All things retro, Martin guitars, Rivendell bicycles, Converse Chuck Taylors. There was also a KOA special edition Taylor in the same store and I didn't like it as well. When I bought this one, the sister to it was 60 units different on the serial # but it did not have the same figured back, it was actually very plain, didn't sound as good either! Most days, the rosewood sounds more full from the driver's seat though (not necessarily better). It is often considered somewhere between rosewood and mahogany, closer to mahogany I think, but I would like to compare cherry and koa back to back so to speak? But....I also have a 00-37KSM which is a 12-fret, shortscale, Koa/Englemann guitar. What about cherry? And probably more top end. In fact, the 1920s and 1930s Martin all-koa 0s and 00s are some of the best fingerstyle guitars ever made. I thought the walnut was a little richer. Hardwoods like koa, native to Hawaii, and mahogany, a Central and South American species, are sometimes used for soundboards, usually with backs and sides of the same material. I have played some really wonderful all Koa guitars, as well as Koa/alpine that I found very warn and perfect for me, but with my neck requirements always needing me to go custom Koa was a risk I was unwilling to take. I love rosewood guitars and have an HD-28 that I fingerpick a lot as well as strum. I wouldn't necessarily recommend koa for a bluegrass instrument, although dreads with spruce tops and koa back and sides would probably have the necessary kick. I agree with Tonguy, the walnut seems to fall in between the rosewood and mahogany. Looks similar to figured mahogany, but more figured. My experience is that mahogany can be made into a brighter guitar. Registered Member. Tonally, yes, the Koa falls between Mahogany's focus and Rosewood's complexities and overtones making it ideal for fingerstyle, IMHO. Although, with all due respects, most on the UMGF will tell you that the top wood must be one of the spruce varieties (with rosewood of course)...check out a Cedar top (with Koa) and get ready for a very lively, chimey. When I ordered my last custom from Martin it was between Koa and Mahogany. I have an all-koa 000-16 and it has the punch of mahogany, but also carries some of the overtones of rosewood. The koa leans more towards the mahogany side as far as "dry" sounding, but you get a real ringing sustain from the koa. Taylor says Koa is brighter, something like a mix between Mahogany and Maple. 399. Martin says the Koa treble response is a bit less than Mahogany. I've owned a whack of guitars, mandolins and ukuleles in my day, none of that were Koa wood except one signed 1968 Samuel Kamaka Ukulele. Koa is a beautiful wood and is best selected for its visual appearance. Surprisingly loud for a such a small guitar. These woods are low in overtones and sound very direct, with impressive mids. I'd like to think that it depends on the skilled hands of the luthier and the materials he/she is working with. Stratocaster / Fender '57 Reissue Precision Bass, Tone Woods Opinions...Koa vs. Rosewood & Mahogany. Although I've not seen mention of this tonewood with Martin, Im sure that if you were special ordering it could be an option. Koa. Used for back and sides, koa’s tonality resembles mahogany. I would suggest that if, exaggerated for comparison purposes, you create the UMGF frequency range continuum (C): Personally, I agree with Martin's description. I've heard some really bright, snappy koa. fir28. Koa vs Mahogany: Which one is brighter? The Englemann adds a touch of warmth and complexity to the tone; Adi would make it very crisp and focused - perhaps not a good match for a small bodied Koa guitar. This instrument can be picked delicately with the lightest touch and still deliver a sweet, rich tone, but this guitar can be very LOUD, too. Now if it's the Koa wood or how it was built I have no idea but if I could get a tone that sweet in a guitar I would sell the farm to buy it. fir28. The other neat thing about Imbuia is the strong walnut smell that it has, I've had it a year and it smells just as strong as the day I bought it, yes I'll admit it Im a sound hole sniffer. An Unofficial forum for those who love Martin instruments - Founded by Steve Stallings. On top of that, it's