The one-million-dollars question: Which wood sounds best for a classical guitar? Indian or Brazilian Rosewood?

    This is one of the questions many guitarists ask themselves before buying a classical guitar. Which is better, a guitar made of Indian rosewood or Brazilian rosewood? Here is our opinion about it. -Video-

    Video Transcription Text:


    A very common question when deciding to buy a guitar.

    The first thing to decide is which guitar maker to choose and then, depending on the guitar maker, which wood to choose. These are the correct order of questions. I will explain why.

    Once we choose the guitar maker, for his style, his way of building, his sound, his aesthetics, his originality, and all that list of qualities that are important to us and that make us decide for his guitar, then we need to take into account many variables that are given to choose correctly between woods.


    For example: Does this guitar maker have the best quality Brazilian and Indian Rosewood?.

    The wood that this guitar maker has in his warehouse is of the same quality both Brazilian and Indian Rosewood?.


    Because this is not the case with all guitar makers as you probably know. Nowadays it is very difficult to get good quality Brazilian rosewood,

    And the truth is that it is also difficult to get good quality Indian rosewood. But not so much as Brazilian.


    We need to know that Brazilian rosewood has been banned for many years now. And therefore all the wood that is on the market has been for the most part finished with the Brazilian rosewood guitars that have been made all these years.


    And a guitar maker either still has Brazilian wood stored in his warehouse for many years before it was banned or he has been very lucky to get some sets and has them.   Or he has bought them at today’s prices, which are very expensive and therefore the cost of the guitar has increased enormously just because it is made with Brazilian rosewood.



    And now the other important question is:

    Is it worth paying that extra cost and sometimes much more extra cost to have the guitar made of Brazilian rosewood?


    Well, here we get into different opinions. Some people will say yes and some people will say no. My opinion? On the one hand, for me, it’s not worth it.

    Because the most important thing in a guitar is the sound and the difference that one finds between very good quality Indian rosewood and very good quality Brazilian rosewood is not a big difference. A guitar maker can make you a Brazilian rosewood guitar that sounds very good and the same guitar maker with the talent and experience that is required and the knowledge of the wood they are using, the Indian rosewood, with the right density and so on..  He can make you an Indian rosewood guitar that sounds practically the same.

    I have talked to guitar makers of all kinds, young, old … very famous, and they have told me this. There is almost no difference or no difference at all.

    It can have some different nuances in the sound but maybe not so much as some people believe. There is a lot of difference with other woods, that’s for sure. There are woods for the sides and backs of a guitar that sound very very different and that for my personal taste some of them I would never choose for a classical guitar. But specifically not with these two.


    Indian rosewood is a wood that I like a lot and sounds so great. And think about so many famous guitar makers that Indian Rosewood was also his favorite wood such as Daniel Friederich or Miguel Fleta.


    Of course, on the other hand, Brazilian rosewood can be incredibly beautiful, and it transmits so much personality to the guitar, it drastically changes its aesthetics… And I would say that if you really like Brazilian rosewood aesthetically (and I really like too), your decision could be very much inclined towards choosing a Brazilian rosewood Classical guitar.


    But you also have to keep in mind that Brazilian rosewood is much more unstable than Indian rosewood and therefore more likely to create cracks. You have to be very careful to control the humidity of the place where your guitars are and also when you travel with a guitar and move from one place to another where there are drastic changes in humidity, this is for all guitars but for those made with Brazilian rosewood you have to be even more careful. And it is a compelling reason that many guitarists choose between one and the other because Indian rosewood is much more stable.


    So, here is my opinion and I give you my experience with this subject and I hope it helps you to have things more comprehensible to be able to choose better the guitar you want.