Spruce or Cedar, what do you like & - why?

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chelson
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Re: Spruce or Cedar, what do you like & - why?

Post by chelson » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:37 am

Personally felt there is not much different in sound, especially when recording is concern. But, feeling the difference when playing them. Comparing exact same model, I prefer using cedar on pieces that require tuning 6th to D. Think they handle better for lower bass. Spruce seems brighter and better definition but my wife complains that it's "noisy". Seriously, how "open up" can really be defined? I have no idea.
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guitarseller345645
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Re: Spruce or Cedar, what do you like & - why?

Post by guitarseller345645 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:40 am

I mainly play low end guitars - at this level, the reported differences between cedar and spruce are very accurate and apparent.

The more expensive the guitars, the closer they become. Some good guitars I played have both the desirable qualities of either wood, and sometimes it is hard to tell them apart, IMHO.

At the low end guitar level, cedar sounds much better to me.
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gitgeezer
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Re: Spruce or Cedar, what do you like & - why?

Post by gitgeezer » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:42 pm

Sharon Isbin, in her “Classical Guitar Answer Book,” had the following answer to the question, “do you prefer a guitar with a cedar or a spruce top?”:

I sometimes find that the spruce tops are more versatile than the cedar tops in their ability to perform well for all typed of repertoire. The clarity and evenness they offer, for example, is essential when playing Baroque music and is often hard to come by with cedar. Cedar, on the other hand, can sometimes have an edge over spruce when it comes to a melting depth and warmth of tone for Spanish music. The ideal is to find an instrument with both of these qualities and a strong projection.

There is another argument for cedar that I sometimes see, but cannot verify. This argument is that good cedar is more abundant, and thus cheaper, than good spruce. This argument goes on to say that inexpensive guitars should have cedar tops, because if they have spruce it’s likely to be inferior spruce and thus not as good as cedar. I don’t know how expensive a spruce-top guitar has to be before the buyer can have confidence that it’s good spruce.

zerosummer

Re: Spruce or Cedar, what do you like & - why?

Post by zerosummer » Tue Mar 26, 2013 1:19 pm

bernie2 wrote:I wish you can hear what Miles from Kent guitars says about it - there is some kind of video available on the web.
I think this is the one you mean:

[mod edit: Villa-Lobos is still copyrighted. Search youtube: Villa Lobos Prelude 3 - played by David Jaggs on a Rohe and discussion on Spruce or Cedar.]

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bear
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Re: Spruce or Cedar, what do you like & - why?

Post by bear » Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:08 pm

It begins when I unhook her case and that distinctive smell hits me. The dark color of her skin and warm low tone of her voice keeps me coming back everyday. When I've finished, I continue to stare at her across the room, but I digress. I like cedar.
2013 Jeff Medlin '37 Hauser 640mm sp
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chelson
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Re: Spruce or Cedar, what do you like & - why?

Post by chelson » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:10 pm

bear wrote:It begins when I unhook her case and that distinctive smell hits me. The dark color of her skin and warm low tone of her voice keeps me coming back everyday. When I've finished, I continue to stare at her across the room, but I digress. I like cedar.
EXACTLY!!! :mrgreen:
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Re: Spruce or Cedar, what do you like & why?

Post by FHC » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:21 pm

Time for a cigar?!

Tom
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Re: Spruce or Cedar, what do you like & - why?

Post by Tom » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:23 pm

I have both spruce and cedar guitars. Which one I play more? Hard to say, depending on the mood of the day.

Life sometime should be much more simple like the world of piano and violin. Violinist and pianist spending more time practicing their instruments than thinking of what top wood for their instrument.

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bacsidoan
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Re: Spruce or Cedar, what do you like & - why?

Post by bacsidoan » Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:29 pm

Tom wrote:I have both spruce and cedar guitars. Which one I play more? Hard to say, depending on the mood of the day.

Life sometime should be much more simple like the world of piano and violin. Violinist and pianist spending more time practicing their instruments than thinking of what top wood for their instrument.
You evidently have not read "Grand Obsession" by Perri Knize.

robbyguitar

Re: Spruce or Cedar, what do you like & - why?

Post by robbyguitar » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:31 pm

@Zero, Bernie, thanx for the information.

