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Acoustic Guitar Wood / Guitar Tonewood

At Lichty Guitars when we say custom guitar – we mean a guitar that is built just for you. That process begins when you select the specific set of wood that you’d like your instrument to be built from. We have on hand, at all times, a wide selection of premium exotic and domestic guitar tonewoods. Look through our selection and see which set of acoustic guitar wood “has your name on it.”

“I look for wood that speaks to me both visually and tonally. What I’m after is wood that has that wow factor – a powerful blend of  stop-you-in-your-tracks beauty and a rich tonal quality.  Selection of the very best wood is where the joy in building each guitar begins.” – Jay

acoustic guitar wood

A few things to note:

  • Looking for immediate gratification? Check out the handmade acoustic guitars we have available for immediate sale.
  • Click on the image of the tonewood gallery name and you will open up a gallery that includes all sets that we currently have.
  • For most types of guitar tonewood / ukulele tonewood you can also click on the instrument gallery in that section to see finished instruments built from that wood
  • See the Instrument Price Calculator on the Customize Your Own Guitar  page if you are interested in a custom acoustic guitar or ukulele and would like to know the additional cost (if any) of a specific kind of wood
  • Note: Putting a finish on wood transforms its color and warmth. Images of unfinished wood require a bit of imagination to picture the vibrancy of the finished instrument
  • If you do not see what you are looking for we can contact our premium suppliers and round most anything up
  • We do not ship instruments built from Brazilian Rosewood outside the US, given current laws enacted to protect this species

If you are wondering what is the best guitar tonewood, we invite you to read the following post: Best Acoustic Guitar Tonewood / Best Ukulele Tonewood ?

Acoustic Guitar tonewood, Lichty Guitars wood delivery

Here is a sample of our current acoustic guitar wood supply:

African Satinwood

The characteristics of this wood lie somewhere between Maple, Koa and Mahogany. African Satinwood is noted for producing a very balance tone.

African Satinwood Tonewood Gallery

African Satinwood Tonewood AF1

 

Ancient Kauri

Ancient Kauri radiates its incredible history.  Reclaimed from ancient bogs, it’s radiocarbon dating places the age of the currently harvested Ancient Kauri trees, from the northland of New Zealand, at 50,000 years old. Few tonewoods have such a great story to tell. Learn more about Ancient Kauri

Ancient Kauri Tonewood Gallery

Ancient Kauri Tonewood Gallery

Ancient Kauri Instrument Gallery

Ancient Kauri OM Guitar

Blackheart Sassafras

A timber from Tasmanian, Sassafras has a dynamic coloring. When it has been inflected with a staining fungus it is called Blackheart Sassafras and that color can be extraordinary. It is light yet strong and has tones that fall somewhere between Maple and Walnut.

Blackheart Sassafras Tonewood Gallery

Blackheart Sassafras Tonewood BHS1

 

Brazilian Rosewood

Brazilian Rosewood is a protected species and the wood is therefore becoming increasingly hard to find. We look for old growth and CITES Certified wood. Brazilian Rosewood is considered to be the premier tonewood by both luthiers and guitar players.

Brazilian Rosewood display

Brazilian Rosewood Tonewood Gallery – OM/Parlor  Sizes

Brazilian Rosewood Tonewood OM12

Brazilian Rosewood Tonewood Gallery – Dreadnought Size

Brazilian Rosewood tonewood - hands

 

Brazilian Rosewood Instrument Gallery

Brazilian Rosewood Guitar

Bubinga

Bubinga grows in Africa and though not a true rosewood, it is often referred to as  African Rosewood, It is as hard as the rosewoods, but has a finer texture. It has great stability and tone and makes a beautiful instrument.

Bubinga Tonewood Gallery

Bubinga Tonewood

Bubinga Instrument Gallery

Bubinga Guitar

Chechen

Chechen is a species of tree that grows in Mexico and Central America. It is often referred to as Caribbean Rosewood, because of its habitat and characteristics, though not a true rosewood. Chechen is a little known tonewood that is hard, dense and tight-grained and that can be found in colors ranging from amber to dark brown with beautiful figure. Given it offers a sustainable alternative to rosewoods, we expect you will be hearing more and more about it.

Read more about Chechen

Chechen Tonewood Gallery

Chechen Tonewood

Chechen Instrument Gallery

Chechen Guitar

Cocobolo

A true rosewood from Central America that compares with Brazilian Rosewood in terms of tonal quality, warmth and stunning beauty.

Cocobolo Tonewood Gallery

Cocobolo Tonewood CC5

Cocobolo Instrument Gallery

Cocobolo Guitar

 

Granadillo

Granadillo is often referred to as Black Cocobolo. It is a non-porous dense wood that produces a bright tap-tone and long sustain.

Granadillo Tonewood Gallery

Dalbergia Granadillo tonewood

Granadillo Instrument Gallery

Granadillo Tenor Ukulele

Honduran Rosewood

Denser than Indian Rosewood, Honduran Rosewood is well-known for its excellent tonal properties. It produces a well-balanced guitar with solid projection and strong lows and highs.

