Maple is known for its dense brightness and definition. The result is a tough, resilient material that lends itself well to fretboard use. The main reason for this is that it suits just about any and every style of playing. This is partially due to changes in regulation that restrict the circulation of certain rare woods, most notably affecting rosewood, granadillo and bubinga. Sitka’s combination of strength and elasticity translates into a broad dynamic range, yielding crisp articulation and allowing for everythi… Imagine two rooms, one small and one large. On the other hand, the relative prominence of the overtones in the sound it generates results in cedar being a favourite among fingerstyle players who value the quality and character of tone above volume and clarity. It was actually a pretty interesting video because you could actually hear the tonal differences quite clearly. Maple might make a good option for a fingerboard if your body wood offers a darker, warmer tone; the maple will balance it out and deliver a more balanced tone. Here you can find photos of some of the tonewoods we’re presently using in shop, and brief summaries of their physical and acoustical characteristics. Caramel colour with contrasting patterned grain. It’s also prized for volume, balance and articulation, making it one of the best all around tonewoods there is. How things “sound” is different for everyone, and the best thing you can do is listen to lots of guitars made with different tonewoods, and train your ear to pick up the subtle differences between them in your own terms. The midrange is where it differs, however, with a healthy bark that puts it somewhere in between rosewood and mahogany. The wood used to form the back and sides of an acoustic guitar sound chamber does a lot more than simply look good and create an enclosure. If the wood is less dense, the sound will have more space in the grain to move around in, so you can expect a darker resonance with increased sustain! Engelmann for example, tends to be a little whiter and creamier than Sitka, but all Spruces are in the same ballpark ‘creamy white’ category. An African tone wood closely related to Mahogany, Sapele is similar in both look and sound. Its instantly recognisable dark appearance is both subtle and striking at the same time. Everything you need to know about the acoustic guitar tonewood options available on the market today! This makes it a good choice for live performance because the clarity of tone cuts through the mix well, and feedback is less likely to be problematic. White Oak is another wood with a low velocity of sound and a high degree of internal damping. It’s worth noting that Spruce does tend to tan over the years resulting in older Spruce top guitars taking on more of a yellow hue. Black Cherry has a density and reflectivity approaching that of Maple. It is well known for making an instrument sound bright and loud, and generates a tight, focused tone with little overtone presence. Mahogany vs Rosewood | Differences you need to know! Cedar tends to produce slightly richer overtones, and this results in a tone with less sparkle but more character. The wood has nice tight grain, and often displays beautiful bee’s wing and fiddleback figure. Unfortunately, I don't remember the URL of the post or of the video . In the large room however, you’ll notice the sound echoes around more, meaning the sound lasts longer but loses clarity. Bubinga is a extremely stiff wood that is popular for electric bass necks and in laminates. Privacy Policy. Due to the unpredictable and ever-changing nature of this growth, you can almost certainly expect inconsistencies and imperfections at every level of detail, whether it’s an unmistakable fist-sized knot or a microscopic hole. Padauk has been said to be a promising replacement for generic Rosewood. White Oak was used by Stella and other makers in the 20’s, and only recently has been drawing attention as an alternative to exotic tonewoods. Curly maple (also known as flamed Maple) and quilted maple are the two most commonly seen, although birdseye maple does make an appearance every now and then. This is an appealing trait to many players who tend to refer to it as playing ‘fast’ because of its naturally smooth, solid feel. Goes Well With: Everything. The Brazilian variety tends to have the more striking appearance of the two, with a dark brown complexion with rich orange hints, and fine black lines in the figuring. Sapele has a slight blunting effect on cutters, but it turns, glues, and finishes well. In some cases (particularly for guitar tops), the solid piece of wood is divided into two and mirrored – you’ll often notice a distinct divide in the middle of a guitar top when this is the case. With a rich dark reddish-brown colour, mahogany is very easy to spot. EIR is generally pretty easy to spot as being different, although the colouring is often a similar dark chocolate brown. Although maple is frequently employed as the back and sides tone wood for violins, it’s not quite as common in acoustic guitar building. Its tonal brightness, woody midrange and dark, rich appearance have proven popular among numerous luthiers; for many, it’s something of a departure from the usual suspects, resulting in a uniquely beautiful instrument that remains versatile and playable. The Martin 15 series is a good example of modern mahogany-topped acoustics. Summary: rarely used as a top, but produces a warm tone with excellent midrange and bass emphasis, with a reddish-orange colour and an even grain pattern. Bubinga Tonewood. Due to the aforementioned changes in CITES regulations, it has become less common, with the East Indian variety being used more often in acoustic guitar construction. In terms of tone, ebony provides a very responsive bright, snappy and crisp attack coupled with a smooth sustain. Here’s a selection of some of the most common options and their characteristics: Rosewood has arguably been the most common fretboard wood for quite some time, although it took a dip under CITES restrictions – but will no doubt grow in popularity once again. Rosewood isn’t susceptible to staining or wearing out like some softer tonewoods can be, so it’s perfect for fretboards – the most frequently attacked bit of your guitar! Wood can be arranged and utilised in a number of ways when it comes to building acoustic guitars. Odor: Sapele has a distinct, cedar-like scent while being worked. Light, golden colour with a rich variety of distinct grain types. In time, the brightness mellows, resulting in a warm rounded sparkle and rich low end. You’ll see a number of species of used in acoustic guitar construction, the most common being Sitka, Engelmann (also known as European) and Adirondack (also known as Eastern Red Spruce). Overall, spruce delivers a broad dynamic range, with a crisp and immediate articulation of sound and little harmonic complexity. Light, golden colour with a rich variety of distinct grain types. I'm more familiar with Rosewood and Mahogany acoustics, where does Sapele fit in? Summary: immediate, balanced tone with little complexity. Ranging from cinnamon, through honey brown, and onto light chocolate in colour, cedar is relatively easily identifiable as being a darker brown than spruce. Thanks, Walnut is a resilient wood similar to rosewood. There are several reasons for this, but its appearance certainly isn’t one of them; maple tonewood can boast numerous different figuring patterns, all of which can look absolutely stunning! As well as looking great on the top of an acoustic, it lends itself very well to plugged-in performances thanks to that quality note definition. It provides a bright tone and defined bottom. It’s technically a brand name, but in the guitar world, it means a composite of materials that’s bonded by a number of resins. As the term may suggest, laminated wood is a number of thinner layers of wood that are stuck together with adhesives and pressure to form a sheet. Black Walnut produces excellent balance, with tonal characteristics that fall between Mahogany and Rosewood. The top (also referred to as the soundboard) is one of the components that stands in between your strings and the bulk of the guitar’s body, so the wood used has to be carefully considered. Strong mids and highs serve to reinforce overtones generated by the top, contributing to a fatness of tone in the upper registers. Cherry has no pores, so it finishes beautifully and develops a lovely dark, redish hue over time. Better vibration means better sustain and better tone! The mid-range frequency is the sweet spot for most acoustic guitars, and Honduran Mahogany is a mid-range powerhouse. It provides a bright tone and defined bottom. It’s not a particularly common fretboard wood for acoustic guitars, more often seen on electrics. Acoustic Guitar Tonewoods | Mahogany vs. Because of this, the choice of fretboard wood is one of the most important things to consider in terms of feel and playability. It’s worth noting that again, similarly to koa, the tone of walnut will become warmer and softer with age.

sapele vs rosewood

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