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Old 04-22-2009, 02:43 PM
TaylorGA8 TaylorGA8 is offline
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Default adirondack vs sitka spruce

What is the difference in tone?

Is either better?

Is there a price difference?
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Old 04-22-2009, 02:52 PM
690MBCOMMANDO 690MBCOMMANDO is offline
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Originally Posted by TaylorGA8 View Post
What is the difference in tone?

Is either better?

Is there a price difference?
Adi is one of the stiffest - excellent projection, power and resonance. Generally more expensive than sitka (especially master grade tight grained, perfectly quartered, silked, no runout, creamy englemann looking stuff)

Spruce is softer - slightly more expressive, still powerful. I think it gets an unfair rap and is highly underrated since it's more "common" but an excellent tonewood nonetheless.
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Old 04-22-2009, 03:04 PM
banpreso banpreso is offline
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there is a price difference, adi being more expensive

adi would have more volume, clearity, and overtone.

stika would be a bit warmer sounding
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Old 04-22-2009, 03:25 PM
Eugenius Eugenius is offline
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Every top is different though.

I've played many adi tops that were no different or better than sitka. A lot of the time adi is overrated, and more than often sitka is underrated.

Take it on a case by case basis for any top material. My uncle pounds on a 000 cedar topped Collings that defies all of the hindering characteristics of cedar, and 000's for that matter!

They all can make great tops.
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Old 04-22-2009, 03:25 PM
Matt Mustapick Matt Mustapick is offline
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What is the difference in tone?
Perhaps there is a very subtle difference, some of the time. But the difference is so subtle that counterexamples to any tone generalizations you might hear about are nearly as common as confirming examples. That said, it may be that a Sitka guitar is more likely to have more warmth and fullness in the midrange, while an Adirondack guitar is more likely to have more separation and more treble projection.

Is either better?
Absolutely not. Adirondack spruce tends to have more fans, and a bit of ooh-la-la, because it generally costs a bit more.

Is there a price difference?
Usually. Adirondack is often more expensive. Price discrepancies across different varieties of woods are determined by supply. The fact that Adirondack costs more (or any other wood that costs more), is often mistakenly associated with some imputed notion of merit.

I think Adirondack and Sitka are both fine choices, so long as the wood is really nice.

Last edited by Matt Mustapick; 04-22-2009 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 04-22-2009, 03:32 PM
Jeff M Jeff M is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Mustapick View Post
What is the difference in tone?
Perhaps a very subtle one some of the time, but the difference is so subtle that counterexamples to any tone generalizations you might hear about are nearly as common as confirming examples. That said, it may be that a Sitka guitar is more likely to have more warmth and fullness in the midrange, while an Adirondack guitar is more likely to have more separation and more treble projection.

Is either better?
Absolutely not. Adirondack spruce tends to have more fans, and a bit of ooh-la-la, because it generally costs a bit more.

Is there a price difference?
Usually. Adirondack is often more expensive. Price discrepancies across different varieties of woods are determined by supply. The fact that Adirondack costs more (or any other wood that costs more), is often mistakenly associated with some imputed notion of merit.

I think Adirondack and Sitka are both fine choices, so long as the wood is really nice.
Says it well.
Neither is "better".
Chinese vs Italian.
As with food, it depends on what you like.

Played/owned guitars made with Adirondac, and others made with Sitka.
My favorite has a sitka top.

Different builders designs tend to lend themselves more to one or the other.
Big generalizations here;
An Adirondac top (tends to be "bright", "sharp" sounding) on a Taylor (tend to be "bright", "sharp" sounding already) may be too much for some.
Adirondac on a Martin (tend to be "darker" sounding,) can balance it out nicely.
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Last edited by Jeff M; 04-22-2009 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 04-22-2009, 04:41 PM
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min7b5 min7b5 is offline
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I generally prefer adi. I feel like just more head room for players that play a little harder, like myself. Seems to just have a little more punch and clarity.

