It largely depends on how you play it; the midrange and warmth will lend itself nicely to strumming and softer playing, while that added sparkle makes it great for contemporary styles, lead playing and fingerpicking parts alike! Usually, when someone asks what Sapele is, the answer is invariably – “it’s like Mahogany”. Martin Dreagnouth Jr. Sapele or GS Mini Mahogany. For this reason, as with rosewood, it makes a great choice as a fretboard, although it isn’t as common. That said, it is also sometimes mistakenly called Mahogany, which could also lead to less awareness of this wood. Sapele Wood can also be used in interior and exterior usage and is actually a cost-effective alternative to Spanish Cedar or Western Red Cedar. All else being equal, Sapele will be a lot like Mahogany, to be fair, but with some subtle differences. It isn’t as hard as African Mahogany or Sapele. So, bottom line; which might you feel makes for a richer sounding parlour guitar, Okoume or Mahogony? Does it mean one is thicker and/or harder than the other? Don’t be fooled into believing that means that is a lesser quality, however; it’s just different. It’s harder than both Honduran and African Mahogany. Again, we’ve already touched on maple in this article; with acoustic guitars, it’s more commonly used for the backs and sides, but it’s attractive patterned grain varieties make beautiful tops too. Is it truly just a different type of mahogany or is it closer to a sapele? Many people have been charmed into spending their hard-earned cash on a guitar with maple back and sides almost purely thanks to its spellbinding aesthetics. When used as a back/side wood to compliment a brighter sounding top wood, Mahogany is good for mellowing out the brightness and adding some warmth and a stronger mid-range plus softening the highs and reducing the overtones. Summary: bright, immediate tone with excellent projection. Privacy Policy. From shop BedfordAvenueFlutes. Engelmann tends to be marginally lighter and less stiff, which results in slightly less projection, while Adirondack is generally slightly heavier and stiffer resulting in a louder guitar, but they are all relatively loud top woods. As we touched on earlier in this article, mahogany is a stiff, hard and dense tone wood that provides a distinctly wood and warm tone. Sapele features interlocking, fine textured grain that frequently changes direction. Any other comments or questions welcome in the comments section below. The only real way to tell would be b ya visual inspection if you were familiar with the how the woods differed in looks. In the case of an electric guitar, there are a number of different design aspects that contribute to the overall sound; pickup types, configuration of electronics, hardware and tonewood choices are just a handful of things to consider. Did you enjoy reading this article? Lester. It’s a less dense wood than spruce, providing you with a slightly darker tone. Thanks for the technical differences. Oil makes it extra shiny and prolongs the life of the board. Different manufacturers tend to favour different wood choices, but in recent years the industry has seen a shift in trends. These changes were implemented by CITES (short for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) to protect species from drastic reduction in numbers, and it meant that any guitar using these woods required CITES certification to be traded across borders – naturally, building guitars became a lengthier process and increased prices. The Timber Durability chart contains 5 classifications, with each class determining how long each timber listed will … Maple might make a good option for a fingerboard if your body wood offers a darker, warmer tone; the maple will balance it out and deliver a more balanced tone. Whether you get Honduran Mahogany (probably more commonly referred to as Tropical Mahogany these days because it is sourced from a number of Central and South American countries now), or African Mahogany, the sound characteristics are going to be pretty close. For the most part, acoustic necks consist of either maple or mahogany. It’s worth noting that Spruce does tend to tan over the years resulting in older Spruce top guitars taking on more of a yellow hue. If you want high-end, look no further. Peruvian walnut is slightly more dense than North American Walnuts, which may increase volume and/or projection. In some ways this is true since Sapele is in the Mahogany family, Meliceae. Walnut. It has become a perennial favourite and features on the comfortable majority of steel-string acoustics available today. I have a distinct fondness for maple bodied guitars. One of the most common comparisons is that between laminated and solid wood. I am purchasing an online guitar with Spruce top, Sapele back and sides. Again, like with Mahogany, the sound that you can expect from a guitar with Sapele will greatly differ depending on other materials used, the builder, and whether or not it’s used as a top, back and sides or both. It is well known for making an instrument sound bright and loud, and generates a tight, focused tone with little overtone presence. As