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Thread: What does bubinga "sound" like?

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    Default What does bubinga "sound" like?

    I'll hopefully be picking up an Ibanez AG95 hollowbody with a bubinga top in couple of months to go into a jazz/blues performance program with. However, I've never even heard of bubinga before and have no idea what tonal qualities the wood may produce. Is bubinga warmer than maple, I hope? Thanks!

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    Default Re: What does bubinga "sound" like?

    First of all (and speaking from a steel string guitar perspective), let's discard the notion that some species of wood make good instruments and that others don't. The concept of tonewood is a hoax. Of the few things that we can do to a guitar and still call it a guitar, changing the wood it is made of will have the least impact upon the quality of the sound that it produces. The tonal difference between a mahogany guitar and a rosewood guitar is exactly the same as the difference between two mahogany guitars or two rosewood guitars. Can you tell what a guitar is made of while listening to an unfamiliar recording? No one I know claims they can. No one at the blind listening sessions I've attended could reliably distinguish between mahogany and rosewood guitars, or maple and koa guitars for that matter.

    Bubinga. This is a wonderful wood in every respect. It is as hard as the rosewoods, but has a finer texture with no pores to fill. It bends easily and holds its' shape. The brownish-purple color is close enough to rosewood to look familiar. To top it off, bubinga is cheap even from tonewood suppliers. The only hitch is that you can't sell a bubinga guitar. Call it African rosewood, its' inaccurate nickname, and you'll have no problem. Flatsawn bubinga shows a stunning bee's-wing pattern. Quartered wood is plainer, but still pretty. I like this wood a ton. It deserves more recognition.
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    Default Re: What does bubinga "sound" like?

    Then what's all this talk of, "My guitar is so bright that I need a such and such in the bridge."? Not to be flippant, but the wood has to be doing something.
    Last edited by Onslow; 10-25-2010 at 09:32 PM.

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    Default Re: What does bubinga "sound" like?

    Wow. I guess all acoustic guitars sound the same then?
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    Default Re: What does bubinga "sound" like?

    They sound like Sheldon.

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    Default Re: What does bubinga "sound" like?

    This is from the Warmoth website:




    Bubinga (Guibourtia demeusei):

    A very strong stiff wood used primarily for bass necks and in laminations. Used by Rickenbacker for fretboards and Warwick for bodies. As a bass neck, it provides bright midrange and a thick well defined bottom. Bodies made form Bubinga will be very heavy but will sustain for days.

    Compare that little tone chart thing they have to the one for maple:

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    Default Re: What does bubinga "sound" like?

    Thanks for the tone chart thingy! I was thinking that I could save some money by just going with the maple top, but if that comparison is accurate at all, I'll pay the extra for the bubinga.

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    Default Re: What does bubinga "sound" like?

    "buh - bing - guh"

    like that

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    Default Re: What does bubinga "sound" like?

    I used to make custom turkey calls and you can hear a major difference in tone and loudness between Bubinga and Maple, Walnut, Cherry,, I know turkey calls and guitars are worlds apart but there is a difference in woods and tones, if something as simple as a turkey call can give an audible difference a guitar will offer the same. Just my 2 lincolns.

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    Default Re: What does bubinga "sound" like?

    Quote Originally Posted by jbear View Post
    They sound like Sheldon.
    :

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    Default Re: What does bubinga "sound" like?

    Kind of unrelated, but are these AG95's going to be discontinued any time soon? It might be awhile until I can snag one now.

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    Default Re: What does bubinga "sound" like?

    You also have to remember that a hollowbody has a different presence and attack to it than solid bodies. A fair bit of high end hollowbody makers make guitars with Maple and use Ebony fretboards. The 'air' or natural warmth/mellow sound of a hollowbody acts as a counterweight and the two work together beautifully.
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    Default Re: What does bubinga "sound" like?

    I've always liked freakishly warm/dark tone though, but I think that might be changing for me. It's probably not what most people find acceptable. I'll keep that in mind. Dude, How'd you learn jazz guitar so well, by the way? I think I listened to some of your stuff in Tips/Clips if I'm not mistaken. Have any tips for me?
    Last edited by Onslow; 11-15-2010 at 01:34 PM.

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