Here in this section we are gonna show you the materials we use for our instruments:
1 - ToneWoods
2 - Hardware
3 - Electronics
Different wood species strongly contribute to the particular voice of each instrument.
Mahogany (Okoume, Sapele) (Mahogany)
Origin: Central and South America
Inexpensive costs and easy of supply made Mahogany one of the most widely wood species used in guitar construction, both for classical, acoustics and electric guitars. Typical color is brown with shades of red and dark veins.
We often use Aniline to give more depth to the veins, depending on the use on different guitar models. Mahogany is available (and we use it) in different species, most of them are widely known, like OKOUME and SAPELE..
Sound: The resonant properties are focused on medium frequencies, providing a warm, full, and rich in sustain sound.Application: Very versatile, Mahogany is used for necks, tops, backs and sides for acoustics instruments, the entire body for electric guitars; basically Mahogany is used on all the instruments, and for Ukuleles as well.
Where we use it:
- ACOUSTIC GUITARS: mainly used for neck, back and sides; on the DUO and EGO Legend series and for the Nek Signature, it’s used for the Top
- CLASSIC GUITARS: mainly used for neck; back and sides
- UKULELES: neck, back and sides; Top (DUO series)
- ELECTRIC GUITARS: necks and bodies for some of the Elements series models
Rosewood is highly prized tonewood and it’s one of the most popular woods ever used for the construction of musical instruments. From 2017 Rosewood is listed in the international CITES* Convention for the Protection of Species endangered by Extinction.
We have purchased large stocks of Rosewood (Dalbergia Latifoglia) and we are gonna use until we will be out of provisions; after that, following the CITES* directives, we will be slowly replacing it with other materials we consider comparable with sound and aesthetic performances.
Sound: Indian Rosewood voice is similar to Mahogany, with an accentuate midrange, and good projection in both the high and low frequencies; given that, Rosewood is considered "darker and richer" than Mahogany.Application: mainly used for guitar fretboards (classic, electric and acoustic), but also for bass and ukulele ones; it’s also widely used for acoustic guitar bridges, back and sides.
Where we use it:
- ACOUSTIC GUITARS: mainly used for fretboards and bridges on all guitars (see CITES* disclaimer); Back and side on the + MIA, Massimo Varini Signature, Oliviero Pigini, Riccardo Zappa Signature and EGO STAR series.
- CLASSIC GUITARS: Fretboards
- UKULELES: Fretboards
- ELECTRIC GUITARS: Fretboards (when not Maple)
AGATHIS, LINDEN, BASSWOOD, BIRCH (Agathis)
Those tonewoods allow to build economic instruments and a laminated construction is used to improve mechanical and sound response.
While Linden has grain and knots that make it more suitable for opaque full-color guitars, the Agathis has a wood grain somewhat similar to Ash and is also used for transparent-finished instruments; we can say the same for Basswood and Birch.
Sound: Resonant properties of these 4 woods are balanced and since they are used for cheaper instruments, they have no overwhelming characteristics; Depending on the availability of pieces and stocks, they are frequently interchanged without having substantial differences both in aesthetic and resonant properties.
Application: widely used in all cheap instruments, from guitars to ukuleles
Where we use it:
- ACOUSTIC GUITARS: NXT and Ranger (glued neck) series
- CLASSIC GUITARS: CS and PRIMO series
- UKULELES: PRIMO series
Origin: Canada and Asia
Swamp ash is a tree that grows in swamps, and for this reason it is very light compared to other species. This wood is soaked with water that - once evaporates - leaves tonal micro chambers . Also called Light Ash, it was widely used by Leo Fender to build Stratocaster and Telecaster guitars. The cost of Swamp Ash is high because of cutting costs and availability; in addiction to this, the preferred section of the trunk is the one that grows under water. The material obtained from each log is therefore limited.
This wood is more fragile than other types of wood due to its porosity, and not for a mechanical reason but because its porosity can lead to cracks if not painted with deep layers of paint.
Thanks to the beautiful grain, it is often used in natural or sunburst finish.
Sound: Being used virtually just for electric bodies, it is considered a very vibrant, resonant wood with a wide spectrum of frequencies.
Application: mainly electric guitar bodies
Where we use it:
- ELECTRIC GUITARS: Relic series and +MIA SA (hollow-body) series
Historically made famous by the use Leo Fender made of this wood after the first half of 1956, Alder is part of the Betulaceae family. Often guitars made with Alder come in two or three pieces glued together. The alder is distinguished by a fairly low weight, pores and a good resonance. This is a quite ductile wood and the glueing of several parts does not significantly affects the aesthetics and the sound properties.
Origin: Grows in all the northern areas of the planet, from Tropic of Cancer up to the Pole
Sound: Considered a wood with a balanced sound, Alder is slightly bright and focused on mid-high frequencies. Among his peculiarities there is a good sustain and a sharp attack.