discussed earlier, walnut has a striking, rich appearance when used for acoustic guitar backs and sides, and would stand out in a similar fashion if used for the fretboard. Wenge is popular for back and sides of instruments. The midrange is where it differs, however, with a healthy bark that puts it somewhere in between rosewood and mahogany. As the term may suggest, laminated wood is a number of thinner layers of wood that are stuck together with adhesives and pressure to form a sheet. Sam is one of our content writers, as well as being our resident southpaw and synth enthusiast. I, too, have only recently become aware of this wood. Also glad you discovered silk and steel strings – they can really make it easier on your fingers as a beginner. Below are listed the relative hardness for numerous wood species used in flooring. Hi, I have a question about varnish finish.. Because there is less stiffness along the grain, it’s also relatively quiet compared to some other tonewoods. Although I’ve been a die -hard Martin guy, I find that Taylor is now producing some very high quality, affordable guitars. This is no surprise given that it’s quite a hard wood but is still easy to carve. A very well done article. Your email address will not be published. To better understand the differences between the two, let’s first take a look at each wood individually. Walnut offers smooth playability and a bright tone, but with just the right amount of low and mid emphasis to sound balance and relatively transparent. There are actually a couple of different woods that are referred to as Mahogany, when talking about tonewoods for guitars. Can you notice the difference? In fact some retailers sometimes even just say Mahogany, when it’s actually Sapele, just because less people have heard of Sapele. January 8, 2016 at 6:24 pm. Sapele comes from West Africa and its scientific name is Entandrophragma cylindricum. Glad the article could help. Koa will not necessarily suit plectrum players due to its pronounced brightness, but finger-pickers who use the pads of their fingers or those that like to strum with their thumbs should definitely consider Koa. Sapele is definitely a real wood! Different manufacturers have different approaches to this. Companies like Alvarez, Sire and Taylor are proud to offer solid tops on all of their acoustics, while Ibanez aren’t afraid to use laminates to offer stunning aesthetics and durability at reduced cost. It has a relatively high velocity of sound, and the highest strength to weight ratio than any other wood. What’s your experience with these tone woods? Great post and very helpful….Now if I could only find out if my 2007 Martin 000-15 was hog or Sapele…that would be great…lol. Some observe a slight mid-scoop with slightly enhanced lows as well as highs. I am hoping for sound quality similar to Taylor guitars. Leave a comment below and share your thoughts! Modac X. So, in the battle of Sapele vs Mahogany, which is the better tonewood? As mentioned earlier, there are two types most commonly used: Indian and Brazilian. While employing solid wood is more expensive, it arguably yields superior results. Sapele: Janka Hardness 1,410 lbf (6,280 N) The hardest of the three options. http://acousticletter.com/join BUY NOW (more info): https://musicvilla.com/collections/taylor Interested? Our Sapele is “quarter sawn” at the mill, a process that creates a ribbon or stripe … Due to the unpredictable and ever-changing nature of this growth, you can almost certainly expect inconsistencies and imperfections at every level of detail, whether it’s an unmistakable fist-sized knot or a microscopic hole. Though to be fair, on most guitars it would be hard to make out the difference in tone when used as back/sides wood. 2,192 3. Different types of wood have different types of imperfections and characteristics in their make-up, and it’s this variation that makes them sound different from each other. Everything you need to know about the acoustic guitar tonewood options available on the market today! Sapele vs Mahogany. Required fields are marked *. Nowadays, acoustic guitar manufacturers use a wealth of different wood types, with exotic and alternative woods being used more commonly to avoid hefty fees and maintain consistent output; so without further ado, let’s delve deep into the world of acoustic guitar tonewoods! Because wood is an organic material, it changes shape and density as it grows; with age, wood develops deeper grains that change almost immeasurably during its lifespan. Sapele is less heard of than Mahogany. It was interesting to find this information about the sound qualities as well as some other qualities discussed here. The deep, pronounced grain is very reminiscent of mahogany but sapele tends to be a little lighter red/amber coloured and can often be striped between large dark and light patches (sometimes an inch or more in thickness). Little by little I’m building some experience. Bought my first uke and it was made a sapele and was curious what it was. Walnut Flute Stand BedfordAvenueFlutes. I didn’t expect that this post would ever be used for 3D modelling purposes (or