View Full Version : Cocobolo back and sides

11-22-2014, 05:17 PM
Just ordered a baritone with cocobolo, the top is red cedar. Anyone have any experience playing cocobolo I'm curious about its tonal characteristics.

11-22-2014, 05:48 PM

"Chris Bozung is a big fan and writes: 'Cocobolo is probably closer in tone, color and figure to the finest-grade Brazilian Rosewood used on the classic guitars of yesteryear than any tone wood available today, and for far less money than the inferior-quality Brazilian currently available. Cocobolo offers everything Brazilian Rosewood offers, and more: increased power, increased sustain, increased volume, along with beauty of color and figure not available in Brazilian Rosewood for years.' Cocobolo back and sides characteristically have an abundance of low overtones resulting in a complex bottom end and strong upper register. The overall effect is also a bell like tone with clear, slow decaying harmonics. Bruce Sexuaer says: 'People like to say that Cocobolo is the closest thing to BRW, or even that it is better. I think that it is certainly harder and more brittle, both as a material and in it’s sound. Most Cocobolo guitars I’ve heard seem to have so much cutting edge that they sound harsh to me, but there are things to be done about that, and my last several please me just fine... Oxidation darkens the lighter colors and merges them with the darker which can produce a deep red with irregular markings of purple or black.' "


"Almost identical to Brazilian Rosewood, can be called Brazilian rosewood younger brother. Liquid tone and great color palette. It is strikingly beautiful and the finished instrument can get anybody stunned.The sound is mysterious, deep and clear at the same time. Cocobolo is a hard and heavy wood with irregular grain with a medium fine texture which is a close relative of Brazilian Rosewood. They are both Dalbergias. It finishes fantastically and it offers some of the best looking figures any builder can dream of for a concert guitar. The palette of colors it displays ranges from black, brown, orange and yellow and I often thing of the best sunsets when I look at the grain of Cocobolo. The sound is warm yet brilliant and powerful. It makes Cocobolo stand out as one of the best tonewoods on the planet."

11-22-2014, 06:01 PM
I have a concert Boat Paddle Kayak 5 string cocobolo b/s with a cedar top. To my ear cocobolo sounds similar to rosewood but with a little more ?depth?

11-24-2014, 10:57 AM
I just got a Mya-Moe cocobolo last month and I posted a few vids of me playing it a few weeks ago. Initially I was a bit disappointed with the sound but it has definitely grown on me. I'm not good at describing sounds technically but I would say it has a 'mature' and 'serious' sound. Much more mature than my koa concert. For me this makes it less suited to the jangly fun stuff but great for finger picking, moody pieces and classical tunes.

I think this was why I was a initially disappointed, as coming from a background in guitar and having only played the uke for a few years I was still very much wrapped up in the warm carefree sounds of the Hawaiian woods and smaller sized ukes.

The individual resonance and sustain of each note is superb and there's some songs that I can play like Canon in D or Fur Elise that I would always play on this now and other songs like Pineapple mango or Guava Jam that sound better on a warmer instrument. I guess it all depends on your playing style but I'm glad now to have such a range of options to chose from based on the mood of a piece.

I think if each note needs a life of its own, I go for the cocobolo...but if it needs some friends to support it, I pick up my koa!

I'm no expert but judging by the fact that you've gone for a baritone I would say it would be a good fit. I'm not sure how cocobolo would sound on a soprano but I would be interested to hear the mixture of the two characteristics!

Hope that can be of some help.