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Old 09-07-2008, 10:01 PM
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Default What's the difference between rosewood and indian rosewood?

Hi Everyone,

What's the answer to the above question tonally and aesthetically? I realised that the more expensive guitars uses Indian rosewood compared to the less expensive ones.

Thanks
Brian
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Old 09-07-2008, 10:10 PM
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Hey Brian,
there is no "Rosewood", in itself. Rosewood is merely a sub-species (Dalbergia) of which Indian Rosewood is a part of. There are many different Rosewoods....Indian,Brazilian,Amazon, Camatillo, etc.... to name a few.
But I do believe that majority of people refer to Indian Rosewood merely as "Rosewood".
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Old 09-07-2008, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by worshipguitar View Post
Hey Brian,
there is no "Rosewood", in itself. Rosewood is merely a sub-species (Dalbergia) of which Indian Rosewood is a part of.
hmmm....isn't Dalbergia a genus?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalbergia
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Old 09-07-2008, 10:25 PM
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hmmm....isn't Dalbergia a genus?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalbergia
I guess you could say that!
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Old 09-07-2008, 10:34 PM
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I guess you could say that!
Hey, look at me! I'm smarter than a luthier
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Old 09-07-2008, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by worshipguitar View Post
Hey Brian,
there is no "Rosewood", in itself. Rosewood is merely a sub-species (Dalbergia) of which Indian Rosewood is a part of. There are many different Rosewoods....Indian,Brazilian,Amazon, Camatillo, etc.... to name a few.
But I do believe that majority of people refer to Indian Rosewood merely as "Rosewood".
Hi Peter,

In reference to all solid wood construction, I noticed on some cheaper guitars like the Yamahas/Corts that the sales told me it's just rosewood, it's reddish in colour whereas on my Mcpherson which says East Indian rosewood, it is more towards a dark brownish/purplish hue.

Somehow aethestically it's nicer. I'm wondering tonally the different grades of rosewood, how would that differ?

Brian
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Old 09-07-2008, 10:59 PM
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I think the grade itself may not has as much of an impact on the tone as it may be more or less stable or visually less appealing.
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  #8  
Old 09-07-2008, 11:27 PM
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Default East Indian VS Indian

is there any difference?
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Old 09-07-2008, 11:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soundwatts View Post
is there any difference?

Yea. I want to know the answer too.
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Old 09-07-2008, 11:48 PM
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Generally "rosewood" is East Indian. It must be the most abundant, but I think there are different grades of it. The big question is usually whether a guitar is made from solid rosewood or laminate (rosewood over plywood). Solid rosewood is generally the preferred and those guitars cost significantly more..... Brazilian is supposedly the prefererred (among rosewood types) for sound qualities but most rare and by far most expensive, as far as I know anyways.....

Last edited by 66strummer; 09-08-2008 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:11 AM
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Depending on who you talk to, you will get different answers to your quesion.

Some will say there is a significant difference bewteen, say, Brazilian and East Indian rosewood and others will disagree.

But I can tell you with some confidence that various rosewoods common to guitar making will have a sound in common that distinguishes them from other woods such as mahogany and maple.
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Old 09-08-2008, 05:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianwong View Post
Hi Everyone,

What's the answer to the above question tonally and aesthetically? I realised that the more expensive guitars uses Indian rosewood compared to the less expensive ones.

Thanks
Brian
If you're talking about high end Martins, Taylors etc vs low end imports you're likely talking about solid east Indian Rosewood (eir) versus eir laminates aka "rosewood".

Adds for the "big box" retailers will often say "rosewood back and sides" which is a dead giveaway for plywood. If it's solid eir they will always say so very plainly in the ad.

The laminates on lower end guitars could be a thin veneer of eir over a piece of luan plywood which explains the big difference in price. Bad plywood can have "voids", bad glues, etc all of which will negatively impact tone. Good multilayer sides are stable and with a decent solid wood top can be fine instruments.
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Old 09-08-2008, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hambone View Post
If you're talking about high end Martins, Taylors etc vs low end imports you're likely talking about solid east Indian Rosewood (eir) versus eir laminates aka "rosewood".

Adds for the "big box" retailers will often say "rosewood back and sides" which is a dead giveaway for plywood. If it's solid eir they will always say so very plainly in the ad.

The laminates on lower end guitars could be a thin veneer of eir over a piece of luan plywood which explains the big difference in price. Bad plywood can have "voids", bad glues, etc all of which will negatively impact tone. Good multilayer sides are stable and with a decent solid wood top can be fine instruments.
I'm actually comparing solid rosewood guitars not laminates, particularly the Yamahas/Corts high end ones vs the Taylors/Mcphersons ones.

Specs say solid rosewood for the Yamahas/Cort ones which is reddish in color not so nice looking vs the Taylor/Mcpherson ones which says East indian rosewood which is brownish/purplish in color much nicer.
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Old 09-08-2008, 09:30 AM
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The labels "Indian Rosewood" and "East Indian Rosewood" both refer to the same wood. The word "East" was added by someone years ago to keep Americans from thinking it had something to do with Native Americans, sometimes called Indians because Columbus didn't know where the heck he was when he landed here. It doesn't mean that the rosewood is from "Eastern India."
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Last edited by Bill Cory; 09-08-2008 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:00 PM
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Rosewood = Indian Rosewood = East Indian Rosewood. There is no standard requirement for labeling. Different builders label in different ways.
Sometimes people are just too lazy to label them to the most detail; or they want to purposely leave some ambiguity and room for guessing.
No big deal!
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