Maton Guitars of Melbourne, Australia has released a stunning new brochure on tonewoods.
But does the marketing work?
Is it the message for the 21st century?
Whilst we acknowledge and have a deep respect for traditional tonewoods, we are also excited by the potential we have discovered in non-traditional (alternative) woods.
The musical instrument making community is becoming increasingly concerned about the lack of availability of some of their favorite traditional tonewoods. … it would be environmentally irresponsible to keep utilising these timbers without looking for alternatives.
We are fortunate enough to have the support of many of Australia’s most knowledgeable and skilled timber gatherers and continue to try new species….
This last statement completely bowls me over!
Maton still don’t get it do they?
Tonewood is about hunting and gathering??? WTF!!
I thought we had left those days behind. I thought this was the 21st century.
If you want tonewood for the future you need to plant, grow and harvest trees. It is not about hunting and gathering! Those forests have gone!
In the 21st century the future of tonewoods is about THE GROWER – who manages the forest, who plants the trees!
To their credit Maton devotes a beautiful two page spread to blackwood. But the idea that we should be actively growing blackwood for tonewood production still hasn’t entered Maton’s conscience.
In all 15 tonewoods are described, but very little about where the wood comes from, who grows it or whether is it sustainable. Once upon a time I would have mentioned certification (PEFC/FSC) but my faith in forest certification is gone.
In today’s market it’s not enough to just say “it’s not rosewood” or “it’s alternative”.
The whole point of the “alternative tonewoods” story is not just to demonstrate the woods have good acoustic and aesthetic properties, but that they come from ethical, sustainable, profitable (for the grower) sources.
Maton needs to demonstrate commitment not just to using alternative tonewoods, but to supporting those who grow these quality timbers.
“Gathering” isn’t good enough.
Maton Guitars was a pioneer in the use of alternative tonewoods long before they became important.
It’s now time for Maton to take the next step in their commitment.
Unfortunately this glossy brochure just doesn’t do it!
PS. In their defense most other guitar makers are on the same page as Maton.