View Full Version : Wood tonal properties

11-18-2008, 06:40 PM
Since many ask for the differences in sound of specific woods, here's a summary of various woods used in guitar making and their general tonal properties. Of course sound preference is all subjective as we have found out by the varying opinions here on strings and wood. Knowledge of wood though is a good place to start in understanding the combinations of body and top combinations and the sound the instrument produces.


11-19-2008, 12:59 AM
Of course sound preference is all subjective...

So is the way we perceive the different woods. Some luthiers have written about the woods in ways that contradict what their colleagues say. Maple, I've read on one site, is 'acoustically transparent' while another calls it bright.

And you have to keep in mind that wood pieces cut from the same tree can sound very different due to changes in grain and density between the slices.

Ah, but it does make a fascinating topic for discussion.

11-19-2008, 05:23 AM
Here's an article by Dana Bourgeois called Tapping Tonewoods (http://www.pantheonguitars.com/tonewoods.htm) and appeared in Acoustic Guitar Magazine, March/April 1994.

11-19-2008, 06:29 AM
I think that enviromental factors such as drought can change the quality of a tree's wood as well.