Sonic grading is fundamentally different from traditional grading because the process relies on data and mathematical models to classify each board, this helps us to be much more accurate than what eyes only grading can do. By evaluating density, stiffness, Q (damping) and several other factors, the boards are classified into various groupings.
Every sonically graded board is required to meet the following specifications:
- Density in the range of 350 - 500 kg/m3
- Stiffness within 10% of the mean
- Damping (Q) >= 150
Of the wood that makes it to testing (about 50% of total production), we then classify for density and stiffness, rejecting any extremes. Because we consider damping to be the most important factor in soundboard selection, we only select the upper 60% of tested soundboards for this characteristic.
The sonically graded soundboards that we sell at Pacific Rim Tonewoods represent about a quarter of the top wood that we cut. The soundboards are then further sorted into Low, Medium and High density, std and high Q, std and high stiffness.
Overall, then, we offer only 51% of the wood that we test, which means that these soundboards represent about a 25% of the top wood that we cut. These stringent requirements ensure that every sonically graded soundboard will deliver consistent and superior sound, every time.