Check out the 2021 Fiddlerman “White Christmas” Group Project.
I like it when people experiment this way. Without that there would be no chance of new and improved developments.
..and it also gives some of these rare tropical hardwoods a breather. If we don't execute good conservation practices and forest management, we won't ensure that these trees continue to produce quality tonewood in the generations to come. The problem is in the 3rd world countries where alot of this wood is harvested. Folks don't cut down trees, they don't eat. So the black market trade for this stuff is really flourishing as well unfortunately. So it can lead to rampant deforestation because of demand and also nefarious business practices sometimes.
It wasn't long ago I think that "Gabon Ebony" was getting hard to get. Talking about alternative tonewoods, I'm hearing about even using "Port Orford Cedar" in Violin tops has been proving promising as well, though Western Red Cedar not so much. It's already been used in Mandolin tops and it's very stable and produces a good strong tone with less break in time.
Nothing beats good old Spruce. I also read an article where alot of the Spruce that's being harvested for Chinese Violins, contributing to their success, is actually old growth stands from the Himalayas, Tien Shan and Tibet. And due to the explosive growth of the quality Violin building industry there, their worried that these forest won't be managed properly. Even so Chinese shops are getting it from everywhere too. However, it's getting harder to find the old growth Spruce in Europe anymore, save for Siberia and the mountainous reaches of the Carpathians and also parts of northern Scandinavia.
" I just keep telling myself...."It's all about becoming one with your bow"