Re: Endangered Tropical Woods
Ray Stevens (email@example.com)
Thu, 3 Oct 1996 09:28:35 -0400 (EDT)
I would like to add some needed information on the topic of using exotic
woods for stringed musical instruments.
The back and sides of most violin family instruments are made of maple,
the exotic woods are used for guitar back and sides except for ebony
which is the wood of choice for fingerboards for all stringed instruments
( rosewood is sometimes used for fingerboards also).
The backs and sides of all instruments can be made of anything, Ovation
guitars use a plastic and they are excellent guitars and very popular.
The important wood for acostical stringed instruments is in the top.
Traditionally the best tops are made from a European white spruce, which
is almost all gone now. Most high quality violins and guitars now have tops
made of Sitka or Engelmann spruce or Western Red Cedar. Piano
soundboards are also made of spruce. These trees are found in the old
growth forests of the Pacific Northwest. The bigger (older) and
straighter the tree the better quality the top will be and it takes a
really big tree to get tops for a bass violin.
Saving the exotic woods of Africa and South America is important as is
saving the musical tonewoods of the Pacific Northwest unless, of course
your taste runs to Punk Rock or synthesized musak.
The usual disclaimers apply