Origin: The Big Island of Hawaii
Used On: The Koa Acoustic and Acoustic/Electric Series
A tropical hardwood, koa's tone blends the midrange of mahogany with the top end of maple. Due to its density, a new koa guitar tends to start out sounding a little bright and tight, somewhat like maple. But the more a koa guitar is played, the more the sound opens up, expanding the midrange and rewarding the player with a richer, sweeter, more resonant tone. A common mistake is when a bright player buys a koa guitar in part for its visual beauty, finds it to be too bright, and doesn't play it enough to allow the wood to warm up.
Goes Well With: Fingerstylists who play more with the pads of their fingers and tend to have a meatier touch. Bright players need to be careful because of koa's existing brightness (one might try experimenting with different pick materials).