Walnut soundboard?

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Doug Shaker
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Walnut soundboard?

Post by Doug Shaker »

Has anyone on the forum ever made a flat-top with a walnut top? If so, how did it turn out?

I am imagining that it would sound something like an all-mahogany guitar, but that's just a guess.
-Doug Shaker

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Bryan Bear
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Re: Walnut soundboard?

Post by Bryan Bear »

I have no direct experience with walnut tops but I suspect you are right. A hardwood topped flattop is on my someday list and walnut is one of the woods I am considering. I'll be following this thread with interest. As well as walnut I am considering butternut which might be even better suited (though as soon as I got the idea, the local butternut supply disappeared) and quarter sawn sycamore. I'm sure there are other woods that could be good candidates as well. The trick is to not expect a spruce sound.
PMoMC

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Steven Smith
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Re: Walnut soundboard?

Post by Steven Smith »

I am a big fan of walnut but had not even considered it for a top. It might make for a very mellow sounding instrument. Be interesting to hear from anyone who has tried it.

Joel Nowland
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Re: Walnut soundboard?

Post by Joel Nowland »

As far as production guitars, Years ago built a few walnut soundboard guitars both custom and production. I don't know their tonal qualities.

Joel

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Mark Swanson
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Re: Walnut soundboard?

Post by Mark Swanson »

I have seen a Taylor 12 string once with a walnut top. And I keep threatening to make a all-cherry guitar...one day.
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Alan Carruth
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Re: Walnut soundboard?

Post by Alan Carruth »

I have not made one yet, but will be starting one soon. I've got an order for an all-walnut acoustic-electric ABG. I'll try to keep you posted as it goes along.

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John Steele
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Re: Walnut soundboard?

Post by John Steele »

Hi there;
I built a small bodied L1 style some time back that was all Walnut. I like it a lot. I nick named the walnut "California Koa". I also built an all walnut Weissenborn as well. Very happy with both.
John
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Rodger Knox
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Re: Walnut soundboard?

Post by Rodger Knox »

Nice looking guitar.
Is that maple for the fretboard and bridge?
I didn't think anyone else was doing that on acoustics.
A man hears what he wants to hear, and disreguards the rest. Paul Simon

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Peter Wilcox
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Re: Walnut soundboard?

Post by Peter Wilcox »

Rodger Knox wrote: Is that maple for the fretboard and bridge?
I didn't think anyone else was doing that on acoustics.
Off topic, but I'm making one with a redwood soundboard, mahogany neck, and maple sides, back, fretboard, headstock veneer and bridge. It'll look different for sure.
Maybe I can't fix it, but I can fix it so no one can fix it

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John Steele
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Re: Walnut soundboard?

Post by John Steele »

Rodger Knox wrote:Nice looking guitar.
Is that maple for the fretboard and bridge?
I didn't think anyone else was doing that on acoustics.
Thank you.
Yes, maple bridge, FB, pickguard, and neck.
John

Joe Williams
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Re: Walnut soundboard?

Post by Joe Williams »

I've made 3 all hardwood guitars over the last few months. All of them Walnut back and sides, one spalted Maple top, one Lacewood and one walnut. All are very bright; a hint of metal body tone and just a hint of spanish guitar. Of the three, the all walnut one is much the warmer sound. Love them all dearly. They're blues guitars to me, or a bit the sound of some very old country music recordings.

Michael Lewis
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Re: Walnut soundboard?

Post by Michael Lewis »

Quite a few Hawaiian guitars have been made with koa tops. I don't see any reason not to use walnut if that is what you want to do.

Joe Williams
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Re: Walnut soundboard?

Post by Joe Williams »

Exactly. That's what makes the whole thing fun for me; try something different and see what happens.

David Boehnker
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Re: Walnut soundboard?

Post by David Boehnker »

I have some beautiful Curly mango back, sides and top that I've been sitting on for a few years. Twice I've planned on builidng it but the top is somewhat heavy and floppy, and I got scared off. But Alan's plan for acoustic/electric may convince me, if doesn't sound great, plug it in.

Michael Lewis
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Re: Walnut soundboard?

Post by Michael Lewis »

That might be a plus for being amplified. You don't see many basswood or swamp ash acoustics, but those woods are rumored to be great for solid body electrics.

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Patrick DeGreve
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Re: Walnut soundboard?

Post by Patrick DeGreve »

My older brother has a Taylor jumbo that is all Walnut that sounds amazing, (and looks just as good). I have used walnut quite a bit and I love it for backs and sides. I am almost done with a guitar that uses walnut and avodire as the soundboard. Half of the soundboard is Peruvian Walnut, and the other side of the soundboard is Avodire. I know that sounds crazy, but, I am doing a harlequin theme. The sides are maple and walnut, the back has a diamond pattern, and the rosette has diamonds as well. So far the guitar looks nice. I will let you know what it sounds like when I finish.

Dale Penrose
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Re: Walnut soundboard?

Post by Dale Penrose »

I've built a walnut guitar with a butternut top and a cherry guitar with a silver maple top. Both sounded very nice. The walnut guitar can be viewed here. http://wildmeadowdulcimers.blogspot.com ... uitar.html

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John Kingma
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Re: Walnut soundboard?

Post by John Kingma »

My son and I are starting a couple acoustics. They're going to be his guitars and his ideas... and he wants one to be all Peruvian Walnut with a Birdseye Maple top and the other all Birdseye Maple with a Peruvian Walnut top. If told him that they probably won't sound as good as they look, but after reading all this I'm a bit less skeptical about the idea.
John Kingma,
Builder of Fine Sawdust & Expensive Kindling

Doug Shaker
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Re: Walnut soundboard?

Post by Doug Shaker »

If you thickness the tops to a specified stiffness rather than to a specified dimension, I think you will have a pretty good chance of having some excellent guitars.
-Doug Shaker

Bob Hammond
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Re: Walnut soundboard?

Post by Bob Hammond »

Sometimes, I think that far too often, that one's (or clients') conventional expectations limit imagination. It would sound 'different', but would that make it inferior? Heck, I think that most people here, when they built their first, did it to achieve a 'personal sounding' instrument.

I think walnut would be ok if not great, and that it could be thinner than a softwood.

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