready for the stage and well-balanced when played standing. Mahogany is defined as a hardwood but it is perhaps better identified as a ‘soft’ hardwood. Capital “M” mahogany, the sought-after wood for guitar building, comes only from the three species of the genus Swietenia, tropical trees that, when converted to timber, are collectively referred to as “genuine mahogany.” Honduran mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) is the species most often seen in the guitar-building world, with the rare Cuban mahogany (Swietenia mahagoni) and smaller Pacific Coast mahogany (Swietenia humilis) rounding out the genus. Swietenia is one genus in a family of trees, the chinaberry or Meliaceae family, which grows all over the tropics. Maple might make a better fingerboard, but mahogany is one of the only hardwoods that makes a decent top wood, in addition to being ideal for necks, blocks, kerfed linings – just about every part of the guitar. Video lessons week by week, Chord by Chord. Mahogany yields what I call a fundamental, strong sound. From Robert Johnson’s L-1 and KG-14, to Woody Guthrie’s SJ, Bob Dylan’s 00-17 (mahogany top, no less), John and George’s J-160E pair, Bob Marley’s Les Paul Special, Norman Blake’s D-18… need I go on? If there was one detail that seemed overlooked, it was the headstock logo, which seemed a bit bland compared to the rest of the Sage Mahogany. Orangewood is able to keep costs down by bypassing retail distribution, and if the Sage Mahogany Live that I tested is any indication, the company makes it possible to get a promising guitar that plays and sounds as good as one costing hundreds more. But what exactly is meant by the “best mahogany”? If you crave an all-mahogany guitar that delivers plenty of bang for the buck and don’t need a pickup, the standard acoustic Sage Mahogany is probably a good choice for most players’ needs. Sharp chisels glide through with a crispy, satisfying crunch, a harbinger of the clear tones the finished instrument will produce. Many of the high upper partials, or overtones, are very subdued because of the internal dampening. Mahogany back and sides often emphasize bass and treble, with more overtone coloration and a “woody” sound (as opposed to the more metallic sound of, say, rosewood back and sides). So when a mahogany top or soundboard is used on a guitar instead of a spruce one, the guitar will not be as loud as a spruce top guitar. Each Orangewood is made in China and setup in Los Angeles by the company’s techs before shipping out to the buyer. In keeping with their working-class heritage, all-mahogany guitars are often austerely appointed, but the Orangewood has several handsome touches that look great and are usually found only on more costly guitars, including an ebony fingerboard and bridge, herringbone purfling around the top and rosette, a herringbone center strip on the back, a wing-shaped 12th fret inlay, and handsome creme binding looping around the top and back, the edge of the fingerboard, and around the headstock. Because the overall tone of mahogany as a tonewood can be a deeper, warmer tone, it balances the sound of the acoustic guitar out, giving it the more balanced sound and tone. © Sound Pure LLC 2018. timolin. Adding the pro-level L.R. How do I love thee, mahogany? “True mahogany” is a term used to refer to species that are not, well, true mahogany, if you like consistent word usage. Guitar Advice, Recent update | Acoustic Guitars, Article, Mahogany, Tonewoods, The Bourgeois Custom Sunburst OO Country Boy, A Testament to the Humble Power of Mahogany. One of the tonal benefits of an all-mahogany guitar is it they usually don’t squelch the highs or lows to produce the forceful midrange they’re known for. The result is a guitar that delivers the notes we play, with fewer of the extra, overtone notes. For my review, I selected the Sage Mahogany Live, one of the four instrument that is part of Orangewood’s new Mahogany series. I tried the Sage at home through a Boss Acoustic Singer Pro combo amp since COVID-19 had eliminated gigging opportunities where I live, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Baggs Anthem system bumps the price up $300, a cost that could be worth it if you plan on gigging and want to deliver great tone to the audience. Less dense than the rosewood species, its medium weight and open grain produce both warmth and punch, de-emphasizing the bass register while accentuating the crucial midrange, which, after all, is the guitar’s home turf in the tonal spectrum. 4,515 53. Mahogany has a completely different weight and stiffness with a unique dampening factor. From a builder’s perspective, mahogany is a dream to work with. Many of these travel under the handle “Philippine mahogany,” a non-specific term for several species of mahogany-like woods that are frequently seen in student-level guitars from overseas. For the player who values a dry, crunchy, punchy sound, mahogany gets the nod over rosewood’s rum-jug bass and metallic overtones. For example, when mahogany wood is used on the top of a guitar, it produces a rich, smooth, and warm sound with subtle undertones. Suspending that for the moment, let’s reserve “genuine” for our three Swietenia species and examine what’s left. But in those two similar words, genuine and true, lies a world of difference. The projection of notes from a guitar with a mahogany top will have less complexity, and more sustain. Various guitars use mahogany for the back and sides but use different wood for the top. The Sage guitar is a grand auditorium with an all-solid mahogany body, a cutaway, an L.R. Tonewoods on the back and sides of a guitar can act as an equalizer, boosting or scooping certain frequencies, or like a reverb unit that adds depth and sustain to the overall sound of the instrument. For such a simple wood, mahogany presents one of the most confusing classification systems in the timber world. People say Mahogany tops can make you sound a better player, as your mistakes will be less obvious. The satin finish on the body and neck was delightful to touch, but gathered fingerprints that were not easy to wipe off. I'm a recent buyer of a 000-15M and I've been well pleased with its sound and feel. Sign up free! Orangewood also offers a version without electronics, the Mahogany Sage, for $300 less and an identically priced and appointed non-cutaway grand-concert size model, the Ava. The high notes are soft and are overpowered by the deeper notes. Mahogany guitars have long been recognized by the world’s greatest guitarists as making some of the finest sounds around. To those who see mahogany as only good enough for lower-level instruments (and I suppose we have Mr. Martin to thank for that), I would send you to your record collection to see how many of the classic tones we have long enjoyed were produced by mahogany instruments. Hardly any task in lutherie is as satisfying to me as carving a mahogany neck, watching the drawknife go exactly where I send it with nary a bump, the polar opposite of curly maple’s swervy, fickle grain. Baggs Anthem pickup system, which is a pretty deluxe and professional-grade electronics package to find on a guitar that costs under a grand. In my experience Mahogany is a very natural, woody sounding tonewood. The neck has a slender C shape and the fingerboard’s nicely dressed frets were free from any sharp ends or high spots all the way up the neck, which is not always the case with other guitars in this price range. From a builder’s perspective, mahogany is a dream to work with. Out of the weeds at last. There are many timbers which bear a superficial resemblance to mahogany but are from unrelated or distantly related species.