Should we boycott endangered woods?

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BarnezyBarnezy Frets: 354
I just saw an article on Channel 4 news regarding illegal logging of the Brazilian rainforest. Even if these timbers aren't directly ending up in the guitar factories, guitars are still adding to demand by consuming the legitimately harvested trees. 

Is it time consumers took responsibility and stopped buying any newly produced guitars made from these woods? 
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  • GarthyGarthy Frets: 2149
    Are you joking? Ethics are for everybody else in this little hypocritical corner on the Internet.
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  • peteripeteri Frets: 1124
    Buy them whilst you still can!

    Or

    I would be genuinely interested how many of these trees are really felled for guitar production, meaning - I suspect boycotting all guitars would make little difference, building and furniture consuming much, much more
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  • chris78chris78 Frets: 989
    Given how few guitars have Brazilian rosewood these days and it’s been protected for decades, I doubt its much of an issue.
    Should Guitars be more sustainable? Yes of course. Wood affects tone, but we buy certain woods to chase a tone we sort of heard on a bad recording years ago. Some of the woods that are replacing the traditional ones produce incredible tone and we need to open our minds to at least trying them
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  • Flame_GuitarsFlame_Guitars Frets: 64
    tFB Trader
    I admire the way that Bob Taylor has approached this issue with regards to ebony. If you have time have a look at The Ebony Project  The company is taking a sustainable approach to try and ensure that guitar builders can be using ebony 100 years from now.
    Flame Guitars. Custom electric guitars, servicing & repairs by David Kennett
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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 7570
    there's been quite a bit of research by various makers using different, less endangered woods recently, so there's no reason to use the more traditional woods. 
    That said, I find it hard to believe it's guitars and similar instruments that are responsible for the stripping of the ran forests, it seems to me that furniture etc is a far bigger culprit (certainly in the past) than out little corner of the world. 

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • KittyfriskKittyfrisk Frets: 949
    chris78 said:
    Given how few guitars have Brazilian rosewood these days and it’s been protected for decades, I doubt its much of an issue.
    Should Guitars be more sustainable? Yes of course. Wood affects tone, but we buy certain woods to chase a tone we sort of heard on a bad recording years ago. Some of the woods that are replacing the traditional ones produce incredible tone and we need to open our minds to at least trying them
    Should Guitars be more sustainable?
    Too right, not having enough sustain is horrid 
    ;) 
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  • BarnezyBarnezy Frets: 354
    VimFuego said:
    there's been quite a bit of research by various makers using different, less endangered woods recently, so there's no reason to use the more traditional woods. 
    That said, I find it hard to believe it's guitars and similar instruments that are responsible for the stripping of the ran forests, it seems to me that furniture etc is a far bigger culprit (certainly in the past) than out little corner of the world. 
    Forget Rosewood, we know the guitar industry is taking action on that.... at least Fender are. Mahogany is the tree that is being desimated at a rate of two football pitches per hour, 24/7 365. 

    I agree guitars probably only have a tiny impact on the issue, but it is also something that can be easily addressed. Does the world need more guitars made from these woods, surely there are enough in existence already. 

    Not trying to be a tree hugger. It does amuse me that people in to guitars are so attached to the 50's and 60's era, as if they are the best. I'm a sucker for it too, but if you think objectively how can that be true? Electric guitars had just started. People dont say the same things about anything else. Oh, they had computers right in the 60's. Cars we're much better in the 50's. HD TV, give me a 60's black and white any day. It's this obsession with the belief "they had it right back then" that means guitar makers have to continue using environmentally harming woods to satisfy consumers. 
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  • WhitecatWhitecat Frets: 2496
    When you say “mahogany” are you referring to a specific type? There are so many different variants in use in the instrument industry it’s hard to keep up. 
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 39491
    Yes, we do need to be more responsible.

    All my electric guitars and my main bass are made from ash, maple, walnut and bubinga. I do have a rosewood acoustic, but it was made nearly 50 years ago and I wouldn’t mind if it was a different wood. I also have a more modern acoustic and another bass with rosewood fingerboards, but it wouldn’t bother me if they were something else.

    We need to move away from the idea of ‘tonewoods’ - different woods do sound different, but it’s largely or entirely to do with density and hardness not species, and there are many substitutes which would do the same job and aren’t as endangered. (Or in some cases synthetic and not endangered at all!)

