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Thread: Companies false advertise/wrong woods?

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    Default Companies false advertise/wrong woods?

    Was curious why the music websites say the fretboard is rosewood but then the actual brand website said something different so I emailed them.
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    Default Re: Companies false advertise/wrong woods?

    My favorite is "Gently used pre-owned mandolin. Lifetime warranty for original buyer!"


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    Default Re: Companies false advertise/wrong woods?

    ^ haha! But I'm curious... how similar or different are "rosewood" and "padauk?" Are they easily confused?

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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Companies false advertise/wrong woods?

    They might be easily confused by someone like me.

    The Loar has recently changed specs on its mandolins, so your music store website might have posted older specs, i.e., perhaps they once made fretboards from rosewood but are now making them from padauk. Some species of rosewood are endangered while padauk is not.

    http://www.wood-database.com/african-padauk/
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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Companies false advertise/wrong woods?

    This happens frequently when a manufacturer changes their specs and the retailer doesn't know it and doesn't change theirs. I bought a guitar from Janet Davis Music several years ago that was listed as coming with a hard shell case. It came in a Gig bag. In that case Janet Davis shipped me the case. Not that easy with this. This might answer your question about them being similar.

    Padauks can be confused with rosewoods to which they are somewhat related, but as a general rule padauks are coarser and less decorative in figure. Like rosewood, padauk is sometimes used to make xylophone and marimba keys, and guitars.
    I seriously doubt it was done purposely to confuse anyone.
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    Default Re: Companies false advertise/wrong woods?

    Both distributors and manufacturers have been doing this for over 100 years. The old Gibson company was one of the worst offenders-- in the 1910's and 20's they described all of their mandolins as having maple bodies but used birch instead on everything but the f-4's and f-5's.

    In the case of conflicting descriptions between a manufacturer and a distributor on the use of rosewood or alternatives, much of the confusion is because the manufacturers have changed their woods since rosewood was placed on CITES II at the beginning of this year. Many of the distributors and retailers have simply not yet caught up with the change.

    Substitutes for rosewood are a fact of life since all rosewood was placed on CITES II. That doesn't mean that the substitutes are necessarily bad-- they are just not rosewood.

    Rosewood is not necessarily the best wood for fingerboards anyway. It can be rather soft. It has been chosen as much for its color as for any other reason. There are many other woods that are harder and more dense that would be a better choice structurally.

    When buying a new instrument, it is important to learn to decipher the manufacturers' codes. "Spruce," "maple," "mahogany," etc., generally mean laminated woods unless they specify "solid spruce." "Carved maple" generally means machine carved. If you want to be sure it's hand carved, it better say so . . .

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    Default Re: Companies false advertise/wrong woods?

    Quote Originally Posted by Borntoplay4strings View Post
    ^ haha! But I'm curious... how similar or different are "rosewood" and "paudauk?" Are they easily confused?
    padauk is very dense probably closer to ebony in density. It's orange in color and is often used for fancy bass bodies and necks. I don't reckon they're easily confused and I'd bet who ever did the Musicians Friend listing doesn't even know what padauk is. The person responding to your query didn't even spell it correctly. I Don't think they were pulling a fast one. MF, Guitar Center and other big chains aren't usually knowledgeable enough to pull fast ones.

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    Default Re: Companies false advertise/wrong woods?

    Padauk exposed to sunlight for a short time will turn from orange to a very nice brown.
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    Registered User almeriastrings's Avatar
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    Default Re: Companies false advertise/wrong woods?

    It is certainly very tough stuff. Many years ago I cut a big load of guitar backs/sides in this material, and it took the edge off the band re-saw blades in no time. Also covered everything in red dust. Looked virtually 'Martian'.....because the true Rosewoods now require extra documentation/processing (which costs) expect to see more such substitutions....
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    Default Re: Companies false advertise/wrong woods?

    Rosewood was used as a less expensive alternative to ebony. The cost of compliance with the CITES regulations make rosewood more expensive than previously and builders are looking for the new less expensive alternative. Saga/Kentucky is now listing the instruments that they make that don't use ebony as using " tonewood" so that likely they can use whatever is available at a good price at the time.

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    Default Re: Companies false advertise/wrong woods?

    It is very tough indeed as almeriastrings says. When you cut it, it almost seems to shread instead of making dust. It is a weird wood to work with, but looks good and is durable. I could be remembering another wood, but I think it requires extra effort to glue, like wiping down with alcohol first or am I thinking of something else???
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    Default Re: Companies false advertise/wrong woods?

    Interesting comment in Mike's Wikipedia citation above:
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    ... padauks are coarser and less decorative in figure.
    Back in the "golden era", meaning thru the '30s at least, Martin and many others chose only the straightest-grained and therefore least decorative rosewood (Brazilian at the time), and chucked the rest. It was only after less-than-prime quarter-sawn cuts became acceptable that rosewood took on its "decorative" mantle.

    As I noted in a recent post, the figure of Tony Rice's legendary '30s D-28, at least to someone who's not into rosewood, could be called downright boring.
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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Companies false advertise/wrong woods?

    Ed, it's not that much different than bear claw spruce. In the old days they would have rejected that wood. Now it's a feature.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Companies false advertise/wrong woods?

    I`ll have to ask Kentucky what they mean by "Tone Wood"...I asked the question on here and no one had an answer....I guess any hard wood could be called "Tone Wood"....

    Willie

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