Tone-Wood
 
​Zivory Guitars are made with the best and purist quality woods from around the world. We then ensure the humidity level is reduced to a minimum of 6%. This allows these magnificent woods to maximize their potential resonance.
You can customise your guitar from our range of traditional/commercial tonewoods or our exceptional range of exotic woods.

 

Myrtlewood

Pistacio

Bastogne Walnut

Indian Rosewood

Maple

Ancient Kauri (New Zealand)

Alder

   

English Elm

   Port Orford Cedar

Swamp Ash

Jatoba

  Douglas Fir

African Mahogany

Makore

Yew   

Padauk

USA Curly Cherry

Queensland Silky Oak

Osage Orange

Leopardwood

Bloodwood

Shedua

Honduran Mahogany

Black Limba

USA Black Walnut

Tasmanian Mountain Ash

Tasmanian Blackhearted Sasafras

Hawaiian Koa

Tasmanian Blackwood

Orella (Exclusive at Zivory Guitars)

Curly Maple

Birds-eye Maple

Canary

Imbuya

Sapele

Bocote

Afromosia

Ziricote

Goncalva Alves

Wenge

Cocobolo

Morado

Purpleheart

Macassar Ebony

Bubinga

Sapele

Olive

Iroko

Macassar Ebony

American Cherry

Santos Mahogany

Claro Walnut

Brazilian Rosewood

London Plane

5A Birds-eye Maple
Alascan Yellow Cedar
Franquette Walnut

Alder

Ash

Alder's popularity reached its peak in the 60's when most Strats were made of alder and still are to this day. Alder is a well balanced wood with equal amounts of mid, high and bass frequencies. It is still very popular due to its unlimited availability.Alder is easy to work with as it is not very porous. It has been the choice of major guitar companies all over the USA and the Asian countries where guitars have been manufactured for decades.We only use American red alder which is tonally superior to all other alder species plus it cuts through the mix better than any other alder. Red alder is definitely our favourite out of the commercial tonewoods.

Swamp ash is a tonewood introduced to the guitar world and used for strats in the 50's.It has a tight low-end and sparkly high-end frequency. It is scooped in the mid range and therefore was traditionally mated with a maple neck.Swamp ash is an extremely open grain wood with large pores and notoriously hard to work with to achieve a smooth surface when sanding. With swamp ash we apply over 40 layers of oil finish over a period of up to 45 days.Ash is a wood that has also been used for decades due to its high availability. We only use the best and the lightest one piece American swamp ash body blanks for our guitars.

Basswood

Basswood gained its popularity from the ‘Guitar Shredders’ of the 80's! It was supposed to add "Fatness" to the tone of guitars with floating tremolos (Floyd Rose)...We strongly believe it doesn't add to the tone but might give the illusion of a fat tone, if the listener perceives the absence of high end frequencies as sounding "Fat"... ​It grows all over the USA as well as in a number of Asian countries, is extremely cheap and therefore promoted for obvious reasons (profit) by the "Big Guys" as "The Holy Grail of Tone". Basswood has mainly got midrange out of the whole tonal spectrum, lacking in high and low-end response. The tonal projection and resonance is fairly mild and therefore not used by acoustic guitar luthiers as there are no mics (pickups) used to amplify the tone.

We don't recommend Basswood and strongly advice our customers to use one of our superior tone-wood alternatives. 

Mahogany (Afr)

African mahogany has been used for many decades in the electric guitar industry. It is a thick sounding tonewood due to its focused mid-midrange.It is a medium to heavyweight wood. African mahogany is a fine grained wood with great musical properties. The tone is warm and full of good sustain. Mahogany is associated with some of the most famous rock music of our time. Looks good with clear or transparent red finish.

Curly Maple

Flame maple also known as tiger stripe and ripple maple. The flame is a feature of maple in which the growth of the wood fibres is distorted in an undulating pattern, producing wavy lines known as "flames".Prized for its beautiful appearance, it is also frequently used in the manufacture of other musical instruments, such as violins and bassoons.Flame maple is less stable than bird’s eye or plain maple when used on necks and we usually recommend it only for guitar bodies or as a fretboard wood. Maple does require finishing.