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • Jez6345789Jez6345789 Frets: 1092
    Illegal rain forest logging is not really the fault of the guitar industry in a lot of cases it’s just to make money for profitable farming and to feed the luxury furniture market.

    the industry seems to be pretty full on with Stuff like Taylor’s ebony project. PRS have a planting scheme in South America.

    yes it would be nice to think the industry made less impact but of rare woods we are a small cog
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  • SNAKEBITESNAKEBITE Frets: 857
    I see nothing wrong with rosewood guitars, however it has to have ivory control knobs and smattering of tiger penis in the cavity for good mojo.
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  • SNAKEBITESNAKEBITE Frets: 857

    SharkFIN Sweden Gold Print White 052 mm Plectrum White Piece


    Are these okay to use?

    Taste shit in soup though.

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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 5039
    A lot of this is being cleared for farming.  As far as I know, sometimes it is just being burned. Some of it probably goes to make paper as well.

    Actually allowing trade, and letting them get good value for it, would probably be more productive.  If they see it as a valuable resource, then they won't just chop it down indiscriminately.

    There's no reason that Brazilian Rosewood couldn't be grown responsibly on plantations and used for guitars / furniture / whatever.  There is no incentive at all to plant BRW trees when it can't be sold.  The tricky part would be to make sure that illegally logged wild stuff wasn't finding its way into the chain, but the current approach doesn't seem to be stopping that anyway.
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  • merciful-evansmerciful-evans Frets: 184
    I'm surprised that we are still using wood at all in modern guitar construction. Us musicians are always looking backward to a golden age that never existed using guitars that were no better than what we have available today.



    A lot is known about sound transmission of materials today. Low density and elasticity are the most desirable factors in transmission (speed of sound through material). But no, we'll just have another bit of wood thanks all the same. 
    I sometimes think, therefore I am intermittent
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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 7570
    I'm surprised that we are still using wood at all in modern guitar construction. Us musicians are always looking backward to a golden age that never existed using guitars that were no better than what we have available today.



    A lot is known about sound transmission of materials today. Low density and elasticity are the most desirable factors in transmission (speed of sound through material). But no, we'll just have another bit of wood thanks all the same. 
    on the flip side of that, trees like ash, maple, alder are all fast growing and are a sustainable source of timber. 

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • menamestommenamestom Frets: 2766

    I was under the impression that nowadays, whilst your guitar may be alder or mahogany, it's probably used quite loosely in that it will be from various different species from around the world that fall in those family of woods.
    So if you buy a mahogany/rosewood guitar, the woods would be very unlikely to be from Brazil anyway?

    Certainly on my budget they won't anyway.  I guess we should all check that the wood in our guitars is from sustainable sources.  

    My 1994 strat is definitely sustainable, because it's that many pieces Fender clearly foraged the forest floor for fallen twigs to make it.


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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 39491

    I was under the impression that nowadays, whilst your guitar may be alder or mahogany, it's probably used quite loosely in that it will be from various different species from around the world that fall in those family of woods.
    So if you buy a mahogany/rosewood guitar, the woods would be very unlikely to be from Brazil anyway?
    A lot of them will be from Indonesia, where rainforest destruction is an even more serious problem than it is in Brazil.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • SassafrasSassafras Frets: 15824
    Do we really need things that add to forest destruction and the displacement of indigenous tribes?
    I know it's mostly furniture that uses the bulk of rare woods but it wouldn't hurt to set an example by boycotting the use of endangered species.
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  • tabanotabano Frets: 16
    Yes yes yes yes....
    we absolutely should stop buying ANYTHING new that contains ANY endangered materials,
    YES!
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  • JalapenoJalapeno Frets: 3852
    Gibson did do a Smartwoord range of non-endangered species (I had one for a while but didn't get on with the baseball bat neck), then promptly got nabbed for having tonnes of undocumented wood in their stores ....

    But it is still the right thing to do - Ash, Alder, Maple, Roasted Maple - aren't endangered at all !!!!!!!


    Imagine something sharp and witty here ......

