I understand a similar question has been asked before; as the link below

Does the kind of wood used in making a violin affect its sound?

However, I would think a violin and guitar are very different. If so, how doees the type of wood affect the sound of a guitar?

  • Most people disagree with most other people if there's an effect, to what extent etc. It would probably help to know if you're talking acoustic or electric guitar?
    – user13400
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 11:34
  • Possibly useful: amjbot.org/content/93/10/1439.full Breedlove guitars has a more qualitative description breedlovemusic.com/features/top-woods-binding-styles , I've seen other similar (and similarly unsubstantiated) tone wood graphs in other places too.
    – Dave
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 11:45
  • I interpret this question as being significantly different from the violin one: this one (seems to) ask "What effects will different woods have", the latter seems to ask "Why should I care about the type of wood in a violin?". I cannot envision an answer to the "What effects..." question that is not one of (a) subjective or (b) a book length answer that goes into the overall design of guitars
    – Dave
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 11:53
  • I'd answer this that the physics of how a violin and a guitar produce sound is almost the same, so the materials to make them sound good their best are also the same. The only major difference is bowing vs plucking, and that primarily affects string setup rather than wood. So the linked question is an actual duplicate, not just similar. Maybe if the question was more about effects of particular woods on an instrument's sound?
    – Karen
    Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 13:13
  • It's all about absorptivity and coefficients of restitution and other fancy words :-), which boil down to "does the wood vibrate easily in response to the frequencies you want, and preferably not vibrate in response to frequencies you don't want." Commented Sep 18, 2014 at 13:58

1 Answer 1


In the case of Acoustic:

The density of the wood affects its resonance. the sound is echoed inside the hollow base and the quality of the wood affects how much sound is distributed outwards. The same effects are applied with damp wood, if the wood is damp it will affect the sound.

In the case of Electric:

I am unaware of any effects the wood has on the sound or quality of the guitar, its mostly down to professional appearance and finish. also the better the wood the longer the guitar will last and more of a beating it can take.

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