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Thread: "Sinker" on Sigs

  1. #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel View Post
    Grisson never said he was quoting anyone and he never said his only information came from Mr. Smith. He only said he first heard of it from Mr. Smith. The only word we have from Paul Smith is what is in the video he made and he did not conflict himself. Please define sinker mahogany.



    Waiting for the expert to stop evading the question. I am not an expert and that's why I asked for an industry standard definition.


    The first part of your post is incorrect, What video did you watch? The second part both humbles and confuses me that you would call me an expert (I'm not) but I promise I'm not evading anything. David is very clearly paraphrasing an actual conversation that took place between him and Paul. So to make it extra clear for you ill go ahead and transcribe David Grissoms words at the same time giving you not one, but two definitions, that's value!

    DG:
    "And Im like what is Sinker Mahogany? And he (Paul) explained to me that Sinker Mahogany is uh the blanks come from mahogany trees that have been cut down and apparently they are too close to the river or lake uh that they grow next to that they fall in the water, they go to the bottom of the river or the lake. They're there for a number of years and the process, uh, the pressure thats put on the wood underneath the water causes the sugar , the naturally occuring sugars and minerals in the wood to break down quicker than they would otherwise..."

    There is a definition ^ We shall henceforth refer to it as PRShDEF#ONE, it is in line with the industry standard definition of Sinker Mahogany***(see references below)

    He continues with

    "You know he (Paul) also explained to me that if you take a 400 year old Stradivarius violin, that process is occuring within that guitar, the difference here is that you have a wood that is available in very limited quantities, but the process of those compounds breaking down occurs in a much quicker pace so the effect is that the wood itself is much more resonant"

    He goes on to conclude this section with

    DG: "So Paul says hes been trying to get a hold of this wood (the reclaimed river wood referenced as PRShDEF#ONE)for 20 years



    Lets move on a bit to the video of PRSh at the factory, you know the one where he discuses "Finding a truckload of wood so heavy and dense the illusion is that it would sink in water"

    Lets refer to this definition as PRShDEF#TWO

    We now have two very different definitions (PRShDEF#ONE and PRShDEF#TWO) of Sinker Mahogany credited to one man. This creates confusion and quite apparently controversy among those who expect one or the other.

    My original intention in posting the Grissom video was to demonstrate that Paul knew what the industry standard term for SM was (PRShDEF#ONE), so much so that he educated one of his most famous artists on its provenence All the while taking a different wood (PRShDEF#TWO) and naming it the same thing. This sounds like disingenuous marketing to me.

    I dont think there was some massive conspiracy in Maryland to dupe guitar players around the world, PRS has a long history of great instruments and customer service. I just think the hype machine got a bit ahead of itself here and someone demonstrated a poor lack of judgement

    I would also like to make it clear that I dont care if wood comes out of a river or the Popes back yard if it sounds good im all for it, I cant wait to try one of the SIG LTD's even with the unfortunate marketing gimmick its now attached to.


    ***Here are sources backing my above claim that reclaimed wood that has been submerged is referred to as 'Sinker' in the industry at large thus constituting a standard definition, let me know if you need more...

    http://rctonewoods.com/RCT_Store/ind...dex&cPath=1_42
    http://mandoweb.com/Instruments/Martin-CS-D18-12/3105
    http://www.hearnehardwoods.com/flitc...ny/flitch.html
    http://lumberjocks.com/projects/66607
    http://www.dogtrot-lumber.com/lumber/lumber6000.htm
    Last edited by Faded; 05-30-2012 at 11:17 AM.
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  2. #182
    Senior Member AP515's Avatar
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    Controversies usually exist because people gravitate to one of the two ends of the issue, when the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle. I suspect PRSH knew about sunken logs that are reclaimed. Whether he knew they have a moniker that happens to be the same as the term HE coined for a particularly dense wood is unknown. It is entirely possible that he truly did coin the term for his dense wood 25 years ago and didn't contemplate that the industries name for a different wood was exactly the same. I don't think he intentionally tried to mislead anyone, he was just ignorant of what his industry used for a term that he should have known. I can see where PRSH would be reluctant to admit he used the term without knowing a broader definition that his industry used. It would be embarrassing. But I would not think less of him if I knew he was ignorant of an industry term. He makes guitars. He has buyers that get wood for him. Big deal if he is not as up to speed on wood terms as he might be expected to be. It is also true that PRS (the company) should have known that people would take the more broad term and definition when it was used for a limited series of guitars. I think the best thing for PRS to do has already been voiced. Offer to buy back any Sig from a person who is unhappy. I suspect few guitars will be returned. Their usual resellers can then resell any that do come back as "reclaimed sinker mahogany" Sig guitars at used prices (yes the irony was intended). In the end they will keep their fine reputation and will not lose much money in the deal. I got dibs on the first one returned....
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  3. #183
    Senior Member themike's Avatar
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    It's hard to keep track of all these sinker threads on all the various sites but bottom line is the wood that they did use is still graded as a private stock grade wood.

