Can't Decide Between Cedar or Spruce?

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
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Arash Ahmadi
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Re: Can't Decide Between Cedar or Spruce?

Post by Arash Ahmadi » Fri Jul 13, 2018 11:22 pm

Arduous wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:16 pm
I've tried several Tacchi guitars and have never liked them.
I actually was on his waiting list and unplugged my self from it because I just wasn't impressed when I heard one in person.
I went on the waiting list because so many people were going on and on about them.
The Tacchi guitar comes in here at 25 minutes into the video.
I don't hear that it sounds any better or worse than the other makers.
Great event, thanks for sharing! I had a quick listen to all the guitars and will again when I've more time. There were maybe 4-5 guitars that stood out, others were sounding very much like each other. I assume they are Torres/Hauser copies?

It's nice to live in a country that has so many guitar makers, the ones featured in this video were not all of them!
To send light into the darkness of men's heart, such is the duty of the artist. (Robert Schumann)

WalrusAlchemist
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Re: Can't Decide Between Cedar or Spruce?

Post by WalrusAlchemist » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:39 am

jaan wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:07 pm
WalrusAlchemist wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:30 pm
Cedar everyday. They say perspective is subjective, but they are wrong.

Cedar usually is warm, & spruce is bright.
Spruce gives you more colors, though is more difficult to control and can become bright, as you say. It's like a fighter jet - nimble precisely because it is unstable in flight. Takes a lot more control to handle, but if you can . . .

Your explanation is interesting. I've never actually played a spruce top before, I'm curious now.

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Michael.N.
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Re: Can't Decide Between Cedar or Spruce?

Post by Michael.N. » Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:34 am

Arash Ahmadi wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:57 pm
Michael.N. wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:43 am
It's not that difficult to get spruce to sound like cedar. I mean it really isn't if you know what you are doing, not that it takes much.
Hi Michael, well I have heard spruce guitars that sounded like cedar and vise versa, I used to think it might be the different types of spruce or cedar that can sound like the other to some extend, but are you saying it depends on the luthier?
It depends on the luthier but more importantly it depends on the particular piece of spruce that the luthier selects. If I wanted a spruce top that sounded like cedar then I would select a piece of spruce that has properties that are close to that of cedar which means one that is at the lowest density range given for spruce. These pieces of spruce are not common but I suspect they are often rejected by makers - after all they feel very light and soft, not typical of spruce.
Unfortunately you are unlikely to get the best of both worlds. You will end up with a spruce guitar that sounds more typical of cedar.
Historicalguitars.

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Adrian Allan
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Re: Can't Decide Between Cedar or Spruce?

Post by Adrian Allan » Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:24 am

I will give you my opinion on this. Cedar is in a way easier to play, as it tends to mask the higher overtones, so is better for people with a harsh attack or nails that give them problems. Spruce is more unforgiving - it tends to highlight poor nails and a harsh tone. However, it offers more potential for nuanced and interesting playing, once the player is at his/ her very best. I was a cedar player, but I have switched to spruce, as it offers a wider range for tonal colour and development for the player.

At the extreme end of deep, resonant cedar, I am of the opinion that these loud, Smallman style guitars are favoured by those who want an easier ride with less effort - with the honourable exception of John Williams, of course!
D'Ammassa Spruce/Spruce Double Top

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bear
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Re: Can't Decide Between Cedar or Spruce?

Post by bear » Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:28 pm

It's like chocolate or vanilla, whatever pleases your palate. I prefer cedar but I commissioned a "Hauser" spruce. If, I had to part with all of my factory guitars , save one, it would be a difficult choice between my most expensive factory built Ramirez (cedar) and my least expensive Rodriquez CF3 (spruce).
I've never heard a guitar with a sound that I likes better than my Giustina (cedar). It's all what pleases your ear. You may listen to 3 identical guitars same maker, same wood, etc., and like only one of the 3.
Let your ears decide.
2013 Jeff Medlin '37 Hauser 640mm sp
2006 Michele Della Giustina 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

Arduous
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Re: Can't Decide Between Cedar or Spruce?

Post by Arduous » Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:40 pm

Adrian Allan wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:24 am
I am of the opinion that these loud, Smallman style guitars are favoured by those who want an easier ride with less effort - with the honourable exception of John Williams, of course!


Actually Williams has said that the major reasons he started playing and liked Smallman so much was that he didn't have to work as hard to get the notes to come out vs. his Fletas, in particular the high e string, he said.
Last edited by Arduous on Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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HNLim
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Re: Can't Decide Between Cedar or Spruce?

