View Full Version : Cedar Vs. Spruce

06-01-2004, 10:54 AM
Hi Everyone: Quick question...can someone briefly explain the difference in sound quality between cedar and spruce? is it true that spruce is generally "louder"? for instance, in a small body guitar (like the taylor x12's), is spruce a better top, given the fact that the thinner body takes away a bit of the volume to begin with?

06-01-2004, 11:12 AM
Spruce is probably "louder" and cedar is probably "warmer." Again, one isn't better, just different...I love the sound of cedar...have it on two guitars....I've got spruce on the others....for bluegrass, and strumming I probably prefer spruce with sitka or adirondack being my first choice...for finger picking, on a small bodied guitar...I like engelmann...For finger picking overall, it so much depends on what I'm playing...sometimes I want the warm sound of cedar, others, the "crisper" sound of spruce...it so much depends on your style and the kind of music you play

06-01-2004, 11:51 AM
Of the spruce topped and cedar topped guitars I've owned; I find cedar to have a nice warmer, but quieter sound then spruce. Good spruce will get warmer with age, but if you want a nice warm sound to start, cedar is the way to go.

06-01-2004, 11:57 AM
To some degree, it depends on the guitar. In general, spruce is louder because it can be pushed harder without the sound "breaking up". In my experience, that has to be pretty hard.

Cedar, being softer, tends to add nice rich lows while keeping the upper clarity. It can't be strummed maniacally, but every cedar I've owned (with the exception of the XXX-MC but that's due to low string tension) has been fine, and I strum pretty hard when I'm playing at church.

The only real down side to cedar is that it is MUCH easier to ding. I had an eyelash fall on it and I SWEAR it made a dent. Seriously, it really is easy to little microdings, but if you take care of your guitars, it shouldn't be a problem.

The supposed bright-to-warm series is like: Koa/Mahogany, Sitka Spruce, Englemann/European/Adirondack Spruce, Redwood, Cedar, at least as I've heard it explained.

I love them all, but cedar is my fave (and there was a time I didn't like it).



06-01-2004, 06:08 PM
My cedar-topped guitars seem to disperse sound in a more open/three dimensional way. Spruce, to my ears, sounds more focused or "beamy", if you will. Thru the years I've found cedar to be easier and more forgiving to mic. It's usually harder to find the sweet spots with spruce.