Movingui. Tonewood Profile

Distemonathus Benthamianus | Tonewood Profile | “Movingui”


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Quick Facts
Scientific name: Distemonanthus benthamianus
Trade names: Movingui, African Satinwood
Janka: 1230 approx
Uses: Back and sides veneer
RIYL:Mahogany/ Koa
Bling factor: Chatayonace and curl is common
Availability: Rare
CITES status: Not listed. No restrictions
Note: (RIYL) Recommended If You Like

McKnight Guitars
(click for fullsize)
Movingui Padauk Back & Sides with sapwood
Spruce Top
Read our interview with Tim McKnight here.

Natural History

Movingui is found in evergreen, semi-deciduous and secondary forests of West Africa. It reaches 40 meters high and the trunk diameter can reach 1.2 meters. The bole is straight with variable buttressing.

Physical properties


Movingui is resistant to termite attach and is often used as a utility wood due to it’s high resilience and durability.


The sapwood ranges from white to straw but the heartwood is brilliant golden yellow and can exhibit a ribbon pattern or curly figure.


It has an an interlocked grain with a fine texture. Due to a high silica content, Movingui has a tendency to blunt tools.


The Janka of Movingui is 1230 and the specific gravity is 0.58

As a tonewood…

It is used for back an sides for guitars, where it’s light weight allows it to compare favourably to mahogany. However Tim Mcknight says: “The tone has everything that Mahogany has and more. It doesn’t have the overpowering midrange bite but is more balanced.

Subjective tone…

I would broadly characterise the tone of Movingui as falling between Koa and Honduran Mahogany- it has more balance than Mahogany but slightly less overtones than Koa.


Good stocks of Movingui are limited.

Links/ References:
Rc tonewoods

©Terence Tan.

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