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 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
A few things to note:
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 ?
Here is a sample of our current acoustic guitar wood supply:
The characteristics of this wood lie somewhere between Maple, Koa and Mahogany. African Satinwood is noted for producing a very balance tone.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
A true rosewood from Central America that compares with Brazilian Rosewood in terms of tonal quality, warmth and stunning beauty.
Granadillo is often referred to as Black Cocobolo. It is a non-porous dense wood that produces a bright tap-tone and long sustain.
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.
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”
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).
Hawaiian Koa is one of the most sought after tonewoods. It is beautifully figured and produces a rich sound somewhere between rosewoods and maples.
Harvested from the South American rainforests, Lacewood shares similar characteristics with Mahogany and yet is notably stiff and light, producing a big full tone.
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
Madagascar Rosewood comes from Southeast Asia. It is a dense wood that is highly regarding for the tone it produces in acoustic guitars. These are the only two sets that will be available due to environmental concerns.
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.
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.
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
West African wood from the same family as Bubinga, with similar tone characteristics to Indian Rosewood.
Visually alive, Paldao comes from Southeast Asia.
One set available
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.
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.
Claro Walnut is known for its stunning figure, powerful voice and solid tone.
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.
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
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
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!