Selecting an acoustic guitar by tonal woods might be more frequently done by the experienced player but even new players can benefit from knowing the different tonal woods when making their first or second guitar purchase.
Every guitar will have it’s own personality and characteristics but models within the same series and body shape always match each other closely.
Read through the descriptions and if you have any questions please call us at 800-289-5810.
Sitka Spruce

Know for it’s pleasing tonal qualities, Sitka Spruce is the most common and popular tonal wood used for acoustic guitar tops.   It is a wood that all other woods are compared against.   It originates from the Pacific Northwest.   In addition to being used as a top wood it is also used for internal bracing.

The Ayers   02, 04, 05, and 07 Series guitars all use Sikta Spruce as their top wood.

Engelmann Spruce

Engelmann Spruce is a top wood known for it’s larger open sound and overtones.   Engelmann supports a pronounced high and low E.   Even when played lightly an acoustic with an Engelmann top will still produce a full resonant sound.   Engelmann is typically lighter in color than Sitka Spruce.

The Ayers   06 Series uses Engelmann Spruce as it’s top wood.

Western Red Cedar

Most often Western Red Cedar will be darker in color that Sitka; ranging from Reddish to Brown. It produces a more even harmonic tone without any notes standing out in particular.   It’s considered a bit more mellow and you’ll often find it used for the tops of classical guitars.

The Ayers 01 Series uses Western Red Cedar as it’s top wood.


Mahogany is a great tonal wood for those who enjoy a slightly cripser sound. It allows for clean solo’s.   There are many types of mahogany such as African, Honduran, and Vietnamese.   Generally, most exhibit similar tonal characteristics but it’s important to know which variety is in an acoustic guitar because it will effect the sound.

The Ayers 03 Series guitars use Mahogany as their top wood.

The 02, 03 and 04 Series guitars use Mahogany for their back & sides.


Koa is similar to Mahogany in that it produces brighter notes but they lean more to the mid range.   An absolutely beautiful wood, Koa is a favorite wood for players and collectors.

The Ayers 09 Series guitars are solid Koa (top, back & sides).

East Indian Rosewood

Like the popularity of Sitka Spruce is for acoustic tops, East Indian Rosewood is just as popular for backs and sides.   It is frequently combined with Sitka Spruce and the two provide an extremely popular combination.   It’s less bright than mahogany but generally does not make a guitar mellow or dull.

The Ayers 01 Series and 07 Series guitars use East Indian Rosewood for their back and sides.

German Maple

German Maple is a hard wood that allows the top wood to accentuate it’s tonal qualities.   Ayers combines German Maple with Engelmann Spruce in it’s 06 Series guitars to accentuate the overtones and E notes.


A very solid wood allows the mids to pop when combined with Sitka Spruce.   The combination is a favorite with professionals when playing unplugged and recording.

The Ayers 05 Series acoustic guitars use Ovangkol for their back and sides.