Scientific name: Acacia Koa
Other names: Hawaiian Koa
Average density: 38lbs/ft3 – 610kg/m3
Uses: Guitar and ukelele back and sides, bindings, headplates
Its color can be highly variable, but tends to be medium golden or reddish brown, similar to Mahogany. There are usually contrasting bands of color in the growth rings, and it is not uncommon to see boards with ribbon-like streaks of color and wavy or curly grain figured. It has an open pore structure like Mahogany, so it needs to be filled. It works well in all respects with the usual care taken for curly figure. A species endemic to Hawaii and with supplies dwindling, it is likely to become rather expensive. Boards of highly figured curly Koa can command fantastic prices. It is widely considered to be the most beautiful and useful of Hawaii’s native hardwoods, and along with Monkey Pod and Mango, it is the most common exported Hawaiian species.
When paired with a nice soundboard, koa has a blend of the crispness and clarity of the finest rosewood with all the warmth, thick tone and airiness of mahogany.