I’ll have to dig around here because a few months ago I made some recordings of two SCGC 00’s with the difference being adi vs sitka. Tried to be somewhat scientific about it, and felt like the adi just was hitting the mics a little harder. But it’s honestly pretty darn close.

That said, just last night I was playing a Ryan Nightingale with braz and sitka that was pretty darn great sounding, with very good volume.

Incidentally, or maybe I should say, anecdotally, I often prefer the funky looking, wide grained adi over the really expensive stuff. Maybe it has a better strength to weight ratio? Seems like the really perfect looking stuff is tighter sounding.
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Old 04-22-2009, 05:47 PM
Matt Mustapick Matt Mustapick is offline
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Originally Posted by Jeff M View Post
Says it well.
Neither is "better"...Chinese vs Italian.
Given the overlap, I think it may be even more useful to think of it more as the difference between a pizza from Rome or pizza from Bologna. Generally perhaps there are differences...but asking which pizza will be be "better" without knowing anything about the particular restaurants is extremely speculative. In this case, I could appreciate someone saying "I generally seem to like the pizza in Bologna better." But if someone were to say that any pizza slice in Bologna is more than likely to be better than any slice in Rome, then that doesn't make sense to me.

But we agree Jeff...and both are very good, when they're very good.
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Old 04-22-2009, 05:56 PM
Jeff M Jeff M is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Mustapick View Post
Given the overlap, I think it may be even more useful to think of it more as the difference between a pizza from Rome or pizza from Bologna. Generally perhaps there are differences...but asking which pizza will be be "better" without knowing anything about the particular restaurants is extremely speculative. In this case, I could appreciate someone saying "I generally seem to like the pizza in Bologna better." But if someone were to say that any pizza slice in Bologna is more than likely to be better than any slice in Rome, then that doesn't make sense to me.

But we agree Jeff...and both are very good, when they're very good.
Yep, a better analogy.
Especially if you throw in the fact that WHO is making those pizzas in Rome or Bologna is more important that the actual pizza style.
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Old 04-22-2009, 06:53 PM
markrr markrr is offline
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With these comparisons between similar woods (see also the various rosewoods for back and sides) I think the individual piece selected, and more importantly the luthier shaping it, have far more effect on the sound than the particular species.
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Old 04-22-2009, 06:56 PM
Howard Klepper Howard Klepper is offline
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I don't build flattop guitars with Sitka. I do build them with Adirondack. I've heard a lot of good Sitka flattop guitars, but I can't recall hearing a great one. I've heard some great ones made with Adirondack (European, too). My interest is in building great guitars if I can. That appears to be much less likely if I were to use Sitka.

I have had very good results using Sitka on archtops, though.
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Old 04-22-2009, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Howard Klepper View Post
I don't build flattop guitars with Sitka. I do build them with Adirondack. I've heard a lot of good Sitka flattop guitars, but I can't recall hearing a great one. I've heard some great ones made with Adirondack (European, too). My interest is in building great guitars if I can. That appears to be much less likely if I were to use Sitka.

I have had very good results using Sitka on archtops, though.
OK, that is acceptable...............SO, we have one builder officially say he thinks Adi is better than Sitka............One builder.......Hmmmmmmmmmmm.
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Old 04-22-2009, 07:32 PM
Cigar36 Cigar36 is offline
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Default Is adi worth it?

Adi is the one upgrade I would always get if one can afford it.

I have guitars with Brazilian back and sides and some with rosewood. I would take a rosewood/adi over Brazilian/sitka. But, the best of both worlds is the Brazilian/Adi, of which I only have one.
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Old 04-22-2009, 07:47 PM
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OK, that is acceptable...............SO, we have one builder officially say he thinks Adi is better than Sitka............One builder.......Hmmmmmmmmmmm.
Ahem.

There are wayyy more than one.

I'll leave it to you to find the rest, should you desire.
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Old 04-22-2009, 08:11 PM
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Ahem.

There are wayyy more than one.

I'll leave it to you to find the rest, should you desire.
Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm once again. In this thread the ONLY other close to being a one is better was, and I quote, "generally agree".
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