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What Makes Maple a Great Tonewood?

The craftsmen at Breedlove use two types of maple when crafting instruments with this tonewood: Western bigleaf and Eastern hard rock. Western bigleaf maple (acer macrophyllum) is great for standing out among other instruments. With a powerful fundamental and even harmonics, it is clear and present, but without pronounced peaks and valleys in the harmonic content. It’s a great top wood for strumming and is often used on big-bodied guitars. Eastern hard rock maple (acer saccharum) has crisp, dry overtones, and sits well in the mix. Compared to bigleaf maple, it is crisper, more resonant and brighter. Hard rock maple wood is very durable and has an excellent resistance to abrasion, indentation and shock.

The Beauty of Maple:
Beauty is obviously in the eye of the beholder, but it’s hard to ignore the obvious aesthetic qualities of a brilliant set of maple back and sides. In addition to its stunning visual appeal, maple is also a highly regarded tonewood. The tone and sound maple instruments produce are unique because the tonewood has amazing strength and is quite dense. The unique curls or strips in the bigleaf maple wood make it visually appealing and desired by instrument builders.

Hard Rock Maple – The Secret Behind the Amazing Sound of the Breedlove Oregon Concert Guitar:
When Breedlove was designing the Oregon series of guitars, we explored various tonewoods for every aspect of the instruments. Of course the tonal balance and robust sound of the Oregons owe their extraordinary tone to the pairing of myrtlewood back and sides with the salvaged Sitka spruce soundboards. But surprisingly, the hard rock maple neck is the frosting on the cake. Most acoustic guitars are built with Honduran mahogany or sapele necks. Through experimentation, we discovered that the hardness and stiffness of hard rock maple, combined with a myrtlewood and Sitka spruce body creates more sound energy. When musicians pick up an Oregon the first time, frequently the immediate comment is, “Wow! There is a lot of sound coming from this guitar!” We know sound energy most efficiently travels through materials that are stiff and light. Hard rock maple fits the bill perfectly on the Breedlove Oregon Series. Learn more about the Oregon Concert Guitar.

The Story Behind Maple in our Breedlove Crossover Mandolins:
Breedlove redesigned the mandolin, making it easier for guitar players to add the unique penetrating sound of the mandolin as part of their repertoire.
The radius fingerboard is a little wider and the body shapes are designed to deliver the powerful bark. But the real secret in the Breedlove Crossover mandolins is our use of all solid maple. Maple is one of the hardest and most stable tonewoods delivering excellent note separation. It's bright tone enables the punch the lets the Crossover mandolins stand out in any assortment of instruments. Priced between $500 and $900, the Breedlove Crossovers are ideal as a second instrument. Learn more about the Crossover Mandolins.