Edwards Guitars—The Whole Story, and More

Discussion in 'Other Single-Cuts' started by gibiphone, May 7, 2009.

  1. Brynner

    Brynner Senior Member

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    But again, the ambiguity: "Mahoni" refers to Swietenia mahagoni as well as Swietenia macrophylla.
     
  2. gibiphone

    gibiphone Senior Member

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    As an aside, you know Brynner, it wouldn’t really be so bad if Edwards used either, or both. These are two of the only three species of genuine Mahogany—all from the genus Swietenia. In fact Swietenia mahagoni is claimed to sound the brighter of the two, hmmm.

    An interesting factoid is that the species of mahogany hybridize when grown in proximity. So in areas of, say, Java where both Swietenia mahagoni as well as Swietenia macrophylla have been grown for hundreds of years on the same plantation, what have you got? It is pure blood Swietenia but maybe a mix of mahagoni and macrophylla. Mutt-mahogony lololololololol!!!:laugh2:

    Oh well, it’s a win-win situation. I started this line of questioning with ESP because I thought Edwards were made out of African Sapele. At least that has been put to rest. ESP says its “mahogany” so its mahogany—lord knows there is certainly an availability of Indonesian plantation-grown on the market.
     
  3. Brynner

    Brynner Senior Member

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    Actually, I have a "strat" that I made from an Asian "mahogany" body of unspecified origin (other than it was dirt cheap) and that thing sounds incredible - every bit the equal of the more expensive U.S. made Fender alder bodies that I have, and the Asian mahogany body isn't even full thickness. Likewise, I recently played an Agile LP that shocked me with both its build quality and tone (hardware was cheap but the craftsmanship and resonance was top-notch). So as far as tone is concerned I couldn't care less what the Edwards' backs and necks are made of as long as the sonic qualities are there - and there's no reason to think Asian woods are somehow so different than Western woods that they just can't sound good. That's plain foolishness. Personally, I think all this "Honduras" this and "Asian" that is nothing more than snobbery and a reluctance to accept anything other than the traditional tonewoods.

    With that said, I don't think its a good idea to just slap a maple cap on a wood just because it happens to be called "mahogany" in certain parts of the world. The maple cap is there specifically to add brightness, clarity and attack where Gibson saw solid Honduras mahogany bodies relatively lacked those qualities. In my experience, at least some Asian "mahoganies" sound quite alder-like and don't need maple caps at all. However, I'm sure ESP knows this and whatever type of mahogany they selected, it was chosen to closely mimic the tonal characteristics of the original Honduras variety bodies.

    Other than that, I couldn't care less what type of wood Edwards is using - it's all about the tone and the guitar, not the nationality of the wood merely for snobbery. I'm just trying to be as unbiased and factual as possible. I think if we pay for something we have the right to know what it is.
     
  4. doublecut

    doublecut Senior Member

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    I have 2 Gibson Honduran Mahogany guitars and while they are pretty good so are my Northern Ash and Alder and Basswood Fenders and my Agathis Squires and my Greco and Orville African Mahogany guitars.

    There is nothing special about Honduran Mahogany to me but it seems to go well with PAF's and it's what the 60s and 70s Rock dudes used and all that. Actually Jimmy Page used Telecasters (made from ?) and Gibsons and others and they all sound like Jimmy Page is playing them and not the dude up the street.

    In the end a guitar is just some wood with pickups etc and it's up to the player to do something with it and not just look at it or think how great the wood is and what it's value is etc.

    Basswood gets a bad deal on forums because it's apparently relatively cheap and I don't know if anybody has actually looked up basswood cubic metre prices but it does get used on some inexpensive guitars but it also gets used on expensive guitars like the Wolfgang with a maple top.

    Some forum posters will post about how bad Basswood is and then recommend E serial Fender Japan guitars which were made out of Basswood in a lot of cases.

    It's just feature snobbery and maybe concerns about being charged more than they should if the wood price is in the low region on world markets.
     
  5. Brynner

    Brynner Senior Member

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    What I have noticed after having an Edwards and a Gibson together for about a year now is that the Gibson has more mids whereas the Edwards has a deeper bottom end and clearer highs, with less prominant mids than the Gibson. Perhaps that's why the Gibson goes so well with PAF style pickups, which are somewhat mid-scooped by nature. Having said that though, the differences aren't "one is better than the other", just slightly different strengths - much of which can be "adjusted" by choice of pickups anyway. A few tweaks of the amp here and there and it really would be difficult to tell the difference, and if you could it wouldn't be any more prominent than the difference between two Gibsons.

    Actually, all that snobbery aside, I have a couple of basswood guitars and they sound beautiful - none of that overly powerful mids and fuzzy sound that urban myth often attributes to basswood. In fact, I find it quite balanced and very alder-like (much like my Asian "mahogany" strat), and that's in direct comparison to two Fender alder-bodied strats I have (one of which is a Jeff Beck body and got the pick of the litter when it came to wood). Yes, basswood does have a little fuller mids than alder, and maybe not quite as "full" in the lows and highs, but the difference is subtle - certainly not the terrible tone some people would have us believe - and even then it's a subtle difference not in a "bad" way. I suspect most people wouldn't be able to detect the difference by ear at all. With that said, for those with the "ear" to pick up on it, the Beck body is incredible - probably the fullest, most balanced and resonant Strat I've ever heard - but the Asian mahogany strat really isn't that far behind. Quite a :shock: when you consider that the Asian "mahogany" body was about $30 and the Beck about $300.

