The Abies Project

The best way to acquire the finest Alpine Spruce soundboards for your guitars, without leaving home.

Save time, save money!

The Background

The Abies Project is based on the collaboration between Richard Jaouen, Michael Bashkin and Chris Jenkins. The three for several years compared the results obtained in the construction of their guitars, crossing the physical properties of the woods, spectrograms, Chladni patterns and measurements of monopole mobility upon completion of the instruments, and optimizing an algorithm for the selection of the best soundboards.

In 2020 as Wood ‘n’ Tones we were pleased to join the project, and thanks to the collaboration with Rivolta Tonewood, we were able to finalize the process and let it turn into a real premium and innovative brand in the lutherie field.

Rivolta Woods

We are based only a few minutes driving from Rivolta Tonewood, partner of the project, which every year allows us to select between thousands of its soundboards, new and in stock. 

Our Service

We are not a sawmill.

We provide liuthers all around the world with a unique and complete third-party selection service.

Every single soundboard is identified with a serial number and it’s supported by:

  • an high definition photo
  • a simple and innovative aesthetic rating
  • physical and acoustic properties such as dimensions, density, stiffness and sound radiation coefficient

HD Photos

Aesthetic Rating

Data available

“In the Showroom section, we offer a tutorial to help you use the data and select the best soundboards for your guitars.”

The Method

The selection process starts with a visual inspection of the soundboard to evaluate the quarter sawn, the absence of runout or any other wood defect. The soundboards then move on to the second selection phase in which they are measured to obtain dimensional, mechanical, and acoustic properties. 

  • Size: in addition to a size label based on the width of the soundboard (small, medium or large) we collect width, length and thickness for each soundboard and make those available to allow the luthier to check how his instrument model will fit the wood plate.

  • Density: it is one of the main parameters used by luthiers for selecting and comparing soundboards.

  • Stiffness: it is a parameter that has a relevant role in the thicknessing process of the guitar top. The stiffness value of a soundboard can be related to different guitar size or style.

  • Sound Radiation Coefficient (SRC): gives the idea of how much the vibration of the soundboard is converted into sound radiation
     
Finally, soundboards that meet our criteria are then classified into three categories based on aesthetic criteria:

Nix

comes from the Latin word "snow" and groups extra clear and regular soundboards

Ursa

stands for "bear" and represents bearclaw soundboards

Aura

Includes all soundboards marked with typical brownish stripes of the Italian Alpine Spruce

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