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Old 04-28-2019, 11:12 AM
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Mbroady Mbroady is offline
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Default Thoughts on a cedar Top OM guitar

Been thinking of adding an OM to the heard. I have the opportunity to get an OM guitar with a cedar top and rosewood back and sides. Anyone care to Share their experience with a similar build.

I can also get one with a deep body option as well as a spruce top. I will have some sound/vid samples to check out soon that I can share but figured I would post the question while I’m waiting.

What say you

Matthew
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Old 04-28-2019, 11:52 AM
jim1960 jim1960 is online now
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I'm coming around to the opinion that I love a cedar top more than any other.
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Old 04-28-2019, 12:05 PM
Bain Bain is offline
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I have a Furch g23 crc cedar top , if I was more into guitars I would be able to tell more about it but all I know is it sounds brilliant.. I suppose between a hog and a Sitka spruce top .....🙂
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Old 04-28-2019, 12:15 PM
EverettWilliams EverettWilliams is offline
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I’m overwhelmingly a spruce guy, but a year or so back, I took a leap and ordered a cedar and cocobolo OM from Ben Wilborn. Ben has built me another OM and it exceeded all expectations. His favorite top wood is cedar, he’s a great player, and he plays with a pick (cedar is usually seen as a fingerstyle wood). I’d heard a lot of videos of him playing his cedar guitars and I loved what I heard. I figured that a guy whose instruments I like, who plays in a similar manner to me, and thinks he does best with cedar was a good bet. Turns out it was. While I’m still a spruce guy, the guitar is great, it’s clear, responsive, articulate, and it doesn’t suffer from a lack of headroom or anything. I’m really happy with the decision.

If you’re shopping around, play as many as you can find until you find one you can’t leave without. But if you’re looking to commission, I can’t say enough good things about Ben. He’s a great builder.

Good luck!
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Old 04-28-2019, 12:26 PM
leew3 leew3 is offline
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Not sure whether this helps you but I have a Larrivee L 03 with the wood configuration you've outlined. Technically not an OM but smaller than a Dred so perhaps some of my experience transfers. It's a great guitar with plenty of bass and nice trebles as well. Good sustain but the decay on single notes is a bit quicker than my Rosewood and Sitka guitars. I put an Anthem SL in it and this combination is my most 'acoustic' sounding guitar when plugged in. I can leave the EQ set flat for it in most settings and it works fine. I hope this helps.
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Old 04-28-2019, 12:50 PM
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I own a 2014 Santa Cruz OM/PW in Cedar/EIR and short scale, and play with a pick 95% of the time. I've been very pleased with the guitar overall, but there are days when I've thought about selling it and replacing with another Martin Authentic, as most of my recreational playing time is spent practicing bluegrass fiddle tunes. It sounds great but its voicing is not really suited to that style of music, as Cedar's darker tonal complexion lacks a bit in the upper mids and highs.

However, two weeks ago I had a great performance in church with it and got some comments after mass from the choir director and piano player over the tone, which I've never gotten playing my J-45. Despite the Cedar top, it's still an OM/PW, so it's got the Martin-like voicing, bass bias, tremendous volume for a non-dread, and tons of harmonic content (a signature Santa Cruz trait). So I'm going to give it some more time and think it over carefully before replacing.

As with many things, it comes down to the builder. Cedar in the hands of a skilled builder can make an awesome guitar. Just make sure the tone is suitable for the music you're playing.
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Old 04-28-2019, 12:55 PM
DukeX DukeX is offline
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I have a Cedar/EIR 1995 Webber OM. It is light, super responsive, with clarity yet lush overtones, projection and sustain are heavenly. Terrific fingerstyle guitar. Not a terrific strummer. Not all Cedar/EIR OMs are built like this Webber, of course, but I think it is a wonderful tonewood combination. My 1996 Larrivee L-30 Nylon has the same wood combo, and that baby just sings.
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Old 04-28-2019, 02:51 PM
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I have a Stonebridge OM cedar / mahogany that I love and I also have a cedar / rosewood Furch G23. Both great but totally different tonality - the rosewood is much more scooped and has way more overtones - the cedar top on both is heavily influenced by the back and sides.
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Old 04-28-2019, 04:38 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Cedar will warm up the tone nicely - I like it especially for finger style playing. Years ago, Taylor made their 714's with rosewood / cedar. I always liked them a lot, but they were too expensive for me at the time. By the time I could afford additional guitars at that price point, they were no longer building with cedar, having switched to spruce tops. It wasn't the same, so no 714 for me..... And yes, I realize that the Taylor GA / x14 size is a bit bigger than a true OM or 000 size body. I've owned both.

