William A Mackay Interview 5 Beautiful ToneWoods Essences
Wood choice is obviously very important.
Traditionally within the violin family you have spruce, for the belly, Maple or Sycamore for back plate and ribs as well as the scroll and ebony for fingerboard and fittings.
There are variation, and mostly on double bass perhaps due to it’s size, but that’s what people tend to expect unless specified, I’m open to suggestion though there are obvious timbers that may not do for specific duties.
As there is so much time spent working on these instruments and being a high end product the quality of the wood must be exceptional.
The way the material has been cut or split from the log as well as the seasoning are very important. The last bass tops I bought were sourced from a supplier in Switzerland where the wood is from a high altitude and only harvested at a certain time depending on the phase of the moon. Many factors have there effect on wood.
One of the benefits of buying from a small luthier workshop is that the luthier will consider that wood for grain direction to allow it to give it’s best structural support and there is the extra attention to detail along the whole process that won’t necessarily be given in larger workshops.
We invite you to consult the 2 personal pages of William A Mackay by clicking on the link below :
You can find him on Luthiers at this address for his work on Bowed String Instruments: https://luthiers.com/listing/william-a-mackay-luthiery/
And here for his work on Plucked String Instruments: https://luthiers.com/listing/william-a-mackay-luthiery-2/
In the coming weeks, as for all the others luthiers for plucked string instruments, luthiers for bowed string instruments, amps & effects makers, wood & supplies dealers, lutherie events, jobs, schools & teachers registered on our website, you will be able to follow our series of mini-interviews dedicated to the fascinating universe of luthiers.
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