Birds-eye Maple

Bird’s eye maple is a beautiful figuring that is mostly commonly seen in sugar maple (Acer Saccharum). It can also less commonly be found in red maple, camphor burl, American beech, yellow birch and black walnut.It is not known what causes the phenomenon of bird’s eye figuring however bird’s eye maple is no different to plain maple with regards to stability. It is also tonally identical to plain maple but far more expensive due to the rare figuring.Bird’s eye maple figuring is graded from A to AAAAA. We tend to only use bird’s eye with intense pattern starting at AAA.

Northwestern (USA) and other Non-Commercial Superior Tonewood

Cherry (USA)

USA Cherry is an excellent tone-wood and looks really appealing when figured.Tonally it is between mahogany and maple and, in our view, combines the best features of both. It produces a rich projective midrange with more sustain and clarity than maple, as well as more bass and midrange.It has favourable clarity and balance over Honduran Mahogany giving a better high end due to its density. Whilst cherry is not widely used in the electric guitar world, it is widely lauded and we highly recommend cherry as it makes a fantastic sounding instrument.

Curly Cherry (USA)

This amazing tone-wood from the USA (Cherry) is also available with beautiful figuring. Please call for availability.

Yew

Yew is a dense tone-wood which grows all around the UK and has been heavily used by British luthiers. The tone is similar to maple but tends to have more clarity, tighter low end response and very appealing overtones, which makes it a great body wood.

Elm

Elm is an exciting tone-wood with natural resistance to decay. It has an interlocking grain that makes it a hardwood and looks even more impressive when figured. Tonally, elm is similar to maple but sounds much warmer at the high end frequencies. It is a very good tone-wood, possibly underrated but - WE LOVE IT!!

Port Orford Cedar

Port Orford cedar in found in the forests of Oregon, USA and is another example of a stunning tonewood that has been overlooked by the mass producing electric guitar community. It is light in weight producing a superb open sound with an unparalleled sound projection and sustain. With striking tight lows and sparkly highs combined with an overall well balanced tone, Port Orford cedar sits at the elite table of tonewoods.

Alascan Yellow Cedar

Just like Port Orford, Alascan Yellow Cedar is much harder than Red Cedar and therefore doesn't dent as easily, which makes it ideal for electric guitars.  We were pleasantly surprised of it's very strong resonance and long sustain, as we did not expect to see/hear/experience another specie with a similar superior tonal character to Port Orford (with the exception of Douglas Fir of course).  The bass is very tight, the mids are present, sweet but not pronounced at all, and the high-end response is extremely smooth. It mates really well with most of the popular neck-wood species as well as with a number of exotics including Morado, Purpleheart, Goncalva Alves, Ziricote, Bocote, Bubinga and Bloodwood. This wonderful tone-wood is just another one, added to an immence list of overlooked species by most electric guitar luthiers.  We highly recommend it to all of our customers as it is tonaly second to absolutely none!

Douglas Fir

Douglas fir is the hardest of the softwoods. Found in the North-West Pacific (Oregon USA), Douglas fir is yet another one of our impressive tonewoods.The Douglas fir is a lightweight wood with great tonal response and a good complexity of overtones. The sound projection is admirable with the frequencies being well balanced, a very tight bass response and sustain similar to Port Orford cedar. Douglas fir is rarely found with a curly grain but we always do our best to get hold of it so you can have a great looking, as a well great sounding, instrument. Douglas fir, take your place on our favourites list!​

Black walnut is a very dense heavy wood and another excellent choice for guitar bodies. It sounds much brighter than mahogany, but not quite as bright as maple, and has a fantastic mid range and  a very tight low-end unlike Mahogany. The mids jump out when soloing giving you a fat tone even on the high notes.​Walnut never sounds muddy and has got a lot of sustain. It is the favourite wood of many luthiers and has been described as "The Mahogany of The Rich". The walnut aroma is amazing and its appearance is very appealing on the figured pieces. American walnut is different towalnut from European countries. In our experience they both sound great with minor tonal differences.

Black Walnut (USA)

Claro walnut sounds similar to black walnut but tends to have more overtones do to an inconsistency in the greain, which is why it has got an extremely appealing grain to it.

