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Old 09-29-2009, 12:32 PM
PastorDoug PastorDoug is offline
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Default Madagascar rosewood or cocobolo?

Seeking insights on the tone and differences in Madagascar rosewood and cocobolo when used as back and sides on a Grand Symphony? Thanks.
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Old 09-29-2009, 12:42 PM
BHulkster BHulkster is offline
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Seeking insights on the tone and differences in Madagascar rosewood and cocobolo when used as back and sides on a Grand Symphony? Thanks.
Read my old BTO thread about Cocobolo and you'll find I chose Mad Rose. I couldn't be happier!

Comments on woods relative to my experience with the GA:

Mad Rose = deeper, more bass, more overtones, highs tend to sparkle

Cocobolo = warmer, less bass, more highs, a bit more balanced (can be viewed as flatter/shallower depending on your taste), similar to Koa from what I read

Not sure how much change there would be in a GS, but Taylor highly recommends a GS bodystyle for Cocobolo (as opposed to the GA) in order to reach that full depth. I read this as lack of bass/depth, but to each their own. I haven't played a GS Coco but the GA I played sounded really nice. Just that rosewood is more desirable for my tastes.
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Old 09-29-2009, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by BHulkster View Post
Read my old BTO thread about Cocobolo and you'll find I chose Mad Rose. I couldn't be happier!

Comments on woods relative to my experience with the GA:

Mad Rose = deeper, more bass, more overtones, highs tend to sparkle

Cocobolo = warmer, less bass, more highs, a bit more balanced (can be viewed as flatter/shallower depending on your taste), similar to Koa from what I read

Not sure how much change there would be in a GS, but Taylor highly recommends a GS bodystyle for Cocobolo (as opposed to the GA) in order to reach that full depth. I read this as lack of bass/depth, but to each their own. I haven't played a GS Coco but the GA I played sounded really nice. Just that rosewood is more desirable for my tastes.
Totally agree with the comparison descriptions. I went with a BTO MadRW GA after trading in a Fall Limited Cocobolo GS, no regrets!
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:02 PM
PastorDoug PastorDoug is offline
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Default East Indian?

What about comparing East Indian rosewood with Madagascar rosewood?
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:33 PM
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I have read conflicting information about Cocobolo in comparison to more traditional rosewoods, but here are Taylors descriptions which include a small comparison of Maddie to EIR.

Cocobolo
Cocobolo is a dense, stiff tropical hardwood with a fairly bright tone. Sonically, it’s similar to koa, but resonates a little deeper on the low end, although it doesn’t have quite the full low end of rosewood or ovangkol. Fast and responsive, with moderate note decay, it’s articulate with lots of note distinction. We like it on a GS because it really pairs well with what the body shape is doing, blending the low end and midrange of the body with the wood’s brightness. We also like it for fingerstyle on a GC.

Madagascar Rosewood
Madagascar rosewood tonally is considered a kindred spirit to venerable Brazilian rosewood, boasting zesty, articulate highs, deep lows and ample dynamic range, and rewarding players with rich sustain and complex overtones. Its comparison to Brazilian is reinforced by its often striking visual appeal and limited availability. The tonal distinctions between Maddie and East Indian rosewood tend to be subtle; if anything, Maddie may yield a bit more midrange bloom than East Indian, although it’s typically not quite as full as ovangkol.
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:10 PM
Jeff M Jeff M is offline
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You really can't dial in tone predictions that accurately. Each individual set of wood varies in how it performs, combine that with different tops performing differently, the fact that even "identical" guitars sound different....
Bottom line is they are all rosewoods.
They all have that "rosewood tone".
Having said that, there can be differences..but the differences overlap to the point where you could prefer the tone of a cocobolo guitar to a mad rw when comparing one set of otherwise "identical" guitars, mad rw to coco with a different set, Indian rosewood to coco with a third, mad to IR on a fourth, IR to mad on a fifth. etc. etc.etc.
I own guitars built with each of these woods.
I tend to prefer Mad RW to coco.
My favorite guitar is built with IR.

If I was ordering "blind"...no chance to play the guitar to see which I preferred? I'd go with Mad RW.
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:45 PM
BHulkster BHulkster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff M View Post
You really can't dial in tone predictions that accurately. Each individual set of wood varies in how it performs, combine that with different tops performing differently, the fact that even "identical" guitars sound different....
Bottom line is they are all rosewoods.
They all have that "rosewood tone".
Having said that, there can be differences..but the differences overlap to the point where you could prefer the tone of a cocobolo guitar to a mad rw when comparing one set of otherwise "identical" guitars, mad rw to coco with a different set, Indian rosewood to coco with a third, mad to IR on a fourth, IR to mad on a fifth. etc. etc.etc.
I own guitars built with each of these woods.
I tend to prefer Mad RW to coco.
My favorite guitar is built with IR.

