Six types of Tonewood and The Sounds They Create

The body of a guitar is one of the largest factors in its sound quality and lifespan. The neck and the type of wood used in the creation are also extremely crucial. If you’re trying to select a tonewood, consider the effect it will have on the sound, versus your play style. For example, if you want a bit of twang in your sound, you’d avoid swamp-ash.

Below, you’ll find a few brief facts on some very popular types of tonewood, including our specialty, Sitka Spruce tonewood.

  • Alder

Commonly used by Fender in the early 60’s, this medium-weight tonewood provides a guitar with a clear, full body sound.

  • Ash/Swamp Ash

A light wood, usually taken from lower portions of ash trees, particularly in southern wetland areas. With form lows and attractive highs, this wood produces tangy, sweet sounds.

  • Mahogany

An ideal choice for basic multi-wood guitars, this wood helped birth many classic guitars like the Gibson Les Paul series. Mahogany is a medium to heavy wood, which provides a warm, soft tone.

  • Basswood

A ubiquitous wood, often found at affordable prices or in bulk deals. Basswood meets the standards of many high-end luthiers. This is a soft, light wood creating a fat, well-balanced tone.

  • Rosewood

A high quality, highly esteemed tonewood commonly used for flattop acoustic guitars and fret boards. One of the heaviest woods available, it can sometimes dampen very low or very high tones

  • Sitka Spruce
    This tonewood comes from tall, fast-growing trees. With strong bodies and full, high-quality sound, this a favored wood among many guitar enthusiast. Sitka spruce produces the best possible sounds, which is why many luthiers prefer this tonewood.
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