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.