Environmentally Sustainable Guitar Wood
Uncontrolled logging has meant that in recent years wood species like Brazilian rosewood and more recently Madagascan and Honduran rosewood are now listed on CITES and becoming scarcer and prohibitively more expensive by the year. Unfortunately, although guitars and other musical instruments form a very small part of the overall demand for these timbers, the consequences of unsustainable harvesting mean that all uses for these species are affected adversely for the foreseeable future.
Over the years, I have seen many beautiful wood species that are not traditionally used to make guitars (both exotic and domestic). There are also many others that don’t get much publicity because tradition favours those woods in regular use.
I believe that we are caretakers on our planet and that it is a responsibility incumbent on all guitar makers to ensure wherever possible that the wood they are using to build their instruments has been sourced sustainably.
I am committed to sourcing all my wood species whether traditional or non-traditional from environmentally sustainable sources, wherever possible, to build my classical and flamenco guitars.
I particularly love guitar wood from Africa and South East Asia. I am sure that there are many woods not widely used in guitar making that will make absolutely brilliant looking and tonally excellent guitars for the future.
Tonewoods Article - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonewood
Flamenco guitars have traditionally been made with a Spruce soundboard and Cyprus back and sides (Flamenca Blanca) for the resulting bright sound but also because it was inexpensive and readily available back in the 1800′s. In more recent years, Flamenco guitars made using spruce and cedar soundboards with rosewood back and sides have appeared. These guitars tend to have a bigger sound with more projection than the traditional Blanca and are often marvellous sounding guitars, although some players claim they lose a little of their flamenco brightness. This is clearly a subjective and very personal area and the overall sound that an individual player will get from their guitar differs widely.