    I would assume that no one would have purchased or kept the guitar if they were unhappy with how it looks or sounds and until this definition of sinker situation arrose, I've heard nothing but absolutely raved reviews of guitars using this wood.
    Last edited by themike; 05-30-2012 at 01:38 PM.
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  4. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel View Post
    Yes Jamie, I know. I've read enough BS about this too so I though I'd call the question. People keep writing that Paul Smith knew this made-up marketing term to mean something other than what he has said (calling him a liar) so I'd like them to state the official definition (and of course they'll need to give an authortative source). No takers. Go figure.
    See my in-depth post above with cited sources and transcribed dialogue. Go figure.
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  5. #185
    Senior Member Daniel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faded View Post
    See my in-depth post above with cited sources and transcribed dialogue. Go figure.
    I did. Not a definition to be found on any of those sites. I'd been to a couple of those before, notably the RC Tonewoods site. The mandoweb site description (not a definition) is great in that it makes fun of the whole concept of sinker mahogany. "[W]ood that is alleged to have been submerged many scores of fathoms below the surface of the river where, under more pressure than a sophomore with a statistics test tomorrow morning it becomes ďas oneĒ with the environment to which it was subject and its molecules compressed like a stack of five (5) IHOP pancakes under a 4-ton steamroller." It gets funnier from there and they manage to work in the 1953 movie Shane and White Castle hamburgers. I read "many scores of fathoms" and was thinking "WTF?" but as I read on I realized they were basically saying, here's the story on this wood but it's a load of crap.

    The RC Tonewoods site is notable in that comparing that site to one you didn't list, the Huss & Dalton guitars site, I'm fairly certain RC supplied H&D with their "sinker mahogany" (The H&D wording is straight off the RC site and H&D attributes it to their supplier). The interesting thing about that is the H&D site has photos supposedly showing the trees being recovered from the river in Belize. The photos do not show sunken logs but rather trees that have blown or fallen over into the river and are only partly submerged, partly still on the riverbank. The parts that are under water are just barely so and during the dry season in Belize are probably not at all.

    The Hearne Hardwoods site claims to have coined a new phrase, "We are calling it "Sinker Belizean Mahogany"...." and then goes on to repeat the same stuff as RC and H&D about British Colonies and small boats and pulleys which makes a great sales pitch but none of it has anything to do with the actual wood in question. Lumber Jocks spins yet another bit of nonsense. First, they say the locals were given permission to harvest this lumber from the river (so the trees were growing in the river?). Then they go on to make this amazing claim that really isn't a claim but they know some folks will always see what they want to see, "Iíve seen the logging maps from the British that were taking this lumber back to Europe in the 17-1800ís, so you can almost find out where it came from. Who knows how old it was when it was logged." Clever sales pitch. They don't make any actual claim about the provenance of the wood at all but they throw out a bunch of nonsense and let the buyer's mind fill in his own details. The Dog Trot site doesn't mention mahogany at all, only "sinker oak" and "sinker cypress". I found "sinker cypress" really funny. A tree that grows in water in a swamp is considered "sinker" if it falls over?

    As for the Wildwood video, paraphrasing is not quoting. We do not know how much time passed between David's conversation with Paul, which happened the last time they "visited Wildwood together", and the time the videos were made, which we know was at least enough time for Wildwood to decide on the specs of those guitars and for the Private Stock team to build all twenty of them. Who else did David talk to about "sinker" wood during those several months? Did he mix any information sources up? That IS A SALES VIDEO so of course he's going to make it sound as cool and authoritative as possible. What better source to attribute the info to than the man himself? I am old enough to know that when two respectable people say different things about the same thing there is usually an innocent mistake in there somewhere and you will never know what it is until those two sit in front of you and explain it.

