Buyer Beware! My wife offered to buy me a tenor guitar for Christmas. A major retailer advertised its tenor guitar as having the neck, back and sides constructed of "mahogany" and the fretboard of "rosewood". A company promotional video for the guitar also touted mahogany construction. I purchased the instrument but when it arrived, it appeared that the guitar was NOT constructed of mahogany and rosewood. I checked the manufacturer's website and discovered that the guitar is currently made of "Okoume" (back and sides), "Okavangol" (fretboard) and "Nyatoh" (neck).
Long story short, I was told the manufacturer changed the instrument's specifications in 2018. The retailer (along with several other major retailers) continued to advertise the outdated, inaccurate specifications for the instrument. In fairness, the retailer was very apologetic and offered a generous refund to "make it right".
My suggestion is to never rely on a retailer's website to provide accurate specifications for an instrument. As in this case, that information may be outdated and inaccurate. You should instead obtain the actual current specifications from the manufacturer. A lesson I learned the hard way.
Lots of hardwoods have become scarce. Some woods are no longer available. The best fingerboard I ever had was made of synthetic material. I wore frets out, but the fingerboard was never affected. It looked just like ebony and sounded just as good as ebony. If an instrument "does the job", I don't worry about what it is made of. Those Ovation guitars sounded pretty good and will probably never wear out.
Well made guitars that contain choice hardwood back/sides are very expensive. Guitars that once sold for a little less than a grand now sell for over $6000. If a person wants a guitar made of "choice" hardwoods, they should be prepared to spend a lot of money.
Richard: I know quality hardwoods are in short supply and builders are transitioning to secondary materials. That's fine, but that's not the issue. My point is that if you buy a guitar that's ADVERTISED as being constructed of mahogany and rosewood, you should RECEIVE a guitar that's constructed of mahogany and rosewood. It's that simple.
I have read that the wood Sapele is a member of the mahogany family, and advertised as mahogany. I am aware of the fact that there are legal limitations on the sale of Brazailian rosewood. Like Sapele, there may be other trees that are considered part of the Rosewood family of trees.
Pernumbuco is considered "the wood" for fiddle bows. I once read where a French bow company purchased land in Brazil, and growing a protecting pernumbuco trees. Again, there are different members of the pernumbuco "family".
So sometimes what is advertised is more of a "half truth" than a complete lie. I just checked, and the rosewood species includes a lot of different types of trees. So an instrument could contain the less desired members of a tree family.
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