Customers Prefer Guitars with a Deep Musical Sound


Velké Němčice – June 13, 2017 – According to internal statistics of FurchGuitars, the world’s leading maker of premium-quality guitars, most guitar players who bought a guitar last year chose an instrument with a strong sound and pronounced bass, a sonic quality achieved by the combination of a cedar top and mahogany back and sides.

Two Thirds of Sold Guitars Feature a Cedar Top

The overall sound of an acoustic guitar, as well as its appearance, is to a large extent determined by the top plate. The acoustic properties of the top are predetermined by its construction and by the material from which it is made.

In recent years, cedar has been the preferred tonewood for making the top plate. In 2016 alone, nearly two thirds (60%) of customers on the global scale purchased a guitar with a cedar top. Cedar produces a deep warm round sound that is balanced throughout the entire sonic spectrum. Another popular wood species for the guitar top is Sitka spruce (35%), which has a clearer, more open sound and produces more higher-order harmonic overtones compared to cedar.

Much less popular are tops made from exclusive spruce species, such as Alpine (3%), Adirondack (1%), and Engelmann (0.5%) spruce. Other premium tonewoods, such as Sinker Redwood (redwood reclaimed from the depths of rivers), Indian rosewood, maple, mahogany, Hawaiian koa, and black walnut accounted for only 0.5% of guitars sold last year.

“Cedar and Sitka spruce are currently by far the most commonly used woods for acoustic guitar tops. One of the reasons is the fact that high-quality supplies of these tonewoods are readily available for the manufacture of Furch guitars. Only 5% of models we sell feature other materials, which is in part due to their higher price,” explains Petr Furch, CEO of Furch Guitars.

Mahogany Back and Sides

Apart from the top, the sound and look of a guitar are determined by the material used to make the back and sides. In this regard, customers can choose from a much wider selection of tonewoods, where mahogany is the most popular choice – last year more than 40% of guitarists bought a guitar with mahogany back and sides. Mahogany has a pronounced texture, and its homogeneous structure produces a deep musical sound.

The second most in-demand material used in guitars sold in 2016 was Indian rosewood (30%), tonewood featuring an attractive brown-purple color and a visually appealing pattern of growth rings. Rosewood produces a highly balanced sound, which makes it a suitable choice for universal multipurpose instruments.

Many guitarists also opt for a back from mahogany plywood (17%), which produces a surprisingly rich and strong timbre, and black walnut (11%), which offers a beautiful musical sound with ear-pleasing mids and clear highs. Other materials, such as Madagascar rosewood, maple, red cedar, Hawaiian koa, mango, ziricote, African blackwood, padauk, and Engelmann spruce, accounted for only some two percent of the backs and sides of acoustic guitars sold last year. Guitar players mainly choose them for an attractive exotic appearance and a distinctive sound to underscore their musical personality.

Furch Guitars

Established in 1981, Furch Guitars (Furch) has worked its way up to become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of all-solid-wood acoustic guitars and acoustic bass guitars. The company’s production complex and head office are located in Velké Němčice near Brno, Czech Republic. Furch instruments combine the company’s extensive know-how in building handmade guitars with state-of-the-art technologies, production processes, and proprietary innovations. Thanks to that, the company is able to bring to the market premium-quality musical instruments with outstanding acoustic properties and excellent design parameters. Covered by a three-year warranty, Furch guitars are sold in 32 countries on five continents. Furch employs over 60 luthiers and craftsmen and makes in excess of 6,000 instruments annually. Furch guitars are the preferred choice of such artists as Calum Graham, Glen Hansard, Suzanne Vega, Zdeněk Bína, František Černý, and David Koller. For additional information, visit

Media Contact:

Klára Ariño

2 thoughts on “Customers Prefer Guitars with a Deep Musical Sound

  1. I am curious about the population surveyed for these statistics. Based on the North American market, my impression has been that Sitka Spruce is the #1 top material, with Western Red Cedar as the #2 choice, at maybe one-half the volume of the Sitka Spruce. For most North American producers, Sitka seems to be the default choice. Mind you, I don’t pay much attention to economy guitars, focussing instead on premier manufacturers (Martin, Taylor, Collings, etc.) and hand-made instruments by individual luthiers, but I regularly read reviews of more economical brands. I most frequently see tops of Sitka Spruce on all North American guitars. I pay attention, because I am fairly unique in that I don’t care for the precise, clean sound of Sitka Spruce. I also see, over the last 3 years or so, a rapidly rising interest in torrified tops or the other species’ of spruce. I would have thought higher than 4 1/2 percent.

