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Wood quality and how it affects sound on your acoustic guitar

Identifying the right quality wood for you is important to understand what you are paying for and to ensure you get the sound quality you like when purchasing an acoustic guitar. These are a few popular woods and their features:


Sitka Spruce

One of the most popular woods for acoustic guitar tops. Sturdy and lightweight, it’s known for imparting clear, powerful tone.








Red Spruce

Highly desirable for steel-string acoustic tops because of its rich, full, clear and loud tonal quality.









Mahogany

This type of wood has a solid punchy tone with low overtone content and great high end response. This has a more natural sound and has a less metallic sound.













Brazilian Rosewood

This wood is strong and clear at the low end, rich and bright at the top end, and has a very reverberant quality.










Indian Rosewood

This wood is similar to the Brazilian rosewood, except with better mids and a thicker sound.











Maple

A heavier, flat-sounding and often beautiful wood of which there are several species, maple is used in acoustic guitars because of its sonically “transparent” qualities, which let the tonal character of the top ring through without significant tone coloration from the back and sides.















Koa

A dense hardwood that, when used for guitar tops, produces solid tone, particularly at the high end, with pronounced midrange-y quality. Used for back and sides, koa’s tonality resembles mahogany.






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