Claro Walnut (USA)

Bastogne Walnut

Bastogne walnut is another one of our stunning looking tone-woods.  Tonally it is similar to Black Walnut but tends to sound slightly less stuborn in its frequency response.  When we tested Bastogne we've also noticed that it responds better to pickup changes in comparison to most other Walnut species but has slightly less britle top end in its spectrum.

Franquette Walnut

Franquette walnut is our very favourite out of all Walnut species.  Tonally it is very similar to Claro but tends to have a smoother mid-range and a slightly richer high-end frequency response.  When we tested Franquette we've noticed that it is the one with the highest overtone complexity out of all Walnut species as well as the most open sounding one.  Combined with a one-piece Goncalva Alves neck (if used with humbuckers) or with a Goncalva Alves neck/Morado Board (if used with single coils), Franquette will give you one of the very best, most characterful and resonant tones possible! Please ask for availability

Redwood

Redwood grows in the forests of Nothern California.  It is probably the most resonant tone-wood we have come across, therefore placed on the very top of our favourites list.  Tonally Redwood is similar to Red Cedar but more robust and brighter, especially in the upper mid-range. It is an extremely soft hardwood with a hardness of only 450 in the janka scale which makes it extremely easy to dent, therefore a hard finish would be strongly recommended unless you don't mind havinbg a "rugged" looking guitar! Redwood also mates really well as a laminated top with a vast variety of tone-woods as it it really dry, glues well and doesn't tend to sonically "clash" with most core body woods (unlike all Maple species).  Highly recommended!!!

Myrtlewood 

Myrtlewood is a hard wood with smooth interwoven fibre.  It grows only in Nothern California and in the South Oregon Region. Tonally it has some similarities with maple but has a much fuller tone with far greater clarity and a more "brilliant" high end response.  It is visually very appealing and unlike curly/flame maple , no two pieces of Myrtlewood will ever look similar, which means that your guitar will only look like your guitar and not like everyone else's (which would be the case with a flame/curly maple top).  Each piece of wood has it's own identity and therefore makes a unique and more personal guitar. Please ask for availability

Pistacio

Pistacio is an amazing looking wood with a similar hardness to ebony but far more responsive, with tromendous amounts of resonance and sustain.  It is definitely classed as a superior tone-wood and therefore highly recommended. It is ideal for body tops, fretboards as well as one-piece necks, when and if available.  Please ask for availability.

Exotic Wood Species

Black Limba

Black limba has the reputation of being a ‘super-mahogany’. It originates from Africa, and is very similar in texture, weight and hardness to mahogany. Depending on the piece of wood, it usually has black and grey streaks and occasional streaks of orange. The tone of black limba is probably closest to mahogany than to any other wood species, but has more high-end. It also has high midrange instead of mid midrange, which makes it sound much sweeter and less nasal than mahogany. Black limba's resonance is also much more intense than most of the mahogany species. Black limba is one of our favourite choices for guitar bodies, plus it looks great.

Ancient Kauri (NZ)

Ancient Kauri is a wood specie which originates in New Zealand. It is an extremely old growth timber, which has been buried underground in New Zealand for approximately 50,000 years. These massive trees grew for approximately 2,000 years before falling into swamps. The earth has held these logs for over 50,000 years, and we are proud to be able to offer Kauri to our customers as our very favourite tone-wood. Kauri isn't tonally similar to anything else we've ever experienced and has it's unique tonal as well as visual character. Its tight bass, sweet high-end and very strong upper mid-range punch, make it sound different to any other timber in the world. Kauri is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED!!!

Honduran

Genuine mahogany has gained its great reputation from dominating the rock tone for decades. There are different types of mahogany including mahogany from African, Asian and South American countries. Honduran mahogany is our favourite as it is the one with the best resonance, sustain, overtones and high end frequencies out of all the mahogany species. If Honduran is hard to get hold of or you are not keen on a heavy weight guitar, we strongly recommend Santos or Equatorial Mahogany.

Santos Mahogany

Santos and Equatorial Mahogany sound very similar to Honduran Mahogany, are slightly lighter and less pricey, but also easier to get hold of than Honduran.