    Now let me get to my point. I kept asking you to give me a definition of sinker mahogany. You never did. It was a trick question or sorts. There is no definition of sinker mahogany. It is a made-up BS term used by salesmen to sell wood. Anyone one can have his or her own definition of it and they are all correct and all wrong. What is it? Wood that got wet? In a river, in a lake, in the ocean, in the rain? Fully submerged or partly? For how long, 30 seconds, 30 years, 300 years? What does it take? Fresh water or salt water? How deep, 1 foot, 100 feet, 1000 feet, many scores of fathoms? (FYI, only ten score of fathoms is 1200 feet and is 50% deeper than the deepest river on the planet, the Congo. A bit beyond small boats and pulleys to recover I think.) Now let me speculate for a second (my speculation is every bit as worthless as anyone else's and this thread has been full of nothing but speculation), maybe Paul Smith told David Grissom exactly, word for word, what David said in that video but then Paul did some research, realized "sinker mahogany" could be anything you wanted it to be so he came up with what he called "sinker" mahogany. Perfectly legitimate.

    Now for my final words in this thread. (You're welcome ) Paul Smith could have made a video that said, "All the wood used in these guitar necks came from mahogany trees cut in 1855 that spent 155 years on the bottom of a river, was recovered in 2010 and sold to us." No customer could have ever proven him wrong and that would have made a tidy ending for the story. He didn't say anything like that. Because he didn't try to make any elegant cover up that would have made some un-informed consumers happy, I believe his explanation. I will continue to believe it until someone offers proof, not speculation, not heresay and not outright BS, to the contrary. At that time, should it ever occur, all I will have to say is, "So what? I knew before I bought that sinker wood is just sales BS and doesn't mean anything. I mean, come on, don't tell me some doofus put any stock in that term without checking it out first."

  6. #186
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    Oops, my head just blew up.

  7. #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel View Post
    As for the Wildwood video, paraphrasing is not quoting.
    You're right, David's lying and he made the whole thing up. He must've gotten all that info from his other guitar company owning buddy while discussing specs for his other Sig model...silly me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel View Post
    Now let me get to my point. I kept asking you to give me a definition of sinker mahogany. You never did. It was a trick question or sorts. There is no definition of sinker mahogany. Now let me speculate for a second (my speculation is every bit as worthless as anyone else's and this thread has been full of nothing but speculation), maybe Paul Smith told David Grissom exactly, word for word, what David said in that video but then Paul did some research, realized "sinker mahogany" could be anything you wanted it to be so he came up with what he called "sinker" mahogany. Perfectly legitimate.
    I gave you two definitions both from Paul Reed Smith as he seems to understand the term, two very different definitions. I also gave you the websites to demonstrate a consensus. What is that consensus? "Submerged" or "Reclaimed from water" each site has a slightly different set of circumstances surrounding the wood, but the consensus is there. So while it may be perfectly legitimate to know one commonly held meaning of a term and name something else the same thing it is disingenuous.
    Last edited by Faded; 05-31-2012 at 12:11 PM.
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  8. #188
    Senior Member 11top's Avatar
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    Wow. I'm really tired of this. The bottom line is that it doesn't matter where it came from; it matters how good it is. IMO, it's damn good. Can we move on please?
    Sh*tter's full

  9. #189
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    I like pie.

  10. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taller View Post
    I like pie.
    Me too, I'm done with this one. Inserting head back into sand...
    Last edited by Faded; 05-31-2012 at 12:13 PM.
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  11. #191
    Carvin Striations cwhenke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 11top View Post
    Can we move on please?
    I asked the Magic 8 Ball, and it said, "Yes, definitely."

    Man, I hope that's right...
    Too many and never enough...

  12. #192
    Senior Member veinbuster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 11top View Post
    Wow. I'm really tired of this. The bottom line is that it doesn't matter where it came from; it matters how good it is. IMO, it's damn good. Can we move on please?
    Sounds good to me.

  13. #193

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