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

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

Post by satanikoskioftes » Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:43 pm

If im getting an expensive guitar it will definitely be spruce. Cedar is much more fragile than spruce. Also spruce keeps opening with at a much slower rate than cedar so the sound will keep surprising me after many years

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

Post by Maurice » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:37 pm

I might be a bit dim but I've been playing guitar since 1977 and never knew what wood my guitar was made of for decades (Yamaha GC-225 cedar) - I miss those days. Anyway, I recently purchased a second hand 1996 model Yamaha CG150S (spruce) guitar for a great price but sold it after a month because I could tell the difference between it and my 225 cedar.

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

Post by Debussychopin » Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:18 am

I can hardly detect any difference between the two. Mostly sound differences result from the build how heavy or light, wider bout or narrower, string quality and calibration, etc.
Cedar or spruce usually is all about the visual appeal.

Yamaha GL1

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

Post by souldier » Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:25 am

Maurice wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:37 pm
I might be a bit dim but I've been playing guitar since 1977 and never knew what wood my guitar was made of for decades (Yamaha GC-225 cedar) - I miss those days. Anyway, I recently purchased a second hand 1996 model Yamaha CG150S (spruce) guitar for a great price but sold it after a month because I could tell the difference between it and my 225 cedar.
It's important to remember you can't attribute the inferiority of the Spruce Yamaha to the top wood. Those are two completely different models and probably different time periods. There are so many factors involved that it probably has very little to do with the species of wood.
"Success grants its rewards to a few, but is the dream of the multitudes.
Excellence is available to all, but is accepted only by a few." - Christopher Parkening

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

Post by Philosopherguy » Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:43 am

Today I liked spruce because it was the guitar case on the top of the pile. Tomorrow I may like cedar, because I may dig to the second guitar down on the pile. The day after that, who knows? I tend to have more spruce guitars because life has seemed to hand them to me more readily. In the future that may change, but I am pretty happy with having some of both. There is a difference in sound between the two, but they are both equally viable to make great guitars out of.

Martin
*************************************************************
2013 Ramirez 130 Anos - Spruce
2013 Ramirez 4NE - Cedar
1998 Dean Harrington - Spruce
1977 Kuniharu Nobe - Spruce
1971 Yamaha GC3 - Spruce

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

Post by lilikati » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:36 am

First of all I like both tops, spruce and cedar, and have owned exquisite instruments that feature both woods. My Hauser III "dream" and a 10-string Hauser III, both featured a spruce top as well as my Humphrey Millenium. My only classical guitar nowadays is a solid top Matthias Dammann from 1986 which features a cedar top.
My impression is that spruce is on the whole a bit clearer and does a better job with polyphonic structures like a fugue because it can separate voices better. A cedar top can make melodies sing a bit warmer and richer and is more apt for homophonic structures. That's just my 2ct.
The best spruce guitar I ever played was an early 70s Daniel Friederich in 1976. It was about 3500 EUR at that time and I could not afford it as a student. The shop owner offered me to pay by installments but I was foolish enough to put his offer down. Another student who was close to his exams played music by S. L. Weiss on it and left me standard there amazed of how well that guitar could make baroque music sound.

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

Post by DaveLeeNC » Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:04 pm

This ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFCStyKmlj4 ) is an interesting duet played on similar Hanika Torres guitars - one spruce and one cedar. Part of the piece being played provides a nice/immediate contrast between the two guitars. Personally, I wonder if the spruce guitar doesn't need a bit more playing to further open up - just my impression as I preferred the cedar.

dave
1984 Jesus Marzal cedar CG
1971 Sherry-Brener (Cedar) Garcia No. 1 CG
1975 Gibson ES-175D Achtop Electric
2016 Eastman AR905CE-BD Carved Archtop Electric

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dta721
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Re: Spruce or Cedar, what do you like & - why?

Post by dta721 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:44 pm

DaveLeeNC wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:04 pm
This ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFCStyKmlj4 ) is an interesting duet played on similar Hanika Torres guitars - one spruce and one cedar. Part of the piece being played provides a nice/immediate contrast between the two guitars. Personally, I wonder if the spruce guitar doesn't need a bit more playing to further open up - just my impression as I preferred the cedar.

dave
I was looking for this kind of illustration, the same guitar from a maker however one with cedar and the other spruce top, being played side by side by a comparable guitarist.

When I asked my wife about the sound/tone differences in this video clip, perhaps not being prejudiced by the look, or presumption of playing the same notes like me, she pointed out they played at a different octave (except at some particular bars).

Thus, it is not a fair comparison until the players change role in this duet, the Spuce guitar leads!
:)

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

Post by Beowulf » Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:03 pm

Yamaha Grand Concert guitars: Spruce & Cedar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POQaLo34FoU

Different body shapes and bracing, however one can get an impression of the differences.

I prefer the Spruce for my favorite repertoire periods: Renaissance, Baroque...better I think for counterpoint and clarity between voices. Cedar suits the Spanish romantic character better. At least with these Yamahas.
1971 Yamaha GC-10

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

Post by piotr » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:21 am

The best way to resolve this dilemma is to have both spruce and cedar guitars.

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

Post by piotr » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:21 am

The best way to resolve this dilemma is to have both spruce and cedar guitars. :D

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

Post by Michael.N. » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:44 am

Just get a luthier to make a guitar with the lightest spruce available, with properties very similar to cedar (it does exist). Then you have the best of both world's - sound of cedar but with the bragging rights and the look of spruce!
Make sense? Does to me. Too many people fixate on the species rather than the individual properties of the piece of wood. I guess that saying spruce or cedar is a lot simpler than saying 480 Kg/m3 vs. 360 Kg/m3
Historicalguitars.

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dta721
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Re: Spruce or Cedar, what do you like & - why?

Post by dta721 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:19 pm

I like the conclusion of this article on tonewood:
http://***/a-tonewood-pr ... mal-sound/
"Guitars Don’t Live By Tonewood Alone
... that the sonic performance of a particular tonewood depends not only on the wood, but also the build of the instrument. A finely made plywood guitar, for instance, will likely sound superior and be more resonant than a poorly built rosewood guitar—just as the finest guitar made from premium Adirondack spruce and Brazilian rosewood will only sound as good as the guitarist playing it. "
(Source: AG editor Greg Cahill and Dana Bourgeois)
:)

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

Post by lilikati » Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:15 am

Beowulf wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:03 pm
Yamaha Grand Concert guitars: Spruce & Cedar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POQaLo34FoU

Different body shapes and bracing, however one can get an impression of the differences.

I prefer the Spruce for my favorite repertoire periods: Renaissance, Baroque...better I think for counterpoint and clarity between voices. Cedar suits the Spanish romantic character better. At least with these Yamahas.
+1; that's exactly what I feel and experienced with cedar and spruce tops.

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

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:04 pm

Even though Spruce and Cedar guitars have certain characteristics of their own, it also depends on the luthier. You might hear a Cedar guitar that sounds very much like a Spruce and vice versa. Now, you can even buy a doubletop with cedar beneath and spruce top or vice versa - which produces a very attractive sound. This way, you can have a touch of both worlds. The Grammy award winner, Jason Vieaux owns one.
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)

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