Hawaiian Koa

Koa originates from Hawaii. Unfortunately, this does make the wood very limited and expensive. However, its grain and appearance is extremely striking, especially when flamed. Compared to mahogany, Koa has got some similarities. However it has hints of a bright sounding rosewood but with a much tighter bass response and more focused upper midrange.  A number of luthiers believe that Koa has got more tonal similarities to Walnut than to any other species...we won't dissagree on this one...!

Tasmanian Blackwood

Tasmanian/Australian blackwood is a cousin to Koa. Tassie Blackwood and Koa are both acacias and therefore tonally very similar. Tassie Blackwood is visually indistinguishable from Koa once finished but has a smoother grain structure. Many luthiers say that Australian blackwood sounds like “koa on steroids” .... and we won't disagree! Australian blackwood is denser and more resonant than Koa. However it should also be taken into account that Tassie Blackwood is also much heavier than Koa.

Tasmanian Blackhearted Sassafras

Tasmanian Blackhearted Sassafras is one of THE stunning tone-woods for guitar bodies. It sounds as amazing as it looks.The tone has a touch of mahogany and walnut with hints of the tonal character of both with a breathtaking amount of resonance.​In addition to its amazing tone, blackhearted sassafras is surprisingly light and very pleasing to work with.Blackhearted Sassafras is only found in the rainforests of Tasmania. This, unfortunately, makes it a very rare and desirable material and so scarce that it cannot be used for mass production. At Zivory Custom Guitars we feel very proud and privileged to be able to offer this piece of wonder to our customers. Blackhearted sassafras is one of our very favourite tonewoods for guitar bodies. However we usually only see this wood once or twice a year.

Tasmanian Mountain Ash

Not to be confused with Swamp Ash, Tasmanian mountain ash is a far superior tone-wood and, like Blackhearted Sassafras, only grows in the rainforests of Tasmania. It is a strong and stable wood. Its tone is between mahogany and maple, combining the best features of both. The resonance of Tasmanian mountain ash is sublime, offering the tonal characteristics of a heavy wood, but being a very lightweight material. Tasmanian mountain ash is highly recommended by Zivory Custom Guitars. We love it.

Queensland Silky Oak

Queensland Silky Oak is a medium weight wood from Australia with a very balanced tone with equal amounts of bass, mid and treble frequency response. It is said that the tone of Silky Oak is similar to Alder but at Zivory Custom Guitars we believe that it has its own distinctive tone with more punch on the bass and more brilliance on the high end frequencies - somewhere between walnut and maple. The very unique tone of Silky Oak comes from its uneven texture due to the difference of densities between regular wood tissues of the rays. Silky Oak has beautiful grain which can vary from very large to very small spots with very conspicuous flecking - thus the wood’s name!

Leopardwood

Leopardwood is often compared to Lacewood (Silky Oak). However, as a species, it is a little heavier, denser and darker than Lacewood. It does take a trained eye to spot the difference at first glance. Leopardwood is a very good tone-wood with pronounced low midrange, clear high midrange and gives a little darker and warmer sound. For the purist, the high end frequencies do not really stand out as much as other woods. However, it has a big tone and sounds great if you are looking for a warm dark sound. If you want a brighter tone it can be paired up with a bright sounding neck to gain high end response. Leopardwood is quite rare so it is not always available.

London Plane

London Plane is an English specie which is considered exotic due to his look rather than its Continent of Origin. It is an excellent tone-wood, extremely resonant with very tight low end and smooth but clear high end response. Looks-wise it's more similar to Brazilian Leopard-wood rather than Australian Lace-wood (Queensland Silky Oak) as it has an orange/brownish colour to it which turns brown when oil-finished. The tone can be described as similar to Alder with added overtones and more of a low end kick.​

Shedua

Shedua (or Amazue or Ovangkol) is a beautiful African wood. Its grain is usually a cinnamon-brown colour. It is really punchy with plenty of bass and great definition. Shedua is tonally between koa and walnut.

Jatoba

Jatoba is often referred to as Brazilian cherry though not a cherry tree but a legume. It belongs to the fabaceae family in Brazil.It is a very strong dense wood, yet not quite as dense as walnut. It has very tight bass response and produces very big sounds when used as a body wood. It is again similar to koa but with a lot more high-end response due to its dense nature. Jatoba is another one of our favourites and is highly recommended by Zivory Custom Guitars.

