Is Nyatoh Wood a Good Choice for Guitars?

By Mike D. Schmitt

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Nyatoh wood, also known as “Nato”, is a tropical hardwood that is native to Southeast Asia. It has a natural reddish-brown hue, and is known for its strength and durability. While it is not as well-known as other woods used for guitar-making, such as mahogany or maple, it is still a popular choice among guitar builders due to its cost-effectiveness and sound quality.

When used for guitars, nyatoh wood is often used as a substitute for mahogany. It has a similar tonal quality to mahogany, producing warm and full-bodied sound with good sustain. It also has good resonance, making it a popular choice for electric guitar bodies.

In addition to its tonal properties, nyatoh wood is also easy to work with, which is a big plus for guitar builders. It is easy to shape, sand, and finish, making it a popular choice for guitar makers who want to create custom instruments with unique designs.

That being said, while nyatoh wood is a good choice for guitars, it is not as high-quality as other tonewoods like mahogany or rosewood. It is also not as aesthetically pleasing as other woods, as it has a plain and unremarkable appearance. Nevertheless, for those who are looking for a solid and reliable wood for their guitar at a more affordable price point, nyatoh wood is definitely worth considering.

Pros and Cons of Using Nyatoh Wood for Guitars

Nyatoh wood has several benefits and drawbacks when it comes to using it for guitars. Here are a few pros and cons to keep in mind:


  • Good tonal quality, producing warm and full-bodied sound
  • Good resonance, making it a popular choice for electric guitar bodies
  • Easy to work with, making it ideal for custom designs
  • Affordable price point


  • Not as high-quality as other tonewoods like mahogany or rosewood
  • Not as aesthetically pleasing as other woods
  • May be less durable than other woods
  • May require more maintenance over time

How to Identify Nyatoh Wood

If you are in the market for a guitar and want to make sure that it is made from nyatoh wood, there are a few things to look for. One of the most obvious signs is the reddish-brown color of the wood. Nyatoh wood also tends to have a straight grain pattern, with few knots or other imperfections. Finally, you can try tapping the wood to listen for the resonance – nyatoh wood should produce a clear, resonant sound.

Other Uses for Nyatoh Wood

While nyatoh wood is primarily used for guitars, it has a variety of other uses as well. It is commonly used in furniture-making, as it is durable and easy to work with. It is also used in the construction of houses and buildings in Southeast Asia, due to its strength and resistance to termites and other pests.

Overall, nyatoh wood is a solid choice for guitar-making, particularly for those who are looking for a good tonal quality at a more affordable price point. While it may not be as high-quality or aesthetically pleasing as other tonewoods, it is still a reliable and durable option that is worth considering.

By Mike D. Schmitt

Mike is your 'Go-To-Guy' for all things music and pro audio. Engineer, musician, luthier, and quite possibly the biggest gear head on the planet. With over 30 years of industry experience in the studio, and on the road, we turn to Mike and his expertise for those hard hitting music and pro audio questions.

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