Indian Rosewood is found throughout the Indian sub-continent scattered in dry, deciduous forests, and attains its best growth in the region around the city of Cochin.
The wood varies in color from golden-brown to dark, purple-brown with darker streaks giving an attractive figure. Generally the brown colored wood comes from plantations, and the purple wood comes from natural growth forests. The purple is more desirable wood. The grain is usually narrowly interlocked with a moderately coarse texture. Rosewood produces one of the most even tonal characters, and is thus highly sought after for guitar building. When paired with spruce, the treble is clean and loud, but not twangy; the midrange is vibrant and rich but not drowning; and the bass is full and accurate but not “boomy”.
Rosewood is suitable for all guitar bodies and sizes, from Parlor to Jumbo, and is used as a back and side wood only. Rosewood is considered to be the most important wood to acoustic guitar building today.