Atherosperma Moschatum | Tonewood Profile | “Blackheart Sassafras”
All pictures – Click to enlarge!
Please email with any corrections/ additional info
We aim to keep each profile as complete as possible & your help is appreciated!
Blackheart Sassafras is an evergreen tree native to Australia where it attains heights of 45 meters in the cool temperate, lower altitude rainforests of Tasmania and Victoria. Trunk diameters of 1 meter have been recorded.
The sapwood is white with a black boundary to the chocolate brown heartwood with pastel variegations. It is in high demand for cabinets, furniture, and crafts. The bark has been made into a beverage. The Janka of Blackheart Sassafrasis 4.7kN dry.
As a tonewood…
It is used for back an sides for guitars, where it’s light weight but soft texture allows it to compare to maple or walnut. However Stephen Kinnaird says: “It isn’t super hard. It’s tap is somewhat like expensive cardboard. It reminds me of some soft maple we once used on a successful guitar. That maple proved a lot to me–that a good guitar can be built with something other than rosewood–and I believe that this Sassafras will also be nice.”
I would broadly characterise the tone of Blackheart Sassafras as falling between Walnut and Maple- it has more balance than Maple but less overtones than Walnut.
Good stocks of Blackheart Sassafras are limited.
Rc tonewoods: http://www.rctonewoods.com/blackhearted_sassafras.shtml
Pictures copyright individual holders.
Any infringement of copyright is entirely unintentional. Any copyright issues should be address to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will attempt to resolve these issues quickly.