One of the first and most important considerations when building a guitar is selecting the wood. What you see here are incredible examples of Coco Bolo. Considered by many to be the ‘king of the tonewoods’, I will be using Coco Bolo for the top and back laminates of the guitar. Coco Bolo is incredibly dense (it does not float). Not only does it look stunning when finished (the pictures above are raw, unfinished samples!), it really helps the instrument deliver a full sound spectrum. After giving Alembic some characteristics to look for, this is the first round of selections sent for my consideration.
Coco Bolo is a tropical wood. Although not technically a rainforest wood, it does grow on the fringes of such climates, particularly along the western coast of Mexico. This wood is highly prized and, at times, has been over-harvested. Alembic tends to use Coco Bolo that has fallen due to hurricanes and tropical storms. They do not support the premature death of Dalbergia retusa. Rather, they choose to honor the fallen by giving it a second life as part of a beautiful musical instrument.