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Dear Emily: "Tonewood On A Budget"

Posted by cfmartinguitar

Dear Emily,

I love the sound and look of Brazilian Rosewood but I can't afford it. Is there another wood that sounds and looks like Brazilian Rosewood and is more affordable? --Premium Tonewood On A Budget

Dear Premium Tonewood On A Budget,

We have any great sounding and affordable tonewoods! Madagascar Rosewood (Madi) is the first that comes to mind. In fact, people are calling this "the next Brazilian." Madi is one of my favorites. My own custom guitar is made of Madi wood. It sounds fantastic on pretty much any body size. When you hear it, you definitely know it's a Rosewood. You can check out the Madi on our Authentic Series guitars. In my opinion, the Authentics are some of the best guitars to come out of the factory and the Madi is a large part of that.

Guatemalan Rosewood is also an awesome choice. In the wood room, we sometimes tap raw pieces of wood to hear how long they resonate and what kind of tones they have. The tap tones of Guatemalan sound very much like those of Brazilian. The yoda of the custom shop office, Danny Brown, will tell you the same thing and he's tapped more Brazilian than most of us!


Want to hear more from Emily? She will be taking over the @MartinGuitar Twitter on Thursday, November 5th from 3-3:30PM (EST). Join the conversation by using #DearEmily.


Emily has worked at Martin Guitar for 8 years. She has been cross-trained in every aspect of guitar building and currently serves as the Martin Guitar Custom Shop Administrator. Dear Emily is an advice column that will appear bi-monthly on the Martin Guitar Blog.

Topics: Ask Emily

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