African Blackwood (Dalbergia melanoxylon) is the wood of choice for oboes, clarinets and bagpipes. It is extremely hard and difficult to work, and it may only be available as 3-piece backs.
African Blackwood is dense, stiff, and beautiful. Its heartwood is solid black and takes a terific polish even before finishing. The sapwood is a creamy tan, and the contrast with the stark black of the heartwood makes a very striking guitar. It has an incredible tap-tone and several makers believe African Blackwood is superior to Brazilian rosewood. The downside is the high price and limited availability. It can also be a bear to bend.