At Pacific Rim Tonewoods, we personally select every spruce log. We split these logs into guitar top blocks, maximizing quality while minimizing any twist that a log might have; we especially want the wood fibers to run parallel to the face of the guitar. There are many crucial decisions made before our sawyers ever touch a block; they cut the blocks into vertical grain boards, locking in the radial stiffness, and then trim and prepare them for drying.
In 2023, we will cut between 3 and 400,000 soundboards, and although we would love to test every piece, demand for this - while growing- is light; we will likely test only about one percent of our production. For a run of tested wood, we sort dried top boards for aesthetics and mechanical soundness. Based on appearance, knot proximity, compression grain, etc., fewer than half of the boards we look at will qualify for testing, although they will all find a" guitar home " .Of those boards that we test, we only retain the upper 40 per cent or so for our sonic grades.
The sonic fall down, along with all of our hundreds of thousands of untested tops, goes into our vast river of soundboards. Each will find the way to some guitar, but those with known, preferred properties will make it much simpler for the luthier to build the instrument he or she desires.