acoustic spruce vs cedar

It is rarely seen on acoustic guitar soundboards and is more often utilised for the back and sides along with the necks due to its strength. Cedar is also considered strong yet light, but not to the same degree as Spruce, especially along the end grains where it can be brittle. Tone, being completely subjective with regard to the acoustic guitar means there is no ‘perfect choice’ just many different colors. A dark (light brown to chocolate) tonewood with hints of red and purple. It helps to look at tonewoods like an engineer might assess an equalizer. Spruce trees are coniferous evergreens with needles attached singly to their branches in a spiral fashion. While cedar and spruce trees are both coniferous evergreens, they are very different trees. They delineate, protect and define a property. Instead of the typical laminate spruce wood tops that you find on most beginner guitars, the Seagull S6 uses a pressure-tested solid cedar top. Cedar: Cedar is a bright sounding wood option, though produces a warmer tone than spruce (the most common top wood – see below), when used as a top. It is often highly decorative, and features a tight grain pattern. Stronger more flexible timber tends to produce a wider dynamic range of tone with more clarity due to increased resonance. Rosewood and Ebony are the most common woods used for this purpose due to their density and hardness. Not to mention its ability to age gracefully and look and sound better over time. Cedar guitars are usually darker, warmer, and fuller sounding than spruce guitars. I'd disagree that cedar has a broader dynamic range. classical and finger style playing. It has a very even dynamic range, meaning it doesn’t accentuate one dynamic range over another, resulting in a very even sounding guitar. While frustrating for manufacturers, the restrictions are not without reason. As a result, rosewood is not as prominently as it once was in guitar luthiery. Many people make the point that maple influences tone much less than other species and lacks character. As a result is harder to define.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'theacousticguitarist_com-leader-2','ezslot_14',142,'0','0'])); Another pale timber, maple has a more whiteish appearance than Spruce and often features highly decorative grain patterns. If you’re looking for a warmer tone then the Coastlines also come in a Cedar top. What Makes an Acoustic Guitar Sound the Way it Does? The cedar also may have more overtones than a spruce top guitar, although that definitely depends on how the guitar is built. Obviously, there are a plethora of exceptions to consider. Spruce Fences. As already discussed, the back and sides of an acoustic guitar play an important role in terms of stability. Both are high quality tonewoods so which one you choose is … Sustainability is already playing a role with regard to the availability of many traditional tonewoods and as more guitars are built this is only likely to increase. Displaying a wide rage of colors from reds to purples and yellows. There are many thousands of species of timber, but many are unsuitable for building guitars. I'm looking to buy an acoustic guitar and am interested in input on cedar vs. spruce tops. Fences may be designed to keep animals in, or they may be designed to keep people out. Hardwoods are often used in this capacity and their tonal relationship with the soundboard also affects the sound of the guitar. The resonant capabilities of the soundboard, which are controlled by factors such as density, moisture, strength and flexibility accentuate some overtones more strongly than others, coloring and affecting the quality of the sound we hear (tone), influencing the amplitude of the soundwaves produced (volume) and affecting the speed of the sound wave (response). Adirondack Spruce vs. Sitka Spruce- Revisited: When a person buys or acquires a guitar, they’re getting a finely crafted instrument that was made from various materials, including wood. All things being equal, the soundboard (the top of your guitar) and the characteristics of the wood it is built from play the largest role in how an acoustic guitar sounds.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'theacousticguitarist_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_5',130,'0','0'])); When a guitar is played, the strings are strummed or plucked and begin to vibrate. Whilst Spruce is more traditional and has been used in the industry more, Cedar has gained popularity starting in the mid-1960's. Quarter sawn Spruce is often used on acoustic guitar soundboards because of its resonant qualities combined with its high strength. The parlor and lefty versions of the guitar, alongside a regular acoustic version, belong to the cedar top group. Rosewoods have long been the most utilised fretboard material due to its innate hardness and oily nature, reducing tension between the fingers and the neck. In most cases the back and sides will utilise the same timbers. Spruce guitars typically have a quite direct sound with a bell-like tone. eval(ez_write_tag([[580,400],'theacousticguitarist_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_2',143,'0','0']));Experienced guitarists and luthiers use very deliberate terminology to describe the sounds they are hearing, much like an experienced winemaker will use terms such as ‘bouquet’ and ‘flavor intensity’ to describe the quality of the wine they produce. Cedar is far less susceptible to rot and ages much better than Spruce or Pine. If you have been shopping for acoustic guitars recently, you may have seen models with different-looking tops. The top