What matters is how the guitar responds to the way you play. 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 helps to look at tonewoods like an engineer might assess an equalizer. Koa is a hard, dense tonewood that accentuates with mid and upper ranges, providing good articulation and crispness in the upper ranges. As a result, rosewood is not as prominently as it once was in guitar luthiery. Yes, cedar is warmer and helps definition. Cedars include species such as Eastern red cedar … The Most Commonly Used Tonewoods for Acoustic Guitar Construction, acoustic guitar and the terminology we use to describe it, including the size, guitar tend this diminish this influence, the same can’t be said for acoustic guitars which must balance the need. This means the vibrational energy produced from the guitar’s strings is reduced resulting in a duller sounding instrument, often described as lifeless. 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. Long ago I made a couple of guitars with spruce in the high end of the cedar density range; they were not among my best guitars. The bodies of the guitars you are talking about are *not* cedar and are *not* solid wood. They’re large,… My experience is that the right spruce guitar has the broader dynamic range, but my experience is irrelevant. Being the largest surface area of the guitar, the back of the guitar in particular gets a lot of attention. Both are high quality tonewoods so which one you choose is … 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. I live far from the nearest music store and have not been able to play one with a cedar top to see for myself. Adirondack Spruce produces a wider dynamic range than Sitka and is considered more responsive. I'd disagree that cedar has a broader dynamic range. Mahogany for instance accentuates the mid range frequencies. Spruce tends to take on more of a darker, golden appearance as it ages, providing visual character to older instruments. Been playing trad guitar for many years but its hard to try these out as, particularly with the McIlroys as they don’t have stock building up. 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. 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. Rosewood has come under tighter import and export laws thanks to CITE regulations brought in to protect the species. I have had a few acoustics with solid spruce tops before but need to know how different the sound is with cedar. As a result, you will often hear terms thrown about such as: And while it’s true that there are a lot of different factors that contribute to the sounds we hear emanating from an acoustic guitar and the terminology we use to describe it, including the size and shape of the body, the method of construction, the guitarists technique etc. Rosewood has come under tighter import and export laws thanks to. Sitka Spruce is best known for its balanced tone, whilst Engelman is typically a lighter, more supple tonewood resulting in less projection. Basically genres that benefit from the striking sound the Spruce top produces. They are laminated (plywood) and the top ply is a wild cherry finish. This sound is mainly preferred by people who play country, rock, and metal music. a redhair or a beautiful african women!!! Dark brown with streaks of blonde. Why is Rosewood not seen as often on guitars as it once was? Unfortunately, I don't have an answer for you. Using spruce on the top is the main reason that this guitar enters the slightly brighter, crisper side of the scale. Maple is often seen as a book matched veneer on electric guitars like the Gibson Les Paul. Oftentimes, guitars are made using wood from spruce trees. Generally speaking, this is true, but with many individual exceptions. Taylor’s range of Koa top guitars in particular are very appealing. Rosewood is a hardwood but is also quite porous and typically requires grain filling to provide a smooth surface for finishing. On classical guitars, the most common used soundboard-woods are Cedar and Spruce and there is an everlasting debate on which seems to be better. I have heard that cedar sounds slightly warmer. An evergreen tree is a tree that maintains its leaves year round. How to Tell Cedar From Spruce. Obviously, there are a plethora of exceptions to consider. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'theacousticguitarist_com-box-3','ezslot_3',124,'0','0']));In the following article we’re going to explore the world of acoustic guitar tonewoods, and explain how different characteristics of timber such as density, moisture, strength and flexibility influence how an acoustic guitar sounds. Softwoods are dented fairly easily by guitar picks. In the following section, we’ll take a look at the most commonly used tonewoods and describe their tonal characteristics along with the components of the guitar they are best suited to. 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. All trees can be classified as either evergreen or deciduous. General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion, http://www.acousticgallery.com/photo...od_M_14_CP.jpg. 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’. Alternatively if the soundboard cannot sustain the tension created by resonance, over time it will become unstable. I know it is more common in classical guitars. Acoustic characteristics Second in popularity to Spruce as a soundboard material, Cedar (a member of the Mahogany family, also sometimes referred to as Indian Mahogany) is a softer wood than spruce and as a result produces a warmer, darker, more complex sound compared to Spruce. Conifers fall under this category (e.g. It has a very even dynamic range, meaning it doesn’t accentuate one dynamic range over another, resulting in a very even sounding guitar. I am finally thinking about buying an acoustic guitar after playing electric for 4 years. 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. Location: Not where I thought I was going, but probably where I need to be. I got rid of a Taylor spruce … Enter your email address below and we’ll notify you now and then when we publish something new. Resonance can be a powerful force, capable of breaking glass to destroying bridges. Mahogany has often been considered an ideal choice here as it tends to produce less overtones while providing sufficient hardness. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. However, some guitar builders find occasion to use an exceptionally stiff species, such as Adirondack Spruce, on a top that needs extra support, such as Cedar or Redwood. Aesthetics also play a role. What matters is how the guitar responds to the way you play. Thanks. Rosewood is also commonly used and can accentuate some of the lower frequencies, but in turn sacrifices some of the clarity of mahogany. In most cases the back and sides will utilise the same timbers. Theacousticguitarist.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. 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 table below demonstrates how some of the different characteristics of wood manifest themselves with regard to tone, volume and response. When compared to Cedar (another commonly used soundboard timber),  Spruce is lighter and possesses more flexible strength resulting in a bright, responsive tone with good articulation and a wide dynamic range that holds it’s tone without bocomming brittle even when strummed with good intensity. This is why specific pairings exist e.g. It’s a less dense wood than spruce, providing you with a slightly darker tone. When a deciduous tree sheds its leaves, its growth slows and the timber becomes denser and harder. As already discussed, the back and sides of an acoustic guitar play an important role in terms of stability. Flamenco guitars on the other hand use a golpeador which looks much like a standard pickguard mirrored on both sides of the soundhole to protect the timber from the aggressive strumming patterns incorporated with flamenco music. Rosewood, for example, is a hardwood that is often used for the back and sides of acoustic guitar bodies and under some circumstances will accentuate note articulation, or clarity. Spruce also tends to project sound in a way that is more linear, as opposed to cedar which has a tendency to “radiate” sound. Looking at Lowden / McIlroy guitars at the moment. I’ve experienced this first hand with my previous company having to make changes to fretboard construction as we offered rosewood as an option along with maple and ebony. Too bad we live so far apart, with me in Virginia. Incidentally, this is also why steel string acoustic guitars require pick guards. Don’t Fret. It holds its tone nicely when strummed with good response. 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. Due to these different properties, acoustic guitars can, and often do have very deliberate tonal characteristics. 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. 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. The cedar is typically "warmer" and with perhaps less ability to be driven hard. Spruce is light in color often described as blonde, or amber and features a tight grain pattern. Some generalizations about spruce & cedar soundboards: Guitar Salon – The differences between cedar and spruce: The most noticeable and most obvious difference is in appearance. While binding offers protection, it also conceals the end grain of the soundboard timber which absorbs moisture at a much faster rate than other surfaces. 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. 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. Alternatively, classical guitars don’t require pickguards as they are intended to be played with the fingers. The strings pass over the bridge saddle which is connected to the soundboard by the bridge. If Sitka has a full dynamic range, cedar makes quieter tones louder, but it also imposes more of a ceiling on high volume levels driven by an aggressive attack. Why? No spam, nothing to sell, just sharing good info. Cocobolo’s density results in a bright sounding guitar with great sustain and an immediate response when played. I've been looking at some and realized there's a significant difference in tone between Cedar and Spruce. They delineate, protect and define a property. 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. The bridge of the guitar is an important component with regard to transferring the vibrations from the strings to the soundboard, it also must be durable enough to withstand the pressure and tension created by the strings. A dense, strong tonewood. A dark (light brown to chocolate) tonewood with hints of red and purple. Over the longer term excessive humidity can cause structural problems. How The Acoustic Guitar Works (A SIMPLE GUIDE), The Best Acoustic Guitar Strings for a Warm Sound, The Difference Between Electric And Acoustic Guitar Strings, Short Scale Acoustic Guitars – Everything You Wanted to Know. While frustrating for manufacturers, the restrictions are not without reason. Cedar is less dense than spruce, and that softness typically translates into a sense of sonic warmth. So, use Sitka Spruce to brace a Sitka top, German Spruce to brace a German top, and so on. The parlor and lefty versions of the guitar, alongside a regular acoustic version, belong to the cedar top group. Cedar is more responsive to quieter playing and thus has a greater dynamic range, making it ideal for fingerstyle. I'd disagree that cedar has a broader dynamic range. For some musicians, the sound it produces is a clearer, balanced, and more sustained. I love cedar for fingerstyle, when I only strum I go with spruce. Theacousticguitarist.com also participates in various other affiliate programs, and we receive a commission from purchases made through our links. Spruce tends to be the most popular top for acoustics (confusingly there are several varieties of spruce used on guitars!) A lot of people like Spruce tops more than Cedar tops because Spruce tops produce a much clearer and brighter sound. While cedar and spruce trees are both coniferous evergreens, they are very different trees. Why Your Acoustic Guitar has less frets than your Electric. Fences may be designed to keep animals in, or they may be designed to keep people out. Spruce Fences. When objects such as the soundboard and air inside the guitar body vibrate at the same frequency as the source of the vibrations – the strings, resonance occurs which amplifies the sound we hear.

acoustic spruce vs cedar

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