I’m rounding third base on this pair of orchestra model guitars. True to form, I’m building them as an identical pair except for one variable. This time, the difference is the back and sides material; one is red maple, the other is palo escrito, a relatively lightweight rosewood from Mexico. At this point of the build, I’m tapping the top looking for the body to produce a strong fundamental tone with a sustained ring. My impression is that the maple body has a stronger fundamental, but that the rosewood body rings slightly longer. Both sound really good.
I’ve also added sound ports to these guitars (the first time I’ve used a sound port). Most guitars sound very different to the player and a listener standing in front of the player (it depends a lot on the wood used for the back and sides of the guitar—some are more “transparent” sounding, like mahogany, others change the sound quite a bit, like maple). The sound port is the oval cutout on the upper bout that pipes a little bit of the “out front” sound of the guitar up to the player.
The tops are Adirondack spruce, of course, and the maple body is accented with hormigo while the palo escrito body is bound with palo escrito. The string spacing is my slightly wider 1-3/4″ nut with 2-1/4″ string spacing at the bridge. The fretboard is Honduran rosewood with a 16″ radius. The bridges will be black walnut.