    But back to the point, so far I've found the Asian mahoganies more alder-like, than Honduras mahogany-like, with slightly fuller mids than alder, but very well-balanced in general. The Edwards I've found to have less mids than a typical Gibson, but fuller bass and trebles. Could be that whatever "mahogany" ESP is using for Edwards it doesn't have quite as thick mids as Gibson's Honduras mahogany ...or it could be just the characteristics of my two particular LPs (Edwards and Gibson) - different neck thicknesses, ebony vs. rosewood fretboard, etc. But I'd truly be at a loss to say which one sounds "better".
     
  6. Tuxedo Kaz

    Tuxedo Kaz Senior Member

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    I love basswood. I was going to do a basswood + maple top Suhr Modern at one point. :D
     
  7. gibiphone

    gibiphone Senior Member

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    I had some spare time, so decided to check around some more about the ESP factory in northeast China where the initial phase of construction on the Edwards line takes place. Found some more evidence for a coupla of previously listed factoids in this string:

    --Total employment at the ESP plant in Jixi, Heilongjiang, China runs between 120-130 from 2008 to present

    --The actual physical address appears to be No. 72 Xishan Rd, Jixi, Heilongjiang, China. The address of the joint venture shows up most often as being No. 20, Xishan Rd., but this address is also used by other non-related export enterprises. This might very well be the address of a Jixi Municipality export clearinghouse.

    --The Chinese government investor in the Heilongjiang ESP Electronic Audio Co., Ltd. is the WeiLong (Great Dragon) Plastic Electronics Products Company, Ltd.

    --In 2010, the value of manufacturing and trade of the joint venture will reach $US 801,000. (黑龙江ESP电子音响有限公司今年加工贸易将实现80.1万美元) ????-???????????

    --Heilongjiang ESP Electronic Audio Co., Ltd. ranks 32nd among the top 100 companies in China’s Electronic Musical Instrument Industry, according to a document entitled “Chinese Electronic Musical Instrument Competitor Analysis Report” issued by the Industry Research Report Network. By way of comparison, and perhaps of interest to some on this forum, the Gibson Joint Venture in Qingdao ranks 14th on this list. (2002年,GIBSON在中国青岛独资建立了青岛吉森乐器有限公司) These ratings were based on business operation, market share, growth rate, the company's overall strength in comprehensive evaluation against peers. (ä¸*国电å*ä¹å™¨åˆ¶é€*行业竞争对手分析报告-chanye1-chanye1-金融界博客)
     
  8. SingeMonkey

    SingeMonkey Senior Member

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    I think Edwards needs to be judged on their quality of course, not their place of origin - and they certainly seem to be the best MIC LPs.

    But I'm intrigued by how light they mostly seem to be, and how they can provide 1 piece backs so cheap. I mean, Swietenia macrophylla is Honduran Mahogany and Swietenia mahogany is Cuban Mahogany. If that stuff's what Edwards is using, why isn't Gibson, and Tokai and that lot? African Mahogany is really awesome, and my Tokai is by far the best LP I've ever played, but you'd think it'd be a way to produce lighter, solid-backed LPs cheaper.

    Sure, I can imagine it'll be a little different grown in Asia (although if it's at the same latitudes as in S. America, I can't imagine it'd be very different), but it certainly doesn't seem to be bad different.
     
  9. Marco78

    Marco78 Senior Member

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    The gibson USA don't use Honduras Mahogany, only Historic and so Studio LesPaul aren't Honduras...
     
  10. Backinit

    Backinit Junior Member

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    Thanks for the information. I have a E-LP-92SD that I found used at a music store. It's in my least favorite sunburst, but I couldn't pass it up after a played it.
     
  11. JimmyPage968

    JimmyPage968 Senior Member

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    They do use veneers on their tops?
     
  12. wulfman

    wulfman ABB Fan Premium Member

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    Yes, except for the Pure Material series and the old Edwards plaintops from the late 80's.
     
  13. tonebone

    tonebone Senior Member

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    Only 31 PM's made.

    "Edwards plaintops from the late 80's." And early 90's? Look for the double ring tuners.
     
  14. Mouse

    Mouse Senior Member

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    You can bring two mediterranean goats to China to make Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano ie Sylvania Necrophilia :thumb:
     
  15. JimmyPage968

    JimmyPage968 Senior Member

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    This has probably been asked and answered many times, so forgive me. Does Edwards use a 17 or 18 degree headstock pitch?
     
  16. Dino Velvet

    Dino Velvet Senior Member

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    Resurrecting this because the pictures I took inside the ESP custom shop of Navigator construction showed up on another forum with someone claiming them to be Edwards....:laugh2: As for the wood, well it's almost impossible to build a sub 8LB, LP Std out of real mahogany/maple and not have it be chambered or weight relieved.
     
  17. nicoch

    nicoch Senior Member

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    Parmigiano ? I like a lot :thumb:
     
  18. tonebone

    tonebone Senior Member

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    It's been said by someone in the know, that Jimmy Page's #1 is sub 8lb.
     
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  19. Boyinblack

    Boyinblack Senior Member

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    that 's true. Page's number 1 is under 8 pounds.

    I was showing a friend of mine my LP 112 LTS-RE (Jimmy Page super circuit wiring)

    he's convinced that it is chambered we were knocking on the body and there does seem to be an open area...you can clearly hear the difference in the back upper part of the body./

    I know I've only ever read Edwards are NOT chambered or weight relieved...but there's some evidence based on what I can feel and hear when knocking on my guitar that would lead me to believe otherwise.

    anyone with more knowledge have an Edwards and gave it some tests of their own.

    just wondering.
     
  20. Izzy Stradlin

    Izzy Stradlin Senior Member

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    You know what you gotta do : take a saw !
     
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