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Artemis Custom Guitars

Guitar and Bass Woods

If you want a great guitar with great tone, beautiful appearance and suitable weight, the first thing you have to remind yourself is to select a suitable wood for your guitar.

Tone varies among different species of wood, in accordance with the density and weight of different woods. Heavier woods, commonly with good sustain, can produce brighter and crisper sound than light woods, which is a corresponding feature for bass guitar. Lighter woods often produce more soft and muddy tone. Woods of medium weight is traditionally preferred for guitar building. When choosing the wood, you should know what you want, a guitar or a bass, and what style is your favorite, blues, Jazz, Rock or Funk. Different woods produce different tones, so you must choose woods carefully.


In addition, you may still want it a good looking guitar. Every piece of wood has different grain and color from others. Some grains are special and really preferred by individuals, such as birdseye, quilted, fiddle back and curly. But different people have different tastes; you may have your favorite patterns and colors. A laminate wood is often a good choice to balance your need between good looking appearance and sound tone.

Furthermore, you have to consider your strength and then choose wood with proper weight. Some woods are light, such as Basswood, alder and ash, but some are heavier, including Maple, Rosewood, and Ebony and so on.

The following list is the wood you can choose in our custom workshop, but it's not a complete list. Actually, you can demand other woods if you have a definite choice in mind, and we'll do our best to fulfill your requirements.

Guitar & Bass Wood Stock List
Woods Used for bodies Used for tops Used for necks Used for fretboards
Alder Y Y N N
Ash Y Y N N
Mahogany Y Y Y N
Basswood Y N N N
Hard Maple Y Y Y Y
Soft Maple Y Y N N
Flame Maple Y Y N N
Quilt Maple Y Y N N
Birdyseye Maple N Y Y Y
Rosewood Y Y Y Y
Ebony N N Y Y
Lacewood Y Y Y N
Burl Maple N Y N N
Padouk Y Y Y N
Poplar Y Y N N
Walnut Y Y Y N
Please contact us for the availability of other woods.

 Overview on Body Woods


Basswood is soft and light, which give it smooth highs, weak lows and pronounced mids without much sharp edge, so it is suitable for a typical guitar or a lead guitar.


Alder is also light but a little tougher than basswood, having a wider resonance spectrum from highs to lows, which makes it a good material in building guitar.


Different from Basswood and Alder, both of which are consistent in making up of guitars, Ash may sound different from each other when using it to build guitars. Still, Ash offers a wide range of tone spectrum, sounding great in highs, mids and lows.


Lacewood is usually used in form of multi-density composite wood in building guitar; the multi-density can enhance different tones. It sounds brighter than Alder and more rich than Maple, and some people use it in building basses, but it's hard to do the finish with it.


Mahogany is a good wood with constant density, which makes it a versatile wood for almost all types of guitars and basses. It's a good choice for any style of players.

Hard Maple

Hard Maple is heavy and hard due to its density, producing very bright highs, strong mids and tight lows. It is a good choice for electric guitar tops, often combined with Mahogany or basswood or other soft wood.

Soft Maple
Soft Maple is less hard but more heavy than Hard Maple, producing compressed highs, bright upper mids and dull lows.

Flame Maple

Flame Maple has beautiful flame grain due to the distorted growth of the wood fibers. A Flame Maple top is a favored choice for many guitar players.

Quilt Maple

Quilt Maple is rarer than Flame Maple, which features billowing cloud or popcorn grain, varying from large billows to small blisters, often used as a beautiful top.

Birdseye Maple

Birdseye Maple is also quite rare in hard maple and usually used as a beautiful top for some guitars.

Burl Maple

Burl Maple is just used as top wood, too. It looks beautiful with a clear gloss. Some people do the finish with it in a tobacco burst.


Padouk is often a little bit lighter than maple, also a good choice for guitar body, supporting a wide spectrum of tones, similar with maple. It is also a good looking wood.


Poplar is a light but dense wood, producing crisp tones similar with Alder tones. It is a good alternative of Alder, and many people like its clean or "spirited" sound.


Rosewood is a heavy wood, producing rounding highs, strong mids, good lows and good sustain sound. It is commonly used on fretboard.


Walnut has a constant density just similar to Mahogany, but a little denser and heavier than Mahogany, which gives it a brighter but more stubborn tone.


Ebony is dense and heavy, producing a snappy crisp tone due to the lowest velocity of sound among all woods. It is commonly used on fretboard.

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