Lighter colored mahogany?

Tommy Tourbus

Senior Member
Is there a general consensus about what coloring is most desirable in mahogany tonewood. I'm talking about tone mind you, not aesthetics. Darker preffered over light? Is there a diff in sound?

I'm looking at a guitar online and it is a natural finished back. The mahogany has a lighter, bleached out looking tinge to it.


White Korina seems to be more desirable tone wise in the Mahogany wood types. Although there is some debate whether Korina is a type of Mahogany or a completely different wood.


Silver Supporting Member
Color doesn't affect tone. Lighter mahogany might be African instead of Honduran.

Crazy Carl

I doubt it holds true across the board, but all of the lighter colored mahogany I've dealt with was lighter & less dense than the darker colored stuff.

Don't think korina (limba) is related to mahogany at all. It works/machines differently & the grain/pore structure is also different. The tonal "similarity" is just a coincidence, I think.


Used to work at Gibson, have handled thousands of mahogany guitars, here is what I found to be the case almost without exception. Lighter coloring equals lighter wood-darker color (more mineral content lower in the trunk) equals heavier wood. I noticed that resonance had little to do with weight, but at the same time, the mediuim color and weight pieces seemed to be more consistenly resonant. To this day I find the best guitars in this medium weight catagory.

I also noticed that grain orientation had a lot to do with resonance. I found that flatsawn pieces tended towards more "airy" or open tone, and that quartersawn pieces had a stronger fundamental tone, not less resonance, but a different emphasis on what type of sound the guitar would produce. Again, medium weighted pieces performed best to my ears in all respects.

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