Next tele is going to be ancient kauri wood. Ordered the slab this morning! Considering going guardless on this one! If you've never seen it, check it out at www.ancientwood.com This stuff is beautiful! It is somewhere between cherry and walnut in terms of working it. Tonewise, I would say it falls somewhere between mahogany and alder. Not as bright as alder, but not as dark as mahogany. The finish is spectacular in person. It is almost holographic when you view the piece from different angles and it does not reveal the true look when photographed! It does take a LOT of sanding prep before finishing, IE, sanding to a 2000 or 2500 gr. before finishing, because every scratch in the wood will show. This guitar is finished with no stain, no filler, sealed with 4 coats of minwax sanding sealer, and then 6 coats of satin poly. I've used this stuff for 3 guitars now and I get more impressed every time I use it!