Mudcat Café message #2027256 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #100767   Message #2027256
Posted By: PoppaGator
16-Apr-07 - 05:23 PM
Thread Name: Wanted: Gibson J-45 or J-50
Subject: RE: Wanted: Gibson J-45 or J-50
One thing I might have mentioned earlier: I've heard the opinion that the mahogany box allows you to hear the notes of each strings separately, in comparison to how the rosewood instrument tends to emphasize the chordal sound of all six strings together.

This is not necessarily my opinion, just something I've read/heard.

If it's true (or even, for that matter, if the exact converse is true), it would have some relevance to the question of which guitar is better for fingerpicking and which for full-chord comping/strumming.

I've never fully understood discussions where someone describes a certain instrument as "better" for fingerpicking and another for flatpicking, especially when they address questions of physical setup ~ size, length or width of neck, etc. If you own a given instrument and develop your picking technique through years of playing it, your fingers/hands/arms will conform to its characteristics readily enough.

However, if a particular guitar, or type of guitar, produces better sound from a given technique, well then, that would make sense to me.

Mahogany is much more abundant than rosewood, and therefore less expensive regaredless of any question of objective "quality." It also bears mentioning that Brazilian Rosewood, once the standard high-end tonewood, is now either insanely expensive or simply unavailable at any price. These two factors probably contribute to the easier availability of "good" mahogany guitars within any reasonably affordable price range. What rosewood is available nowadays is quite rare compared to mahogany, and therefore more expensive, but the rosewood you can buy at all is still arguably second-best in comparison to the once-preferred and now-unavailable Brazilian strain.