Overview: Though rarely used as a top wood, Big Leaf maple boasts a remarkably distinct voice as a soundboard, serving up a chunky, earthy tone that might remind players of old-school parlor guitars or vintage acoustic recordings. With its fat, woody response, maple translates the player’s unique stylistic tendencies and playing technique into a signature sound for each pair of hands that plays it. Maple with striking visual figuring heightens its appeal as a tonewood, complementing bold sound with equally dazzling aesthetics.
Origin: Pacific Northwest
Goes Well With: Any player hoping for a rustic character in both sound and style.
The unique acoustic properties of top woods help color a body shape’s fundamental sound. The key is to find the wood that matches up best with your playing style, like the warmth of a cedar top for fingerpicking and the feeling of responsiveness in your hands.