Guitar Tonewoods

Navigating and understanding the world of tonewood can be overwhelming, but we’ve broken down the sound properties of our most commonly used woods to help you get a feeling for what best suits you. The unique combination of woods used for the top, back and sides will all impact the tone quality, sound, and musical characteristics of your instrument.

For many, the guitar top is the first design element to catch the eye.
It understandably also plays an important role in the sound your instrument will make. Baton Rouge guitars often use German spruce, solid Canadian cedar, laminated spruce and laminated mahogany.

The woods used for the back and sides of an acoustic guitar have a significant effect on the overall sound of a the instrument.
They will either amplify or eliminate frequencies produced by the strings affecting the overall tone of the guitar. All Baton Rouge solid wood guitars use mahogany, while laminated guitars will use mahogany, figured maple, flamed okoume, walnuts, pao ferro or flamed alder.

The choice of wood used for the neck, fretboard and bridge can greatly impact comfort and playability.
Depending on the wood used for the body of the guitar, the fretboard wood can help balance the tone and sound. Most Baton Rouge guitars and ukuleles use ovangkol, laurel, pine by Blackwoodtek and walnut.

German spruce

creates an immediate and balanced tone with consistent sound and crisp projecting tones. It’s one of the most popular choices for guitar tops and is frequently used in the Baton Rouge Guitar portfolio for good reason- it’s conducive to a wide variety of playing styles and techniques.

You’ll find a broad range of solid spruce top models in the Baton Rouge portfolio and is an excellent choice for fingerstyle players and strummers alike.

Check our models using a German spruce top


is another common choice for guitar tops and produces a slightly darker, heavier tone than spruce. It has a discerning quality and character which produces richer overtones than other woods but it will lose precision and clarity when played too hard with a pick.

You’ll find our Rouge series, designed with fingerstyle in mind to have a lot of solid cedar tops. With it’s rich overtones, quality of sound and distinctive character, cedar is a popular choice for fingerstyle players.

Check our models using a cedar top


with its distinctive reddish-dark brown colour is easy to spot. It’s known for producing a distinctly warm tone and is often described as having a “woody, dry” sound. Overtime as the mahogany tree matures, the wood will take on a more colourful tone. Both solid and laminated mahogany can be found on Baton Rouge tops, backs, and sides. Mahogany elements are appreciated by a wide range of players thanks to it’s balanced tone, wide range and wide spectrum overtones.

Check our models using a mahogany top


has a rich dark appearance. It’s a dense wood which delivers a bright and sparkly sound that will soften with age.

Walnut wood can be found on the back and sides of select Baton Rouge guitar models. This less common wood is appreciated by players who look for a bright tone with good projection and resonance.

Our key product using walnut is the X34S/OMCE


tonewood is known for it’s beautiful patterns and stunning aesthetics. It is a very dense wood resulting in a bright, immediate tone with relatively quick note decay. It’s a popular choice for live performance with a focused and clear tone and works very well with pickup systems and microphones.

You’ll find a variety of Baton Rouge models with maple backs and sides.

Maple features are appreciated by a wide spectrum of players, but are especially sought after by those who perform live or on stage. We use maple on our Strange series, the 20s Reloaded series and the Noir series.

Other woods used in our portfolio


Pau Ferro

Flamed Alder



How we thermally modify timber