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

PAN A575

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

Post by PAN A575 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:27 am

bear wrote:
robbyguitar wrote:I think it wouldbe great to have one of each and use the one you feel fits the piece the best.
I don't have that luxary though so I will have to decide on one or the other wen I get some time to sit and play both.
Absolutely, plus a flamenco or 2.
One blanca and one negra. Or, shall we debate those too? :)

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

Post by bear » Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:42 am

PAN A575 wrote:
bear wrote:
robbyguitar wrote:I think it wouldbe great to have one of each and use the one you feel fits the piece the best.
I don't have that luxary though so I will have to decide on one or the other wen I get some time to sit and play both.
Absolutely, plus a flamenco or 2.
One blanca and one negra. Or, shall we debate those too? :)
We debate everything else, so why not? I have a couple of blancas. I would like to get a quality negra but I've recently placed an order for a Hauser type cg, so my negra may have to wait 'til next year.
2013 Jeff Medlin '37 Hauser 640mm sp
2006 Michele Della Guistina Concert 10 string 650mm ce
2005 Jose Ramirez 4E 650mm ce
2005 Manuel Rodriguez Model C3F 650mm sp
2003 Manuel Rodriguez Model D 650mm ce

kechance

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

Post by kechance » Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:04 pm

I've found spruces and cedars to be impressed by.

Friederich and Fleta cedars are renowned and sublime.

Hauser and Romanillos spruces are renowned and sublime.

Hmmm...Maybe the respective luthiers know/knew how to get the best out of each wood, maybe there is an affinity. Ramirez cedars I find to be more appealing to me than their spruces.

I own guitars of both types of wood, but gravitate to my cedar. I play a lot of soulful Spanish and South American music, and almost no high precision Romantic or Baroque era pieces where I might get more mileage from the spruce.

Power and emotion versus precision and sweetness for me are the difference. I get the most beautiful notes, at times, from my spruce, but I get the most robust sounds from my cedar.

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guitarseller345645
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Re: Spruce or Cedar, what do you like & - why?

Post by guitarseller345645 » Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:51 pm

kechance wrote:I've found spruces and cedars to be impressed by.

Friederich and Fleta cedars are renowned and sublime.

Hauser and Romanillos spruces are renowned and sublime.

Hmmm...Maybe the respective luthiers know/knew how to get the best out of each wood, maybe there is an affinity. Ramirez cedars I find to be more appealing to me than their spruces.

I own guitars of both types of wood, but gravitate to my cedar. I play a lot of soulful Spanish and South American music, and almost no high precision Romantic or Baroque era pieces where I might get more mileage from the spruce.

Power and emotion versus precision and sweetness for me are the difference. I get the most beautiful notes, at times, from my spruce, but I get the most robust sounds from my cedar.
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Rich_Carulli

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

Post by Rich_Carulli » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:12 pm

I have played a no name cedar top for 20+ years and have loved the tone - very smooth and mellow. In January, I purchased a GV Rubio Estudio. I auditioned both the cedar and spruce top and, IMHO, the spruce has a very clear tone compared to the cedar GV, especially when playing in 5th position and higher. I chose the spruce for these reasons and am enjoying it immensely.

Paulbeginnerguitar

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

Post by Paulbeginnerguitar » Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:09 am

Cedar is warmer than spruce, so it is better for classical guitars. Just my 2 cents.

robbyguitar

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

Post by robbyguitar » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:14 pm

I think both have their place and they can both produce some amazing tones.

I was reading that sometimes the spruce used for guitars is a bit lower quality in comparison to the cedar selected for CG's?

Is there any truth to this suggestion?

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guitarseller345645
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Re: Spruce or Cedar, what do you like & - why?

Post by guitarseller345645 » Fri Mar 29, 2013 5:46 pm

It is just that spruce has been used for a much longer time, to make more instruments including violins etc, that it is harder/more expensive to get high grade spruce than similar high grade cedar.

