Back and side woods add unique flavors to a guitar’s tone. Some add warmth and low-end richness; others bring midrange power or treble-range clarity.
Body woods help a guitar look great, too. Some woods sport chocolatey brown hues, while others feature elaborate grain patterns and striking blonde coloration.
How Different Body Woods Shape a Guitar’s Sound
Beyond rosewood and mahogany, a wide array of other hardwoods are used for the back and sides of a guitar, including maple, Hawaiian koa, sapele and more. Explore the unique characteristics of each and the ways in which they flavor a guitar’s overall voice.
Solid Woods vs. Layered Woods
One distinction between the woods we use for the back and sides is whether the wood components are solid or layered. Solid woods produce the most complex tone and tend to contribute slightly more distinctive sonic flavoring based on the species used. Layered woods — a middle core of wood with a veneer on either side — allow us to use our resources efficiently and showcase beautiful outer veneers to elevate a guitar’s aesthetic.