anything outside of acoustic guitars)! In the large room however, you’ll notice the sound echoes around more, meaning the sound lasts longer but loses clarity. The luthier simply takes the thinnest possible piece and reinforces it with cheaper materials, meaning that the attractive piece of wood can be used for a number of instruments. The Brazilian variety tends to have the more striking appearance of the two, with a dark brown complexion with rich orange hints, and fine black lines in the figuring. Better vibration means better sustain and better tone! Its tonal brightness, woody midrange and dark, rich appearance have proven popular among numerous luthiers; for many, it’s something of a departure from the usual suspects, resulting in a uniquely beautiful instrument that remains versatile and playable. I ended up with an Eastman all solid sapele guitar which, I believe delivers stonger output from the high strings that the D15 I played, presumably because it’s a harder wood than tropical mahogany. It is also cost effective compared to some of the other high end wood used in guitars. I recently began a search for a mahogany top guitar like a D15 and learned that Martin uses both tropical mahogany and sapele interchangeably. To give some perspective the following is the hardness of the woods discussed here including Rosewood. Copyright © 2015 - 2020 - SixStringAcoustic.com - Privacy Policy. Sapele Lumber Angela Raimato 2020-07-23T11:29:33-04:00 SAPELE EXOTIC WOOD Once considered a more refined member of the mahogany family, Sapele is now being used as the industry standard for doors, windows and moldings due to the restrictions on South American Mahogany. It’s just not heard of as much as Mahogany. Hi, I am Cleaton. Sam's desert island gear would be his Mexican Tele, Strymon El Capistan and Teenage Engineering OP-1. An African tone wood closely related to Mahogany, Sapele is similar in both look and sound. Finding and Buying a Door. Hardwood Lumber:All of our lumber is of the highest quality and kiln dried (unless otherwise noted. Indian rosewood is far more widespread, but the CITES restrictions mean that it’s quite rare to see Brazilian rosewood in use on a production guitars nowadays – if you’ve got one, count yourself lucky! The top wood of an acoustic guitar isn’t just the first bit that you notice; it plays a pivotal part in your instrument’s sound. African Mahogany (scientific names – Khaya anthotheca, Khaya grandifoliola, Khaya ivorensis, Khaya senegalensis) is harder than Honduran Mahogany and is considered to be the lesser version of Honduran Mahogany. I do have guitar back and sides sets in rosewood, mahogany, sapele, maple, cherry and walnut, so I can tap to my heart's delight. Similar in appearance and tone to Genuine Mahogany, Sapele exhibits a powerful midrange, great punch and bright and airy trebles. Light, golden colour with a rich variety of distinct grain types. Maple cabinets weigh more than walnut cabinets. Many argue that it’s well worth the effort and the wait to get it there though! EIR is generally pretty easy to spot as being different, although the colouring is often a similar dark chocolate brown. Walnut sort of takes the cake as far as presentation. Thank you! Wenge is a darker wood with black and brown striping. Enough so that you’d likely notice the difference on the top and maybe slightly when used as back and sides in place of Mahogany. Your article is really well done, and answers everything a musician would be looking for when they come across your page. Sapele>> Popular for European-styled interiors, Sapele hardwood has a tight grain and reddish-brown color. You’ll get a consistent sound regardless of your style of playing; some consider this to be lacking in character, but it does mean that spruce could be considered versatile in terms of its sound. The Janka test measures the amount of force required to embed a 0.444" steel ball into the wood to half of its diameter. A Walnut and Sapele Gift Box Before starting any project I make sure everything works out in SketchUp. That’s because they’re easy to work with and respond well to tension. Claro walnut is a medium-sized tree of short bulky proportions. But this is only a subtle difference really. In some cases (particularly for guitar tops), the solid piece of wood is divided into two and mirrored – you’ll often notice a distinct divide in the middle of a guitar top when this is the case. Light, golden colour with a rich variety of distinct grain types. It tends to be warm and full, but usually with a firmer low end, and more overall tightness. It tends to lose clarity when it’s driven hard, so tends not to be favoured among those who generally play hard with a pick. It’s been used to very good effect for decades, and there are two main varieties that have been employed throughout this time: East Indian rosewood, and it’s more elusive and expensive alternative, Brazilian rosewood. Always nice to have two of everything for sure (at least two :-)) I don’t own any ukes but I imagine the sound properties work similarly with ukes and guitars. This is partially due to changes in regulation that restrict the circulation of certain rare woods, most notably affecting rosewood, granadillo and bubinga. Hickory 1820 Walnut, Caribbean 1400 Imbuia 950 Walnut, Mayan/Aztec 1400 Iroko/Kambala 1260 Maple, Hard North American 1450 Ironwood, Green 3680 Mahogany, African, Sapele 1500 Jarrah, Australian 1915 Maple, Ivory 1500 Kenpass 1854 Afromosia 1560 Lacewood 840 Timborana 1570 Lapacho 3670 Zebrawood 1575 Mahogany, African, Khaya 845 Gingerwood 1600 Summary: bright, immediate tone with excellent projection that suits amplified performance. It’s dark, beautiful, and oiled in our BigWood Boards Premium Cutting Board Oil. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Glad the article helped with your decision and glad that you’ve found the tonewood combo that suits you the best. But it’s going to be closer to Mahogany than it is to say Rosewood. If you do buy a Koa guitar, bear in mind that it will seem very bright at first and will need some attention and use over time to mellow out. Ebony has also been a staple fretboard wood choice for years, though it’s more commonly seen on electric guitars. Let me count the ways: L‑00, D‑18, O‑22, J‑45, Les Paul Junior…. Traditionally used on classical guitars, cedar is becoming increasingly common in steel-string instruments. Light and unassuming in appearance. Sapele lumber is often marketed as a type of African Mahogany. Sapele then adds some extra high end into the mix. Let’s take a look at some of the most common choices for acoustic guitar backs & sides: Rosewood is without question one of the most popular and enduring tone woods known in acoustic guitar construction. Filed Under: Buying Guides, Guitar selection. It’s closer to Rosewood than Mahogany is but it’s much more similar to Mahogany than it is to Rosewood. As mentioned earlier, mahogany is relatively easy to spot, with a distinct reddish appearance. East Indian Rosewood (often referred to as EIR) is easier to produce and therefore considerably cheaper. Acoustic vs Bass Guitar: Which is better for Beginners? The wood used to form the back and sides of an acoustic guitar sound chamber does a lot more than simply look good and create an enclosure. Mahogany topped acoustic guitars are not especially common but have been around since the ‘20s. Summary: rich sound with complex overtones and crystal-clear high frequencies. This results in a more characterful and colourful tone, and the quality of tone generated by a mahogany guitar will therefore change through time. If you strum a guitar in the small room, there’s less space for the sound to move around in, so the sound dies down quicker but is clear. It grows up to 30–60 feet (9.1–18.3 m) tall, has a single erect trunk, commonly without branches for 10–40 feet (3.0–12.2 m), and a crown that can be wider than the tree is tall. Sapele would then be a 2 or 3. They’re not exactly the same, tonally, but they are close. Sitka’s combination of strength and elasticity translates into a broad dynamic range, yielding crisp articulation and allowing for everythi… Laminated wood is often quicker to warp or mark due to its compound nature. If the wood is less dense, the sound will have more space in the grain to move around in, so you can expect a darker resonance with increased sustain! Modac X. Now apply this to the gaps between the grains in different types of wood: if wood is dense, there will be less space among the grain for the sound to move around in, so you can expect quick attack and bright clarity. After much thought , I finally arrived at the best combo of woods that I feel produce the best tonal sound for me and my style of playing, a mahogany top with Sapele back/sides. It has a straighter grain pattern than its Brazilian counterpart with less striking figuring, and it can include hints of purple, red, and grey highlights. That said, it is becoming more and more widely used and it will likely be more known as time goes by. This makes it a good choice for live performance because the clarity of tone cuts through the mix well, and feedback is less likely to be problematic. As I’m about to buy an acoustic guitar I’ve sampled many different brands and models of guitars. Much like koa, walnut is a dense wood that delivers a sparkly brightness. I was also more of a Martin guy before starting this website but over the last couple of years Taylor have become equals for me. Koa can sound very bright right out of the box and need a good amount of ‘playing in’ before the tone reaches its sweet spot. Its stunning appearance is one of the main reasons that Koa is so sought-after, but it has more than a little to do with tone as well. It also wears very well and will hold up to years of playing, even more so than some of the less dense options available like rosewood. 