I should think that the finer instruments still get the appropriate quality spruce - my finest ever guitar, an entry level handmade, had a spruce soundboard that after more than 20 years, had the better values of both cedar/spruce.

But I also had an Alhambra 1C-A that had an amazing sounding 'European' spruce top - one of those special instruments that emerge in every factory batch I guess.
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Re: Spruce or Cedar, what do you like & - why?

Post by brian » Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:38 pm

I like spruce and then I think about my cedar
and then after a bit I miss my spruce and then
I think about that cedar one, and then I think about
the spruce one and then I wonder which is better. and then
I spend more time comparing than playing. then I condemn
myself for not being efficient with my time. then I take out
the spruce cause its had time to warm up, then I miss that
cedar for always being ready and willing. then I mix vodka
and seltzer in a huge glass, and repeat while looking at both
instruments and am thankful for the mess I'm in.

sorry. can't help ya!!
if at first you don't succeed try again.
then quit.
there's no use being a damn fool about it.
-w.c. fields

bernie2

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

Post by bernie2 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:04 pm

Sorry folks that I have been away from this conversation these days. As I hadn't subscribed to the topic, I wasn't aware of an answer to what I'd said...
Yes "Zerosummer" that's the video I was talking of (Miles comments on cedar and spruce comparison...). Well done !
To Robbyguitar, not sure the question about spruce supposed to open up & improve more over the years, was asked to us two mostly...But my answer would be that I hadn't had a chance to compare guitars of a similar quality on the distance, and that therefore I do not have any worthy opinion about it. I use spruce mostly these days, and I did have once the feeling that my guitar did need to be played regularly to sound real cool - after reading something about it(!), but it might have come from "rusty" fingers only...
Cheers and good luck.

Neumsky

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

Post by Neumsky » Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:51 am

The Great Christopher Parkening prefers cedar. He say's in one of his methods...if I want the sound of spruce...I play closer to the bridge! :bravo:

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

Post by tona » Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:33 am

I compared my Alhambra 5P Spruce and Asturias AST 50 Cedar and realize that its timbre of Spruce is richer than Cedar. I feel that Spruce tone like the woman voice, Cedar like the man voice. And I love both ;)

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

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:02 am

I prefer cedar for now as I'm only able to afford a cheap guitar right now as a second guitar. I had a spruce top Cordoba C9. The top wood was really poor. The grain wasn't very tight, and it was a 2 piece top where one side of the top was white and the other half yellow. It appeared really coarse. I did have a spruce top Ramirez, and it sounded great from day one.

I currently have a Ramirez 4NE, and I ordered a Lucero as a travel guitar. It was a late birthday gift from my son. I figured that any spruce top I got in that price range would be inferior, so I went with one of their cedar models.

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

Post by errrtoffie » Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:33 pm

It depends of the luthier but i'll definitely go to cedar because of warm tone just like a mother singing a lullaby to her baby

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

Post by zavaletas » Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:31 am

Let me begin by confessing that I have a personal preference for spruce, although I have a couple of cedar guitars that I love as well. The matter of cedar vs spruce, however, is not as simple as it may appear. Like apples and oranges, there are different varieties-- German spruce, Sitka, Engelman etc. Cedar also has varieties. More importantly, tops vary in quality-- depending upon how well they are cut (perfectly cross-cut) or showing run out, tightens of grain, stiffness across the grain, twist in the tree as it follows the sun, where it grows-- colder harsher climates making for tighter grain. Finally there are cosmetic factors evenness of color, absence of knots, presence of medullar rays etc. All these factors go into grading woods-- Masters, AAA, AA etc. An expert luthier takes all of these factors into consideration in selecting a top, but if there is one criteria that stands above the rest, it is tap tone-- a great top will have a crystalline tone, and one other characteristic, heard by softly running your thumb across the grain-- a sizzle or hiss indicative of how it will perform in high frequencies.

So returning to choice of top, what one wants to pay attention to is clarity of tone-- poor tops whether spruce or cedar will be lacking in clarity-- will be muddy and unresponsive.

James
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