Iroko

Iroko, also referred to as African teak, is actually unrelated to the teak family! It is a heavy dense wood with a tight Bass and a pronounced mid response with the highs also being present. Iroko can be extremely resonant and we tend to choose the lighter pieces for our supply as Iroko naturally has plenty of sustain.

The Nigerian Joruba tribe believe Iroko wood carries the Iroko Spirit who brings misfortune to whoever cuts the Iroko tree. Anyone seeing the "Iroko-Man" face to face turns insane and speedily dies. We at Zivory Custom Guitars believe that Iroko is an excellent tonewood and makes a "KILLER GUITAR"...it might just be the Iroko spirit.

Makore

Makore is a tropical West African wood from the genus ("Bloodline"). Makore is often (incorrectly) referred to as African Pear wood.Weight-wise and tonally makore is similar to mahogany from Honduras. It is a great tonewood that can vary in weight and density. According to our experience both, heavy and light wood makore are very resonant and have great sustain as well.

Padauk

Padauk also known as Ngula, Mumuti, Mbe, Mbil and Bosulu, is a hard, dense and strong wood that grows in central African countries.It is reddish/orange colour and oxidises over time to become a darker brownish very reminiscent of mahogany. At Zivory Custom Guitars we consider it to be a ‘fusion-wood’ of rosewood and mahogany but brighter, with a lot of punch and a strong low midrange response. Unlike mahogany, padauk has got a very bright tap tone and the high end just jumps out of the wood and the bass response is very tight.  We are definitely recommending padauk as a body wood as it is extremely resonant, sustains very well and is compatible with a vast number of tone-woods.

Bloodwood

Bloodwood is found in Central and South America and unlike padauk or boise d' rouse it will not oxidise to a darker colour. It maintains its ‘blood red’ colour for many years maturing into an even deeper red.Tonally it is very dense giving a great glassy sounding top end. It has a very fast response, is balanced with clear separation of voices and a loud tone projection - all attributes of a superior tonewood. Bloodwood is highly recommended but not always available. Bloodwood doesn't require any finish.

Osage Orange

Osage orange originates from Argentina and is definitely a superior tonewood. Great luthiers consider it an upgrade to Brazilian rosewood. That alone speaks volumes. Tonally, osage usually has a little less bass response than rosewoods however, it has much more clarity, sustain and overtone complexity, this makes it

a superior tonewood to any rosewood. It is very well balanced with treble, mid and bass response at the same level. Osage is definitely on our favourites list.

Sapele

Sapele is a beautiful exotic wood originating from Central Africa. It is a fantastic alternative to genuine mahogany, more attractive, and has similar tonal properties. The grain is interlocked and randomly changes direction. Compared to African mahogany it has a much tighter bass response and more highs as well. It is as light as African mahogany with the tonal properties of Honduran but looks better than both. If you like the tone of mahogany, this would be definitely the tone-wood to go for. It is our first choice out of all the mahoganies.

Orella

​Orella is a very exotic and unusual tone-wood ‘discovered’ by Zivory Custom Guitars. Unlike most exotics Orella is a relatively lightweight and soft wood. It is exceedingly stable, easy to work with and is very appealing to the eye due to its beautifully figured grain. ​Tonally orella has its own distinctive tone with well balanced frequencies, an astonishingly tight bass response and nice smooth open mids (not pronounced). The high end frequencies are also present but smooth. As an extremely resonant and light weight wood, it mates well with very hard neck woods such as Morado and Ziricote. ​We can guarantee that this specific wood specie has not and is not being used by any other guitar company or custom shop. ​A very special friend of Zivory Guitars has been on a mission, travelling annually to South America, to uncover wood species that have never been used by any known guitar builders. ​Out of all the tone-woods brought to our attention, we have found that the tone and appealing looks of Orella represents all the qualities Zivory Custom Guitars has been searching for.​ We strongly recommend Orella - it is a truly superior tone-wood.

