Guitar Tonewoods for Luthiers

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. steffansobell wenge

Guitar backs and sides.

The selection of the guitar backs and sides allows the maker to fine tune the overall aesthetic beauty of the instrument, and influence the tonal characteristics of the finished guitar.

Scroll down to see a selection of backs and sides

On the subsequent pages are individual sets,(individually priced) in species that vary to dramatically set to set, to offer for sale from a single picture.

All of the prices shown below include VAT at the prevailing rate.

See home page for contact details and full carriage costs details.

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. 5A flame maple back

Coming very soon!

5A FLAME MAPLE Guitar backs & sides.

We have managed to secure a limited number of extremely high quality flame maple back and side sets which we are expecting delivery at the end of September 2019.
Call to reserve!

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. indian rosewood guitar b&s

INDIAN ROSEWOOD (Dalbergia latifolia)

Indian Rosewood has been the mainstay of guitar makers large and small around the world since the mid 60s, when Brazilian Rosewood was banned from export. As this is now by far the most popular material for backs and sides, it stands to reason that we would carry huge stocks of this beautiful wood. However at the last CITES convention is was determined that all true Rosewoods (Dalbergia species) would also be subject to a lesser form of control, effective 2nd January 2017.

When the only stocks available to us are post convention materials we will no longer be stocking this species .

Indian Rosewood guitar backs & sides

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. ziricote b&s

Ziricote (Cordia dodecandra) Guitar Back & Side Sets.

This is a truly striking species, the grain characteristics are very similar to old Rio Rosewood spider-web markings etc, but instead of being a background of reds with black lines, the lines are grey over olive greens, this is the preferred wood for some very high class makers, and could make a truly fantastic instrument. these sets are dry and stored in our climate controlled stockroom.


Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. bog oak b&s

Bog Oak Guitar back & sides sets.

The Bog Oak musical instrument components we stock are cut from the Blackest most even coloured stocks available, which we believe are the best examples of this
Extraordinarily rare species.
With significantly higher density and hardness than ordinary oak, Bog Oak typically has 35-40 annular growth rings per inch.
When carbon dated, Bog Oak from this source was found to be 5300 years old, many of the trees in these prehistoric forests were already hundreds of years old when they fell into the fenland peat bogs.

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. american walnut b&s

American Walnut (Juglans Nigra)

American Walnut back & sides sets

American walnut guitar back & sides

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. pomelle b&s

Pommelé Mahogany (Entandophragma cylindricum)

Pommelé Mahogany exhibits the same kind of figure as seen in American quilted maple, both are a very rare find.
It is a very rare thing to find Pommelé Mahogany in solid lumber as it is most often snapped up at auction buy the veneer cutting mills.

Pommelé Mahogany guitar back & sides

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. taz black b&s

Tasmanian Blackwood (Acacia Blackwood) (Acacia Melanoxylon)

A Fantastic substitute for Hawaiian Koa and a great tonewood in its own right. Tasmanian Blackwood or Acacia Blackwood as it is sometimes called, has similar tap tone to Koa, and a striking similarity in appearance.

Tasmanian Blackwood guitar backs & sides

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. flame maple b&s

Flame Maple (Acer macrophyllum)

Also known as fiddle back - examples of this wood are quite striking and the preferred figure of violin makers.

Figured Maple guitar backs & sides

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. birdseye maple b&s

Birds eye maple (Acer saccharum)

The birds eye figure is a phenomenon that occurs naturally in very few species, most notably hard maple, it is not known what causes this effect, there are many theories.Temperature, altitude, pecking birds, fungal attack, soil properties, insects, or a combination of some or all of these, sufficed to say that it is extremely rare, virtually undetectable until the tree is felled, and very often is only evident for a few centimetres beneath the bark, as a consequence birds eye maple in fully quarter sawn form is virtually impossible, and as such is not graded like conventional exotic hardwoods, but by the quality and amount of birds eye figure on the set, and good colour, no brown heart.

Birseye Maple guitar backs & sides & sides

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. mahog b&s

Honduras Mahogany

Honduras Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla)
A wonderful and traditional tonewood for guitar making,
That is a delight to work, and will polish up beautifully,

Mahogany guitar backs &sides

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. jarrah b&s

Figured Jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata)

a beautiful species for those looking for something a little different.

Figured Jarrah guitar back & sides

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. wenge b&s

Wenge (Millettia laurentii)

Even colour, chocolate brown, quite hard heavier than Indian Rosewood, with pores within the grain. This wood can make a very nice instrument, and is relatively inexpensive.western size sets only.

Wenge guitar backs & sides set

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. zebrano b&s

Zebrano or Zebra wood (Microberlina Brazzavillensis)

Creamy gold in colour with very strong dark brown lines usually cut fully on the quarter, to give a pleasing stripy effect. Works reasonably well to a good finish.western size sets only.
£55.00 per set.

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. padouk b&s

Padouk ( Pterocarpus soyauxii)

Bright orange when first worked, it will darken down eventually to a more subtle shade of brownish purple. A good tone wood, stable and relatively easy to work.jumbo & acoustic bass sets only.
£55.00 per set.

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. cypress b&s

Spanish Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)

Introduced into Spain centuries ago from Asia Minor, and is traditionally the preferred tonewood for most flamenco guitar makers, but it’s becoming scarce and expensive. It has a creamy-yellowish colour. Spanish Cypress works well, is quite stable if the wood quartersawn, but is a little difficult to bend.

Spanish Cypress guitar back & sides

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. purpleheart

Purpleheart (Peltogyne pubescens)

Dull brown when first cut, quickly oxidises to a stunning bright deep purple,
Hard, stable, relatively easy to work, and relatively inexpensive! This species makes a great tonewood! £60 per set
Western size.

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. Khaya back & sides

High quality African Mahogany guitar back & sides

African Mahogany guitar back & sides

Acoustic Guitar backs and Sides. movingue set


Movingue (Distemonanthus benthamianus Baill. Family: Leguminosae)
Other Names
Other Names; Anyaran, Anyanran, Anyan (Nigeria) ; Barré (Ivory Coast) ; Eyen (Cameroons); Oguéminia (Gabon); Movingui (Benin).

The pale yellow sapwood is narrow and not clearly defined ; the heartwood is pale to bright yellow or yellow-brown. It is fine textured, the grain is often interlocked, sometimes wavy, and the wood has a very lustrous surface.Often used as a Satinwood substitute, but it is a very attractive wood in its own right.
£60.00 per set.

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