Honduran Rosewood

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments

Re: Honduran Rosewood

Postby DennisK » Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:25 pm

Michael Thames wrote:I had a set of Madagascar marinating in my shop two years without any braces glued on and thinned down to thickness, and the damn thing cracked....... a big six in one. I'll never use that stuff again.

Do you still have that back? If you want to sell it cheap, I'd be happy to glue it up and put it to use. I've taken to putting a few thin cross-grain reinforcement strips in addition to the back braces on brittle back woods, to help prevent cracks from starting and/or travelling. Great tip from Mr. Somogyi's book.

Honduran rosewood is one of my favorites. Heavy indeed, but one of my sets has the best tap tone of anything in my wood tower. It's quite dark colored for Honduran, which would tend to agree with Robert's observation on the darkness of rosewoods. I have some lighter colored sets that aren't quite as intense sounding, but still quite good. I used one on my current project, a small Torres inspired guitar, where the density is a good thing. The box makes a wonderful long ring when tapped, and sounds great with strings too :) Testing with the back free to vibrate versus damping it out, it definitely gives a nice tone color and "liveness" to the sound.
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Re: Honduran Rosewood

Postby Adam S. Vernon » Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:34 pm

One interesting thing to note is that Honduran is currently a lot cheaper than the other non-Indian rosewoods. Maybe it will not always be so.
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Re: Honduran Rosewood

Postby Alexandru Marian » Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:55 pm

The sets I've seen free of knotty appearances (seems to be very common with this species) and of reasonably tight and straight grain have been very few and at least 250$. And most of it can't be exported from the US as it is CITES protected.
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Re: Honduran Rosewood

Postby Adam S. Vernon » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:10 pm

Alexandru Marian wrote:The sets I've seen free of knotty appearances (seems to be very common with this species) and of reasonably tight and straight grain have been very few and at least 250$. And most of it can't be exported from the US as it is CITES protected.


I'm seeing $140 -$ 240, but it's still cheaper than most alternatives... Brazilian RW, Amazon RW, Madagascar RW, African BW, Macassar Ebony, Malaysian BW, Ziricote are all at least $300 and can obviously go much higher. Honduran is a relative bargain if seeking something other than Indian with a comparable or better tap tone (if one even cares about such things). Indian is obviously the bang-for-buck choice.
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Re: Honduran Rosewood

Postby Alexandru Marian » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:03 pm

I thought cocobolo offers a great ratio besides Indian, but overall Indian is by far the best bang. I care a bit about the taptone, as ime a glassy back imparts some of this characteristic on the trebles. I think they are useful for a duller spruce top, but if the top has a nice lively taptone, I prefer an Indian back and the smooth tone that results.
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Re: Honduran Rosewood

Postby Adam S. Vernon » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:11 pm

Cocobolo is cheap. I never considered it because I've read that the dust is toxic and it's oiliness makes it harder to glue.

Do you think on average Honduran sets have a better tap tone than Indian?

I have no direct experience, but most accounts are that it's Brazilian-like. I'm sure everyone has heard that it's a preferred wood for marimbas, which means something. If true, then it would seem a relative bargain even at $250 in today's tonewood market.

I may end up buying one each of Indian and Honduran...
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Re: Honduran Rosewood

Postby Robert Webster » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:37 pm

If you've ever done any tapping of Brazilian RW, you would not put Honduras RW in the same league. Better than average Indian RW, but... Also, I think most luthiers would concur with me that the better the tap tone, the more likely that there can be splitting problems. Lack of damping and propensity to split correlate pretty highly. As a workhorse wood that really can deliver a very nice sounding guitar, if it has to be rosewood, Indian rosewood is pretty hard to beat.

