Koa wood is a type of wood that is made from the native plant of Hawaii. It is one of the favorite types of wood because it does not require any treatment. Koa trees grow in the Hawaiian rainforest and can be found on Oahu, Molokai, and Kauai. A koa guitar produces a very sweet sound because it has naturally low frequencies. Usually high strings on other guitars produce higher frequencies but this kind only produces lower frequencies that are harmonically rich.
What Does A Koa Guitar Sound Like?
Koa guitars produce an almost otherworldly kind of sound — lower in volume, but warm and resonant. And, as the name suggests, Koa wood can be found on only four islands in the world: Hawaii, Molokai, Kauai and Oahu. The Koa tree has to be over 25 years old before it can be used to make a guitar. Koa wood is reddish in color and is considered one of the best woods for making guitars. The wood is particularly well suited for creating very warm but full-sounding acoustics.
Some Great Examples Of Koa Guitars
- Godin Guitars A6 Ultra Koa
- Taylor GS Mini Koa
- Takamine GN77-KCE
- Martin D-12E
- Breedlove Pursuit Exotic Koa
- Taylor K24CE
- Martin GPC
Why Are Koa Guitars So Powerful?
If you’re wondering what makes a Ko’a guitar so powerful, it’s the construction of its body. The wood used to make this guitar is what gives it its amazing sound. As mentioned, Koa trees have to be at least 25 years old before they can be harvested, so they’re incredibly dense and resonate beautifully. This also means that Koa guitars are extremely durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. Due to its reputation for excellence, koa guitar manufacturers are becoming more and more sought after — especially those who use only native Koa woods in their guitars.
Does Koa Finish Make A Difference In Guitar Sound?
Koa guitars are very smooth sounding, but because they’re so dense, they can be prone to uneven sound. Because of this, some guitar makers have started using a smooth coating to help keep the wood from absorbing moisture from the air and allowing for an even tone. The end result is that Ko’a guitars produce a rich and resonant sound that’s ideal for many styles of music including jazz, blues and folk.
Myrtlewood Vs Koa For Guitar Sound
Myrtlewood is the wood that’s used to make classical guitars. Just like with koa wood, it doesn’t require any treatment for its natural color and sound. It also has the added benefit of being extremely hardy. While Koa is considered an excellent piece of wood, Myrtlewood is quite a bit sturdier and lasts forever. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t get a great Ko’a guitar with quality wood.
The conclusion to what a Koa Guitar sounds like is that it has a lower sound with a lot of harmonic richness which makes it an excellent tone for folk, blues and jazz. Another wood that is used for guitars but more commonly for classical guitars is Myrtlewood which is even more durable than koa.