We inherited timber that we have been storing since the 1950s.
In the construction of our handmade instruments we use wood that has been dried naturally, as this provides stability against humidity changes and a crystallization of its resins necessary for a better sound quality. As we are consuming them we are replacing them to promote this form of drying. The natural drying time depends a lot on the thickness of the piece, the density of the wood, so it is advisable to leave at least 10 years of curing.
On the other hand, the wood we have is correctly cut by the verticality of the growths, an ideal method for the instrument.
It was the wood that José Ramírez III discovered by chance in the 1960s. At one point when he had trouble finding Central American cedar (CEDRELA ODORATA), which is the wood we traditionally use for mangoes, he sent one of his officers to a lumber yard to buy some. He came back claiming that they were offering cedar and so Joseph asked him to bring him a sample. When he had it in his hands he was perplexed, obviously it was not the wood he was expecting, but he found its characteristics interesting and wanted to try it out. He put together two pieces that he prepared for a lid and let them dry overnight on a metal plate. The next day the entire surface was completely flat, which is not the case with other woods.
In this wood we look for the same as in the Central European woods used for guitar tops, violin, etc, where it has more quality the more marked, homogeneous and straight are the lines of growth, without being too close together, nor too far apart between them. This is intended to achieve strength in longitudinal vibrations.
The red cedar is a stable and firm wood that provides a warm and deep sound, which will evolve over time, although from the beginning it will emit a sound very close to its full evolution, unlike the spruce that will need more time to develop. It has an approximate density between 350 and 400 kg/m3. Its popular name leads to confusion, as it is not a type of cedar. It is an evergreen conifer (gymnosperm) that does not resemble the appearance of cedars, as it is neither Cedrella Odorata, Cedrus SP, Cedrus Libani, Cedrus Deodara or Cedrud Atlantica. It is very similar to the so-called German Fir (PICEA ABIES).
It is the wood that has been used historically in the tops of instruments since time immemorial. It has an approximate density of 450 Kg/m3. It is a conifer of the Pinaceae family.
It gives the instrument a direct and crystalline sound, also sweet, but brighter than cedar. The guitar just built with this material will not give the definitive sound, it will have to be worked to get the ideal result. It is necessary to point out that every guitar, no matter the wood it is made of, will adapt its sound to the way the guitarist plays, as a pen adapts to the hand of a writer.
Also in it they look for straight and uniform veins, without too much separation between them, ideal for longitudinal vibrations.
It has an approximate density between 870 and 900 Kg/m3. It is the most sober of the Dalbergias, but it is much more resistant to changes in humidity, which does not exempt it from the proper care of the instrument. Its grain is straight with hardly any pattern. We select the most regular meshes for their stability and sound quality.
We have had this type of wood in storage for 70 years. The quality of our Indian rosewood is superior with a more than adequate crystallization to achieve a powerful and balanced sound.
Also called Brazilian jacaranda, Rio rosewood or Bahia jacaranda. It is the most beautiful of all the Dalbergias and for this reason it has been terribly mistreated and exploited, which is why its felling was prohibited and the use of the wood already cut was regularized in 1995. Currently you can’t get it legally, unless you have an older stock. We are fortunate to keep in our warehouse this wood with 70 years of natural seasoning that gives it great sound quality thanks to its crystallization.
It is also the most crystalline and brittle of all the Dalbergias, so you have to be very careful with its maintenance and with changes in humidity.
We started to use this wood after the banning of Brazilian rosewood in the year 2000 because of its design and beauty. At present the felling and export of this wood has also been regulated and is difficult to obtain, fortunately we have a large amount drying naturally for about 20 years.
It is a brown wood with darker meshes and has a density of 920 Kg/m3.
It is a wood of dark brown colour and reddish or purple tonalities with an approximate density of 1.100 Kg/m3. It is similar to Indian rosewood, although much heavier. The sound qualities make it possible to achieve an instrument with a stable, deep and balanced sound.
It is the lightest of the dalbergia, with a reddish colour adorned with darker black drawings that give it great beauty. It has good resistance to cracks caused by changes in humidity and weathering. Its approximate density is between 990 and 1250 Kg/m3. It has the particularity that when it is sawed it oxidizes and takes an orange tone.
With it we get guitars with a full-bodied sound and powerful bass.
It has an approximate density of 400-600 Kg/m3. It is a very light wood with a light yellow colour and its grain is straight. It is very pleasant to work with and has a very particular smell. It is very stable with humidity changes, although this does not mean that the instrument made with this wood does not need care.
It is usually used for the so-called Flamencas Blancas with a brighter and huskier sound than the guitars called Flamencas Negras (with Indian rosewood in the sides and in the floor). We use this wood for the double sides (always with solid wood) of our Traditional guitars (which are erroneously known as 1A, which means nothing else than top quality guitars, like the rest of our handcrafted guitars that are not 2nd: Sencillo and Preludio models).
It is a white wood that has an approximate density of between 610 and 680 Kg/m3. It is a wood very appreciated by the curls that characterize it and that can be more or less marked. There are two types of maple that we use, the flamed maple (Acer pseudoplatanus) and the bird’s eye maple (Acer saccharum Marsh. With an approximate density of 630/700 kg/m3).
We use this wood for our historical model Tablao Guitar (copy of 1913), although it could be added to other models on request. With this wood we get nuances in the sound that give it brilliance, depth and a slightly metallic impression. It was mainly used in old guitars, mainly flamenco guitars. Nowadays it has been recovered in the construction of guitars.
It was traditionally known as Honduran cedar. It is the wood that we use for the handles and has an approximate density of between 450 to 600 Kg/m3. It has a light brown color and a suitable weight so that this part of the guitar is not too heavy, as well as a great stability.
(Diospyros crassiflora Hiern.)
Ebony is a very dense, stiff and stable wood, when it has been dried naturally, which we use for fingerboards. It is highly resistant to wear and tear. Its color is black, although it may have light spots. We normally select the blackest wood for our first class guitars (1A) and the wood with white grain for our second class guitars (2A). Its density is approximately between 1000 and 1275 Kg/m3.
By tradition this wood is usually used in the fretboards of the highest quality guitars, being the rosewood the one used in cheaper guitars. Many manufacturers dye the ebony or rosewood to achieve the appearance of a dark ebony in the Spanish guitar (classical and flamenco).