Here is a reference guide to tone woods for guitar bodies.
Alder (Northwest USA)
Alder is the standard body wood on many solid body guitars and basses. Due to its relatively light weight, this wood is very resonant with upper midrange definition. Alder is a classic tone wood and has been present in solid body electric guitars from the beginning. Alder has a medium light color, slightly darker than maple and swamp ash.
Hard Rock Maple (Northeast USA)
We use premium Eastern hard rock maple for our necks because of its time proven strength and stability. As a body wood, hard rock maple being very heavy and dense, delivers a bright sustaining tone. Maple has a wonderful light grain that looks great with all of our translucent finishes.
Genuine Mahogany (Honduras)
Mahogany is standard on most Custom Shop carved top guitars, and has an inherent warm quality with accentuated low-midrange. Mahogany is also considered to be a classic tone wood. It is denser and heavier than Alder, but lighter than Maple. Mahogany along with our flamed or quilted maple tops, gives great sustain and warmth. Honduras Mahogany should not be confused with less expensive Philippine and African Sapele. Honduras Mahogany is reddish brown in color and looks great with all colors.
Swamp Ash (Southern USA)
This vintage body wood comes from Southern swamps. The portion of the tree that is suitable for high quality lightweight Swamp Ash, is actually submerged underwater for years which yields a porous lightweight wood. This wood delivers slightly less midrange with full low-end and nice singing highs. Swamp Ash is light in color with rich grain patterns and matches the color of our Eastern Hard Rock Maple necks looks great with translucent finishes.
Black Walnut (Eastern USA)
Eastern Black Walnut is a dense medium hard wood that is slightly heavier than Mahogany. Its tonal quality is warm with a growling low end and a bright top end, especially when used for bass it will really cut through in the mix. Black walnut has medium dark beautiful grain patterns and looks great with gloss or satin finishes.
Koa (Hawaiian Islands)
Koa is an exotic medium weight wood grown exclusively in the Hawaiian Islands. It was used by ancient Hawaiians to build canoes and surfboards. Koa has warmth and sustain similar to Mahogany and also possesses the clear open tone of Alder. Koa looks wonderful whether you choose a tung oiled, satin or gloss finish.
Black Limba (Africa)
Black Limba is an exotic medium-light weight wood grown in tropical western Africa. Black Limba is the heart wood of the tree, while White Limba is the sap wood of the same tree. Limba is related to mahogany, and has similar tonal characteristics with warmth and resonance, along with excellent sustain. Looks good whether finished in tung oiled, satin or gloss.
White Limba (Africa)
White Limba, also known as korina, is an exotic medium-light weight wood grown in tropical western Africa. White Limba is the sap wood of the tree, while Black Limba is the heart wood of the same tree. Limba is related to mahogany, and has similar tonal characteristics with warmth and resonance, along with excellent sustain. Looks good whether finished in tung oiled, satin or gloss.