Application: mainly for electric guitar (and bass) bodies
Where we use it:
- ELECTRIC GUITARS: bodies
It is found in several varieties, Hard Rock Maple, Flamed Maple, Quilted and Bird-Eyes Maple. It is a very hard and compact wood, the one that has an optimal ratio between rigidity and density. In the economic range guitars, maple cuts are subjected to a colouring process (with black dye) and used for keyboards and bridges. The final result is very similar to Ebony and used by some manufacturing companies to replace it, since it’s extremely expensive.
Origin: mainly North America / Canada; the finest one is the European (used in classic instrument like violins)
Sound: The density and stiffness of the maple give this wood a clear and brilliant sound with a remarkable sustain. Maple bodies often tend to resonate in a very different way depending on the type used, that may come with differences in hardness and density.
Application: mainly for necks and fretboards
Where we use it:
- CLASSIC GUITARS: with black dye process, for entry-level classics guitars
- UKULELES: with black dye process, for entry-level ukuleles
- ELECTRIC GUITARS: different kinds of maple for electric guitar necks, including American Hard Rock Maple on Relic series
The most used woods for the construction of harmonic sounding boards in acoustic guitars are spruce and cedar. Spruce, is certainly the most used: very vibrant, spruce has a particularly well-balanced and brilliant sound. The color is typically fairly clear (although with different processes, it can reach different shades) and the resonant properties tend to mature over time. Spruce top guitars voice will keep on changing during the entire life of the instrument. The most used species used for acoustic guitar tops are Sitka (still the most used), European Red Spruce and Englemann. Also used for acoustic instruments bracing.
Origin: in the northern hemisphere and prefers cold climates.
Sound: Depending on the type, it has slightly different sounds, but it is predominantly a balanced and brilliant wood, with a fast response, which improves over time.
Application: top of acoustic guitars
Where we use it:
- ACOUSTIC GUITARS: bracing and sounding boards
- CLASSIC GUITARS: sounding boards - PRIMO Sparkling Flame series
Along with Spruce, this wood is widely used for sounding boards of acoustic guitars.
The most commonly used is the Red Cedar and it’s possible to have it (exactly like Spruce) in different grades of quality (what mainly changes is aesthetic part depending on the grain, with presence of small aesthetic imperfections, etc.); it’s certainly a wood with a beautiful appearance.
Origin: Canada, United States
Sound: Cedar produce a warm and full sound. Unlike Spruce, it tends to express its sound properties in the earlier years, losing some harmonic definition with time (of course we are talking about a really long time). It is also used for flamenco guitars.
Application: acoustic and classical guitar sounding boards, ukulele tops
Where we use it:
- ACOUSTIC GUITARS: EVO, +MIA, Massimo Varini Signature series Tops
- CLASSIC GUITARS: VIBRA series Tops
- UKULELES: EVO series Tops
It is a very precious highly figured hardwood that is mainly used for backs and sides. It’s part of the leguminous family of trees, like most of the woods.
Origin: Tropical forests, Africa and South America
Suono: ha la caratteristica di produrre un suono caldo e corposo molto vicino a quello del Palissandro.
Utilizzazione: fasce e fondi
Where we use it:
- ACOUSTIC GUITARS: on Made in Italy and +MIA series (back and sides)
SOUTH AMERICAN ROUPANA (PARINARI CAMPESTRIS - ROUPALA MONTANA)
Origine: Venezuela and Brazil
South American Roupana (Parinari Campestris) is part of the Chrisobalanaceae family and - after careful researches - is the wood that our Master Builder Roberto Fontanot has considered to be the best replacement for Rosewood (Dalbergia Latifoglia) considering the newest CITES* directions. This wood has really similar aesthetic characteristics compared to Rosewood, with even more accentuated veins. The color is slightly tending to yellow in the lightest parts, with veins that are remarkably darker.
Sound: Used mainly for the fretboards of acoustic / electric / classical guitars, but also basses and ukuleles, this wood shows hard and reflective sounds, with good response on low frequencies. Compared to rosewood we can define it a little more brilliant. When using it for bridges of acoustic instruments, it shows good sustain and a sound equivalent to rosewood.
Application: as a replacement of Indian Rosewood, except for backs and sides. Fretboards of all instruments and bridges of acoustic guitars.
Where we use it:
- ACOUSTIC GUITARS: Fretboards and bridges
- CLASSIC GUITARS: Fretboards and bridges
- UKULELES: Fretboards and bridges
- ELECTRIC GUITARS: Fretboards
Origin: Indonesia (Makassar), Africa
Ebony is perhaps the most precious wood with really important sound features. Hardness and stability are the main ones.
Sound: Being used mainly for acoustic and electric guitars fretboards, the resonant properties are of an hard and reflective wood with good response on low frequencies. Despite its dark color that would lead associate this wood to a dark sound, its consistency and very low porosity allow it to have a balanced response on all frequencies, including high ones.
Use: fretboards and bridges of acoustic guitars; fretboards of electric guitars
Where we use it:
- ACOUSTIC GUITARS: fretboards and bridges (Oliviero Pigini series)
- ELECTRIC GUITARS: Fretboards (Aqua and Fire Masterbuilt series)
*CITES is the acronym for Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora. This convention was signed in Washington in 1975.
