#1
Hi guys, I'm new to acoustic guitars (and to guitars in general, to a lesser extent) and am looking at buying my first one. At the moment, I'm very interesting in the Seagull Entourage CW GT QI Acoustic-Electric, but some reviews I've read have mentioned the Cedar top will ding easily and that this could also affect the sound. Any thoughts on this? Could this be a problem if I play somewhat rough, or is it mostly overreaction? Thanks!
#2
It's true cedar is very soft. It's also mellow, and yields a lot of output for very little input. Some claim you overdrive cedar tops with really aggressive pick style strumming.

Cedar is also used quite a bit for classical guitar tops

Also, mahogany is popular for steel string tops, but not as widely available as spruce.

If you already admit to being heavy handed, (no harm in that, been there, done that myself), you might be better off with a spruce top.

There are even differences between spruce species, Sitka being the most common, followed by Engleman, then the very rare Adirondack. Western redwood is also used, being similar to cedar in many ways.

The top bracing and body size also greatly affect a top's resonance. So, the moral of the story is this, try a bunch of guitars, give them hell, and see which ones top's sound holds up the best under your, "onslaught".

Any top, of whichever species, needs to be solid wood to live up to the characteristics expected of it. Plywood doesn't really count.
Last edited by Captaincranky at May 29, 2014,
#3
Cedar tops do damage easy, especially if you have long fingernails. As for affecting sound, I don't think so. Anyways its easy enough to get a thin plastic film for the sound board.
We have a cedar 12 string in our group, that looks like its been through a war, but it sure can put out some sweet notes. Cheers///
#4
Quote by tuxs
...[ ]....We have a cedar 12 string in our group, that looks like its been through a war, but it sure can put out some sweet notes. Cheers///
Seagull's S-12 is cedar topped. I always recommend people try one if they can. 12 strings can be a bit strident if you're not in the proper mood. I expect a cedar top would take some of the bite out of the sound.
#5
honestly spruce dings fairly easily, too. i had my S6 and another cedar topped seagull and never left a mark on either, and i don't take any particular care of them. anyway, it's worth having a couple dings if you like the tone of cedar topped guitars.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#6
I do have an entourage CW, and it was worth every penny! I love the sound of it, and the finish is remarkable! I got mine used from a florida shop eBay for around $400 almost new, but be warned, it does ding very easily, because of the finish. But all in all, cedar is a very good wood choice in my opinion, very balanced with the wild cherry back and sides.
#8
possibly more, as if the ding goes through the finish, you'll have reddish brown ding showing in black. that being said, the dings i've had over the years have never gone through the finish. but a cedar top with no coloration will be a cedar-colored ding in a cedar top, so same color.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#9
Quote by marc.daalder
Would having a black finish make dings more or less noticeable?
Shiny black is the worst "color"(*), you can possibly have to show imperfections. The absolute worst. Black plexiglass makes a wonderful background for product photography......about one time only.

If you're going to play a guitar, and not keep it in a display case, you might as well get used to the idea it's going to get scratched, and probably dinged as well. It, happens, then you move on.


(*) Technically, black isn't a color.
Last edited by Captaincranky at May 29, 2014,
#10
Cedar has less headroom than spruce, but responds better to a light touch. It also works well with laminated back and sides, as Takamine found out many years ago. I have tried a lot of inexpensive cedar-topped lam b&s guitars, and found that many sound very good for fingerpicking. - I own one such for playing slide, a cedar-topped Maton 225. Cedar tops are also popular on all grades of classical guitars because of their responsiveness. In this case it is much more matter of tone than cost-saving.

OTOH, because they lack headroom, the sound tends to break up and turn to mush under hard flatpicking. It seems that you are a hard flatpicker, so you're very likely better off with spruce for both tone and durability.
#11
Love my cedar top Seagull. A great sounding guitar with excellent build quality for very little $$. Mine is 12 yrs old with hundreds of acoustic gigs and looks like it. Lots of strum marks, dings and the sound hole is partially eaten away. It has character like a vintage 50s Tele with 100k miles and I wouldn't have it any other way. People compliment the tone everywhere I play it.

If you need a guitar that will always look shiny and new, Seagull cedar tops are not for you. If you appreciate great tone, playability, and high build quality, give em a look.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at May 29, 2014,
#12
if you need a guitar that will always look shiny and new, get one but don't play it
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#13
Quote by patticake
if you need a guitar that will always look shiny and new, get one but don't play it
Well, the TS did say, "newcomer". And really, don't some newcomers buy guitars which they don't play? Will this be one of those serendipitous (*) purchases?

Either that or you buy two guitars and put one in your attic. The one in the attic ages, but the one you play never does. Well, as long as you play in the Dorian mode it doesn't.

(*) I just wanted to see if I could spell "serendipitous", without getting that damned squiggly red line under it. Um...........,nailed it!
Last edited by Captaincranky at May 30, 2014,
#14
Don't worry about the dings. They won't effect your tone.

Cedar tends to sound better than spruce when it's new because it needs less playing in to get to the magical sweet spot.
Cedar does "play out" meaning that if you play long and hard for 10 or 15 years your guitar top can start to sound a bit mushy and dead. If you are an occasional player or play light then it isn't an issue. It's only an issue for heavy players
Ceder is more susceptible to climate than spruce so it's more of an indoors kind of tonewood, not great for taking to the campfire.

If you are getting a dread and plan on using a pick I would not recommend a cedar top guitar. If you are getting a smaller bodied instrument and/or plan on doing a lot of finger pickups then cedar makes a great instrument.
Not taking any online orders.
Last edited by CorduroyEW at May 30, 2014,