“Dear Sir,
A few months ago I placed my first order with you and built my very first guitar. Ovangkol back and sides with sitka top.
I have been a craftsman for a number of years, rebuilding antique pianos, including making new soundboards and bridges, and decided to try my hand at guitars after buying a Taylor 814ce.
The results of my first attempt were surprising, to me and to others. Since I'm a bit "old-school" I built it entirey by hand, no table saw, router, joiner etc. (I did use a driss press!). I have already received requests for custom made guitars, and from a store interested in selling them.
It really helped to find quality supplies, all in one place, so I could start this experiment - which may just turn out to be my next and final career.
Many Thanks.
ps. I have just placed a second order so I can start making a few more......”

- Jon Ballard

Madagascar Rosewood


 Dalbergia baronii

Visually, Madagascar Rosewood is as close to Brazilian Rosewood as anything available, but with more red/rust tones. The main differences between the two is that Madagascar Rosewood is not protected by CITES1 classification and restriction (as Brazilian is) and so, it is far less expensive. It is also a little lighter in weight. More than a few builders claim that the lower weight bestows an additional sonic liveliness that surpasses Brazilian Rosewood -and indeed, most other tonewoods. The tap tone of this wood has a noticeably strong, sustaining quality.

Madagascar Rosewood has been an enduring favorite for discriminating luthiers for many years now, but concerns about proper exportation out of Madagascar have curtailed availability. Rest assured that the wood we sell has passed all of our rigorous standards for legality and due diligence. That being said, no Rosewood currently shipping from Madagascar meets our standards (this wood was imported some time ago) and so continued availability is in question.

Since the best color and black line figure comes from narrower trees, LMI produces most of our Madagascar Rosewood backs out of four pieces using our  instrument glue. The glue seams are in most cases invisible – as the "4-pc." set photos illustrate. When the seams do show, the wood is discounted appropriately. Two piece backs are sometimes available, and usually look a bit more plain. In each case, check the products, below, to see if the set is made of 2 or 4 pieces.

Because these sets are one-of-a-kind, they cannot be reserved.  Once a set is purchased, it will disappear from the page. If a set was already put in another persons cart, they will not be able to check out until they remove it.