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Tone by Hardness
Dull Tone (1000 - 1499 Janka)

The bones on this page produce Dull tones.

Hardness tells you how hard one substance is from another. The Janka hardness test measures the hardness of wood. (The Janka rating for non-wooden bones is estimated). If you want sharper tones, then get harder bones. If you want duller tones, then get softer bones.

Get the Tone You Want
What is the difference between a dull tone and a sharp tone? It's just the difference in tone relative to hardness. Scroll down to view musical bones grouped by similar tone quality.

What is the difference between hardness and density?
"Hardness refers to the pressure required to compress the material. Hardness is that property by which a body resists any foreign substance that attempts to force a passage between its particles. The hardness of a body depends on the degree of firmness with which its particles cohere. It is therefore entirely distinct from density, which depends on the number of particles in a given bulk. Thus lead is dense, but not hard."

George P. Quackenbos (1826-1881)

Tone Variables
  • Higher moister content produces lower tone. Lower moister content produces higher tone.
  • Smooth textured bones produce sharper tone. Rough textured bones produce duller tone.
  • Wide bones produce a greater tonal range than narrow bones composed of the same material.
  • Thick bones produce lower tones than thin bones composed of the same material.
Tips
Choose softer bones when you want dull tones that won't overpower other instruments. Choose harder bones when you want sharper tones that can stand out from the rest of the band.

How can this tone guide be improved? Send comments and suggestions.

Can't Decide Which Bones to Choose?
Check out this handy guide: Bone FAQs
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Authentic Khartals (Bones) from the Rajasthani Province of India Khartals, large, set of 4

Authentic Khartals (bones) from the Rajasthani Province of India

Only $34.97 set of 4
(Out of Stock)
Authentic Khartals (Bones) from the Rajasthani Province of India Khartals, medium, set of 4

Authentic Khartals (bones) from the Rajasthani Province of India

Only $34.97 set of 4
(Out of Stock)
Authentic Khartals (Bones) from the Rajasthani Province of India Khartals, small, set of 4

Authentic Khartals (bones) from the Rajasthani Province of India

Only $34.97 set of 4
(Out of Stock)
Pea Patch Minstrel-style Teak Bones, narrow Pea Patch Minstrel-style Teak Bones, narrow

Traditional minstrel design, exotic wood...plain price.

Only $27.97 pair
22 in stock!
Pea Patch Minstrel-style Teak Bones, regular Pea Patch Minstrel-style Teak Bones, regular

Traditional minstrel design, exotic wood...plain price.

Only $31.97 pair
12 in stock!
Pea Patch Minstrel-style Teak Bones, wide Pea Patch Minstrel-style Teak Bones, wide

Traditional minstrel design, exotic wood...plain price.

Only $35.97 pair
15 in stock!
Pea Patch Flat Teak Bones Pea Patch Flat Teak Bones

Slim easy-grip "soft-tone" design fits comfortably between fingers. Nice quality bones...budget price.

Only $14.97 pair
(Out of Stock)
Percy Danforth Reclaimed Ash Bones Percy Danforth Ash Bones, reclaimed

Traditional minstrel style design.

Only $24.99 pair
(Out of Stock)
Percy Danforth Gray Virgin Maple Bones Percy Danforth Gray Virgin Maple Bones

Made of logs dredged from bottom of Lake Superior - sunk over 100 years ago!

Only $29.97 pair
(Out of Stock)
Percy Danforth Maple Bones Percy Danforth Maple Bones

Traditional minstrel style design.

Only $24.99 pair
3 in stock!
Percy Danforth Red Oak Bones Percy Danforth Red Oak Bones

Traditional minstrel style design.

Only $24.99 pair
3 in stock!
Percy Danforth Red Oak Bones, reclaimed Percy Danforth Red Oak Bones, reclaimed

Traditional minstrel style design.

Only $24.99 pair
2 in stock!
(1)
Percy Danforth Virgin Maple Bones Percy Danforth Virgin Maple Bones

Made of logs dredged from bottom of Lake Superior - sunk over 100 years ago!

Only $33.97 pair
(Out of Stock)
Percy Danforth Walnut Bones Percy Danforth Walnut Bones

Traditional minstrel style design.

Only $24.99 pair
4 in stock!
Percy Danforth Reclaimed White Ash Bones Percy Danforth White Ash Bones, reclaimed

Traditional minstrel style design.

