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Thread: Birch as a tone wood?

  1. #26
    Long , Strange Trip Jim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Birch as a tone wood?

    I like the tone on the birch Regals I have, sweet but not too bright.
    Jim Richmond

  2. #27
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Birch as a tone wood?

    It was mentioned in another thread that one can expect less sustain with birch sides and back? Is that your experience?
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  3. #28
    Long , Strange Trip Jim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Birch as a tone wood?

    It was mentioned in another thread that one can expect less sustain with birch sides and back? Is that your experience?
    No , I don't percieve it as less sustain. My Birch instruments are a flat top and a bent top and I feel they sustain as long or longer than my RM75. They have a harmonically complex sustain with more bass to it. They do lack attack volume but you would expect that compared to an archtop f hole instrument.
    Jim Richmond

  4. #29
    Registered User Ken's Avatar
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    Default Re: Birch as a tone wood?

    It has not been my experience at all that birch back and sides give less sustain, I have a birch mandolin and birch mandola (both arch tops) with great sustain. For what it's worth the mandolin is an oval hole and the mandola an ff hole. I don't know all of the factors that go into sustain, but I do think the rigidity of the neck joint and the type of neck reinforcement play more of a factor. In my humble opinion, back and side wood type is low on the list as an influence.
    Ken
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  5. #30
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    Default Re: Birch as a tone wood?

    I had an old 1915 Gibson F-2,it was in decent shape ,a few cracks here and there,and that had the figured birch back and sides,,sounded pretty good as an F-2 is concerned,,swaped it for a guitar that was worth about the same 12-13 years ago,,wish I woulda kept her,,guitars long gone also but mando now worth more than that guitar!! DUMB da DUMB DUMB!!
    I guess ya can't keep em all...........Billy

  6. #31
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Birch as a tone wood?

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrasser78 View Post
    ...I guess ya can't keep em all...
    Yes, you can. Or at least you can try.
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  7. #32
    Capt. E Capt. E's Avatar
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    Default Re: Birch as a tone wood?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tavy View Post
    And lets not forget that "European Maple" and/or "German Maple" is actually sycamore, and has been used for 100's of years in many fine instruments.
    Didn't know they were the same. Thanks.
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  8. #33
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Birch as a tone wood?

    Quote Originally Posted by Capt. E View Post
    Didn't know they were the same. Thanks.
    Don't believe everything you read on the internets...

  9. #34
    Registered User gypsy1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Birch as a tone wood?

    Sycamore Maple is commonly referred to simply as “Sycamore“ in Europe, though it is actually a type of maple tree (Acer genus) rather than sycamore (Platanus genus)—and its botanical name A. pseudoplatanus means “false plane” or “false sycamore.”

    In the United States, Acer pseudoplatanus is usually called Sycamore Maple to distinguish it from the tree that is more commonly referred to as Sycamore, Platanus occidentalis.

  10. #35
    Registered User gypsy1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Birch as a tone wood?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The first photo is Sycamore Maple or European Maple, it is a Maple, not to be confused with the second photo a true Sycamore.

  11. #36
    Registered User Pete Summers's Avatar
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    Default Re: Birch as a tone wood?

    I used to own a reverse scroll mandolin labelled "Washington" (though it looked like the Rigel or L/H reverse scroll models and may have been made by one of those firms). I was told by the guy who sold it to me that it was solid birch. It had a plain looking wood, for sure, but a very sweet, though quite, tone, much like a bowl back.

  12. #37
    Registered User Jim Kirkland's Avatar
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    Default Re: Birch as a tone wood?

    Sorry for the flash, this was taken with an old phone camera. This is bookmatched birch, build by Thomas Flood. Good old time sound with lots of volume.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Click # 018

  13. #38
    Café habitué Paul Hostetter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Birch as a tone wood?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tavy View Post
    And lets not forget that "European Maple" and/or "German Maple" is actually sycamore, and has been used for 100's of years in many fine instruments.
    Oh dear, this is only confusing things more than they already are. No European maples are "actually sycamore"—sycamore is a common name applied by some people to the genus Acer, by others to the genus Platanus. Common names are pretty useless, and at the very least demand the qualifier (especially in discussions like this where people from very different locales are participating) of a full binomial Latin name.
    .
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  14. #39
    wood butcher Spruce's Avatar
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    Default Re: Birch as a tone wood?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Hostetter View Post
    Oh dear, this is only confusing things more than they already are. No European maples are "actually sycamore"—sycamore is a common name applied by some people to the genus Acer, by others to the genus Platanus. Common names are pretty useless, and at the very least demand the qualifier (especially in discussions like this where people from very different locales are participating) of a full binomial Latin name.
    Yeah, but if you preface something with "and lets not forget", doesn't that mean it's true??

  15. #40
    Registered User gypsy1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Birch as a tone wood?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spruce View Post
    Yeah, but if you preface something with "and lets not forget", doesn't that mean it's true??
    NO..NO...NO..your confusing , 'lets not forget' with, 'somebody said'...

  16. #41
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    Default Re: Birch as a tone wood?

    Well, today I decided to pull the trigger on that Floodtone #72 that's been in the classifieds. He reduced it from 400 down to 350 and that did it. I think he's got to have at least 200 in materials into the thing. I hope it plays as nice as it looks. I was concerned about the birch because I never heard of it used as tone wood but if it was good enough for Gibson, well then...I thought it was an intriguing design too, with the double bent back and top, really different and I like that. Thanks to everyone who chimed in here. I'll let you know how it plays.

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