Answer Save. When used as a back/side wood to compliment a brighter sounding top wood, Mahogany is good for mellowing out the brightness and adding some warmth and a stronger mid-range plus softening the highs and reducing the overtones. Enough so that you’d likely notice the difference on the top and maybe slightly when used as back and sides in place of Mahogany. Sapele comes from West Africa and its scientific name is Entandrophragma cylindricum. The wood used in a guitar dictates the kind of tone that will be produced while playing. To give some perspective the following is the hardness of the woods discussed here including Rosewood. Paul Cuenin is a former Associate at Thompson Mahogany. Last updated: August 22, 2019 by Nate 19 Comments. Each type of wood brings out a unique tone, and it’s important to choose the guitar body that gives out a tone that you like. Joe M. 299 14. You need to have a keen sense of sound to understand the slight difference in sound and tone. So, in the battle of Sapele vs Mahogany, which is the better tonewood? This strips the tannins from the wood, opening up the surface to fully accept a stain. A lot of guitarists, especially new guitarists might not have even heard of it. It usually has more shimmer to the ribbon grain, more depth. Sapele vs Mahogany. Mahogany will remain the preferred tonewood for some time to come until Sapele becomes more popular and people realize the similarities between Mahogany and Sapele. My cynical mind tends to think sapele has a negative reputation, deserved or undeserved, and now the name of Okoume as a mahogany is exotic enough for people to take a chance on it. Is it truly just a different type of mahogany or is it closer to a sapele? It is not as hard as the African Mahogany and it is easier to bend. That said, it is also sometimes mistakenly called Mahogany, which could also lead to less awareness of this wood. African Mahogany vs Sapele vs Utile Lumber. Mahogany vs Sapele . Filed Under: Buying Guides, Guitar selection. It features golden to dark reddish brown coloring that is often more consistent than that of other Mahogany species. How can one tell the difference? Thank you! Sapele wood is easily available and is grown in abundance while Mahogany is not readily accessible. This, of course, as always, depends on your particular tastes – mostly. This, of course, as always, depends on your particular tastes – mostly. Khaya mahogany is what is typically sold as African mahogany. It was interesting to find this information about the sound qualities as well as some other qualities discussed here. Post Sep 21, 2019 #1 2019-09-21T00:10. But it’s going to be closer to Mahogany than it is to say Rosewood. It’s harder than both Honduran and African Mahogany. You may have seen some guitars that have Sapele back and sides or Mahogany back and sides or Mahogany tops but you might wonder what the difference is. I didn’t expect that this post would ever be used for 3D modelling purposes (or anything outside of acoustic guitars)! Still, there is a long way to go before Sapele wood is as well-known and popular as Mahogany, Rosewood or Cedar. Sapele vs Mahogany Sapele vs Mahogany. Moreover, the difference in tone can only be understood when the Honduran or African Mahogany is used as top woods in a guitar. 133. It adds dimension to my ideas as to what projects to use these two distinct woods for. For beginners, it is practical to buy a Sapele wood guitar at a cheaper price than to go for an expensive Mahogany guitar. It’s a popular choice nowadays for building guitar necks, back and sides. An interesting point to note is that it is quite difficult to make out the difference in tone between these two versions of Mahogany wood. Saroyan’s Sapele Mahogany Flooring An exotic hardwood with rich luster. Thanks guys, any help with this is greatly appreciated. Hi, I too feel your article on the comparison of the two Woods is highly educational. It also removes any residue from the milling process where wax or oils may be present from the machines used to shape/cut the material. The tricky part is that though Mahogany has a distinct identity from Rosewood, Maple, and Cedar, it is very difficult to differentiate between Mahogany and Sapele. Usually, when someone asks what Sapele is, the answer is invariably – “it’s like Mahogany”. All else being equal, Sapele will be a lot like Mahogany, to be fair, but with some subtle differences. African Mahogany (scientific names – Khaya anthotheca, Khaya grandifoliola, Khaya ivorensis, Khaya senegalensis) is harder than Honduran Mahogany and is considered to be the lesser version of Honduran Mahogany. Also, Sapele has a more rich and dark reddish color as compared to Mahogany. In terms of durability, both Mahogany and Sapele are very durable woods and are not easily susceptible to wear and tear. In fact, many guitar manufacturers use Sapele wood in their low-end guitars and use Mahogany only for their high-end guitars. Mahogany is more traditional and slightly more expensive. Sapele just smells better. Sapele then adds some extra high end into the mix. It definitely had the strong mid-range of the D18 (which I eventually inherited, selling the Taylor).