jmdlister wrote:The best soundboards are made from slow growing trees, which I think discounts some coniferous trees - and many areas where otherwise good tonewood trees grow. I recently played a CG with a hardwood top - it was cypress, and made by Paul Fischer.
Cypress is actually a conifer, in the same family with cedar and redwood.
I've read that slow growth (leading to a tight grain) is important, and I've seen something about why that is. All I can remember is that the soundwaves tend to move more evenly in all directions when the grain is tight, while sound travels faster along the grain than across it if the wood is coarse. (I think I have that straight.)
This certainly rules out some species. Pine, for example, never seems to have a very dense grain.
Thanks, James. I'll have to see if I can try a maple guitar some time. I've heard its sound described as dry, brittle, strong in the midrange, and, now, creamy. I'm afraid I may have to accept that words cannot express how a given tonewood sounds to someone who has not heard it before.
More in the spirit of the orignial post, though, if the customers were not so partial to rosewood, would you still prefer to make guitars out of it?