Tonewood: Best Lumber for your Musical Instruments

Nature Man

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Saw this article and thought it rather elementary, but perhaps a starting point for some folks wanting to build their own guitars. Chuck

 

Arn213

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Thank you Chuck @Nature Man and Tony @Tony. That article just about touched a little off the surface on guitar building woods. The word “tonewood” is a marketing term that the instrument industry made up to hype up and drum up sales both in raw and finished instruments by builders. They are basically “lumber” (or timber in other parts of the world) and what separates each species from the rest first and foremost is each one has a specific velocity of sound. Some low and some high dampening for their intended purpose for pairing for a specific voicing.

Plywood has been used in the early days of jazzbox archtop building as a core component (not for a soundboard).

Three great “guitar island books” to fully understand and give you greater depth about guitar building construction and guitar building woods those who want to get deep into “the rabbit hole”- I left out other books that is supplementary on classic guitar and electric guitar building:

1). Making the Responsive Guitar by Ervin Somogyi.

2). Contemporary Acoustic Guitar Design & Build by Gilet & Gore.

3). Making an Archtop Guitar by Robert Benedetto.

Arn
 

Sirfishalot

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Some luthiers are masters at determining tone wood combinations to meet musicians desired sound. They charge a comparable price for this craft as well. One in particular is Michael Tobias whois is master at building the electric bass. Check out this Amber burst Cerejeira top on an Avodire body with a maple neck and a Florida rosewood finger board. Nice bottom end with a good punch.
I was lucky enough to get a nice discount on one of their Saratoga precision basses. One of these days I’ll get an instrument made by them to my specifications.

Their website has bunch more examples:

JayT 6416862E-D6AE-476B-84ED-A6EDFC56D6DE.jpeg
 

Andrew T

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For some specific examples, I'd recommend some videos on Youtube by Tom Sands, an acoustic guitar luthier in the UK. His channel has a noticeable marketing side to it, naturally, but he has a series of videos featuring different European and 'exotic' tonewoods that contain a lot of eye candy. It can be found at https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKr01ufk_-gGTee0C7e1Qmos89EDbtbX-, and the rest of the channel has some more eye [and ear] candy of his finished instruments.
 
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