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View Full Version : Parlor Guitar Build Wood Choice



Patrick Madsen
06-16-2017, 07:29 PM
I'm on the build list for Parlor Guitar by David Webber.http://www.webberguitars.com/catalog.http

I told myself when I bought the Pono UL4-40 steel string, that would be it, no more.

It led to my playing my guitars again.The bodies are just too big. So I decided on a parlor. It was either a tenor guitar or parlor. I have one of David's baritone ukes and found the neck, feel and action I've been searching for all these years. Playing so many years,58, a person gets to the point of knowing what they want in an instrument; it's another matter finding it.

So, I'm on his build list for July. It's time to start thinking wood choice. Suggestions? Normally he does a spruce top with curly maple b/s. Perhaps that in a Sunburst finish. If I want it mellower; a cedar/walnut combo. Rosewood and cocobolo are out because of Cites.

I'm looking forward to this. It'll be the definition of "Uncle Pat's" guitar to future family pickers; along with my ukes of Course lol.

uke51
06-17-2017, 12:41 AM
I think Cedar/Mahogany or Cedar/Walnut make good combinations in small body guitars.
Larrivee has made Parlor guitars that are very popular. I'd check out the reviews of their various models for additional opinions...

DownUpDave
06-17-2017, 04:34 AM
As you know I have a Webber tenor ukulele, Engleman spruce and cocobolo. My friend Adam liked it so much he contacted David Webber and on his recommendations had him build a Engleman spruce and claro walnut tenor uke. It sounds fabulous, looks and plays beautifully.

David has a lot of really primo Engleman spruce that he has been using for guitars and ukuleles. He has used that wood for so long he really seems to get the best out of it. Englman is sweeter and mellower than Sitka spruce.

I would ask David his opinion, telling him what kind of tone you are after. I am a firm believer in listening to the luthier. But yea Engleman and walnut would be nice

SoloRule
06-17-2017, 05:27 AM
This thread woke up my GAS.......I should have never opened the page.
I played both Dave and Adam's Webber. They sound like a piano. Very very sweet voice!

WCBarnes
06-17-2017, 06:49 AM
I would ask David his opinion, telling him what kind of tone you are after. I am a firm believer in listening to the luthier. But yea Engleman and walnut would be nice

This is my suggestion as well. No one knows their instruments as well as the builder. If it were me... I personally like the cedar/walnut combination. And when I commission my baritone, that is what I will use. But that is because I like the mellower sound. I don't think you could go wrong with anything Mr Webber makes. Congratulations! Should be an amazing instrument when completed.

Patrick Madsen
06-17-2017, 07:19 AM
Thanks guys. I did mention to David since he was the luthier, I'd go with his choice. He said, it's your guitar and I'll build it with the wood you choose. I've been pouring thru different sites looking at wood combos. Being such a small guitar, I would imagine they sound fairly bright so perhaps a Eng. Spruce or Cedar top. He did a spalted maple with a Eng. Spruce reaction wood top that looked really nice. I think Reactioned wood is the wood underneath a branch outcropping that takes added stress from the weight of the limbs it's supporting.

I was a very good friend to Jean and Wendy Larrivee' in the early days; when he was just a one man shop. I've owned several of his guitars including a parlor. David's neck profile is more to my liking but sure liked my Larrivees'

If it turns out anything like my baritone, it's going to be a good one. He mentioned he'd like to retire after using up the wood he has. Does anyone know, besides the CITES rules, what regs. are for bringing a guitar into the States from Canada.

Alytw
06-17-2017, 01:03 PM
Patrick,

I have the engelmann claro walnut that Dave mentioned above. It's a good instrument and sounds pretty similar to Dave's cocobolo but with more separation and clarity but less headroom, bass and overtones (Dave correct me if you have a different recollection). We played them together so we got a good comparison.

I would suggest to ask David his recommendation, but let him know what sound you are looking for and the style that you play. You mentioned that you asked him his suggestion, but did you discuss your preference and playing style?

As Dave mentioned, David has some really nice engelmann.

I have played a number of David's guitars and two quite recently. The two recent ones were cedar/maple and spruce (sitka) rosewood. They were both good. For the roundbody design I liked the rosewood because it brought out a bit more low end. This model has strong mids IMO.The tone of both guitars was good.

I haven't played or seen David's parlors, but I don't think that you can make a bad choice.

I like engelmann spruce/rosewood personally for a steel string small body, but If rosewood is out engelmann/walnut for a brighter sound or cedar walnut for a warmer sound might be interesting. Whatever you choose, it will sound good.

Alytw
06-17-2017, 01:07 PM
Patrick,

I didn't mention the neck. I went with a maple neck because I was going for mostly local woods. I picked the exact specs that I wanted and David nailed it. It's perfect for me and has a nice satin finish.

I'm also a fan of Larrivee guitars. I have a really wonderful old L-09 that is amazing for fingerpicking. Perfect balance for what I play.

Adam

hollisdwyer
06-17-2017, 03:38 PM
I think Cedar/Mahogany or Cedar/Walnut make good combinations in small body guitars.
Larrivee has made Parlor guitars that are very popular. I'd check out the reviews of their various models for additional opinions...

Until recently I owned a Larrivee P03 parlour that was Sitka and Koa. I had never seen a koa guitar at the time I purchased it. It was one of the very few instrument that I ever owned/played that I thought was very very special, as did a large number of other players and music teachers that I know. One of those music teachers now own it and every time he sees me he thanks me again for selling it to him. The point of the story is the wood set combo. I am certain that David will create a wonderful instrument for you no matter what set you choose but I can highly recommend that a Koa body and good quality spruce top should be seriously considered.

2manistrings
06-17-2017, 04:11 PM
Something else to consider that may affect your choice of tonewood... What do you intend to play on it, primarily? I do a lot lot lot of fingerpicking on a parlor guitar I love that is spruce/mahogany. It sings, with overtones and a full sound. My guitar also has a 12-fret join, I can't say what effect that may have, but a luthier would know. Good luck!