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Home > Uke and mandolin tonewoods > back and sides sets
Indian rosewood Mandolin back and sides set grade AAA*.
Dalbergia latifolia from India
Photo is of a typical set.
Indian rosewood became the standard wood of choice for fine guitars when the availability of Rio rosewood began to wind down in the 1950’s and 1960’s. C. F. Martin and co famously changed over from Rio rosewood to Indian rosewood in 1969.
Indian rosewood grows to larger sizes than most Dalbergias and well produced quarter sawn sets and value for money are the norm.
The supply and export of Indian rosewood is comprehensively and strictly controlled by the Indian government and future availability looks good.
AAA – Quarter sawn wood or nearly so.
AA – Wood that is quartered to one edge, (where the centre joint of the back will be ), gradually straying from the quarter ending up slab sawn at the opposite edge.
A – Wood that is slab sawn, the main slab sawn area being approximately half way across the board.
* - One or more asterisks may be added to the grade mark to indicate wood that is aesthetically more pleasing or desirable by virtue of colour, intensity of figure or fineness of grain.
Back and sides sets are pre matched for colour and character.
Back and sides sets frequently are different grades for the back and the sides e.g. AAA sides and AA back. The valuation of these sets assumes the back and the sides each represent 50% of the value of a set and are then added together.
AAA – Wood that is light in colour and weight. Wood taken from a higher grade having limited occurrence of small defects such as pin knot, wormholes or silica in the grain within the template area.
AAA* - Wood with a reasonable to good depth of colour but having rather wild or curved grain along the length of the panels. Good weight. No pinhole or silica, Wood from the next grade up but with below par colour match.
AAA** - Wood with a reasonable to good depth of colour and straight to nearly straight grain along the length of the panels. Good to heavy weight. Good colour match, no pin knot, worm or silica. The default top grade – faultless wood.
AAA*** - Wood with all the virtues found in AAA** sets but with distinct and fine growth lines (annual rings if that is what they are) about 2 – 3mm in width at their widest.
Backs 2pc 350 x 140 x 4mmSides 2pc 550 x 70 x 3.5mmSoundboard 2pc 350 x 140 x 4mmFingerboard 290 x 45 x 7mmNeck blank SIA 600 x 65 x 25mm(spliced head stacked heel).Neck blank SIB 400 x 65 x 65mm(one piece bandsawn neck).
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