At the turn of the 20th century, oak was used by some banjo, guitar and piano makers, but it is rarely used today. This was the first time I ever used oak for an instrument and I was pleasantly surprised. It may not be a sexy tropical hardwood, but it looks great and sounds great too. Plus, you will never have to worry about showing import and source documentation, unlike all those Rosewood guitars out there! I think the sound is as loud as maple, but is a lightly drier and dustier in quality. The oak came from the same estate sale in The Dalles, OR that Henry's dance floor maple came from and the pistachio is from California orchards.