Honduran Rosewood Tonewood Gallery

Honduran Rosewood Tonewood HR3

Honduran Rosewood Instrument Gallery

Honduran Rosewood Guitar

 

Hormigo

Hormigo is a tree that grows in the humid forest zones in Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras . When struck it produces a beautiful bell-like tone. It is appropriately called “the wood that sings”

Hormigo Tonewood Gallery

Hormigo Tonewood H4

Hormigo Instrument Gallery

Hormigo Guitar

 

Indian Rosewood

A favorite among luthiers, Indian Rosewood is one of the most stable rosewoods and has a deep, rich tone and beautiful  brown color (and sometimes purple hue).

Indian Rosewood Tonewood Gallery

Indian Rosewood Guitar Tonewood

Indian Rosewood Instrument Gallery

Indian Rosewood Guitar

 

Koa

Hawaiian Koa is one of the most sought after tonewoods. It is beautifully figured and produces a rich sound somewhere between rosewoods and maples.

Koa Tonewood Gallery

Koa Tonewoods

Koa Instrument Gallery

Koa Guitar

Lacewood

Harvested from the South American rainforests, Lacewood shares similar characteristics with Mahogany and yet is notably stiff and light, producing a big full tone.

Lacewood Tonewood Gallery

Lacewood tonewood

Lacewood Instrument Gallery

Lacewood Crossover Guitar

Macauba

Macauba is a very dense wood harvested in Central and South American. It is similar in appearance to Indian Rosewood and in tone to Hormigo.

We currently have one set available

Macacauba 1-1

Madagascar Rosewood

Madagascar Rosewood  is a dense wood that is highly regarding for the tone it produces in acoustic guitars. This is the only set available

Madagascar Rosewood 1

Madagascar Rosewood Instrument Gallery

Madagascar Rosewood Instrument Gallery

Mahogany

Mahogany is one of the most stable tonewoods and is also used for soundboards. It produces a balanced woody tone with a powerful midrange. We typically have a variety of types of Mahogany on hand.

Mahogany Tonewood Gallery

honduran mahogany tonewood

Mahogany Instrument Gallery

Mahogany Guitar

 

Maple

While Maple may be most often associated with violins, its application as a guitar tonewood is just as successful. It is light and produces a brilliant clarity and separation of notes. We typically have a variety of types of maple on hand.

Maple Tonewood Gallery

Birdseye Maple 44

Maple Instrument Gallery

Maple Guitar

 

Monkey Pod

This tropical species tends to resemble Koa in looks and Mahogany in tone and character and has become a favorite of guitar and ukulele builders.

One set currently available

Monkey Pod Acoustic Guitar Tonewood

Ovangkol

West African wood from the same family as Bubinga, with similar tone characteristics to Indian Rosewood.

Ovangkol Tonewood Gallery

Ovangkol Tonewood

Paldao (New Guinea Walnut)

Visually alive, Paldao comes from Southeast Asia.

One set available

Paldao - New Guinea Walnut tonewood NGW1

Pau Ferro

Pau Ferro is denser  than Indian and Brazilian Rosewood and has an incredible tap-tone.  The color of this wood comes to life under a finish, with chocolates, creams, reds, and golds throughout the grain.

Pau Ferro Tonewood Gallery

Pau Ferro Guitar Tonewood PF10

Pau Ferro Instrument Gallery

Pau Ferro Guitar

Sapele

Sapele comes from the tropical rain forests of Africa and is a member of the Mahogany family, often compared to Honduran Mahogany because the tone and characterises are very much alike. As a denser wood than Mahogany, Sapele produces a big, crisp sound and generally has a more distinct figure.

Sapele Tonewood Gallery

Sapele Guitar Tonewood - 82013

Sapele Instrument Gallery

Sapele Guitar

 

Walnut – Claro

Claro Walnut is known for its stunning figure, powerful voice and solid tone.

Walnut Tonewood Gallery

Claro Walnut Tonewood

Walnut Instrument Gallery

Claro Walnut Guitar

 

Wenge

Wenge is a dense African wood with tight straight grain. It is a heavier wood than Indian Rosewood and Brazilian with excellent projection and sustain.

Wenge Tonewood Gallery

Wenge guitar tonewood, 21714A

Wenge Instrument Gallery

Wenge Ukulele

Ziricote

From Mexico this high density wood is often compared to Brazilian Rosewood given its rich deep tones and yet it offers beautiful spider webbed figure unlike any other wood.

Learn more about ziricote

Ziricote Tonewood Gallery

Ziricote Guitar Tonewood

Ziricote Instrument Gallery

Ziricote Bard Guitar

Soundboards

Available options include Engelmann Spruce, Adirondack Spruce, Sitka Spruce, Bearclaw and figured Sitka Spruce, European Spruce, Carpathian Spruce, Lutz, Sinker Redwood, Curly Redwood, Western Red Cedar, Sinker Western Redwood, Koa, Mahogany, and hand painted custom tops

Our Gallery features the available sets other than the Spruces, which we keep in plentiful supply

Soundboard Gallery

Sinker Redwood Soundboard 018

Soundboard Instrument Gallery

Sinker Redwood soundboard

While we strive to keep our tonewood and soundboard listing current, new sets of wood are coming in all the time and specific inquiries are welcome!