Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of designing a new instrument is picking out the types of woods that will be used.

Wood Properties

Wood Varieties

Selecting Materials

Wood and its Properties

Wood can be divided into two basic categories. Hard woods and soft woods. Each type has properties that make them useful in certain situations. Most hard woods for example, bend much more easily than soft woods. Hard woods create excellent resonant chambers and are strong, but are also more dense. Some soft woods, such as spruce, used in the majority of instrument tops, are light weight, strong, and have excellent resonant abilities.

Wood can also classified according to their acoustic propeties. some woods produce warmer, more mellow and earthy sounds, while others produce more pure and bell like tones. Traditional instruments are composed of maple sides and backs with spruce tops.

When making an electric instrument the wood choice will have an impact on the final quality of the sound. Of course the pick-up will be what drives the signal, the qualities and types of the material used should not be overlooked as the material will have a residual effect on the instrument's vibrations sensed by the electronics. In addition, the semi-acoustic performance series instruments are playable acoustically, and so a desireable acoustic sound may also be of importance. top

Wood Varities

Hard woods: maples, spalted maple, rosewood, cocobolo, zircote, bubinga, blood wood, ebony, koa, kingwood, mahogany.

Soft woods: spruce, cedar, bass.


Selecting Materials

The choice of woods can be customized for each instrument. Common woods include:

Top and back: various maples, spruce, cedar, koa

Sides: various maples, rosewood

Other wood choices can be discussed and will be decided based on wood qualities and availabilities. top