Knackworst1
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2012
1,070 IQ
#1
Hi

I wanna know, whats the main difference between cedar and spruce when it comes to acoustic tops?
Most acoustic guitars used in indie and pop are spruce, but I was told cedar is'nt bad either...
What do you know about them?

Thanks in advance
captivate
d[-.-]b Asian Audiophile.
Join date: Apr 2007
1,602 IQ
#4
Captaincranky's article is a really good read if you want a very full answer.

To give you a short answer...

Cedar tends to be much warmer in sound and does the tone starts to break down when you play it really hard.

Spruce is a tighter grained wood and tends to be much brighter in sound. It can take more intense playing before the sound starts to deteriorate.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
RCGuitarStudio
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2011
15 IQ
#5
I find a cedar top guitar sounds as good as it ever will, whereas spruce tends to get better as it ages. Spruce tends to react more to your playing (ie the different ways in which you play a note) and cedar gives a more even balance to your playing.
captivate
d[-.-]b Asian Audiophile.
Join date: Apr 2007
1,602 IQ
#7
In steel string guitars? I would say spruce is more used because it suits the playstyle much more. Cedar is a beautiful, warm sounding wood, but it doesn't take to flat picking as well as spruce. More preference than anything else, i'd say.

For classical guitars, cedar is used more.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
Knackworst1
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2012
1,070 IQ
#8
K thanks, do you know any song played on a cedar western guitar?
captivate
d[-.-]b Asian Audiophile.
Join date: Apr 2007
1,602 IQ
#9
Any song in the world you want to play. It really doesn't make a difference what top wood you're using.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
Knackworst1
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2012
1,070 IQ
#10
I see, back and side and shape are the main tone makers, right?
|Long|
String Theory
Join date: Oct 2007
183 IQ
#11
Quote by Knackworst1
I see, back and side and shape are the main tone makers, right?

Back and Side shape? Like Dreadnaught, 000, 00 etc?

That's a huge factor, but the top is also very important.

There are many debates on now much the back and sides come in to play, but the two most important are the shape and top. Nothing beats trying the guitar out for your self as your hands will shape the over all sound produce. You may like the sound of a 000 cedar top guitar on youtube, but when you get it in your hands and play it could be completely wrong for you.
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Captaincranky
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2011
288 IQ
#12
Quote by Knackworst1
I see, back and side and shape are the main tone makers, right?
How on earth did you arrive at this conclusion?

The guitar's soundboard is a predominant factor in the sound of the instrument.

The back and sides, as well as the shape, do add quite a bit of coloration, and alter the frequency response. (Bigger body equals more bass, and a lower fundamental resonant frequency).

With that said, Ovations still sound like guitars, do they not?

If the B & S were doing all the tonal shaping, they wouldn't.

So, the soundboard, and its attendant bracing structure is producing the majority of a guitar's tonal character.
RCGuitarStudio
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2011
15 IQ
#13
Cedar tends to be darker/mellower in sound, and Spruce is brighter....being very general. I don't think one is used more than the other, I would say it is pretty even split in classical guitars.