East Indian Rosewood is wide-ranging and articulate, with superb all-around volume. It is visually stunning as well, with hues of chocolate brown commonly found alongside hints of gold, red and purple. The wood darkens with age, usually becoming a deep brown. Rosewood back and sides contrasts well with a light-coloured top or binding, making for a very beautiful instrument All of this adds up to a tone wood that is dependably workable and audibly remarkable.
The vast majority of the higher quality steel string and classical guitars made over the last fourty years have been made from Indian Rosewood. Many of the top acoustic guitar makers preferred it to Brazilian Rosewood for many reasons. It is a beautiful wood, that it is easily worked, and the sound produced by Indian Rosewood guitars is superlative.
One of the first great alternatives to Brazilian Rosewood, East Indian Rosewood is versatile, powerful, and one of the most popular tone woods of the past 40 years. Loved by flat pickers for its volume and booming low-end growl and by fingerpickers for its sparkling highs and distinct note separation—it can at times be precisely delicate and at others unashamedly booming. The sound quality of Indian Rosewood rates very highly. When it is used in the back and sides of an acoustic guitar it is known to give a clear bell like sound. This quality also influences the sound of an instrument when the wood is used for the fingerboard and bridge.
East Indian Rosewood works equally well by hand or by machine and it bends quite comfortably. Although it’s slightly less dense than Brazilian Rosewood, it is generally more dimensionally stable and significantly less prone to cracking.
This species is listed on CITES appendix II under the genus-wide restriction on all Dalbergia species. It is also listed on the IUCN Red List as vulnerable due to a population reduction of over 20% in the past three generations, caused by a decline in its natural range, and exploitation.