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Bubinga Tonal Qualities


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i was looking through a catalog and came across a bubinga back and side set

i was wondering if anybody could describe it's tonal qualities

also, is it hard or easy to bend?

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How difficult it is to bend depends on your equipment and experience. I don't find it difficult to bend(FWIW). Asking about tonal qualities is so subjective(I will leave that to the big companies that like to give you their nifty descriptions), but I believe you have to look at the wood in the context of the design you are building as well as the thickness and bracing you choose.

Peace,Rich

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i was looking through a catalog and came across a bubinga back and side set

i was wondering if anybody could describe it's tonal qualities

also, is it hard or easy to bend?

LMI Link

How difficult it is to bend depends on your equipment and experience. I don't find it difficult to bend(FWIW). Asking about tonal qualities is so subjective(I will leave that to the big companies that like to give you their nifty descriptions), but I believe you have to look at the wood in the context of the design you are building as well as the thickness and bracing you choose.

Peace,Rich

i'm probably the farthest on this forum from an acoustic making guitar expert (seeing as i've never built one)

have you had success when completing a build with bubinga sets?

is it in anyway more special then the other ones?

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I personally can't tell you what it's like... but a good friend of mine really loves the plain bubinga back/sides on his acoustics. And like I said, although I can't tell you what it sounds like, I can tell you what else he loves, and if you love them too, you might love bubinga?

He usually builds sitka topped small bodied guitars (ie: parlor, OO, OOO, and OM styles) and he's also a HUGE fan of mahogany back/sides.

He's very traditional in his building ways and sounds, so I can't imagine bubinga coming off with something weird.

So if you like some of that similar stuff, then you will probably like bubinga.

Chris

PS: As far as electrics go, which doesn't give you MUCH idea of how it'll sound on an acoustic; thick warwick thumb bass. Those are made with solid bubinga bodies. Also, I'm building a bass with it as a body wood and it's a nice wood to work with. I mean, it is a rosewood so it does have it's weight and resin and density, but there's been nothing about it working wise that's put me off from it. And it clears up GORGEOUS (even non-figured like I'm using).

Chris

Edited by verhoevenc
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i was looking through a catalog and came across a bubinga back and side set

i was wondering if anybody could describe it's tonal qualities

also, is it hard or easy to bend?

LMI Link

How difficult it is to bend depends on your equipment and experience. I don't find it difficult to bend(FWIW). Asking about tonal qualities is so subjective(I will leave that to the big companies that like to give you their nifty descriptions), but I believe you have to look at the wood in the context of the design you are building as well as the thickness and bracing you choose.

Peace,Rich

i'm probably the farthest on this forum from an acoustic making guitar expert (seeing as i've never built one)

have you had success when completing a build with bubinga sets?

is it in anyway more special then the other ones?

What I meant by difficulty is based on your equipment and experience is that you get used to using your bending set up(be it heat blankets, lamps, pipe or what have you). You certaily don't have to be some kinda acoustic guitar making guru to be able to bend sides well. Have you had a chance to bend acoustic sides, hollow body sides or maybe even binding? If you have had a little taste of working the benders it is not that bad. If you are just getting a feel for bending, other woods like East Indian Rosewood can be a little more forgiving(at least while you get used to it). Don't get the impression I am saying it is difficult to bend sides. I really think it is an easy task that you can pick up very fast. :D

I hate to say one back and side wood does this or that to the sound of a guitar, mainly because(and I may very well get hammered for saying this) I don't think species is one of the most significant factors. That is just my opinion of course. For what it is worth I base my belief on these things.

1- Sides play a role in terms of supporting the structure, and you can vary the thickness of just about any wood to achive a desired strength. Weight plays less of a role as it is not the prime driver(that would be the soundboard).

2- Backs and how they act will play a role in the air coupling, but again is not the primary mover. How stiff or flexable a back is can be adjusted by thickness and bracing(design). The thickness of the box will play a big role in the coupling(design). The width and shape of the back will also effect how the back reacts(again design). All of these factors have to come into play and any of them can significantly change how the back will respond(no matter what wood is used).

I don't think you should totally discount the significance of the wood you use, but there are many things you can do to change the way it will work(sound). I also think the soundboard you use and it's design has to work with the back to create the sound you are going for.

I am just saying these are my thoughts. I am not an expert by any means. I do think Bubinga is a great looking wood. I think it works well. If I tell you any of my acoustics sound great it is most likely dumb luck on my part. After I have refined a design enough and have repeated it with similar specs 10 times(with similar results) then maybe I can say I am slightly less than clueless.

Peace,Rich

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Chris: Bubinga is not a rosewood. Not in the same family, and only vaguely similar in terms of working properties. It does look pretty, though. Got quite a bit of it to resaw into acoustic sets, and I'll be using some in a multi-lam bass neck. Then there are those narrow pieces of highly flamed bubinga I'm considering turning into fretboards. Or maybe binding. Or if they stay stable over the next few years, possibly a very wild-lookin' neck.

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Chris: Bubinga is not a rosewood. Not in the same family, and only vaguely similar in terms of working properties. It does look pretty, though. Got quite a bit of it to resaw into acoustic sets, and I'll be using some in a multi-lam bass neck. Then there are those narrow pieces of highly flamed bubinga I'm considering turning into fretboards. Or maybe binding. Or if they stay stable over the next few years, possibly a very wild-lookin' neck.

Id say its harder than mahogany from reading up on it. It should have more 'ping' BUT If you brace the guitar too heavy, you wont have a good base sound. I like my $500.00 for recording just fine, and I swear to god it really sounds great, until I try a good $1100.00 guitar, and then it sounds like crap. Ive tried 600. 'ply' martin rosewoods that sound REAL good to my ear, not sure how they would record. Mahogany is the cheapest stuff about to do a test guitar with. But I know what its like to crave a set your looking at. You dont see Padouk, Bubinga much at the music stores. I looked at a "Special" Claro Walnut Taylor the other day, machine made braces and all, $4000.00 and laughed when I left the store. It sure as hell didnt sound like a $4000 guitar, its just sales pitch /markup and bullshit. Those guys are good with that. I am SOOOOO friggin glad i took the plunge, but I have to say the necks on those taylors make me sweat a bit. they are perfect. "special" claro walnut. It didnt even look that good.

Ok sorry, heres a good description, sounds like a winner!

http://www.sheppardguitars.com/bubinga.htm

Edited by GoodWood
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You know I think the thing about factory made guitars is not that they are poorly constructed(actually they are made very well). The thing about factory guitars is that they have to choose a set spec for the bracing, top/back/side thickness,bridge dimensions etc... These need to lean a little on the heavy side for durability. Every piece of wood will be different(in terms of stiffness, density and what have you). The factory spec will work really really well with the right pieces of wood, and a few of those $500 guitars will sound amazing(probably just about as good as you will ever find). The thing about a hand built or hand selected guitar is that the wood, bracing and so forth has been adjusted to "match" and work properly. That is something that takes a person that knows how to adjust and select the wood properly(and that only comes with a lot of experience). Taylor factory makes extreamly well built guitars. I remember reading a comment once that out of 100 perfect guitars they make one "great" guitar. That is the greatest thing about acoustics to me. The master cannot be replaced by the machine.

Peace,Rich

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