    In the same North American market, I certainly do not see the vast majority of backs and sides made of mahogany. In guitars I follow, there is a decided preference to prettier woods, especially Rosewood and Maple, even though it is well known that Mahogany is both modestly priced, and gives an excellent sound when paired with a spruce or cedar top.

    My impressions are just that, so your scientific survey may well be more accurate, or perhaps it’s a European survey. I was certainly puzzled at the suggestion of 60% cedar tops and 40% mahogany backs, because my impression has always been the complete opposite. Hence my question about who was included in the survey. Another explanation may be the massive number of inexpensive guitars churned out in Asia. I know there are isolated examples of first-rate Asian guitars, but the sheer numbers of mass-produced products must skew the survey results. I must admit I often discount the Asian brands and sometimes miss the excellent exceptions.

    1. Thank you for the excellent article Velke. I have noticed the trend leaning to more cedar topped guitars lately. The numbers are certainly different on this side of the pond, as a majority of the guitars are still spruce topped with rosewood or mahogany back and sides. I’ve always leaned towards the mahogany back myself, whether it has a cedar or spruce top. One of the nicest I have played so far is a solid cedar top with solid rosewood back. Seemed like it was taking the best of both worlds and somehow amalgamating them into something quite harmonious.

      Do you happen to have the numbers regarding the body styles sold in Europe ? I’d have to say that here, the dreadnought is probably #1, though I have no proof with numbers. This is just from what I’ve seen personally. While the OM and mini jumbo numbers do seem to be on a rise, there is just something about a full dreadnought that is so hard to beat. Anyway, thanks again for the article.

      For the Picker dad.

      Not only do you often miss the excellent exceptions, many people then show their ignorance. The very fist line states “According to internal statistics of FurchGuitars, the world’s leading maker of premium-quality guitars”. So, Furch Guitars USA ? No ? Czechoslovakia perhaps. Follow this up with the statement of “Based on the North American market,”, we can then see that the ONLY premiere guitars are then made in America … right ?!?! Martin, Collings ect. Taylor is a brutal joke where the owners become the punch line.

      What is a premiere guitar ? What is a premiere guitarist ? Some guy that lives his life in obscurity and only a small circle of premiere guitar owners know him ? I am looking at several lists of the greatest guitar players. They vary greatly but many cross over between lists. Lets look at 5 of them.

      Eddie Van Halen. Eric Clapton. BB King. Jimi Hendrix. Jimmy Page.

      Well these are rockers on electrics and not pickers on acoustic. Lets look at those instead.

      Ricky Skaggs. Steve Wariner. Glen Campbell. Eric Johnson. Roger Waters.

      While your list of the top 5 may not look like mine, and mine was tossed out for example, these are some truly amazing guitarists. Rather unusual list wouldnt you say ? Oddly enough, all play Takamine acoustics. John Mayer has a Martin signature guitar and will often be seen wielding his 12 string Takamine. But, but, but … these are cheap imitations ! Oh. Ok then.

      Bah, what do I know. The only premiere guitar makers are American and if you dont play Martin, Collings or Taylor crap, you dont know quality guitars.

      Whats that Tommy guys name ? Emmanuel maybe ? Maton and Takamine ? What a hack. I love watching the expression when some cork sniffer, thats what they call premiere guitar owners, hears one of these “cheap Asian knock offs”. It doesnt happen often but when it does, the guitar snobs see, or rather, hear the light. Go find a CP7D-AD1 or if you can get one before they disappear, an EF75M TT. If this doesnt convince you that you’ve just played and heard a superior guitar, there is no hope for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.