We've made a very precise choice: we were not going to use extremely cheap tuning machines on entry-level guitars, so our "Eko Die Cast" tuning machines are all in die-cast metal, with a ratio of 1:16 and are used since the NXT series: the butterbean buttons have a grooming appearance and the mechanics are precise, reliable and sturdily strong.
Eko Die Cast
Die-cast tuning machines, light and strong, directly made by Eko Guitars.
(acoustic, classical and electric guitars)
Carbon Fiber Ratio (1:21)
These tuning machines are made in cooperation with Master Builder Roberto Fontanot and Heart Sound; they are built with patented carbon fibre, extremely light and strong. Thanks to 1:21 ratio, these tuning machines are extremely precise and self-lubricating.
(Profumosa e masterbuilt)
Brand: Wilkinson, under license Floyd Rose, Tonepros
Floyd Rose Tremolo
Born after a collaboration directly with Larry Wilkinson, this is our most successful “strat-style" tremolo bridge, chosen for the Aire Std. This bridge is a direct link between the modern and vintage look, giving the guitar player an incredible precision. Thanks to the two pylons pivot style, the bridge can be used for trills and for dive-bombs sounds as well.
Mings under Floyd Rose License
(Fire Std / Lite)
Brand: Fishman, Heart Sound
A preamplifier with a 3-way equalizer, phase inversion selection, output volume control and low battery indicator. The preamp has an integrated tuner with manual tuning and variable pitch selection; when activating the Tuner function, the output is set to zero.
(NXT, DUO, TRI, Zappa Signature series - Acoustic Bass guitars)
Fishman's Isys + preamplifier offers an integrated tuner, 2-way EQ, phase inversion switch, and volume control; when activating the Tuner function, the output is set to zero.
(Serie EVO, Serie ONE, ONE ST series)
Fishman Presys Blend
With Presys Blend, it is possible to combine Sonitone's under-saddle pickup sound with the built-in microphone, in order to gain a richer palette of sound. The preamp has volume control, 3-way EQ, phase inversion button and control to mix the piezo signal to the microphone signal. Also thanks to the notch control, it is possible to mitigate a narrow band of frequencies to eliminate the feedback that may come from higher volumes on stage; when activating the Tuner function, the output is set to zero.
Fishman Sonitone GT2
Thanks to the Sonitone GT2, it is possible to have the high quality sound of the Fishman products, without drilling the instrument. Thanks to the rotary controls installed inside the guitar hole, installation does not require additional holes, thus maintaining the aesthetics of the guitar.
(Serie Ranger VR, EGO, Nek Signature)
Heart Sound Perlucens
While entirely re-thinking the acoustic guitar amplification, Heart Sound has considered all the components that build a high quality sound: tone, dynamics, a signal free from any kind of interference and the greatest feedback resistance needed to cope with every live performance.
This pickup for guitar and acoustic bass is based on a dual sensor amplification system is certainly not a novelty, but it is completely new the way these sensors capture every nuance of the sound your hands can generate, pushing your technique towards new horizons. Now, playing your acoustic guitar, you will be able to hear what you never heard before.
(opzionale su Oliviero Pigini, Profumosa)
Fishman Rare Earth Blend
Rare Earth Blend is an integrated system consisting of a magnetic pocket humbucking pickup combined to an electret condenser cardiodide microphone with built-in mix control. You’ll be able to choose between two different output configurations: Microphone + Pickup or Separate Outputs.
(opzional on Massimo Varini Signature, Oliviero Pigini, Profumosa)
Brands: Eko, Wilkinson, Seymour Duncan
Eko Guitars Rockbucker
We wanted to give our Elements series (STD and Lite) guitars a decisively rocky footprint, so we have developed these powerful, silent and versatile minihumbuckers. The tone is rich despite maintaining a strong rock trend towards the medium high frequencies. Great Signal / Noise ratio.
Eko Guitars Dual Coil RockBucker
Developed for the AIRE Std, these are two Eko Rockbucker, which can be used separately through the dedicated split. They keep the Rockbucker's features by adding power, whilst improving the Signal / Noise ratio.
Our collaboration with Larry Wilkinson allows us to fit our instruments with this high-quality pickup guitars, which maintain the philosophy behind all Wilkinson's products: without compromise. We use both humbucker and single coil models
Seymour Duncan JB e 59
Our Custom Shop in Italy carries out personal customisations, including the use of this pickups that certainly don’t need any further presentation.
Eko Guitars Vintage Pickups
The Eko Guitars R&D department has developed these pickups for the Vintage and Relic series so to reproduce in a modern way the classic sounds of the 60's. Alnico V magnets and Polysol wire are combined together to reach a higher output volume whilst keeping the sound spectrum balanced.
For the Aire Relic we have created a particularly powerful pickup humbucker and with the push-pull (and push-push) controls we can split the coils: this lead to a significantly lower output that allows, without the need to vary gain controls on the amplifier, to switch from a crunch to a fully distorsion sound.