Handcrafted instruments by Andrew Wright since 1996.

AW Guitars is currently in the planning stages of a new workshop and is not  taking new orders at this time. All current orders will be completed as scheduled. In the mean time, feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. I appreciate your patience and will do my best to get up and running again ASAP.

Environmental Responsibility

Due to the value of many species of hardwood, there has been a steady increase of illegal harvesting practices globally. The destruction can range from the cutting of individual trees to outright deforestation. I realize that my business is small, but this is a tragedy that I refuse to be a part of on any level. If I can not find a reliable source for the wood you are requesting I will not use it, but I will suggest some possible alternatives. As you can see, this issue is clearly important to me and I appreciate your understanding.  

 

The Myth of Tonewood

It is important that a musician’s instrument match his or her tonal as well as visual ideal. The first step toward achieving this is wood selection. There are several species of hardwoods that, due to their prominent use in instrument manufacturing, have been classified as “tonewoods.” This classification has led to a great deal of misunderstanding concerning the nature of wood. The most common misnomer is the belief that woods labeled as “tonewoods” have preferable tonal characteristics to woods not labeled as such. To dispel this myth we must understand the reasons that these woods gained prominence in the industry: availability, durability, workability, and perhaps most importantly, beauty.

The truth of the matter is that all species of wood have positive and negative tonal characteristics, depending on your point of view and it is important that you understand these characteristics when selecting wood for your instrument. In general, stiffer woods will give your instrument a brighter tone, more clarity and greater sustain with pronounced harmonics; flexible woods provide a warmer and darker tone but with less sustain. The density of a wood contributes greatly to tone as well as sound projection as denser woods absorb sound, particularly in the lower register; lighter woods project more volume, especially in middle to low frequencies. Personal taste is very much a factor here; to some people bright may mean “brittle” and to others dark may mean “muddy.”