Tone-wood for Necks

Maple

Maple is the most common neck wood in the guitar world. It is very dense, sounds very bright with a strong upper mid range and has a lot of sustain.Maple has got a vast variety of different looks. Plain, burly, bird’s eye, flame, quilted, wormy or splattered maple. Plain is considered to be the most stable of all maple neck choices followed by bird’s eye. Maple requires our high quality oil finish as penetrating humidity can cause it to warp.

Birds-eye

Bird’s eye maple is a beautiful figuring that is mostly commonly seen in sugar maple (Acer Saccharum). It can also less commonly be found in red maple, camphor burl, American beech, yellow birch and black walnut.It is not known what causes the phenomenon of bird’s eye figuring however bird’s eye maple is no different to plain maple with regards to stability. It is also tonally identical to plain maple but far more expensive due to the rare figuring.Bird’s eye maple figuring is graded from A to AAAAA. We tend to only use bird’s eye with intense pattern starting at AAA.

Cherry (USA)

USA Cherry is an excellent tone-wood and looks really appealing when figured.Tonally it is between mahogany and maple and, in our view, combines the best features of both. It produces a rich projective midrange with more sustain and clarity than maple, as well as more bass and midrange.It has favourable clarity and balance over Honduran Mahogany giving a better high end due to its density. Whilst cherry is not widely used in the electric guitar world, it is widely lauded and we highly recommend cherry as it makes a fantastic sounding instrument.

Walnut (USA)

Black walnut is a very dense heavy wood and another excellent choice for guitar bodies.It sounds much brighter than mahogany, but not quite as bright as maple, and has a fantastic mid range and tight lows.The mids jump out when soloing giving you a fat tone even on the high notes.Walnut never sounds muddy and has got a lot of sustain. It is the favourite wood of many luthiers and has been described as "The Mahogany of The Rich".The walnut aroma is amazing and its appearance is very appealing on the figured pieces. American walnut is different to walnut from European countries. In our experience they both sound great but American Walnut has got more punch to it but also looks better.

Exotic Tone-wood for Necks

Macassar Ebony

Macassar ebony is a very hard, stable, punchy and bright sounding wood with great sustain. The tone is close to plain Black ebony.Macassar ebony wood is variegated, streaky brown and black and nearly always wide striped. It is considered a highly valuable wood. Macassar ebony has a very fast and smooth feel and is mostly used for fret boards. On rare occasion if available it can be used for a whole neck but its desirability in Japan makes this expensive.

Imbuia

Imbuia also known as Brazilian walnut (although not a walnut) grows in the southern parts of Brazil.It is a hard and dense wood that has a very tight and pleasingly bright tone with great amounts of bass. Imbuia has also great tonal separation and good definition of the notes.Tonally, imbuia is comparable to walnut but has got its own distinctive tone. It is a pleasure to work with as it has a spicy and very pleasant smell when sanded. Imbuia is one of our favourite tonewoods for guitar necks.

Goncalva Alves

The Brazilian Goncalva Alves - also known as Goncalo - is a dense and heavy tropical hardwood. It is sometimes referred to as zebrawood or tigerwood — names that underscore the wood’s often dramatic, contrasting colour scheme, that some compare to rosewood. Tonally it is extremely fast and responsive with a beautifully balanced tone. It has been compared to mahogany, but it has far tighter bass response and sparkly highs that you do not always get with mahogany. Goncalo has also got exceptional definition which makes it one of our very favourite tone-wood for bodies.

Brazilian Rosewood

​Brazilian Rosewood is much denser and less oily than Indian Rosewood. It is rare and therefore much more expensive than any other Rosewood. It is not a pleasure to work with Brazilian Rosewood as it splits very easily which is something that makes re-frets a very hard job for guitar luthiers.Tone-wise Brazilian Rosewood is a Superior Tone-wood. It is very balanced, got very good low end as well as high end response with fantastic note separation/definition and clarity.

Purpleheart

Purpleheart is a world-class tonewood along with African blackwood and Brazilian rosewood but without the high maintenance.Purpleheart is very dense so has huge amounts of sustain. Tonally bright and punchy with very well defined bass response and great definition.This is another tonewood that has been overlooked by the world of electric guitars like so many others. It is definitely on the ‘Elite’ list of guitar tonewoods and we highly recommend it as a first class choice of superior guitar tone.Purpleheart doesn't require any finish.