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Re: Honduran Rosewood

Postby Alexandru Marian » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:51 pm

Myself I never handled Honduras, but I guess it is similar to other extra heavy SA rosewoods such as Kingwood or the lighter color variety of Amazon. They are glassier than Indian but they don't exhibit the long sustain of Braz or a good Madagascar piece.
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Re: Honduran Rosewood

Postby mqbernardo » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:49 pm

my honduras has the longest ring in my small wood stash FWIW (others being IRW, Mad RW, Macassar ebony, Santos RW, cocobolo and kingwood)
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Re: Honduran Rosewood

Postby Tomzooki » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:34 pm

AdamX wrote:
Tomzooki wrote:That's one of the reasons I did not want a BRW guitar even if I love the tone it yelds. But my guitar is made of slab sawn ziricote, and I found some infos saying it is also prone to crack - but I loved that guitar!!! Do you know about that wood??


LMI describes it as brittle: Heavier than most Rosewoods, it works somewhat like Ebony, and tends to be brittle, but what is lacks in workability it more than makes up for in tonality.


Thank you!! It is definitively heavy, that guitar was surprisingly heavier than the other guitar of that luthier that had about the same dimensions, but had IRW back and sides. And yes, my guitar, though having a quite small body (perfect for my 5'3" stature :) ) is surprizingly powerfull. The basses are boomy and had that metallic touch you find with BRW (love it!, and you can modulate it to your taste by choosing the right bass strings) and the trebles very quickly opened and matured to match the basses; they also have the bell-like quality I love.... The back is still perfectly smooth with no trace of beginnning cracks, the lower side has a kind of "hollow" you can see only with the right light angle, but with no "crack line" in the middle of it, and anyway the sides are laminated (with mahogany I think, if I recognised well the wood inside). And that wood is sooooooo beautifull, your jaw would fall on the floor... Ok, I can't resist the temptation to put the picture...

Image

It is a benediction she is a fantastic guitar, because I could not play, I would prefer just to sit there and look at her... :lol:
Benoît Raby, Engelmann sp/Ziricote
Yamaha GC-3A
11-strings alto guitar by Heikki Rousu, sp/indonesian RW
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Re: Honduran Rosewood

Postby Alexandru Marian » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:36 pm

The side hollow is likely distorsion that happens when bending, I've seen it with different rosewoods. Normally we can sand all the rippling after bending, but I guess not always. I had to stop short of perfect a couple times fearing the sides will get way too thin.
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Re: Honduran Rosewood

Postby Adam S. Vernon » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:51 pm

Sweet guitar you have there Tomzooki. I'm sure as long as you are humidifying it, it will be good to go for a very long time.
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Re: Honduran Rosewood

Postby Dofpic » Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:32 pm

I own a cedar/honduran that is quite beautiful and it is a very light instrument with traditional bracing. It has a very deep, dense sound with tons of ring and overtones. The basses are very unique dark deep and rich and the trebles very good. the mid range gets a bit lost as both the bass and trebles are so strong and unique sounding.
very unique instrument that I will probably never part with.
Spruce...1931 Francisco Simplicio (ex Jose Rey De La Torre)Spruce/Brazilian
G. Wagner/J. Rothel/J de jonge/A Tacchi
Cedar... A Gropius/M Bruck/A Green/Contreras/Ramirez

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Re: Honduran Rosewood

Postby brian » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:03 am

yep!! a Federico Sheppard with sp & honduran b/s.
dead straight grain. a copy of barrios' "Morant" guitar.
top notch guitar who coexists with the cd/in Perez.
life's good round here!! :sigaretta:
if at first you don't succeed try again.
then quit.
there's no use being a damn fool about it.
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Re: Honduran Rosewood

Postby william_tee » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:08 am

I own a 8-strings terz guitar with a beautiful honduran rosewood back and sides. This guitar was made by Stephen Kakos of Minnesota for the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet in1992. The back is gorgeous and has a 3D effect. This guitar has a crack on the back at the top on the bass side and was cleated by Stephen many years ago. I could not tell where the crack is if I don't look at where the cleats are. In 2008, this guitar was given a new lattice braced cedar top and new ebony fingerboard by our Aussie luthier Kim Lissarrague. You can see some photos of this guitar before the new top at cathedralguitardotcom/Kakos.html


Honduran Rosewood Kakos.jpg


Cheers,
William
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