Nyatoh (Palaquium spp.)
Nyatoh (Palaquium spp.)

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Common Name(s): Nyatoh

Scientific Name: Palaquium spp., Payena spp.

Distribution: India through Southeast Asia to the Philippines, New Guinea, and the Western Pacific Islands

Tree Size: 100-130 ft (30-40 m) tall, 2-3 ft (.6-1 m) trunk diameter

Average Dried Weight: 39 lbs/ft3 (620 kg/m3)

Specific Gravity (Basic, 12% MC): .53, .62

Janka Hardness: 1,070 lbf (4,760 N)

Modulus of Rupture: 13,920 lbf/in2 (96.0 MPa)

Elastic Modulus: 1,939,000 lbf/in2 (13.37 GPa)

Crushing Strength: 7,890 lbf/in2 (54.4 MPa)

Shrinkage: Radial: 3.2%, Tangential: 5.5%, Volumetric: 8.7%, T/R Ratio: 1.7

Color/Appearance: Heartwood can be pale pink to reddish or purplish brown. Sapwood is lighter colored, and not clearly delineated from heartwood.

Grain/Texture: Has a typically straight to shallowly interlocking grain. Texture is moderately fine.

Endgrain: Diffuse-porous; medium to very large pores in radial or diagonal arrangement, very few to few; commonly in radial multiples of 2-3; tyloses and other reddish brown gum deposits occasionally present; growth rings indistinct; narrow rays not visible without lens, spacing normal to fairly close; parenchyma diffuse-in-aggregates, and depending on species, marginal.

Rot Resistance: Rated as non-durable and is susceptible to insect attack.

Workability: Some species within these genera have high silica content and will rapidly dull cutting edges. Those not containing silica work fairly easily, though there still tends to be gum buildup on tools.

Odor: Reported to give off a sour smell when being worked.

Allergies/Toxicity: Working with Nyatoh has been reported to cause irritation to mucous membranes. See the articles Wood Allergies and Toxicity and Wood Dust Safety for more information.

Pricing/Availability: Nyatoh is considered a utility wood in the native regions where it grows. It is not commonly seen or sold in the United States.

Sustainability: Nyatoh is not listed in the CITES Appendices, but a number of species in the Palaquium genus are on the IUCN Red List; most are listed as vulnerable due to a population reduction of over 20% in the past three generations, caused by a decline in its natural range, and exploitation.

Common Uses: Furniture, plywood, and interior joinery.

Comments: The two genera, Palaquium and Payene, are closely related and have very similar characteristics: though when dealing with specific data, (as seen above), it only reflects the average values from a number of species. A latex material called gutta-percha has been harvested from trees in the Palaquium genus, though its use today has been largely supplanted by synthetic materials.

Related Species:

None available.

Related Articles:


Nyatoh (Palaquium spp.)
Nyatoh (sanded)
Nyatoh (sealed)
Nyatoh (sealed)
Nyatoh (endgrain)
Nyatoh (endgrain)
Nyatoh (endgrain 10x)
Nyatoh (endgrain 10x)
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What do u think about Ibanez PF15ECE guitar whose sides and back are of nyatoh wood?


Which wood from South Asia is the best for model making?…..It mainly needs to have a good strength andbe light in weight. Thanks a lot


guys which wood is better for the body of a shred/metal/rock guitar? Nyatoh or Mahoghany? difference in tone? thanks a lot!


Well, fwiw, Ibanez uses it on their Axion Label guitars designed for metal

Gary Price

There is no difference. You could use Alder or Poplar and get the same tone because you don’t get any sonic change at all from a piece of wood. Strings and pickups are your concerns. Grab you a DiMarzio Fred for the neck and a Seymour Duncan Black Winter or Pegasus and you will be good to go. You might also like active pickups, SD blackouts might be a tad better than the EMG stuff.

Todd Sanderson

I’ve played guitar for over 35 years and I can tell you after owning high end Paul Reed Smith’s and Gibson’s your statement is 100% false! Yes you can make a guitar out of cardboard and get a “Good” sound. But when you played Guitars with a Price tag of $5.000 (USD) or more then you will understand what “Perfect” sound can be. Being made of the finest woods and other materials does make a huge difference. I’ve Played $6,000 PRS Modern Eagles also played $125 (including Tax) Harley Benton’s Enjoyed both but there were incredible differences all because of… Read more »




Build quality more than wood. Wood matters more on acoustic instruments . Also more important the skill of the player, wood on solid body guitars is chosen looks availability and weight. Only way to solve argument would be a blind sound test.


Wrong, but it takes years as an active musician to know that. Mahogany, alder, ash (two kinds) all sound very different. Obviously pickups and everything else also make a difference. But any real guitar player who has access to all of these options would argue with you. Grain density affects vibration which translates to differences in mid frequencies. I have heard people say that certain pickups (EMG’s) sound exactly the same regardless of the guitar they installed in, this is also not true.

Richard Dye

you must work for Gibson authentic or prs I have been playing 50 years 18 of them personally and the truth is tone is in the fingers yes i have played or owned very expensive guitars then i grew up and understood these tone woods are for doctors and lawyers and others who dont actually record or play out

Last edited 3 months ago by Richard Dye

And you are saying that only you, and not Gary, could possibly have spent years as an active musician? Please. I’ve been playing for over 30 years, have thousands of gigs and 3 albums under my belt, and I also build guitars in my spare time and I’m here to tell you that PARTICULARLY for metal and super high gain amplification you could attach active EMGs to a 2x 4 and get nearly the same sound as if it was in a Les Paul or an ESP custom. I’ve heard PLYWOOD BC Rich platinum series guitars from the late 80s… Read more »


Nato as it’s called in the states has excellent tone and is so close sounding to Mahogany that you can’t play them with all other variables being the same and tell a difference but Honduran Mahogany or Brazillian Mahogany look better aesthetically…It’s what most Asian guitar builders use for Mahogany…including Korean PRS guitars…Anybody that says type of wood or material used to build a guitar doesn’t affect the sound of a guitar doesn’t have enough experience with enough guitars…If you put the same pups on an SG and a Tele they will not sound even similar…


More about mass rather than wood type.

Greg Campbell

Thank you this helps a ton! I know the difference in tonality but have never heard of Nyatoh wood.

Holger Hansen

I’ve just finished an acoustic guitar using nyotah for the back and sides. Haven’t played it yet but the tap tone sounds good.

Gregory Curtis Holmberg

I’ve seen Nyatoh used on electric guitar necks in a style of guitar that would usually use Mahogany. The Ibanez AS83 uses Nyatoh, and is essentially a copy of a Gibson ES-335, which uses Mahogany. Compared to Mahogany, Nyatoh is a little bit denser (620 vs. 590), but significantly stiffer (13.37 vs. 10.06). The added stiffness makes it great for necks. This is even stiffer than the other wood commonly used for necks, Hard Maple (12.62). This combination of density and stiffness give Nyatoh one of the best sound energy radiation coefficients of the woods commonly used for necks. Nyatoh’s… Read more »