BunnyBass Library of Wood: Dibetou

Dibetou (unfinished) - click here for a larger picture.

In German: Dibetou

Botanical names
Lovoa trichilioides
Lovoa klaineana
Lovoa brownii
Lovoa swinnertonii
Lovoa angulata
Lovoa mildbraedii


Trading names
Dibetou, African walnut, Bibolo, Noce africano, Congowood, Lovoawood

Names in the countries of origin
Congo: Bokongo, Bombalu, Lifaki moindu, Mukama, Wombolu, Lifaki pembe
Ghana: Penkwa, Temamire, Tubini, Biri
Nigeria: Apopo, Sida
Cameroon: Bibolo
Guinea: M'Bero, N'Vero
Gaboon: Eyan, Dilolo fiote, Ombolo, m'bolo, Dominguila
Ivory Coast: Moutchibanaie

This tree is found in the evergreen rainforests of West Africa. Dibetou is a tall tree with a straight trunk, up to 150 feet high and 3 feet in diameter. Heartwood and sapwood are sharply divided. The sapwood is whitish to brown, whereas the heartwood has toning from grey-pink to nut brown. Because of changing growth directions Dibetou shows light and dark stripes. In some pieces of Dibetou, the light and dark areas 'reverse themselves' when the wood is moved in relation to a light source (i.e., the light stripes become the dark stripes while the dark stripes become the light stripes, creating a beautiful dimensional effect). As the overall appearacnce of the wood can somtimes look very similar to walnut, Dibetou is also called 'African walnut' (the two are easily confused with each other). Dibetou is easy to work with but is not very resistant to tension and pressure.

Fresh wood: approx. 520 kg/cbm (880 pound/cubic yard)

(the above information from the reference monograph Nutzholzer: Aus Aller Welt by Edmondo Palutan)

As used in Guitar & Bass construction:

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Reference photographs:

...unfinished padauk (print at 13.5x9mm for actual size).

...a Marleaux Consat Custom bass with a dibetou top, this piece is 'flatter' (less dimensional than the above example), with more defined striping, and a creamy, pinkish-brown color.

...a close-up, showing the dibetou top resting on a very thin wenge laminate.

...another close-up view of this very attractive African hardwood.

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