Acoustic Guitars Built with Rosewood vs Mahogany

Acoustic guitars made from rosewood and mahogany are ranked amongst the best in the world but why is this so? If you’re looking to purchase an acoustic guitar and can’t make a decision on the type of tonewood then this is the article for you. Keep reading to learn more about mahogany acoustic guitars and rosewood acoustic guitars.

The preferred material to create acoustic guitars is wood. Wood was the first material used to create the guitar and the ancestor of the modern guitar. All vintage guitars are made from wood. Although there are working developments towards new and alternative materials for guitars, wood is still the first choice for creating exceptional acoustic guitars. This is caused by a number of reasons.

Qualities to Know About

Resonance – The resounding nature of wood makes it an excellent choice for acoustic guitars. Since they have no electronic amplification, acoustic guitars are mostly self-reliant. Wood resonates extremely well. It also carries and transmits sounds well. If you’d like to test out the resonance of an acoustic guitar, simply play a few chords and listen to how the sound is echoed.

Longevity – The longevity of acoustic guitars is important for several reasons. The first being that it is more cost-effective. The second is that most people tend to form attachments towards their musical instruments therefore they want it to last longer. Acoustic guitars made from wood last long and most importantly they age very well. Unlike other materials that scratch and fade, wood ages beautifully. Just take a look at vintage guitars!

Aesthetics – Finally, wood is the favored option because it looks nice and it is easy to design. You can customize the exterior of your wooden acoustic guitar yourself without getting worried about damage. Unlike plastic or metal coverings, with wood, you don’t have to worry about paint peeling or rust.

Now that we’ve discussed the reasons behind the favoritism of wood for guitar production, we can move on to discuss the best tonewoods for guitar production. There are three wood families heavily favored in acoustic guitar making. They are mahogany, spruce, and rosewood. We’ll be focusing on mahogany and rosewood.


If you’re looking for resonance, warm tones, controlled and stable feels then the mahogany acoustic guitar is perfect for you. The mahogany acoustic guitar is great for playing the blues and musical situations where many instruments are playing at once. The mahogany acoustic guitar blends in with the sounds of other instruments very well.

Mahogany is sourced across Central America, southern Mexico, and a handful of other locations. The color of mahogany ranges from a light brown to a darker brown. Some mahogany will also have a red tint to them. Mahogany produces deeper and warmer tones. It is versatile which makes it well suited for a lot of guitar players. 


As the name implies rosewood is a sweet-smelling tonewood. Brazilian Rosewood is a great choice if you’re particularly concerned with the look of your acoustic guitar. Rosewood offers brown tones as well as purple tones. Rosewood acoustic guitars have high resonance and can be used for sharp notes. They are very responsive. Just like mahogany acoustic guitars, rosewood acoustic guitars produce warm tones. However, it is important to note that Rosewood produces louder sounds.

If you prefer acoustic vintage guitars then you should try out rosewood guitars. Rosewood is an endangered species which means there are very few brand new rosewood guitars. There are guitars being made with Indian and Honduran rosewood. Fortunately, there are sites that provide vintage guitars for guitars with more unique construction.¬†Depending on what you’re looking for, Guitar Center or Amazon are options as well. More than anything, PLAY tons of guitars before making a final decision. You need to know what you like before making a significant purchase. Good luck!