From tree to soundboard
Why European Spruce?
The source of our tonewood is Swiss Alpine spruce from Grisons. Our cold, mountain climate and a short growing season result in spruce trees with tight and regular annual ring growth.
Because of its unsurpassed tonal characteristics, one type of wood has proved itself above all others in the centuries-long history of instrument making: European spruce, picea abies. The wood has to grow slowly, be light in weight and yet exhibit a high degree of stiffness. European spruce meets these requirements. Favorable damping qualities, an optimal stiffness to weight ratio, and internal friction are the criteria most sought after in good tonewood.
Our Advantage: We do it all
We execute every step in the production of our tonewood:
- Selection of the best mountain spruce
- Selective logging at the right time = moon wood
- Transport of felled trees
- Milling of quartersawn wood for soundboards
- Hand-split billets and further processing of soundboards
By completing all the production steps ourselves, we can assure the high quality of our products from the standing tree to the finished product.
We do it all = optimal quality control of every step of processing
The selection of spruce for tonewood requires extensive experience, knowledge of the characteristics of wood, and competence in logging. We look for spruce trees at an altitude between 1300 and 2000 meters. As a rule we only harvest trees with an average diameter of at least 45 centimeters, having reached an age of 200 to 250 years. At this point these trees have reached their maximum age.
The harvesting of wood takes place exclusively in the winter months. Timing is of the utmost importance, with felling preceding the new moon.
We transport our wood with company-owned specialized logging vehicles, cable ways, tractors, and trucks. Helicopters are employed for trees that are difficult to access by the usual means. All of our tonewood is air-dried-just as it was before the Industrial Age.
Tops and quarter sawn wood (for soundboards) are stored at an altitude between 1400 and 1600 meters. Air drying in our alpine climate results in a gradual and gentle drying process.
Our highly qualified and motivated co-workers and a sensible level of mechanization guarantee both quality and efficiency.