    Feedback
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  • OilCityPickupsOilCityPickups Frets: 4573
    tFB Trader
    It may only be in a small way, but if we as guitarists can help ease the pressure on scarce resources we should. I have had guitars with roasted maple fingerboards, and they felt great ... ash is plentiful, and there are very good substitutes for all the endangered mahogany style woods. As a company we reduced the packaging of our pickups down to second use/recyclable materials, as plastics are an issue for the environment. All our waste wire and paper is recycled, and where possible we use UK sourced parts that will have a lower carbon footprint than imported ones. The fact is we all should do more.
    Professional pickup winder, horse-testpilot and recovering Chocolate Hobnob addict.
    Formerly TheGuitarWeasel ... Oil City Pickups  ... Oil City Blog

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  • ArjailerArjailer Frets: 77
    Yes, we absolutely should stop buying endangered wood guitars.

    I couldn't care less what my guitars are made of, as long as they sound good and the materials don't fall apart over time. I'd even happily play carbon fibre / plastic / aluminium etc. if they sounded decent and didn't cost the earth.
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  • Creed_ClicksCreed_Clicks Frets: 164
    I wonder, with the amount of guitars that are on the planet now, if guitar companies just stopped making them tomorrow for the next 5 years, would there still be enough products existing to fulfil demand...
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  • Jez6345789Jez6345789 Frets: 1092
    I think we need alternatives that are sustainable and these days the guitar industry are making a lot of great guitars and I would look at non wood guitars if they sounded good even if not the same.

    I think Brazilian was banned nearly 50 years ago but just think if they had planted a few 50,000 back then trees how big they would be today and for plantation grown BRW it could easily be certified through DNA and other modern techniques. Sadly the total ban does nothing to replace those lost trees.
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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 13368
    I'm doing my bit. I haven't been to Pogles wood since the 70s
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 39491

    I think Brazilian was banned nearly 50 years ago but just think if they had planted a few 50,000 back then trees how big they would be today and for plantation grown BRW it could easily be certified through DNA and other modern techniques. Sadly the total ban does nothing to replace those lost trees.
    This is true. Rosewood is surprisingly fast-growing.

    axisus said:
    I'm doing my bit. I haven't been to Pogles wood since the 70s
    Do you want your magazines back?

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • stonevibestonevibe Frets: 3532
    edited June 14
    Traditional building vs modern materials?

    Guitarists are for the most part purists and crave 'old vintage tones'. Therefore we all seem to seek out old tone wood and finishing techniques over modern day alternatives.

    The relic nitro 'one piece' lightweight boutique guitar market doesn't help here either.

    Would you play a composite, Richlite or other alternative material made instrument?

    Most of us would opt for the boutique old seasoned piece of wood, finished in vintage correct nitro I reckon.
    How much does it weigh? & Does it play like butter?

    You can now read my insane guitar ramblings daily here http://www.gearnews.com

    https://www.instagram.com/jefstone/
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  • GarthyGarthy Frets: 2149
    stonevibe said:
    Traditional building vs modern materials?

    Guitarists are for the most part purists and crave 'old vintage tones'. Therefore we all seem to seek out old tone wood and finishing techniques over modern day alternatives.

    The relic nitro 'one piece' lightweight boutique guitar market doesn't help here either.

    Would you play a composite, Richlite or other alternative material made instrument?

    Most of us would opt for the boutique old seasoned piece of wood, finished in vintage correct nitro I reckon.
    That will change as the demographics of guitarists do. Witness the increase in selling prices of 80s and 90s superstrats in the last two-three years as they come back into fashion now that the 40-50 year olds now have some money. 
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  • Creed_ClicksCreed_Clicks Frets: 164
    It wouldn't really bother me if woods were banned. When you see what the EGC and those transparent guitar bodied guitars are like, I'd easily play one. They'll always be out of my price range ironically! 
    There's that French bloke who makes guitars out of steel is it? I've never really played a non wood guitar so can't say. I'd even consider recycled materials. I'm not precious. 
    As long as it's not really crap chipboard, I don't care what it's made out of...
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  • merciful-evansmerciful-evans Frets: 184
    stonevibe said:

    Would you play a composite, Richlite or other alternative material made instrument?

    Yes
    stonevibe said:

    Most of us would opt for the boutique old seasoned piece of wood, finished in vintage correct nitro I reckon.

    I Know




    I sometimes think, therefore I am intermittent
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