As part of the ‘Have Your Say’ post feedback from earlier in the year (and, by the way, it’s not too late for you to comment) you asked for more information on woods.
Today’s #ThrowbackThursday post features the Madagascan Rosewood that was traditionally seasoned by our friends at Sanchis Lopez for over 50 years before being lovingly shaped into a classical guitar by 3rd Generation master craftsman Ricardo Sanchis Lopez. We are honoured to have this guitar in our showroom as part of our Connoisseur Collection.
But what makes Madagascan rosewood different? After all, isn’t rosewood rosewood? Well, no, it isn’t. The most common rosewood used is Brazilian rosewood, Dalbergia nigra, Sadly, so much has been used that it is now CITES certified. Next most common is the Indian rosewood, Dalbergia latifolia. Both of these are widely used in guitars and we have examples of both in our showroom. Madagascan rosewood, Dalbergia maritima, is sometimes referred to as bois de rose to differentiate it from its close cousins as it is highly prized for its colour and close, even, grain; making it particularly resonant.
Rosewoods are used in classical guitars due to the deep tones that are produced from its close grains and its smooth nature as well as its rich colour and attractive figuring; which varies from Brazilian, through Indian, to Madagascan.
However, with CITES certification, deforestation, and rising prices a number of other species are also being sold as rosewood. These include Bolivian Rosewood, Machaerium scleroxylon, New Guinea rosewood, Pterocarpus indicus, and we’ve even seen Australian rose mahogany (Dysoxylum fraserianum) referred to as Australian rosewood :-O
Of course how the guitar sounds isn’t just down to the selection of the wood but also the skill of the luthier in bringing out the best from that wood. The even, close-grained, nature of the Madagascan rosewood allowed Ricardo Sanchis Lopez to make the back and sides of his guitar very thin (it is very light for a rosewood guitar; you can compare weights in our showroom and see what we mean) which means it has incredible resonance and sustain as well as delivering in both the treble and bass notes equally. Add to the amazing sound the stunning iridescent purple streaked back and sides and you have an instrument that looks as good as it sounds. The only thing that has surprised us about this instrument is that we still have it in stock.
You’ll have to trust us when we say this picture does not do this guitar justice and it really does have to be seen, and heard, to be believed!