Over a half century ago several Brazilian rosewood logs were shipped from NE Brazil to a small company producing church ornaments just outside of Madrid, Spain, where they rested peacefully in a warehouse. As the generations passed and the business focus changed, the logs were cut into tone wood sets for guitars and the company became known as Madinter, one of the premier tone wood suppliers to the world’s exclusive guitar builders.
Year-by-year, over more than 5 decades, the tone wood sets aged, cured by the ideal Spanish climate. The sap crystalize, the stress in the wood relaxed, the cellulose matured between the annual growth fibers…nature took its natural course of turning tone wood into incredible music wood. Just as pre-war guitars are known for their extraordinary sound as the tone woods age, the Brazilian rosewood of Madinter cured naturally.
Bedell Guitars acquired Madinter’s entire collection of treasured Brazilian rosewood in 2013. It is all legally documented. It was harvested before Brazil prohibited the export of Brazilian rosewood logs in the late 1960s, before the initial CITES convention of 1972 and long before Brazilian rosewood was declared an endangered species by CITES in 1992. This treasured wood is the finest music wood Mother Nature has created. It responds to lower energy bass frequencies with power and enthusiasm and rejoices in the higher energy treble notes. There is a timbre, an energy, an incredible aliveness that comes from the instruments we are crafting with this aged, cured Brazilian rosewood. There can be no question, Brazilian rosewood is the finest guitar body music wood and the journey of the Brazilian we are using makes this the most amazing collection in the world.
But we do not take our Brazilian rosewood for granted. In launching the new Bedell Bahia dreadnought, orchestra and parlor we have paired it with Alaska Sitka spruce that was salvaged from the forest floor near Craig, Alaska. We never use wood from clear-cut trees…most importantly from over 1,000 year old-growth Sitka forests. Our soundboards are over 400 years old…growing slowly as they compete in the forest for sun, water and freedom. The result, the slow growth and tight growth rings give the tops of our instruments previously unheard power and clarity.
So marrying nature cured Brazilian rosewood with multi-century old Alaskan Sitka to create the most responsive and beautiful sounding acoustic guitars requires more than luck. There are thousands of miles between Brazil and Alaska. Mother Nature did not see her destiny as creating a musical marriage between these extraordinary trees. This is left to Bedell Guitars. We have studied the tonal character of our Alaska Sitka and Brazilian rosewood to determine the best frequency pairings to maximize the sound, feel and power. We actually sand each top to a targeted thinness and then hand tune it by carving away wood on each of the tone bars of each Bedell Bahia to a selected frequency. Different from most guitars, when you tap on the top of a Bedell Bahia you will notice that the frequencies are the same anywhere on the top you tap. This results in efficienct energy transfer of the music to the back wood, which is also hand tuned to maximize it’s efficiency in responding.
The Bedell Bahia offers the finest music wood nature has created, hand-crafted into the finest guitars technology has enabled.