Post by HNLim » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:27 pm

I am not sure if John Williams will be playing a Smallman if was not Australian.
1980 Yamaha GC30A - BRW/Spruce
2006 Yamaha GC70 - BRW/ Spruce
2015 Sen #5 - BRW/Spruce
2017 LHN - BRW/Spruce

Arduous
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Re: Can't Decide Between Cedar or Spruce?

Post by Arduous » Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:01 am

HNLim wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:27 pm
I am not sure if John Williams will be playing a Smallman if was not Australian.

That's cynical at best

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petermc61
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Re: Can't Decide Between Cedar or Spruce?

Post by petermc61 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:26 am

Arduous wrote:
Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:01 am
HNLim wrote:
Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:27 pm
I am not sure if John Williams will be playing a Smallman if was not Australian.

That's cynical at best
Possibly not true, but not sure why it’s cynical.

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prawnheed
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Re: Can't Decide Between Cedar or Spruce?

Post by prawnheed » Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:32 am

I’d suggest not making the choice between cedar and spruce and instead making the choice between guitars you like the sound and playability of.

I honestly could not tell, without looking, what wood a guitar is made from. I suspect few people truly can.

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Adrian Allan
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Re: Can't Decide Between Cedar or Spruce?

Post by Adrian Allan » Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:32 am

At the extreme ends it is possible to tell - think of the difference between something like a very dark sounding cedar Dieter Hopf and a very bright spruce top. However, I could perhaps only tell for sure if I was the person playing both.

There is a middle ground where the two tops are not noticeably different.

I tend to think that whisky can be used as an analogy; Islay whiskys might be similar to a lot of whiskys, but the most extreme end of the Islay whisky, Ardbeg is most definitely a lot more peaty than the Speyside whiskys.
D'Ammassa Spruce/Spruce Double Top

richtm
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Re: Can't Decide Between Cedar or Spruce?

Post by richtm » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:01 pm

Actually one of my favorite topics- spruce vs cedar. :wink:
To me personally it's all about taste and what fits best to the music and this is sometimes spruce and sometimes cedar. I love both Bernabé guitars, for me it has nothing to do with ease or playability. Spruce has a more present and transparent sound, if this fits I would grap a spruce guitar (one reason why I bought a spruce Torres copy from Philipp Lerche).
My next project: compare a cedar-cedar double top against a cedar-spruce double top. (beside the bracing difference there should be not to much- I expect, I will post this in an other topic). Final evaluations should be done individually, in my perspective it probably has to do most with musical socialisation... :bye:
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Ernest Köröskenyi 1977 Cedar top; Pauline Bernabe Especial 2007 Spruce top, 2012 Cedar top; Andreas Kirmse 2017 Cedar Double-top

Jack Douglas
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Re: Can't Decide Between Cedar or Spruce?

Post by Jack Douglas » Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:36 pm

petermc61 wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:11 pm
Great videos with a fantastic collection of instruments.

Great player too. How do you pick up so many different instruments and make such nice music so quickly without (seemingly) having to adapt to the feel of each new guitar. Impressed!
I too was very impressed with the player. What poise and sensitivity he brought with each instrument.
I was only familiar with a few of the Talented Italian Luthiers. There were some stunners made by people I had never heard of.
I will say that I I was very impressed by what looked like Tacchi’s Bouchet model, Bottelli’s Hauser52, and Gabriele Lodi’s Torres copy.
But, one more time, kudos to the talented player!

And why not have a discussion solely about cedar topped guitars. I’m loving the one I have.
Last edited by Jack Douglas on Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Richard Brune 'Artist' Cedar/Brazilian 1996

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bacsidoan
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Re: Can't Decide Between Cedar or Spruce?

Post by bacsidoan » Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:44 pm

I thought the topic was about the hybrid cedar/spruce top. Somehow, everything gravitates toward the spruce versus cedar debate which had been discussed ad nauseam. :wink:

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Michael.N.
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Re: Can't Decide Between Cedar or Spruce?

Post by Michael.N. » Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:06 pm

Of course it's tempting or perhaps easy to think that a soundboard made partly of cedar and partly of spruce (given typical example of each) would somehow result in the best of both worlds. I doubt that it quite works like that. I'm out, I'll cede to one of the scientific types, Al or Trevor :wink:
Historicalguitars.

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