Before actually starting to build any guitar, a lot of details need to be worked out. Of all the details, the choice of tonewoods for the top, back and sides is the most important. All of the established tonewoods impart characteristic sounds on the finished instrument. For example,a spruce soundboard will produce a bright, clear tone, while cedar will produce a warmer sounding guitar. Various types of rosewoods, maples and mahoganies all have there own tone qualities.
For this 12 String guitar, I will be using Adirondack spruce for the soundboard and Honduran mahogany for the back and sides. The original Leadbelly guitars used spruce and mahogany, which is why they were chosen for this project. Adirondack spruce is very strong and tends to make loud, sweet sounding guitars. Mahogany is generally described as a wood that brings out the midrange tones in a guitar: not the trebles brought out by maple, nor the bass notes brought out by rosewood.