fairly safe to say that Taylor GS Mini-e Koa is a more popular guitar, based on its 90+ reviews. Im sure that it had nothing to do with the figuring though. Most non-guitarists I play for seem to prefer the sound of the koa. Shop all Fender acoustic guitars here. Like I was saying the wood can vary greatly. Part of what I was hearing could have had a lot to do with the cedar top as well though. Hitpicker, would that coffee be a dark French Roast or with cream and sugar? Also have a 1927 Ludwig Banjo Uke that is really sweet tone but even it can't beat the Koa Uke. I wouldn't assume the sonic difference between a given chunk of koa and one of mahogany would be any greater than the difference between chunks of mahogany from different trees … I don't know how this combination would translate to a larger guitar body but it can't be beat in a small body instrument. It's a fabulous fingerstyle guitar. [font=VERDANA, GENEVA, LUCIDA, 'LUCIDA GRANDE', ARIAL, HELVETICA, SANS-SERIF]Acoustics: [font=VERDANA, GENEVA, LUCIDA, 'LUCIDA GRANDE', ARIAL, HELVETICA, SANS-SERIF]Martin OM-45 Custom ('13) / Martin OM-28V Custom ('08) / Goodall KCJC ('04) / National Reso-phonic El Trovador ('08) / Martin D-35 ('69) / Martin 000-18 ('69) / Tacoma PR12 / Go Type II Parlor / Yamaha G-60A / Baby Taylor, [font=VERDANA, GENEVA, LUCIDA, 'LUCIDA GRANDE', ARIAL, HELVETICA, SANS-SERIF] / Fender 75th Ann. My .02 worth. Mahogany & Koa. So Taylor GS Mini-e Koa, while being a pricier option, tends to get more favorable ⭐ reviews than the $499 Taylor GS Mini-E Mahogany, as seen on the chart below. This website uses cookies for functionality, analytics and advertising purposes as described in our. I must admit though I lean towards prefering rosewood over mahogany so I am probably biased. Thanks Jeff! Golden Nehru Jacket Award, Friends of The Gopher Society, For the Great Gaels of Ireland are the men that God made mad, from The Ballad of the White Horse by G.K. Chesterton. Well, I've read recently that it is one of the most variable wood in its properties, mainly density. Smaller body guitars really shine with this tonewood, though. Have you considered Imbuia? I am a major fan of koa. A dense hardwood that, when used for guitar tops, produces solid tone, particularly at the high end, with pronounced midrange-y quality. This website uses cookies for functionality, analytics and advertising purposes as described in our, Queen Annes Revenge, loyal sea dog, grog. Heres a link to some info on it; Wow...that Imbuia is sure beautiful. You can lead a horse to water but a pencil has to be lead. Like many of us, I am in search of tonal perfection; using what I've learned from playing and owning some fine guitars and seeking that final level of satisfaction for a specific style. ...and I would say that your description of Koa as "coffee" is probably the best definition that you or anyone else on this board will come up with. Any takers? I guess that if you get the denser one you'll have a broader frequency range. complex and well balanced guitar. Using them as back & sides ONLY. Luke. I also agree with Conor's UMGF Frequency Range Continuum (c), although I'm thinking more like 4 for koa. An Unofficial forum for those who love Martin instruments - Founded by Steve Stallings. It falls right in the middle of rosewood and Mahog tone wise, like one of the other posters had mentioned, a walnut species might fit the bill. I guess it would depend somewhat on what kind of playing you do. I'm a fellow owner/admirer of the LSV-A , but still want to hear something less muddled and more focused without excessive brilliance. When I want to treat my ear to a little candy I pick up that little Uke and it is the sweetest tone I've ever heard in any instrument. I own all three of those tone woods (in different size guitars...2 vintage Martin's and 1 Goodall (guess which is the Koa?) I find it to be a very balanced sound that can be versatile in lots of playing situations. It had a very unique sound and was ideal for fingerpicking. 399. Post Dec 16, 2008 #1 2008-12-16T11:44. I actually have a D18GE, and while it does have many fine qualities, it does not have the "middle ground" tonally that I wish for in my ideal fingerpicker. 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