Morado or Bolivian Rosewood

Machaerium Schleroxylon (Sometimes Called Pau Ferro)


Morado,  commonly referred to as Brazilian Rosewood. In many case it is sold as a substitute for Brazilian Rosewood. Be aware it is not a Dalbergia and does not have the same sound properties. I guess because it comes from Bolivia & Bolivia is close to Brazil.  
Don't be fooled.

Pau Ferro, Morado or Bolivian Rosewood is not expensive, The piece pictured on this page is a beautiful example.  Most of it is a dull Greyish Taupe Color.  It does not usually compliment the inlays and it is being sold by several boutique makers as "The Holy Grail" 

BS To That.

Source:, November 1998
Pau Ferro

  (Morado, Rosewood; Bolivian)

Also known as Bolivian Rosewood or Morado. It is heavy, brownish-orange wood with dark black stripes.

Most of the material that begot the perception of quality in the rose wood family is now long gone old growth trees, so perhaps it's time to re-evaluate our preferences. By the way, the publics desire for rose woods has also motivated manufactures to fib from time to time. Pau Ferro is not a rose wood, but is easily passed off as one. Bubinga is passed off as Chinese Rose wood even though it is not of the rose wood genus

Primarily available as fingerboards. Medium brown color, very smooth fine grain, warmer tone than ebony.

Maple neck with Pau Ferro fingerboard:] Quarter sawn Pau Ferro has the good properties of ebony but seems to be more reliable and stable. Pau Ferro is a tight grained hard wood with excellent clarity on the "chunk" tones when using gain, especially when teamed up with an alder body. In overdrive mode it has a fatter low end and more pronounced sparkle when compared to maple. It adds excellent definition to the notes especially when using overdriven tones. Strong in the lower mids and bass, scooped mids.

From Africa; Congo, Ivory Coast, Zaire, Gabon, Angola, Cameroon, Equatorial Guine, and Nigeria.
The heartwood is pink, yellow, or dark brown in color and is often striped with red-brown bands. The grain is usually wavy or interlocked. The wood is rather coarse-textured. Polishing characteristics are rated as good.
Common uses include carvings, musical instruments, decorative veneer, fine furniture, and sounding boards.
Specific Gravity is .82 (very dense). Responds well to turning.



It doesn't sound bad, but it is being sold for too much money !!!!

This is a particularly beautiful piece of Morado


    Source:, November 1998
This is A True Dalbergia Rosewood

 This picture is an exceptional piece of tulipwood
Don't expect it too always look like this

There are roughly a dozen species of true rose woods in the world. (Yes, they smell like roses when cut with a saw.) A partial list would include Tulip wood, King wood, Cocobolo, East Indian Rose wood, and Brazilian Rose wood. With the exception of the latter, these are oily to the point of being dead in the tone department. So what is the point in coveting these materials when there are sonic superiors available? The problem is that in the public mind, rose wood is cool, so it has long been over harvested. Because of this Brazilian Rose wood has been banned from importation to the United States for over twenty five years. 

Tulipwood has shades of red, pink, and yellow in it.  

From Central and Latin America; Brazil, Colombia, Guyana and Venezuela.
Straw colored background with irregular streaks of shades of yellow rose, pink and violet. Grain is straight to roey, texture is fine, and wood is highly lustrous with excellent polishing qualities.
Common uses included brush handles, cabinetmaking, flooring, furniture, inlay work, marquetry, and veneer.
Specific Gravity is .96 (very dense). Requires sharp tools.  

Very light cream color with bright thin streaks of pink or sometimes with a few colored streaks.