Bubinga

Bubinga is a flowering plant from the fabaceae family. Bubinga is from the Guilbourtia family of which only 3 come from South America and 13 from Africa. Bubinga is one of the 13 African species.It is a very strong and stable wood making it ideal for necks. Tonally bubinga has good highs, a strong upper mid range and tight bottom end, which are all the virtues looked for in an ideal tonewood for necks.Figured Bubinga looks stunning. We would highly recommend bubinga. It is one of our favourite tonewoods for guitar necks. Bubinga doesn't require any finish.

Bloodwood

Bloodwood is found in Central and South America and unlike padauk or boise d' rouse it will not oxidise to a darker colour. It maintains its ‘blood red’ colour for many years maturing into an even deeper red.Tonally it is very dense giving a great glassy sounding top end. It has a very fast response, is balanced with clear separation of voices and a loud tone projection - all attributes of a superior tonewood. Bloodwood is highly recommended but not always available. Bloodwood doesn't require any finish.

Bocote

Bocote originates from Central America close to the Amazon. It comes from the same family as its ‘cousin’ ziricote, and has similar features and appearance.The tonal properties are exceptional, placing it at the very top of all tonewoods for bass necks as well as guitar necks.The tone is huge with tight bass, smooth high end and the whole range of the mid frequencies. Get my favourites list out again – this goes near the top if not at the top.Bocote doesn't require any finish.

Canary

Canary wood is a good hard strong African wood, not quite as dense as maple.Tonally it has great overtones, sounds fairly bright, not as bright as maple, but has a very tight bass response.​Canary is a quality wood and used instead of maple as a neck wood to add bass to the guitar tone. We highly recommend canary as a neck wood. Canary doesn't require any finish.

Cocobolo

Cocobolo grows on the Pacific side of Mexico all the way along to Central America.It is a stiff and dense wood with a fairly bright tone and good note definition. It is similar to koa but resonates deeper on the low end frequencies. It is a great tone-wood for players who like the tone of rosewood but with a little more top end and slightly less bass response.Cocobolo has got all the tonal properties of Brazilian rosewood, many luthiers believe that it is better than BRW but without the difficulties faced when working and machining the material - it doesn't split as easily as Brazilian rosewood can do. It is incredibly oily which makes it difficult to adhere to other woods and therefore we only use it on its own as a neck wood.Cocobolo is another one of our ‘superior’ tone-woods for guitar necks. Cocobolo doesn't require any finish.

Afromosia

Afromosia is a Central African legume in the fabaceae family. Due to its natural resistance to wear it doesn't require any finish and can be played completely ‘raw’.Tonally afromosia is similar to maple, having a very bright sounding, but the midrange is less focused. However it does have a little more body than maple and is smoother at the high end frequencies.Afromosia is an excellent tonewood and can be paired with a range of exotic body woods due to both its great tonal character and its appealing grain.

Morado

Morado (also known as Pau Ferro, Palo Santos, and Caviuna) is an awesome neck and fingerboard wood. It is extremely dense and stable - thus the nickname of Brazilian ironwood.Morado is very bright sounding and is considered to have better tonal properties than ebony and Brazilian rosewood. It has definition, articulation, attack and nearly the high end response of ebony. It also has elements of the warmth of rosewood. It is definitely in our favourites' list. Morado doesn't require any finish.

Wenge

Wenge originates from West Africa. It is stiffer and harder than Brazilian rosewood and has a different tonal character.It has very strong mid range and tight lows.​Wenge sounds great when combined with woods that have a nice strong high end response like ebony. It has gained its reputation over the years from the bass but sounds excellent for guitars too. Wenge doesn't require any finish.

Ziricote

Ziricote originates from Mexico where it gained its nickname ‘Mexican Ebony’ but is not an ebony. It is a member of the Bocote family, looking similar, but the tone is more brittle.It has bell like high end, like ebony, but with much more overtone complexity whilst maintaining a huge Bocote like tone with just a bit quieter top end.Ziricote can be hard to get hold of, so please check with us for availability.