5 out of 5 stars (11) 11 reviews $ 110.00 FREE shipping Favorite Add to 3d Printed Real Wooden 12-hole Ocarina and Stand ArcadianSunflower. I was looking for wood textures and came across sapele when looking for mahogany. The midrange is where it differs, however, with a healthy bark that puts it somewhere in between rosewood and mahogany. This article was very helpful in making my decision ! Spruce is generally creamy white to a pinkish light brown in colour, depending on the variety in question. Glossary of Terms. As well as looking great on the top of an acoustic, it lends itself very well to plugged-in performances thanks to that quality note definition. Walnut is beautiful and has nice tonal character on the sides and back though. Honduran Mahogany is preferred as a top wood over African Mahogany. Sapele is offered in many of our wood door styles.When “Solid” is noted, that is the version available. You’ll see a number of species of used in acoustic guitar construction, the most common being Sitka, Engelmann (also known as European) and Adirondack (also known as Eastern Red Spruce). Glad you found this article helpful. This, of course, as always, depends on your particular tastes – mostly. It certainly isn’t a cheap wood to get hold of which accounts for it generally only appearing on special or limited-edition guitars; Taylor are one of the few manufacturers that offer Koa on a wide range of models. There's effectively no difference in sound at all. Its resonance could be described as dark and complex, with notably rich overtones and a metallic zing that’s difficult to replicate with other woods! I'm in the mahogany camp, but only because personally I don't like the "stripey" look of Sapele. A dark, luxurious appearance with fine black lines in the grain. It should also be noted that Sapele on one guitar (with different materials and construction) will sound different to Sapele on another – and the same goes for Mahogany. Taking into consideration that there are different types of Mahogany (and there’ll be different qualities too) Mahogany generally has the following tonal characteristics – all other parts of the guitar being equal. As a tonewood, maple provides excellent separation where every note sounding at the same time has clear definition. You’ll get a punchy and balanced tone with a relatively emphasized midrange, certainly compared to the enhanced highs and lows that rosewood will generate. Also like Mahogany, Sapele is a popular wood for guitar necks. That said, the density of each particular piece will to a certain extent. Learn, © 2020 Andertons Music Company I know it’s very subjective but could a satin finish be any better than shiny high gloss finish? With a rich dark reddish-brown colour, mahogany is very easy to spot. Rosewood is popular for fretboards thanks to its smooth feel, but its durability is also crucial. On the other hand, the relative prominence of the overtones in the sound it generates results in cedar being a favourite among fingerstyle players who value the quality and character of tone above volume and clarity. Like Mahogany, Sapele is used as both a top wood and a back/sides wood. An African tone wood closely related to Mahogany, Sapele is similar in both look and sound. I’ve been playing guitar for several years, and now I’m looking to get myself a Ukelele. Summary: immediate, balanced tone with little complexity. If you have any questions or are interested in making a purchase, please give us a call or email Boone (boone@bellforestproducts.com) and we can quickly provide you with a quote. To see our post on how to best oil your walnut … Bamboo’s warmth and richness match a wide-range of … Some people are good at distinguishing the difference. With sapele, you’ll notice a strong low-end and midrange bark, very similar to mahogany, but it delivers more top-end definition than its African counterpart. It has high natural oil content, meaning that it can be left unfinished. Sapele trees are protected in such a way as to prevent over-harvesting which makes this a relatively sustainable wood that is being harvested responsibly. This of course doesn’t mean better or worse – it’s just to illustrate in terms of tonal characteristics how Sapele fits between Mahogany and Rosewood. It’s not half way between Rosewood and Mahogany but it’s closer to Rosewood than Mahogany is, if that makes sense. Summary: warm tone with excellent midrange and bass emphasis, with a reddish-orange colour and an even grain pattern. What it lacks in dramatic visual appeal and breathless testimonial from wood-sniffers, it more than makes up for in suitability for instrument construction. This, of course, as always, depends on your particular tastes – mostly. Wood can be arranged and utilised in a number of ways when it comes to building acoustic guitars. The fretboard is where you tend to get a broader variety, as this is one of the main parts that you’re in contact with when playing your instrument. Reply. Many argue that solid wood also offers a more resonant tone, again due to the uniform grain and thickness. The top (also referred to as the soundboard) is one of the components that stands in between your strings and the bulk of the guitar’s body, so the wood used has to be carefully considered. When flat sawn it is a nice alternative for Mahogany. Summary: similar tone to mahogany but with a little extra high-end definition, with stripy red colouration. Maple is a very dense hardwood, and this physical characteristic results in a relatively quick note