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Martin Guitar Tonewoods

The beauty of the Acoustic Guitar is it’s simplicity.  Rather than having an array of cables, stomp boxes, power amps and speaker cabinets, nothing stands between you and your sound except for the strings and the wood.  The specific species of wood and the combinations in which they’re put together have the greatest impact on the sound of your guitar.  Looking for something dry and woody, harmonically rich and resonant or anywhere in between, there is a wood combination for you.  If find yourself needing some guidance while learning about Martin Tonewoods, never hesitate to give us a call or email.  It’s what we’re here for!

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    Highly resonant, with full, deep basses and brilliant trebles.  Rare, expensive, though occasionally available on limited edition and custom models.

    Thick, punchy bass, strong mids, good overtones.  Sources of supply have been well managed, reliable and of consistently high quality.

    The closest approximation of Brazilian Rosewood available on the market today. Deep, rumbling basses paired with a sparkling high end make Madagascar Rosewood one of the most desirable tone woods offered in the Martin line.

    A dense, responsive tone wood. providing a well balanced tone that pairs a solid low end with plenty of shimmer on the highs. A beautiful rich grain with plenty of depth make Cocobolo one of the best looking Martin tone woods.

    Dry, bright and snappy.  Very little overtones.  Much lighter in weight than rosewood, koa or maple. Yields a surprisingly strong, loud sound with an emphasis on clear, bright airy trebles.

    Similar in appearance and tone to Genuine Mahogany, Sapele exhibits a powerful midrange, great punch and bright and airy trebles.

    Sterile - softer and quieter than real wood.

    As a species Siris is related to and shares many tonal characteristics with Koa. Siris offers a clear, balanced tone which falls somewhere between Rosewood and Mahogany in both volume and amount of overtones.

    Very plain souding ... heavy mids and no overtones.  Bass response slightly less than East Indian Rosewood and treble response a bit less than genuine mahogany.  Balanced, clear tone is only outshone by the beauty of its honey-rippled grain.

    FSC® tone woods are woods approved by the Forest Stewardship Council.  FSC® Certification means the player can be assured that the materials in their instrument are responsibly harvested and managed, with care and concern given to the environmental impact as well as the rights of the workers and local communities involved with the harvesting. 

    A sustainable tone wood similar to Rosewood both in tone and in looks.  Ovangkol has the same developed bass and treble as Rosewood while also offering a slightly fuller mid-range.  Aesthetically Ovangkol can range from a crisp straight grain to a beautiful silk texture. 

    Between koa and mahogany.  Density and reflectivity approach that of maple.  Cherry produces a rich, projective midrange and balance without favoring the bass or treble frequencies.  Vibrant, beautiful grain.

    Extremely vibrant providing an ideal "diaphragm" for transmission of sound on any size and style of stringed instrument.  Primary top wood for Martin guitars.  Chosen for its straight, uniform grain, longevity and tensile strength.

    Prized for its similarity in color to European (German) white spruce as well as its extreme lightness in weight which seems to produce a slightly louder, more projective or "open" sound than Sitka spruce.

    Trees grow very slowly at such high elevations that the annual rings are generally closely and evenly spaced.  Wood is light enough to withstand the tension of steel strings.  Attributes similar to red spruce, it's powerful, clear and vibrant.

    Adirondack spruce (also known as Red spruce) has characteristics similar to high elevation European alpine spruce.  Adirondack spruce was abundant in the 1930s and used on Martin guitars of that era.  Its extraordinary tone, prized for its projection and tonal clarity, has created a resurgence of demand for Adirondack spruce.

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