GUEST POST: Norman’s Rare Guitars

This is a re-post of an article from 2010. Thought you might like reading it again if you saw it the first time around, or for the first time if not!

With the overwhelming demand for quality guitars, manufactures had to come up with ways to meet this demand. Over the years many things have changed, and guitar building had to keep up with this ever increasing hunger for quality instruments. These are some of the things that evolved both good and bad.

Quality Tone Woods
Years ago there was a huge stash of aged woods suitable for instrument building. Many instruments were built with woods that were aged 50 years and more. There is no substitute for fine tone woods. As demand increased the supply diminished. As tone woods became scarce, manufactures used artificially aged woods to keep up with the demand. Martin, probably America’s leading acoustic guitar manufacturer is now using sustainable woods on many of their recent guitars. Brazilian rosewood, which is considered by most to be the finest tone wood for flat top guitars, is in very short supply. In 1969 there was an embargo on this wood. Aged Brazilian rosewood is getting close to being nonexistent. Other substitute woods such as Indian rosewood and Madagascar rosewood are currently being used on many higher end models in replacement of Brazilian.

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