decay. Peruvian Walnut (Juglans Neotropica) Nogal H=3.6, M=3.4, B=4.2, S=2.6, O=1, T=1.2 Peruvian Walnut is a true walnut. Our Timber Durability Chart & Database has all of the information you're looking for! This was a well presented education on the different qualities of different woods . Dark, stripy appearance. Sapele Tonewood goes is a great all-purpose tonewood that works for many different applications. The result is a tough, resilient material that lends itself well to fretboard use. Last updated: August 22, 2019 by Nate 19 Comments. Fundamental vs. Overtones A fundamental tone is the initial sound heard when you pick or pluck a note (and which decays at varying rates depending on the sustain); the overtones are complex harmonic layers that can make the note swell after the fundamental is initiated. People love it: Figured koa is probably among the most important to... Beautiful, and generates a tight, focused tone with less sparkle but more character and an piece. And a back/sides wood the effort and the effect the woods discussed here ball into wood. Information on both Mahogany and Sapele tone woods was very helpful and I go... Ideal for a number of styles left unfinished you simply use the thicker, more often seen electric! And immediate articulation of sound, and answers everything a musician would be the closest to.. Woods is sapele vs walnut educational increase volume and/or projection popular back and sides quick note decay a stiff, hard dense... And fairly heavy, with a reddish-orange colour and an even grain pattern and tone to Mahogany! Style of playing making my decision most important things to consider in of!, and finishes well Mahogany, Sapele hardwood has a relatively sustainable wood that delivers a sparkly brightness most,! Look and sound exterior usage and is considerably stronger than African Mahogany moniker wood individually that lumped. Classical guitars, more expensive, it is sapele vs walnut medium to dark reddish-brown purplish-brown! For when they come across your page cedar is becoming increasingly common in steel-string instruments more commonly on. Found being employed as a skin and respiratory irritant ‘ electric guitar tonewood guide. Island gear would be great…lol dense than North American Walnuts, which is the available. Those of Mahogany or is it truly just a different type of African Mahogany lot of,... If it was man made or natural wood subtle and striking at the same time acoustic resonances vibrations! T expect that this post would ever be used for 3D modelling purposes ( or anything outside of guitars. Sparkly tone with little overtone presence some really nice guitars sit nicely in any mix similarly koa. Popular by Martin and Gibson in the Mahogany camp, but usually with a rich dark chocolate.! Cedar tends to be closer to Mahogany than it is similar in and! Lacks in dramatic visual appeal and breathless testimonial from wood-sniffers, it is well known its... And utilised in a warm rounded sparkle and rich low end, and NOW I m! Every note sounding at the same, tonally, but in recent years the industry seen. Quite uncommon, Sapele is, the choice of fretboard wood for an door... To instrument microphones or pickup systems, allowing you to sit nicely in any mix sound complex. Yours is Sapele or hog you with a firmer low end s warmth richness. I didn ’ t yet know the acoustic resonances and vibrations on this guitar exhibits a powerful midrange, punch... A luxurious appearance and rich low end, and this results in a loud, bright sound with complex and... American Walnuts, which is the most common comparisons is that it ’ s not. M glad you found the info helpful for your purposes to Spanish or! Out the difference in sound at all acoustic guitars are not especially but. Emphasis, with a little extra high-end definition, with a rich variety of grain... Also glad you found the info helpful for your purposes a broad dynamic range with! Building acoustic guitars, however ; it ’ s varied colors and graining for... For wood textures and came across Sapele when looking for when they across. The two, let ’ s dark, luxurious appearance and rich, sparkly tone, again to... All-Purpose tonewood that works for many different brands and models of guitars same,,. Which makes this a relatively sustainable wood that delivers a sparkly brightness a slightly darker tone than,... All frequencies and a back/sides wood in Mahogany and Sapele as African Mahogany have a distinct reddish appearance walnut CALIFRONICA! Wood species compare the two because Mahogany would be great…lol in flooring is well known for its density resulting. > > popular for back and sides of instruments this was a presented. Which I eventually inherited, selling the Taylor ) or anything outside of acoustic are! I comment preferred as a skin and respiratory irritant that frequently changes direction done using Janka... Hard as African Mahogany qualities as well as highs Tele, Strymon El Capistan and Teenage Engineering OP-1 find information... Is the better tonewood differences between the two, let ’ s common knowledge that some woods sound,!, acoustic necks consist of either maple or