Last edited by Earl49; 04-28-2019 at 05:35 PM. Reason: dang tpyos.... it's hard to proffread your own wriiting
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Old 04-28-2019, 04:52 PM
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Not a lot to add, but having owned a 514 cedar/mahogany, Lowden S cedar/rosewood, and extensively played a 714 cedar/rosewood, I think cedar goes better with mahogany. With rosewood, it seems to dark -- unless that's what you're looking for.
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Old 04-28-2019, 04:59 PM
sevenpalms sevenpalms is offline
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Hey Matt,

Hope all is well! I had a 2008 Webber OM cedar/rosewood...it was fabulous! Very warm and balanced ....if you can get a deeper body then I would certainly give it a shot...a little more thump is nice!
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Old 04-28-2019, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbroady View Post
Been thinking of adding an OM to the heard. I have the opportunity to get an OM guitar with a cedar top and rosewood back and sides. Anyone care to Share their experience with a similar build.

I can also get one with a deep body option as well as a spruce top. I will have some sound/vid samples to check out soon that I can share but figured I would post the question while I’m waiting.

What say you

Matthew
Hi Matthew

Rosewood/Cedar is one of my favorite 2 combinations. The other is Mahogany Cedar. I've played amazing versions of both (my 26 yr old Olson Dreadnought EIR/Cedar which is my main guitar). The best OM sized Cedar top I've played was a Bashkin Honduran Mahogany/Cedar.

If I'd been rich enough, I would have had one built…I already own a Myrtlewood/Spruce Bashkin OM.

Handbuilt (solo built, boutique built) are less of a toss-up, but I'm still a try before buy kind of guy when it comes to builders I don't know, and sizes and wood combos I don't know.


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Old 04-28-2019, 07:00 PM
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My only foray into cedar was with a 514ce (GA which is close to om)built
in 97. This guitar sounded great. It had a mahog back and sides not rosewood.
western red cedar top. Now for what it was it was a real nice guitar.
If your a quiet player or fingerstyle mostly i think cedar is a nice choice.
What i found was when you dug in to play it harder it folded fairly soon.
Now i played this guitar for 20 yrs But i think if you need a guitar for flat-picking or acoustic rock Or any other more aggressive styles like bluegrass. your better off with sitka or red spruce tops. If your a quiet at home fingerstyle or quiet strummer cedar is a responsive tonal wonder.
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Old 04-28-2019, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brencat View Post
It sounds great but its voicing is not really suited to that style of music, as Cedar's darker tonal complexion lacks a bit in the upper mids and highs.
Really? That's disappointing to read. I hadn't noticed that in the videos I've seen of cedar/rosewood or hog guitars. I really shouldn't be relying on the tonal qualities of internet videos. (I did get lucky with my Avalon though)

I like a high thick treble tone. (All my solid woods are spruce tops). Say it ain't so,
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Last edited by TBman; 04-28-2019 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 04-28-2019, 07:19 PM
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Cedar is temperamental with regard to the age of the strings, and to relative humidity (RH).

Strings: The brilliance of the treble strings begins to fade inside of a month with any steel string (metallurgy 101) because of the stress degradation of the elasticity that provides the frequency response when the strings are placed in motion. Spruce has a very good frequency response and older strings are still audibly acceptable for a longer period of time than Cedar will tolerate. I changed my strings on the Cedar top I had (Breedlove customer shop concert) every 3 weeks because it would not give good treble response (brilliance) after that.

RH: If the RH of Cedar is held at 50% for more than an hour the frequency response drops significantly and the sound of the guitar switches from a sustained ring to a dull thud and nothing short of correcting the RH back to around 45-47% would restore the sound.

That was the case with my guitar. For the 12 years I played it the (Western Red) Cedar top faithfully yielded that rich Cedar sound but it required relatively new strings and strict control of the RH to keep it that way. I bought a room dehumidifier for that one guitar. Spruce is much more forgiving.
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