Mahogany There are hundreds of different kinds, which can only be discerned with great difficulty. Generally speaking, for our guitars we mostly use Swietenia mahogany, which is also known as Honduras- or “real” mahogany. Because of the high demand it can be hard to acquire and thus comes at a price. Mahogany is one of the most popular tonewoods used for guitars. It has a balanced and rather warm, round sound, with a singing sustain.
Red Alder the North-American relative of the European Alder is a real “allrounder”. Red Alder is a little lighter and more homogenous than the domestic kind and one of the most popular tonewoods. Of course, it is also used quite frequently in our guitars. Basically, it is usable for almost any style, has a very balanced sound, but sounds a bit more raw and full in character that Mahogany with a more distinct treble-range and rich overtones. The typical Strat-wood.
Maple Because of its weight it is used more seldomly as body wood, but a has a wide range of overtones, a lot of dynamic and attack. Very good for powerplay with defined sounds and a quick response. Sounds just a bit brittle and “snotty” (in the most positive sense!)
Basswood Very light and soft wood, optically more on the subtle side. The name says it all: very fat, charged sound for overdrives with a powerful thrust and beautiful overtones. A little undefined in clean play. But especially in combination with a maple top it has a large tonal range, ideal for metal, nu-rock and all things heavy.
Cedro Another realtive of Mahogany, which is substantially more light and just as vibrant. Very powerful, mid-focussed rocksound.
Swampash The American Swampash is a relative of our domestic ash. Since its is (as the name suggests) native to swampy regions it is very light and less tough than the European ash, which makes it a good choice for tonewood. In the field of guitar-making it is used by only a few manufacturers, given the fact that it is quite expensive and has some “dampy” tendencies. For bass guitars it is THE allround-wood however with a very round, balanced sound, direct response and beautiful overtones.
Maple Canadian maple (hardmaple) has a much higher density than the indigenous kind, has no tendency to raising or twisting and has an exquisite stability and vibration transmission. Thus it is considered as THE standard wood for electric guitar necks.
Flamed Maple A growth anomaly in maple, whose origins can not be fully explained yet. The wood grain is not straight but has a wavy form. This is why a very decorative grain emerges when the wood is cut. Tonally speaking there is no difference to “normal” maple, however, especially in the case of a strong flame-structure, there may be a reduced stability. Thus, it might be necessary to lock the neck (gluing with the same or another wood).
Birdseyemaple Another growth anomaly, with many small branches locked inside the grain – the bird’s eyes. Very decorative. Otherwise, the same as regular maple applies.
Mahogany Rather hard wood with excellent stability and vibration transmission, which makes for a very nice response, warm sound and long lasting sustain.
Cedro Optically almost identical to mahogany. More popular for use in acoustic guitars, it is a very good alternative to mahogany for the use in electric guitar necks, with very defined overtones and dynamic.
Santos Rosewood (Pau Ferro) Very hard and dense wood with a decorative look. Very rich sound with warm overtones and seemingly endless sustain. Necks made from Pau Ferro will be sealed with oil only, which results in a superior feel, but careful: highly addictive!
Ebony There are numerous kinds which vary greatly in look depending on their origin. Ideally speaking, ebony comes in a homogenous black (African ebony) or a lively striped pattern (Makassar ebony). It is one of the hardest woods with a very high density which makes it ideal for fingerboards. Tonally, it offers crisp highs and a great response. Thanks to a small mid-range very nice overdrive-sounds can be realized.
Rosewood Also a very hard wood, but a little softer than rosewood. Depending on its origin and kind it can vary in color, which normally ranges from dark brown to purple. Tonally speaking, it is rich in overtones, balanced, clear and warm.
Maple In principle, all kinds of maple can be used for fretboards. Since it is rather soft, especially compared to rosewood and ebony, and because of its light color prone to dirt, maple fretboards are only used in our instruments after being lacquered. It has a very nice bright and transparent sound, which can also be brittle at times.