Adi spruce vs. Mahogany? Discover Your Dream Acoustic Tone ★ Acoustic Tuesday 284

Ready to hear the difference between Spruce and Mahogany guitars? Same builder, similar models, but different tonewoods — which one would you choose? 

I’m beyond excited for today’s Acoustic Tuesday episode. We have a special treat as we dive into the world of Thompson Guitars, handcrafted in Sisters, Oregon. This time, we’ll be comparing two absolutely incredible guitars from their lineup: the Thompson DC-MA and the Thompson MAD-ADI. Grab your pick, sit back, and get ready for a tonal adventure!

The first guitar I’ll be showcasing is the Thompson DCMA. This mahogany dreadnought beauty boasts deep and dark tones that will make your ears swoon. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the build quality, playability, and how that mahogany goodness provides a rich and resonant sound that’ll leave you craving more.

Next up is the Thompson MAD-ADI, crafted from Adirondack spruce. This guitar is the perfect contrast to the DC-MA, offering a much brighter and lighter tone. I’ll delve into what makes the Adirondack spruce so special, and how its unique properties contribute to the guitar’s overall sound and projection.

Throughout the episode, I’ll be playing both of these incredible instruments side by side, so you can hear the distinct differences in their tonal qualities. I’m excited to share my insights and help you decide which one might be the right fit for your playing style and taste.

We’ll also cover two fundraisers that are very near and dear to me. Please consider donating to make sure these musicians’ lives are honored properly.

The first documentary is called ORACLE: The Life & Music of Michael Hedges. You can donate by clicking the link below:

The second  fundraiser is for the Mississippi John Hurt Documentary Film. Click the link below to learn more and get involved:

Submit your guitarsenal at the link below! 

Also featured in this episode…
– Thompson Guitars  
– Tommy Emmanuel  
– Molly Tuttle  
– WesternAF  
– Willi Carlisle  
– Chandler Huntley

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  1. Tony, I prefer the rose wood of the 2 dreadnoughts you played on the show. I play finger style mostly slower style. And I love the rosewood tone on high single notes. But I did just get a Taylor 322 12 fret because it sounds so sweet. And it’s all mahogany. Traded my used Taylor 12 string all koa that was too bright for me (and hard for old hands to play) tom

  2. If you prefer mohog you rrally need to try nickel (monel) strings. Pure woody. boom box with very little sparkley overtone. For this reason most people do not like them on rosewood which is meant to sparkle

  3. A woman odds on trial for beating her husband to death with his guitar collection. The judge asked “First offender?” Her response, “No, first s Gibson, then a Fender.”

  4. Spruce vs. mahogany? Both guitars are Adirondack Spruce… do you mean rosewood vs mahogany?
    My favorite guitar I ever played was a Bougeois Adirondack/Madagascar deep body om. Unbelievably rich tone.

  5. Just want you to know that I’ve just contributed to the Michael Hedges doc. He was an innovator and an INCREDIBLE guitarist. I’m lucky enough to have seen him once live (at Ravinia Park). I encourage all my fellow Guitar Geeks to chip in and get this film produced!

  6. Since you asked… both of those Thompsons sound lovely. The Cuban Mahogany one is mellower than most mahogany backed dreads. But I just love the Rosewood! No surprise, since I like a mellower sound with lots of midrange overtones.
    BTW, I sort’a wanted to hear some bluegrass on the Rosewood, just for comparison.

  7. Hea Tony, love the sound of the madagascar, and cant wait for the resonators. will you have any Gretsch or to cheap. And you sounded great. Thanks your friend Guy B. Ruskin FL.

  8. I would really be interested to hear how these guitars would pair up to, say Gibson or Martin equivalents. The adi-mahogany to a J-45 True Vintage (what I play) and the Mad-adi to D28 (my dream guitar)

  9. I like the complexity of the Mad-Add. Though of course, they are both great!
    (btw….I am a 2 day guitar player…just bought my first Guitar today, a Baby Taylor!!!)

  10. Hey Tony,
    They both sound awesome “on my laptop” but the mahogany was my favorite.
    Different tools for different jobs


  11. Definitely the rosewood. I’ve only had mahogany guitars but have always aspired to a rosewood and the mad adi is a delight, much nicer on its own whereas the mahogany would work better as you said cutting through other noise.

  12. For my taste it’s the MAD-ADI … love that tone … and it is beeeutifuul! But, you never said how much … quite a bit, I suspect. Anyway, thanks for the comparison.

  13. Always excited about Tuesday and with Thompson there certainly is nothing undesirable with either choice. My ear wants to dance with mahogany and relax more with rosewood. So today I say . . . Mahogany please !!

  14. I LOVE mahogany guitars – usually. In this case, though, the MAD ADI wins hands down. From the first strum, I loved it’s full, rich sound – perfect for singing, which is what it’s all about for me.
    Speaking of which, it would be nice to hear you sing on some of these demos, Tony ( something besides “More pretty girls than one”!)

  15. Which guitar? Wow the overtones on the rosewood guitar, I pick this one. I think it’s because I own a mahogany guitar and we always want what we don’t have. Great description of the sonic differences here Tony.

  16. I like the mahogany, but I’m a strummer period. I’d like to hear about what you have that you consider strummer guitars. I like the deep sound of my Taylor over my Martin, but I’m no expert.

  17. I usually play an all mahagony 000-15, so I thought the mahogany would agree with me. But for these 2 Thopson guitars, t I prefer the rosewood.

  18. Hi Tony, I’m a new TAC member. So this is my first acoustic Tuesday. I’ve banged on the guitar (in my own particular way ) For a long time. But I think I’m actually ready to try to learn it for real. I’d probably be a spruce guy. It sounds like it could express some deeper emotions. Thanks for the introduction to Michael Hedges I’m looking forward to a closer listen. When I hear “Something Shines ” I go right to Chris Whitley (RIP) he was a God. And North Carolina is the State where Jim Lauderdale was born. I have only recently discovered his music. And I’ve become obsessed. And he just released a new Album ” Game Changer”. So Thanks, I’m really looking forward to my TAC Journey. Mark

  19. Too many guitars. Lucky for me I just started at age 66, two years ago. Happily married for 45 years plus… if I had started guitar even a decade earlier, based on having acquired in the past two years a classical, a flamenco, and a couple of acoustics, my wife would have (justly) either rubbed me out for the insurance and the proceeds from the guitar sale… or worse.

  20. Tony, thanks for sharing those beautiful Thompsons! Love them both, but the MadAddie really touched my soul, to get “spiritual”. At the first sound, my chest welled up and my eyes began to tear. Then I realized my Martin D-41 is very similar to MadAddie. Made me love my Martin even more. Thanks

  21. Great show Tony! I think I prefer the mahogany, but that is through media – I might hear things much differently live in person. I’ll say this, it would be great to have just the right guitar for each type of song or tune!

  22. I prefer the rosewood model because its warmth and lush overtones better suit what I play mostly. But, what I really enjoyed from this comparison is being to hear the difference between the two. My tonal vocabulary isn’t well developed, and I’m often not sure what’s meant when people talk about overtones, but this comparison made it clear. Thanks, Tony!