What is Tonewood?
Tonewoods are woods used in the construction of stringed instruments including Acoustic Guitars, Electric Guitars, Mandolins, Violins, and more. These woods pose tonal properties that allow different characteristic sounds for their instruments. We carry many different types of lumber that can be used for Tonewood. We will discuss each species and what it’s tonewood properties are.
African Mahogany Tonewood
African Mahogany wood is one of the most popular exotic tonewoods available for major manufacturers and custom builders. Mahogany is used in the bodies, tops, necks, backs and sides of guitars and mandolins. The uniform pattern of mahogany, along with it’s density, compress midrange tones. However, it also provides a thicker sounds. Mahogany works great when playing with other instruments. Mahogany is also beautiful when finished, which adds even more to it’s appeal. African Mahogany is often described as have a “woody” tone, while being bright and responsive.
Sapele is a African Redwood with some similarities to African Mahogany. Sapele tone is very similar to Mahogany it has a warm, rich, and wood tone. Sapele is valued because of it’s figuring and stripes that really stand out when finished. Sapele Tonewood goes is a great all-purpose tonewood that works for many different applications.
Wenge is a darker wood with black and brown striping. Wenge is popular for back and sides of instruments. It is also cost effective compared to some of the other high end wood used in guitars. It provides at little brighter tone and does offer plenty of sustain. Wenge is popular for usage in custom electric bass guitars.
Zebrawood gets it’s name from the contrasting light and dark striping it has. When used in a electric guitar body, it’s tone is similar to maple. It has a nice full sound with darker overtones. When finished, it can has a really impressive appearance.
Spanish Cedar Tonewood
Spanish Cedar is popular for classical guitars necks. It is also becoming popular for use as an electric guitar body source because of it’s combined sustain and light weight. It is more similar to vintage mahogany because of it’s weight and tone. It is said to be brighter, more middy and less thick than mahogany.
Lacewood has a unique pattern which gives its name. The tone is similar to Alder, but when finished the lace pattern really shows well. The tone does not have a lot of overtones, has a nice treble response, and clarity between chords.
Padauk is a bright orange color that will brown as it oxidizes. It is a waxy wood with an open grain. It’s tone is similar to maple with a slightly bright tone. It is harder and heavier than Indian Rosewood and works well as a back and sides for an acoustic guitar. Padauk has been said to be a promising replacement for generic Rosewood.
Bubinga is a extremely stiff wood that is popular for electric bass necks and in laminates. It provides a bright tone and defined bottom. Bubinga is a heavy wood for a body, but it will have great sustain.
Why Buy your Wholesale Tonewood Lumber from Thompson Mahogany?
All Thompson Mahogany Company’s lumber inspectors have decades of experience, and each piece of lumber is hand inspected to ensure the best grade. Over our 172 years of business, we have learned to purchase the best lumber from reputable mills that stand behind their product. We buy mostly green/air-dried material because we take extra care while drying. Over our history, we have developed the best techniques for drying our fine hardwood lumber.
Finally, to meet our customer’s expectations, we purchase and sell the best quality woods available.
Please comment below or contact us if you have any questions about Tonewoods or our products.
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