Guitar and Ukulele woods of the world
Malaysian Blackwood is a premium tonewood that is well suited for all sorts of guitars. It has become a favorite of many well known players and it's popularity is growing. Denser than most rosewoods, the sustaining, glassy tap tone draws comparisons to African Blackwood. It is slightly less brittle though, and unlike African Blackwood, most sets have attractive dark streaks (also, African Blackwood is a true rosewood, Malaysian Blackwood is not). The overall coloring is similar to Ziricote, with black and dark gray colors highlighted by subtle reddish brown and/or green hues.
Ovangkol is from West Africa, the figure is similar to Indian Rosewood, with dark grey straight lines over a golden-brown or olive-brown background. It comes from the same family as Bubinga and has a similar interlocking grain pattern. It is reasonably easy to bend and plane and it finishes well.
With alternating bands of black and light tan, our striped Macassar Ebony is one of our most striking woods. From Celebes and Sulawesi Island in East Indonesia, Macassar Ebony offers good stability and superb, Rosewood-like tonality. Supply of this wood is erratic, especially in the higher grades, and demand has grown steadily over the years, so backorders are often necessary. Pair it with a nice white Engelmann Spruce top for an instrument of striking visual and sonic quality.
With its rich brown color and occasional black streaks, Walnut produces a striking instrument with a crisp, dry tone and a strong fundamental. Walnut works well in all respects, has a pleasant scent, and once it has been dried is very stable.
The Holy Grail of instrument woods, Brazilian Rosewood is the coveted hardwood by which all other tone woods in the World are judged. It is known for its sweet, fragrant aroma and incredible acoustical qualities. The rich, even color of Brazilian Rosewood can range from dark brown, brick red, orange, and even black.
There are roughly a dozen species of true rose woods in the world. (Yes, they smell like roses when cut with a saw.) A partial list would include Tulip wood, King wood, Cocobolo, East Indian Rose wood, and Brazilian Rose wood.