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  • Writer's picturemarcoosioliutaio

Resonance Spruce: The perfect wood for high-quality instruments soundboards

Let's discover the exceptional acoustic properties of resonance spruce, a wood species used in high-quality violin-making. Learn about its origin, characteristics, and how it's selected for building top-notch musical instruments.

Directly from the city of Cremona, home of the violin-making tradition, let's embark on a journey through the Alps to discover the resonance spruce, a woody species with extraordinary acoustic properties. Choosing the right wood is a crucial and fundamental phase in the construction of an excellent musical instrument. Among the many woods used in violin-making, resonance spruce stands out for its exceptional acoustic quality.

The main forests where this precious wood can be found are located in Italy, precisely in the areas of Val di Fiemme, Latemar, and Tarvisio. Here, the loggers select the trees to be felled with great professionalism, always respecting the balance of the entire forest ecosystem.

Resonance wood is obtained from plants grown under optimal climatic and seasonal conditions, that is, in high mountains between 1500 and 2000 meters above sea level. The wood produced under these conditions is mainly composed of spring wood, characterized by low specific weight, high elasticity, dimensional stability, and an excellent strength-to-weight ratio, making it the perfect ingredient for constructing the soundboard of stringed musical instruments.

To obtain superior quality resonance wood, large diameter trunks, measuring over 50 centimeters, are selected. In these climatic conditions, such trunks come from plants that are at least 150 years old. Only a part of the better radial section of the trunk is used, where the rings are perpendicular to it. The accurate selection requires that the trunks be free of visual defects such as knots, reaction wood, curves, and straight grain and be perfectly healthy.

The ideal period for cutting red spruce trees is late autumn when the wood is no longer in the vegetative phase and is therefore less rich in liquids.

As a luthier, I believe that choosing the right wood is a crucial phase in the construction of musical instruments. For several years, I have almost exclusively used red spruce from Val di Fiemme to build the soundboards of my instruments. I appreciate the lightness, resistance, and flexibility of this wood, which make it ideal for constructing high-quality stringed musical instruments. The result is a rich and powerful sound, with great projection capacity and a brilliant and warm tone.

In this context, I like to periodically visit the Paneveggio forest in Val di Fiemme to personally select the freshly cut trunks that I consider most suitable for my purpose.

Choosing the right wood is crucial for creating an excellent musical instrument, and, for my taste, resonance spruce from Val di Fiemme represents one of the most appreciated and prestigious options in the world of violin-making.

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