The soul kissing tone that flows from the guitar depends upon many things. The major factor is of course the magic in the fingers that creates the music. But along with that certain body parts of the guitar, say, the strings, body shape, bridge saddles, neck, fretboard, etc have a key role in making beautiful music. Among these, the wood used in making acoustic guitars plays a vital role.
Let’s check out the best woods that can be used for making acoustic guitars.
East Indian Rosewood
The expensive and endangered Brazilian Rosewood is replaced by East Indian Rosewood trees. The porous nature of the wood and hardness makes it best suitable for making acoustic guitar backs and tops. This brownish wood is well known for its rich tones with treble and deep bass.
The heartwood is normally less susceptible to decay and insect attacks and hence the favorite choice of luthiers for ages. The color of the wood tends to darken with age and hence they are best for making fretboards. The rosewoods have peculiar overtones and are best for sharp attacks making it an ideal choice for fingerpicking artists. However, the feedback issues can be a problem while used in a band.
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Also known as genuine mahogany, this wood is used by guitarists who prefer strong midrange tones. Normally comes in darker shades of red, Honduran mahogany is famous for the durability of the wood and hence suitable for backs and sides. It has a moderate texture and straight grain structure, interlocked or irregular.
Honduran mahogany has good strength compare to the weight that makes it moderately easy to work with hands as well as machines. It has good finishing and glues well. They are mainly used for guitar backs, tops, fretboards, bridges, etc. It has a warm tone that sustains well and is popular to play blue. Even though these woods have moderate weights, their strength compared to the weight is excellent. However, due to the exploitation, these species are endangered and are expensive.
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Unlike other woods, its the cream-colored sapwood of Hard Maple that is used instead of heartwood. Even though they have a wavy grain structure, hard maple is quite easy to work with and turns and glues well. Hard Maple wood has high density and low resistance towards rot and insects. Since the resonance fades quickly, it has fewer overtones. The harder, stronger, and stiffer maple woods are the best choice for playing in a band and can also be used for individual focus due to its ability to play higher notes. Hard Maple woods are good for making guitar bodies and necks.
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Spruce wood is said to be the ideal choice for a guitar soundboard or body top. Sitka and Engelmann are very popular among brands like Yamaha and luthiers say they get most orders for these species. The light pale color of the wood looks charming. Normally the spruce wood is known for its smooth and soft tones. Their fine and even structure makes them an easy wood to work with hands as well as machines.
Acoustic guitars made from spruce does well with players who are not following aggressive music notes. However, soundboards made from Adirondack Spruce are said to be a great choice for guitarists who like to play aggressive notes.
Luthiers says that the cedar wood is the second most popular choice for making acoustic guitar tops. The fingerstyle players love this wood due to the warmer tones they produce. And Cedar guitars become better with age and sounds better. Nowadays, classical guitars are mostly made with western red cedar woods. They are easy to work with both hands and machines and also they are extremely durable.
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