diffrence between spruce and cedar

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
claudio

diffrence between spruce and cedar

Post by claudio » Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:15 pm

can anyone explain me the diffrence in the sound quality of

spruce or cedar? (Fichte oder Zeder Decke?)


what is better?


Thanks

Claudio

Sasquatch51

Post by Sasquatch51 » Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:21 pm

There is no "better" and there are no absolutes. It's a matter of personal preference. Spruce will generally produce a brighter sound with enhanced trebles and clear bass, cedar produces a darker, warmer sound with more subdued trebles and deeper(?) basses. Cedar can tend toward a sort of muddy sound if driven very hard. Cedar tends to "open up" much more quickly than spruce, and cedar is softer wood than spruce and more prone to scratches and dents. Cedar is preferred by many for that traditional "Spanish" sound, spruce is often chosen by people who play more Baroque and Renaissance style music.

claudio

thanks

Post by claudio » Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:35 pm

perfect.......thanks a lot!

so then I will prefer spruce!


claudio

Azalais

Post by Azalais » Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:37 pm

Here is a wonderful page of recordings that lets you hear the differences for yourself:
http://www.zavaletas-guitarras.com/files/gallery.htm

Asking which is "better" is almost like asking if vanilla is better than chocolate :wink: or if tea is "better" than coffee.... It is a matter of personal preference...

Many would say that it depends on the repertoire that you want to play and the type of sound you like. Cedar produces the warm rich sound often associate with Spanish music (Ramirez guitars for example) Some people prefer spruce, if they prefer playing other types of music.

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James Lister
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Post by James Lister » Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:54 pm

I agree pretty much with what Sasquatch51 and Azalais have said. My own personal preference is for spruce, because if feel that it is possible to build a spruce guitar with a full, warm tone and deep bases, but I have yet to hear a cedar guitar that could come close to the clarity and focus you can get with spruce.

James
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

Carnbo

Post by Carnbo » Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:03 pm

jmdlister wrote:I agree pretty much with what Sasquatch51 and Azalais have said. My own personal preference is for spruce, because if feel that it is possible to build a spruce guitar with a full, warm tone and deep bases, but I have yet to hear a cedar guitar that could come close to the clarity and focus you can get with spruce.

James
I currently have two guitars - one spruce (handbuilt by Hew Morgan), and the other Cedar (Alhambra 9c).
Without doubt the spruce guitar has a richer and more focussed tone.
I may not be compairing apples with apples but the cedar guitar does not come close to my spruce topped guitar

But, then it's all subjective.

ljerams

Post by ljerams » Fri Jan 26, 2007 5:24 pm

At least there appears to be some agreement on the differences.

Interestingly, one can get a better discount here on Spruce, for Rodriguez guitars and yet local Guitarists prefer it to cedar?

The local Luthier told me that Thai guitarists prefer spruce guitars and cedar is to special order. :wink:

Pepe Vergara

Post by Pepe Vergara » Fri Jan 26, 2007 6:28 pm

One of the advantages of cedar is that you do not have to wait for the guitar to open up (it will still improve the sound with time, but a bit less than spruce.) I found that the best solution to cover and obtain the benefits of both woods is to have one guitar made of spruce and cedar each. :D

BTW Ramirez uses cedar mostly.

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James Lister
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Post by James Lister » Sun Jan 28, 2007 11:48 am

Of course, everyone should have at least 2 guitars! One spruce, one cedar, one rosewood, one maple, the list is endless...
James Lister, luthier, Sheffield UK

offadinglight

Post by offadinglight » Sun Jan 28, 2007 3:21 pm

I found this previous discussion on that topic very helpfull:
viewtopic.php?t=588&highlight=spurce

kj

Spruce and Cedar Comparison

Post by kj » Sun Jan 28, 2007 6:17 pm

I have two Jose Oribe Gran Suprema's of exactly the same size and scale (see http://www.oribeguitars.com/). One is cedar/brazilian the other is spruce/brazilian. I like both of them equally well. In general, the cedar has a warmer tone and quicker response; the spruce is more fucused in sound. The cedar is in no way muddy. Both have improved in tone with age. A good luthier can get clarity and focus with cedar as well as with spruce (listen to cedar topped Fleta). Strings also make a difference.

When purchasing the spruce I tried two different spruce guitars, again the exact same guitar and builder, the two were significantly different in tone, one more cedar-like than other. Thus the guitar's sound may be significantly different based on the individual soundboards within the same species of wood.

Lot s of stuff on internet, the following article on tonewoods by Stenzel may be useful:
http://www.stenzel-guitars.de/english/a ... ticles.htm

PaulRegis

Post by PaulRegis » Sun Jan 28, 2007 7:28 pm

Hello

I think the choice is personal based on one's own taste. I enjoy both Spruce (Englemann is a little warmer than Sitka) and Western Red Cedar. (Not sure which cedar other folks are referring to). I also like Doug Fir, which is denser and has more lateral stiffness than Sitka. Which gives it an even brighter sound. My one reservation about all this discussion is that the use of verbiage to describe the complex and beautiful sounds of a classical guitar has only limited usefullness. Nothing can substitute for the sound itself.
I know this looks pompous but please believe that I don't intend it so.


Regards

offadinglight

Post by offadinglight » Wed Jan 31, 2007 3:23 pm

Wikipedia has some info on tonewoods. Don't know how reliable it is but here is the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonewood

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