resonates while the drum shell (the sides) offer stability. Frequently used for fence construction, cedar weathers to a dull gray. Normally, the guitar is braced with the same wood that is used for the top. also participates in various other affiliate programs, and we receive a commission from purchases made through our links. Spruce on the other hand tends to offer a wider dynamic range due to its lightness and ability to vibrate freely. I ,too love cedar for fingerstyle but, more for its tendency to project with less effort and tonal complexity. Spruce top vs. Cedar top acoustic guitars? Rosewood is also commonly used and can accentuate some of the lower frequencies, but in turn sacrifices some of the clarity of mahogany. I’ve always considered tonewoods as filters, emphasising specific overtones while reducing others, coloring the overall sound of the guitar and governing its capacity for volume and response. Resin canals form within the timber once cut which enhances this further.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'theacousticguitarist_com-leader-1','ezslot_11',137,'0','0'])); Quarter sawing refers to how the timber is initially cut or ‘ripped’. As a result it is unable to drive the same amount of volume as the stronger more flexible Spruce and tends not to last quite as long. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc, or its affiliates. Cedar has a lovely, warm rich tone, but few cedar-topped guitars respond well to aggressive attack. For instance if the soundboard is too heavy and inflexible, the bass tones generated by the strings will not transfer effectively to the soundboard resulting in a thinner sounding guitar. And while frustrating, this is a larger issue for acoustic guitars with rosewood being not only a good fretboard option but also ideal for the body back and sides. Sure seems like it. It lacks some of the initial punch of other tonewoods but emphasises the midrange, offering a warm, natural sound. The strings alone just can’t push enough air around to be sufficiently loud, but when transferred to the soundboard of the guitar we then have a much larger surface area vibrating and disrupting air particles creating a much louder sound. Enter your email address below and we’ll notify you when we publish something new. So, use Sitka Spruce to brace a Sitka top, German Spruce to brace a German top, and so on. Alternatively, some softwoods, are ideal for this purpose as they provide a good balance of flexibility along with tensile strength. hardness, strength and elasticity are best looked at as a base of comparison between the listed tonewoods. Taylor’s range of Koa top guitars in particular are very appealing. No spam, nothing to sell, just sharing good info. Alternatively, classical guitars don’t require pickguards as they are intended to be played with the fingers. Keep in mind also, as time passes and more traditional tonewoods become scarce, and as a result more expensive, that the materials used to make acoustic guitars are likely to slowly change over time. A dense, strong tonewood. I have found that redwood, somewhat heavier and stiffer along the grain than cedar, is the better match for my building style, often exhibiting headroom approaching that of spruce. These changes can cause issues with tuning stability and intonation and in more extreme cases damage the guitar permanently. Cedar is more responsive to quieter playing and thus has a greater dynamic range, making it ideal for fingerstyle. However, there can be greater contrast between frequencies. Spruce is light in color often described as blonde, or amber and features a tight grain pattern. Over the longer term excessive humidity can cause structural problems. Softwoods are dented fairly easily by guitar picks. Other components including the back and sides, bridge and neck of the guitar all play a role in shaping the sound we hear further, but the soundboard is the most important component, behaving much like a speaker diaphragm, projecting soundwaves from the body of the guitar. It is highly responsive with good compression and sustain. Ideally the sound board timber will be visually appealing, strong, and flexible. My experience is that the right spruce guitar has the broader dynamic range, but my experience is irrelevant. While the electrical components of an electric guitar tend this diminish this influence, the same can’t be said for acoustic guitars which must balance the need for resonance against the ability to handle tension. Yes, cedar is warmer and helps definition. Spruce: Minimum .41, maximum .48. Mahogany, being one of the softer hardwoods is one of the exceptions here and has been used fairly regularly as a soundboard material, although it projects less volume than Spruce. It also has a rounder sound to it. Changing one tonewood for another, regardless of the component e.g. Using spruce on the top is the main reason that this guitar enters the slightly brighter, crisper side of the scale. Spruce is a good example of this and is one of the most commonly used tonewoods for acoustic guitar soundboard construction along with Cedar. The fingerboard or fretboard will ideally look attractive yet be hard enough to stand up to the abrasiveness of the steel strings while also providing a smooth playable surface. a redhair or a beautiful african women!!! Although both belong to the pine family, spruce and cedar significantly differ in longevity and visual weathering characteristics. Spruce tends to be the most popular top for acoustics (confusingly there are several varieties of spruce used on guitars!)

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