By Adam Sullivan |
Posted: Tue 6:34 PM, May 08, 2018 |
Updated: Tue 7:07 PM, May 08, 2018
LEBANON, N.H. (WCAX) Most of the instruments at Bear Hollow Vintage Guitars are made, in part, of rosewood. The fingerboards are the most common piece. But that could soon change.
Rosewood has presented itself as a big issue in the guitar industry," said Sally Laurent of Bear Hollow Vintage Guitars.
Strict new regulations on the wood have been adopted after an international crackdown on illegal logging, which has dramatically impacted rosewood forests in Asia and Africa.
"The requirement of the industry was that they all had to prove and document where their rosewood came from," Laurent said.
Music industry experts say the new regulations have hit instrument manufacturers hard.
"We have one company that actually couldn't proceed because, financially, they couldn't bring in product and they had nothing else to sell and it was kind of a domino effect," Laurent said.
"It is actually a kind of a difficult wood to work; it is very splintery. We use it in mostly very thin pieces so it is very brittle and it tends to crack easily," said George Morris of Vermont Instruments.
But the Fairlee guitar-maker says rosewood also provides amazing tone, which is why it's so popular.
"I buy from certified dealers and they can provide paperwork if needed," Morris said.
However, Morris says he doesn't use it that much these days, in part, to avoid the paperwork. He also says when it comes to rosewood, guitar-makers aren't the problem.
"We are so frugal in what we use anyway," he said.
Furniture and veneer companies are by far the most common users of the wood.
Back at Bear Hollow, Laurent says environmental consciousness is very important.
"If you think of the wastefulness, it's like the people who harvest tusks and leave the animals to die in the woods," Laurent said.
And while she agrees regulation is needed, she fears the music industry is unfairly feeling its effects.
"Finding a balance between extreme regulation and helping smaller companies work with those parameters is really important," Laurent said.
A statement she hopes will strike a chord with those making the rules.