There are so many kinds of woods to manufacture Guitars. This post will share to you some basic knowledge about guitar woods, that help you know exactly what types of woods is best and what kinds of woods produce high quality sounds?
So many people confuse that some guitars are very similar but its sounds is big different and the price is different, too. Why are some guitars more expensive than or why is this guitar produce great sounds than other but it look is the same? That is some popular queries of most beginners for choosing a guitar. A guitar has higher price or better sounds than other because a best guitar depend on various factors, including its designs, manufacturing process, woods, etc.
This post will talk about some best woods for making high quality guitars, the other factors will be analysed in another post. As you known, the sounds of guitar will produced by the resonance of strings and guitar’s body. So with each wood type will give different tone and sounds. The question is: what type of woods are best for guitar? In fact, not all types of wood is good and suitable for making guitar, only tone-woods will best suit for manufacturing guitars.
Laminate wood is some thin layers of solid wood glued together under high pressure. Normally, it has three layers with two same outside layers and one other layer in the middle. Laminate wood often used for Back and Side of guitars. The advantage of laminate wood is little affected by temperature and humidity change. Nowaday, most of famous guitar brands often used laminated woods for manufacture their products because of its affordable price, good sounds and durability.
The solid woods are beloved by most of guitarist because it is not just durable but also great tone and great resonance sounds. Because of solid wood so its wood grain/ texture is clearly, nice and expensive.
Some of most popular tone-woods are used to manufacturing guitars such as:
For Topside (Soundboard):
Engelmann Spruce come from North American, when compared to Sitka Spruce, it has light color, heavier weight, so its resonance and speed transfer of sounds are slower. That why Engelmann Spruce has tone and melody are little clear than Sitka Spruce.
Sitka Spruce originated from Alaska and North West Canada. It is durability and enduring which some time used for headstock, back and side. The characteristic of Sitka Spruce is very hard and lightweight, so its speed transfer of sounds and resonance is large. Sitka Spruce gives clear and more streble sound.
Western Red Cedar
Red Cedar originated from West Canada and North West America, its color is light brown or red-brown. Red Cedar is light and not hard as Spruce. The characteristic of it is warmer, darker tone “taste” and give more bass sound.
Redwood originated from North American, the tone and melody is similar Red Cedar. Some guitarist feels that Redwood is a bit darker tone than Red Cedar. Generally, Redwood give sounds clear and clean, melody is stronger than Red Cedar.
Koa come from Hawaii, this is nice wood grain. It has clear streble and clear midrange. Its tone and melody is many colorful. Koa is popular in guitar ukuleles Hawaii.
You can find Mahogany at Caribbean and Central America. It is lightweight than other all types of wood above. Similar Koa, it gives very clear streble and clear midrange. Mahogany has warm tone that suitable for fingerpickers, blues music.
For Back and Side:
Maple has lightweight, very clear and colorful tones, the resonance and speed transfer of sounds are slow but clearly sound.
India Rosewood, Brazil Rosewood, Malaysia Rosewood
The resonance and speed transfer of sounds of India Rosewood is very high. However, it rarely to exploit because of environment protect problems. Similar India Rosewood, but Brazil Rosewood has more high value than.
In the world, there are three Rosewood which is loved by guitarist are Brazil Rosewood (exploitation prohibited), India Rosewood and Malaysia Rosewood.
Mahogany and Koa
Mahogany and Koa is not just for back and side but also using for soundboard (top). It has speed transfer of sounds is very high, clear and clean bass – streble.
Solid Wood vs Laminate Wood?
Solid Wood or Laminate Wood has pros and cons. All laminate wood is just fine sound but less effected by temperature and humidity. Of course, a guitar with all laminated wood is very affordable price.
All solid wood gives great sound but easy effected by temperature and humidity. Most of all solid wood guitars will be expensive. A guitar with all solid wood is best suit for pro guitarist.
Personally, I thinks a guitar with top solid wood, laminate wood back and side is best choice because it combine of all pros of both and the price is not too high for beginners.