Mahogany it more sapele vs walnut makes up for in suitability instrument... Martin uses both tropical Mahogany and Sapele bright tone that mellows over time, in... Other wood Interested in finding out more about music gear and expanding your knowledge on.. I am purchasing an online guitar with spruce top, Sapele hardwood has a distinct, cedar-like while. Relative hardness for numerous wood species Learn sapele vs walnut difference in tone when used as both a top wood – not! Guitars it would be looking for wood textures and came across Sapele when looking for Mahogany tonewood available! Your purposes Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases have heard of Mahogany, when someone asks Sapele. Walnut JUGLANS CALIFRONICA JUGLANS HINDSII the Janka hardness 1,410 lbf ( 6,280 N ) the hardest the... As Oak, and more overall tightness both are great tonewoods anyway and you... D15 and learned that Martin uses both tropical Mahogany and Sapele to Spanish cedar or Red! Updated: August 22, 2019 by Nate 19 comments Mahogany moniker have been around since the ‘ 20s ve! Sides of instruments commonly used: Indian and brazilian suits amplified performance colour... Translates into a broad dynamic range, with sonic characteristics similar to Taylor guitars African... Wood configuration arguably plays a more resonant tone, again due to smooth... Of Mahogany, Sapele is in the pre-war era, Mahogany is generally considered to fair. Fine black lines in the Mahogany family, Meliceae, immediate tone with projection! Fuller than others, not everyone necessarily knows why not have even heard of Mahogany is! The African Mahogany velocity of sound and little harmonic complexity dark lines sides wood and wood for eye-catching! To work with and respond well to fretboard use outside of acoustic guitars are not especially but! Makes it extra shiny and prolongs the life of the most commonly employed top wood and for! Widely perceived to look better with darker fretboards match a wide-range of … Sapele vs.. Helpful for your purposes for when they come across your page attractive, aesthetically at least, for guitars... A dark, luxurious appearance and rich, sparkly tone, making it highly sought-after an excellent, article. Particular tastes – mostly could be a better quality tonewood is occasionally used in interior and usage! For acoustic guitar I ’ ve probably heard these two woods because I... As we mentioned earlier, Mahogany was seen as a type of Mahogany and Sapele have warm, tonal! As we mentioned earlier, Mahogany is but it ’ s more commonly found employed! Suits amplified performance of course, as well as highs wood choice for years though! S fair to compare the two woods and the wait to get myself a Ukelele acoustic! Make it easier on your particular tastes – mostly look at each wood individually a about... On different ends of the most common comparisons is that between laminated and solid wood also offers a crucial... Common in steel-string instruments qualities of different woods that are referred to as )! Density, resulting in a well-rounded high and low emphasis and oiled in our BigWood Boards Premium Cutting oil... And learned that Martin uses both tropical Mahogany and Sapele interchangeably didn ’ t as.... 5 reviews as we mentioned earlier, there are actually a couple of different that. Oil makes it a highly versatile wood for necks be great…lol cedar tends to produce and considerably... That solid wood, there are actually a couple of different woods get there! To Learn the difference in tone when used as a fretboard, although it isn ’ t yet know acoustic! S hard to know if yours is Sapele or hog indication of how Sapele compares to,. Inspection if you like the tone of walnut will become warmer and softer with age Mahogany,. If yours is Sapele or hog re not exactly the sapele vs walnut time punch and bright and airy.! Have warm, mid-range-heavy tonal characteristics with subtle overtones listed the relative hardness of particular domestic or exotic species. Because Mahogany would be looking for when they come across your page Mahogany was seen a. I comment info ): https: //musicvilla.com/collections/taylor Interested species exist on different ends of the to!: Sapele has been reported as a skin and respiratory irritant at quantities of 10 board and! Difference when used as sapele vs walnut wood a particularly common fretboard wood is often similar! When talking about tonewoods for guitars highly sought-after to favour different wood choices, but only personally. And Asian updated: August 22, 2019 by Nate 19 comments by Martin and Gibson in the battle Sapele. For Mahogany when it comes to building acoustic guitars ) b ya inspection... Timber is in the battle of Sapele, and generates a tight, focused tone with less but. Of fretboard wood choice for ukuleles construction highly versatile wood for an guitar... Comfortable majority of steel-string acoustics available today Walnuts, which may increase volume and/or.! Traditionally used on classical guitars, more expensive piece of wood indication of how compares... I didn ’ t as hard as African Mahogany moniker all-purpose tonewood works.