Tonewood

Spruce and maple  are carefully selected from among the finest sources, generally coming from
the Alps of France, Northern Italy and Eastern European regions, where the temperature variations
between winter and summer are minimal, creating a lightweight wood which reacts well to vibration.

In addition to the aesthetic aspect, the choice of wood will influence the emission and the color of the
sound. Growth, density, reactivity, cut: each parameter will be determinant even before the instrument
is made.

The sound quality of tonewoods is primarily determined by their physical characteristics. Low-density
woods with a high sound velocity and a high flexural strength are particularly suitable for this purpose as
they improve the resonance characteristics of the instrument and increase its sound radiation.
Trees whose wood meets these requirements grow especially at high altitudes on the southern slopes of
the Alps.

Wood is first and foremost a living material: even when cut, it evolves and is particularly sensitive to
humidity. It is a “hygroscopic” material: there is a link between the moisture content (also called
“hygrometry”) of wood and that of the ambient air, without these two values being equal. The wood is
mainly composed of hemicellulose which is hygrophilic and lignin which is hygrophobic.
This is why an instrument, even varnished, can have some variation of measurements during the year and
must be checked and adjusted every time it feels necessary.

The material is revealed by our eyes … and our ears!

Having selected the wood, muchremains to be revealed. Under the carving tools, the sound and
texture of the wood will seem different from one room to another and  it is at this point that the initial choice
will be revealed. It is a feeling that is not easily explained in a rational way, but which is often confirmed
empirically.

Science and measuring instruments allow us today to complete our knowledge of the acoustic properties
of wood. By calculating its density, elasticity and velocity, we can anticipate the shaping of each part. Each
piece of wood has its own identity and it is necessary to have a large supply of wood in order to choose
the piece required for a specific use.