Back/Side Woods

I have many back/side sets in stock, which include a variety of exotic and domestic hardwoods. I detail the three most commonly used types below. Please inquire about my current stock of back/side sets. I choose all my sets for tonal quality and structural stability.

East Indian Rosewood: The most commonly used and readily available rosewood. Produces a strong, complex low end and bell-like highs. This wood produces a “bloom” of tone, creating a strong blending of notes. Expect an attractive combination of browns, purples, reds, tans and grays in mostly straight-grained figure. Woods with similar tonal profiles include Madagascar Rosewood, Cocobolo, Ovangkol, Bubinga.

Honduran Mahogany: A classic tonewood from South America. Lighter and softer than rosewoods, it produces a guitar with more emphasis on the mids and a more open, “woody” tone. Basses tend to be open and less complex, with good note separation and projection. Mostly available in subtle straight-grained figure, often with vertical bands or “stripes”. Sets with varying degrees of figure may be available. Woods with similar tonal properties include Sapele and Khaya.

Maples: Maple guitars produce pure tone with very strong projection. Tahoe guitars built with maple back and sides produce very balanced tone without lacking bass. Basses have a very clear character, mids and highs sing very sweetly. The three common types of maple used for tonewood are eastern hard maple, European “Sycamore” Maple, and western Big Leaf Maple. Maple often displays varying degrees of attractive grain figure commonly called curl, flame or fiddleback. Woods with similar tonal properties include walnut and Oregon Myrtle.

East Indian Rosewood

Honduran Mahogany

Flamed Big Leaf Maple

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