If I was ordering "blind"...no chance to play the guitar to see which I preferred? I'd go with Mad RW.
And there you have it
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Old 09-29-2009, 04:22 PM
M.D.Smith M.D.Smith is offline
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Here's something that might help you to a degree.

Guitar A is my 2002 815 East indian Rosewood with Sitka.
Guitar B is my 2009 BTO Cocobolo with Adirondack.

Side by side comparison,
http://www.4shared.com/file/10462393...parison_2.html
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Old 09-29-2009, 04:29 PM
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I've played very nice examples from both woods, but if it were my guitar I'd go with Madagascar. As close as you can get to Brazilian without giving up the extra lettuce.

Although, one of my absolute favorite guitars was a Goodall cocobolo CJ.
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Old 09-29-2009, 04:32 PM
Thumbwrapper Thumbwrapper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BHulkster View Post
Cocobolo = warmer, less bass, more highs, a bit more balanced (can be viewed as flatter/shallower depending on your taste), similar to Koa from what I read
I can't speak for madrose, but this sounds like a pretty spot on generalization on cocobolo vs. IRW from my limited experience. Despite my really wanting to love cocobolo, mostly because of the beautiful grain and color so often seen, I just couldn't bring myself to love the tone. I had a stunningly beautiful 814-L7 coco/engelmann that I was madly in love with in every way except one, tonally.

I'm not diss'ing coco but to my ear, on the one coco GA I owned, it didn't have the range, sparkle, and certainly not complexity of tone that I find in IRW.
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:00 AM
KirkT KirkT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PastorDoug View Post
What about comparing East Indian rosewood with Madagascar rosewood?
I can't give you a comparative opinion but I am very very happy with my 816CE with East Indian rosewood.

When I was looking at guitars I was intrigued by the description of the tone of the GS body and the EIR. I have not been disappointed. Nice deep lows and clear highs. According to the Taylor web site description of Madagascar and East Indian rosewoods they are tonally very similar.
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:17 AM
Jeff M Jeff M is offline
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Indian Rosewood is an incredible tonewood.
If the situation were reversed and Mad RW/Cocobolo were used more commonly and IR considered more "exotic" I suspect you'd see people extoling it's virtues much more.
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:18 PM
jhchang jhchang is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff M View Post
Indian Rosewood is an incredible tonewood.
If the situation were reversed and Mad RW/Cocobolo were used more commonly and IR considered more "exotic" I suspect you'd see people extoling it's virtues much more.
"incredible" is a relative term; depending on what you compare to. There is reason behind why MadRose/Coco is more expensive and more sought-after than EIR. I've played EIR guitars made by various builders from Taylor/Guild to some high-enders, and some 3K+. While many of them sound good, they all share one same character that I'm able to discern: a hint of muddiness in the bass. This is regardless of builders. Not trying to diss it, but IMHO it can't be the least expensive and plainest in the RW family for no reason.
If I could only choose between EIR or Hog, of course I'd go for EIR; but if other RWs are also options, I wouldn't hesitate either.
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:19 PM
michaelw michaelw is offline
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Default madi or coco... definitely yes :)

to my ear, when i compare a 716ceLTD sitka/madi to a 810L10 sitka/coco,
i hear a deeper bass response & more brilliant treble response that is
warmer overall with ever-so-slightly compressed mids (from the 716)
& a brighter, more balanced overall tone (more controlled bass, open
mids & direct trebles) (from the 810) - i preferred the 716 over an 07
GS8 (sitka/eirw) for its more complex articulation & the 810 over an
08 GSceLTD C for its "in-your-face" direct immediacy & overall power

ymmv
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Old 10-10-2009, 05:54 AM
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last night i got to play some madagascar. the first one was a madagascar j-45, and it sounded clean and crisp and that doesn't really explain it, but it sounded really REALLY good.

then i did a side by side of two different eric clapton martins. one was sitka/east indian rosewood. it was okay, but not my thing. then i played the other one, which was carpathian spruce and madagascar rosewood. i am not exaggerating at all when i say it was THE single best sounding guitar i've heard in my entire life. had i had the money to buy it or steady income enough to lay it away, i'd be the happiest person alive right now. that being said, every mad rosewood guitar i've played sounded amazing.

everyone has different tastes. one of my two favorite back and side woods is by far madagascar.
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