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Woods


All DC Guitars are made from 100% solid, high quality tonewoods.

Much of the wood I'm using is harvested right here in Michigan, where the weather and soils collaborate to create some of the finest hardwoods in the world. I'm very careful in selecting individual pieces, and in looking after the way they're dried and aged in order to avoid internal stresses and to maximize stability.

Some of the guitars shown here have spalted maple for the tops and backs, which contain naturally formed black lines within the grain of the wood. The patterns are beautiful and I love making guitars from this wood, but supplies of these spalted pieces is extremely limited, and I can't be sure of availabililty. Standard woods for the necks are sugar maple with either rosewood or ebony fretboards.

Lately I've been using combinations of Black Cherry (prunus serotina) and Sugar Maple (acer saccharum) with good results. Sugar Maple, also known as "hard rock" maple due to its very hard and heavy characteristics. Eastern sugar maple is noticably stiffer and harder than western maple, resulting in a brighter, crisper sound. Sugar maple pieces can be found in birdseye or flame (also known as fiddleback or tiger) grain patterns, while western maple is the standard source for quilted patterns.

Cherry has similar stiffness characteristics to Mahogany, but is a bit heavier. I it has a smooth, fine, uniform texture, and some of the pieces I've been using also have some soft curl figuring as well. Tonally, cherry is a bit clearer and more articulate than mahogany, and it has excellent long sustain. Cherry sometimes requires a bit of care in finishing, but if done properly the results can be strikingly beautiful.

Cherry naturally dries very quickly compared to other woods, and care must be taken when the lumber is processed to avoid checking and internal stresses from drying too fast. Once dry, cherry is actually one of the most stable of woods, making it an excellent choice for musical instruments in my opinion.

The Backbone™ semi-hollow construction means that heavier materials like cherry and sugar maple can be used without weight problems. Completed guitars generally weigh quite a bit less than most solidbody guitars, with excellent overall balance from headstock to heel.

I prefer to use North American wood species wherever possible such as maple, cherry, alder, walnut or ash. However I do also have access to pretty much every kind of domestic and exotic tonewood you can imagine. Bubinga, wenge, lacewood, brazilian rosewood, just to name a few. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the materials used in DC Guitars, or if you want to discuss custom options.

- Dave Coke


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