View Full Version : Different Backwoods

Feb-07-2004, 9:03pm
I've seen lots about top woods but how about back woods?

I like the look of quilted maple but have been told that when using it as a backwood you would want to use an MOP nut and a cast tailpiece to gain back the top end.

Does this wood make that much of a difference?

Im in the process of ordering a mandolin but dont want make a choice of woods that will effect the sound of the instrument.

Woods I'm looking at are Quilted, Bubble and Quarter sawn Maple.

Thanks for help


Luthier Vandross
Feb-10-2004, 11:20pm
Every piece of wood is as different as the varieties of wood..

One piece of maple is as hard/dense as stone, the next may feel as light as balsa, and cut with a spoon. I am lucky to work from a hand selected barn full of great wood, I would not want to build my ideal instrument, with one choice.

With maple, I like a super-light piece, with enough figure to make it interesting, the difference in tone is made up in the carve.

The only woods that get really weird are the darker south american rosewoods, and ebony. The oils (especially in ebony) make for a muted tone, with sometimes odd harmonic content, or lack thereof.

It's all subjective, best to get a supplier with a real feel for what you want.

I love quilt, 'tis pretty stuff.