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What Do You Look For In Wood?


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I come from a country (Malaysia) that produces practically hundreds of different species of timber woods. The only problem is, people haven’t been using them for musical instruments for hundreds of years so people don’t know their tonal qualities. When getting wood for guitars, what kind of characteristics would you look for?(density,strength etc.)

some of the common species that can be found here include

Merbau(intsia spp.)

keruing(dipterocarpus spp.)

merawan(Hopea spp.)

rengas(gluta spp./Melanohcyla spp.)

jelutong(dyera spp.)

ketapang(teminalia spp.)

meranti of practically every kind(shorea spp.)


and countless others.


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That's all I could find. Do you know if the woods go by any other names?

In general, you look for good strength and hardness in wood. The hardness will affect the tone (harder is brighter), but then again, so do a lot of things. Generally speaking, lighter, harder woods are the brightest.

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