To make a fine quality guitar you need top quality materials. All my timber is hand selected with great care. It must of course be well seasoned and dry. Timbers are selected for their structural soundness, density, strength, appearance and tonal response. Much thought is given to the matching of timber for the various components of each guitar. This approach has yielded very consistent results.
For the top I generally use alpine spruce or western red cedar, although more recently I have used Port Orford cedar ( a north american species of cypress) with excellent results.
Spruce is the classic soundboard material for a classical or flamenco guitar - it is very strong both along and across the grain and produces a very pure, clear tone.
Cedar is not as strong as spruce especially across the grain, and so requires different treatment i.e. thicknessing and support. The sound from cedar is more immediate, but not pure like spruce, there being many more overtones present. There is much more " going on" with cedar, so there is less clarity, especially in the middle and lower register, but in exchange you get warmer, woodier/earthier basses and mids, and sparkling incisive trebles.
Clearly, spruce and cedar have very different tonal characters, and you may like one or the other, or both. They both make a lovely guitar.
Back and sides
For the back and sides I use mainly rosewoods - mostly indian, or when something harder is called for, madagascar, honduras and occasionally other woods such as malaysian ebony. Indian rosewood which provides both good attack and warmth, therefore makes an excellent partner for spruce.
Maple is also a pleasing timber, very different in tone from the rosewoods - it is a much softer material, and so as you might expect, it reflects sound less. Acoustically, this presents itself as a very smooth attack to the note, unlike the little "bang" you get with harder woods, and a pronounced mid-range with a lot of warmth in the bass and middle and sweet trebles.
Cypress is the traditional material for spanish flamenco guitars. It is extremely light and strong and perfect for the light build needed to provide the explosive flamenco attack. It also gives a lot of airiness and earthiness.
Cedrela or mahogany is used for the neck and ebony for the fingerboard, honduras rosewood for the bridge.
A variety of natural and dyed woods are used to make the rosettes and purflings, which I always make myself with variations from one batch to another.