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Sourcing the finest Sitka Spruce tonewood for soundboards available through sustainable forestry and responsible wood use.
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By Vince Gill from
Sounds of Wood and Steel


Tonewood guitar
Click the image for larger view of this guitar made by
Grey Burchette
using our
Sitka Spruce
tone wood!



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Our Specialty is Sitka Spruce
Don't be fooled by some of our competitor's claims. We offer the FINEST Sitka Spruce.

Our Expertise
We know Sitka Spruce
We know Grade
We know Tonewood
We have been supplying the FINEST Sitka Spruce soundboard material available
for over 10 years and we process over 50,000 guitar tops worth of Sitka Spruce annually
to Luthiers, Manufacturers and Builders of Acoustic Instruments.

Our Climate
Prince of Wales Island has a cool, maritime climate.
You see, Sitka Spruce is a coastal maritime specie of tree.
It thrives with lots of water, but it must have good drainage.

Our climate is not too dry . . . not too wet . . . not too hot . . . and not too cold.
It's just right!
The average summer temperatures range from 45-75 degrees while winter's average 32-45 degrees.
Our average rainfall is about 100 inches including up to 40 inches of snow in some parts of the Island,
with gale winds being very common.

Our Soil
Our soil is highly mineralized, rich with limestone to sweeten the otherwise acidic soil.
And oh, the Sitka Spruce trees love it!

Terrace, BC, Canada which is 100+ miles inland from the coast has Sitka Spruce
BUT it's colder and drier. Sitka Spruce grows there, but not as well as Southern Southeast Alaska

(Terrace is located on Highway 37, 600 km (372 mi.) west of Prince George. Elevation: 217m (712 ft.) Average July Temperature:16C (61F)
Average January Temperature: -5C (23F) Annual Rainfall: 93cm (37 in.) Annual Snowfall:389cm (153 in.) (source: www.terrace.travel.bc.ca)

 

Why should you buy your tonewood from Alaska Specialty Woods?
If you are going to buy corn, you would go to the corn belt such as Iowa, Illinois or Indiana.
If you are looking to buy cedar you would go to the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State.
When you are looking for the FINEST Sitka Spruce for your soundboard, Alaska Specialty Woods is the place.

About the Grade

Grade criteria varies from one vendor to another.

For example: I sell one of my AA sorts of guitar tops by the hundreds to another vendor (for their sake, I won't say who)
They re-grade to their specs, upgrading roughly 66% of the lot to their AAA Grade.

Some claim to sell Master Grade for $29.99/set but is it really Master Grade?
Not all Master Grade Tops are the same
Not all AAA's are the same
Not all AA's are the same
Not all A grade tops are the same

Some don't downgrade for color, claiming all Sitka has pink color . . . That's FALSE!
Some claim green trees are better . . . That's FALSE too.

An ancient fact: Logs seasoned in the round produce better lumber when air drying which is the Luthiers preferred method of drying.

Alaska Specialty Woods processes over 50,000 guitar tops worth of Sitka Spruce annually
and other soundboard material as well.
99% of it is tonewood
Alaska Specialty Woods has been manufacturing
and selling Sitka Spruce Soundboard Material for over 10 years.

We know Sitka
We know Grade
We know Tonewood
Experience is good for both the Seller and Buyer
You won't get a bunch of hype and wild claims from me!

One vendor claims to be "the only source for curly Sitka Spruce" and that he discovered it!
Alaska Specialty Woods has marketed that sort for over 5 years. So that blows his claim out of the sky.

Vendors that sell AAA and Master Grade Guitar Tops that aren't surfaced, don't have a clue what they are selling.
Vendors that sell rough split block/billets with those claims are even worse.
There can be little doubt, to the experienced eye,
that the material in both cases could be a #1 Grade, but a #1 Grade has 3 or more sorts (A, AA and AAA, etc.)

So when you're sourcing for your soundboard material needs, please consider all of the above.

I look forward to serving you!
Brent Cole, Sr.