Only $24.99 pair
4 in stock!
(1)
Percy Danforth White Oak Bones Percy Danforth White Oak Bones

Traditional minstrel style design.

Only $24.99 pair
(Out of Stock)
Percy Danforth White Oak Bones, reclaimed Percy Danforth White Oak Bones, reclaimed

Traditional minstrel style design.

Only $24.99 pair
(Out of Stock)
Vintage Wooden Minstrel Style Bones Vintage Wooden Minstrel Style Bones, matched set of 4

Matched Set of Vintage Black-stained Wooden Minstrel Style Bones.

Only $119.97 matched set of 4
1 in stock!
Whamdiddle Unfinished Minstrel-style Maple Bones Whamdiddle Minstrel-style Maple Bones, Unfinished

Do-it-yourself Whamdiddle bones.

Only $11.97 pair
(Out of Stock)
Whamdiddle Unfinished Minstrel-style Oak Bones Whamdiddle Minstrel-style Oak Bones, Unfinished

Do-it-yourself Whamdiddle bones.

Only $11.97 pair
4 in stock!
Whamdiddle Unfinished Minstrel-style Walnut Bones Whamdiddle Minstrel-style Walnut Bones, Unfinished

Do-it-yourself Whamdiddle bones.

Only $11.97 pair
1 in stock!
Whamdiddle Bird's-Eye Maple Bones Whamdiddle Bird's-Eye Maple Bones

Handcrafted by master luthier with graduate degree in Physics.

Whamdiddle Canary Bones Whamdiddle Canary Bones

Handcrafted by master luthier with graduate degree in Physics.

Whamdiddle Unfinished Canary Bones Whamdiddle Canary Bones, Unfinished

Do-it-yourself Whamdiddle bones.

Only $11.97 pair
1 in stock!
Whamdiddle Cocobolo Bones Whamdiddle Cocobolo Bones

Handcrafted by master luthier with graduate degree in Physics.

Whamdiddle Unfinished Cocobolo Bones Whamdiddle Cocobolo Bones, Classic Long: 8" (reg width), Unfinished

Do-it-yourself Whamdiddle bones.

Only $31.97 pair
3 in stock!
Whamdiddle Granadillo Bones Whamdiddle Granadillo Bones

Handcrafted by master luthier with graduate degree in Physics.

Whamdiddle Maple Bones Whamdiddle Maple Bones

Handcrafted by master luthier with graduate degree in Physics.

Whamdiddle Maple Bones w/floral inlay Whamdiddle Maple Bones w/Swiss Style Floral Inlay

Handcrafted bones with traditional chip carved Chrysocolla floral inlay.

Only $29.97 pair
3 in stock!
(1)
Whamdiddle Unfinished Maple Bones Whamdiddle Maple Bones, Unfinished

Do-it-yourself Whamdiddle bones.

   
 
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Hardness Guide
Janka

Figures are approximate (but pretty darn close)

Tone Quality/Janka
Sharpest Tone 3000+
Sharper Tone 2500 - 2999
Sharp Tone 2000 - 2499
Medium Tone 1500 - 1999
Dull Tone 1000 - 1499
Duller Tone 500 - 999
Dullest Tone 300 - 499
)

Janka/Substance

5000+ Aluminum, Brass, Plastic, Slate (estimated)
4500 Lignum Vitae
4000 Verawood
3680 Ipe, Ironwood
3220 Ebony
2730 English Boxwood
2720 Rosewood
2700 Mexican Kingwood (est)
2690 Bubinga
2600 Satinwood
2500 Tulipwood
2350 Jatoba
2300 Chechem
2250 Goncalo Alves
2200 Bocote, Ziricote
2040 Osage Orange
2090 Purpleheart
1930 Michigan Ironwood (est)
1890 Shedua
1820 Hickory
1730 Peroba Rosa
1725 Padauk
1720 Blackwood
1639 Bamboo
1630 Vermillion, Wenge
1575 Zebrawood
1450 Maple
1360 Oak
1350 Tanoak
1136 Cocobolo, Granadillo
1030 Canary Wood
1010 Walnut
1000 Teak
950 Cherry
840 Lacewood
800 Mahogany
660 Primavera
580 Western Cedar
568 Cedar
540 Poplar
460 Pine