It seems that many/most would like to have a CG in both spruce and cedar and use whichever offer the best tone for the certain piece being performed.
I have read information thatsuggests that a Spruce guitar will generally open up and improve more over time in comparison to a cedar. Is this correct? -Any thoughts on this?

I was just interested in the thoughts of the artists thathave tried both.

nijikon5

Re: Spruce or Cedar, what do you like & - why?

Post by nijikon5 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:27 pm

Just to respond to some of the various things discussed in this thread.

When I first started classical guitar, my teacher suggested I play a cedar because he personally preferred cedar. I owned a few student/beginner models in Cedar ( 1 Manuel Rodriguez, and 2 Cordobas ). I tried a few Spruce Guitars and wasn't really impressed with them.

After deciding to get a luthier made guitar, I went to visit GSI. I tried various Luthier guitars and after that experience, I've been a fan of Spruce top guitars. I eventually picked a Spruce / Indian Rosewood guitar made by luthier Jamie Hernandez.

Just from personal experience, I think that in terms of guitars under about $1500, that cedar has a distinct advantage. It seems like quality cedar at that price range is much easier to find than quality spruce. However, when you get into price points past $3000 usd for hand made instruments, I generally prefer Spruce. When instruments start going north of like 6-7k, I strongly prefer Spruce over Cedar. It was really the clarity, balance, and the brilliance of the trebles that drew me to Spruce. When I first received my Spruce guitar, I actually felt that overall it lacked a bit of volume, but the whole "opening up" process is absolutely true. The sound from the day I bought the guitar new to today has been a huge improvement. While I used to think my Cordoba C9 was actually a really underrated and wonderful instrument. The C9 vs the Luthier made guitar isn't even close. The dynamic range, the clarity, sustain of each note, so on so on can't be matched! The luthier made instrument really makes the c9 feel dull and unispired.

So to all those dedicated cedar lovers out there, I'm definitely utterly in love with Spruce after starting off with just Cedar. I'd like to own a luthier made cedar guitar one day, but I keep ordering Spruce Tops even though I tell myself to get a Cedar. I think down the line I'll probably force myself to get a Cedar... Maybe...

robbyguitar

Re: Spruce or Cedar, what do you like & - why?

Post by robbyguitar » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:10 pm

Interesting that you would mention that model as the Cordoba C9 is the guitar I have been considering latley. As for my thoughts right now, I think Spruce might be for me, just based one what I have heard on the net and the feedback and information I get butmy ears will have to make the final call if I can ever got to a shop where I can test out the two woods side by side on the same instrument.

Søren Brix

Re: Spruce or Cedar, what do you like & - why?

Post by Søren Brix » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:17 pm

I currently have two classical guitars:
1) A Cedar top / Indian Rosewood sides/back, FP ( 1800 USD); clearly a factory guitar (half a year old)
2) A spruce top / Indian Rosewood sides/back, FP (4200 USD); clearly a luthier/hand built guitar (three years old)

The Cedar seems to be a lot more forgiving in its respons; errors are somehow disguised by the sound from the guitar. As pointed out be someone else in this thread.
Also, to me it sounds a bit muddy, or warm if you like. The bass is a bit slow in its respons; is that commen to cedars?

Now, the spruce is a whole different story; first of all, all errors I make are VERY clear. The sound is very delicate and articulated. Almost a bit cool (as oposed to being warm).
This guitar is also very responsive to different kind of articulating, something that the cedar is not! (not to the same extent that is)

I guess that the difference between the guitars in the ability to respond to different articulation might be caused by one being a luthier built and the other a factory instrument.

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Re: Spruce or Cedar, what do you like & - why?

Post by ArthurG » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:22 pm

Spruce for me!

ColdWalker

Re: Spruce or Cedar, what do you like & - why?

Post by ColdWalker » Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:44 pm

I recently bought a new mid-range (£2k) guitar. I went to the shop with some very clear requirements - cedar top, ebony inlays in the neck, not too decorated. I tried many guitars, breaking for lunch and then again having a break around tea time, and eventually made my choice - a spruce top without ebony inlays and highly decorated! In other words exactly the opposite of what I was looking for.

As others have said, there is no substitute for trying lots of guitars and seeing what works for you. Be prepared to be surprised by what you find.

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