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  #16  
Old 04-28-2019, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Pitar View Post
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.
Thanks for that.
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  #17  
Old 04-28-2019, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitar View Post
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.
Interesting, I don't remember ever experiencing what you have described with my Cedar/EIR Webber OM that I have played for 20+ years--neither the humidity issue (usually low 50s here in SoCal during spring/summer) nor the string issue (I use Elixir Nano PBs on it). But now that you bring it up I'm going to pay a little more attention this year.
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  #18  
Old 04-28-2019, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitar View Post
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.
This is an awesome post, thank you! Perhaps just a coincidence, but I have enjoyed playing my OM/PW Cedar a lot this winter when the RH in my humidity controlled home hovered around 40. Now that we're back up to 48 - 50, and I'm enjoying the guitar less, I'm thinking about what you just wrote...
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  #19  
Old 04-29-2019, 01:49 AM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Matthew, Iím a longtime user of OMís and 14 fret Triple Oís as my primary performing guitars, and also own several cedar-topped instruments. While I really like rosewood backs and sides in that body shape, personally I wouldnít pair a cedar top with rosewood in an OM, and definitely wouldnít make it a deep body OM with that tonewood combination.

The reason is that with a cedar top youíre going to get some nice warm low end response to begin with, youíre going to get more bass with rosewood back and sides, and even more bass if the bodyís made deeper.

It could add up to a fairly murky-sounding instrument if you donít balance all that with some projective qualities and factor in some more treble response.

Everythingís a trade-off: yes, deepening the body cavity will give you more resonance, but in an OM it does so at the expense of some projection. So while the guitar might just seem to ROAR when youíre playing it, if other instruments are being played at the same time your deep-bodied OM might not cut through the mix very well.

So whatever you decide, there are trade-offs. My own inclination with a cedar top in an OM would be to pair it with a tonewood with a livelier response and clearer trebles than rosewood, like mahogany, koa or black walnut.

I think youíll get a more tonally balanced instrument if you do.

Hope that makes sense.


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  #20  
Old 04-29-2019, 03:38 AM
ocarolan ocarolan is offline
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Here's my completely unbalanced, sustainless and dead sounding cedar/rosewood slightly deeper than usual OM (ish!) with old strings at a RH of about 65% -



i'd better tell Roger to stop making cedar/rosewood Fyldes...

Keith
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  #21  
Old 04-29-2019, 04:36 AM
varmonter varmonter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocarolan View Post
Here's my completely unbalanced, sustainless and dead sounding cedar/rosewood slightly deeper than usual OM (ish!) with old strings at a RH of about 65% -



i'd better tell Roger to stop making cedar/rosewood Fyldes...

Keith
Ha ..yes that does sound hideous,..lol
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  #22  
Old 04-29-2019, 05:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ocarolan View Post
Here's my completely unbalanced, sustainless and dead sounding cedar/rosewood slightly deeper than usual OM (ish!) with old strings at a RH of about 65% -



i'd better tell Roger to stop making cedar/rosewood Fyldes...

Keith
I don't even know how you had the courage to post the video, hideous indeed. Apparently the builder wasn't aware of the sweeping generalities regarding the poor consequences of such pairings, dimensions and atmospheric intolerances

As is said many a time.....YMMV
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  #23  
Old 04-29-2019, 06:37 AM
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Thanks for all the responses, and keep them coming. To address some of the questions, comments....

My guitar stable is already dread heavy and has guitars that are great in a big jam. So that’s not a priority. The next guitar I want to get should be totally different as well as recording friendly. That’s one of the reasons I'm leaning away from a deep body. Also, I would like to use it for solo singer songwriter type of gigs and like the idea of a smaller guitar which can get a big sound live (most likely a dual source pick up)

I am awaiting the demo vids. Though web vids are never a conclusive medium in regards to choosing a musical instrument it does help get a general idea. Of course it all comes down to getting the guitar in your hands for couple of days and then deciding.
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  #24  
Old 04-29-2019, 06:37 AM
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I have it on my classical and i feel it is a very warm sounding tone
thats breaks in relatively faster than other tone woods

The only unfavorable thing I can say is that I didnt like a lowden I
played with Ceder as a top wood / and Walnut as B+S
it was a great guitar sort of -but really not my cup of Tea
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  #25  
Old 04-29-2019, 08:33 AM
Alan Carruth Alan Carruth is offline
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Cedar tends to have lower density than most of the spruces, so all else equal it will usually make a heavier top. The low density also means the long-grain stiffness tends to be lower at a given thickness, so it usually needs to be left thicker than spruce. If you make a cedar top the same thickness as spruce it certainly would tend to have lower resonant pitches, which contributes to the 'darker' sound. Also, a light top is generally easier to 'over drive' than a heavier one, no matter what the material.

If you want something like the 'cedar' sound in a hard strummer, get a redwood top. The famous 'LS' redwood, for example, has much the same look and tap tone of cedar, but it's harder and denser, and works more like Sitka or Red spruce for thickness, mass and stiffness, while keeping the warmth we associate with cedar. I'll note that redwood can be quite variable: some of the 'stump' redwood I've seen is, IMO, useless for guitar tops, with low long-grain stiffness and a tap tone like cardboard. It's not hard to find redwood that is acoustically and structurally as god as the 'LS', but not as uniform in color or grain: lower in cosmetic grade but still wonderful tone wood.

I've used cedar on OM-style guitars and it works well if you use it right. I agree with Wade that you probably don't want to make the box deeper, but it need not be any shallower then 'normal'. Make sure you have a good pick guard on it from the beginning; this stuff dents if you think hard abut it unless it has a finish that's 'way too thick.
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  #26  
Old 04-29-2019, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
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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.
I've got a '98 514ce (cedar/mahogany) while it's not an OM, it's still my go-to guitar for anything other than hard rhythmic stuff. It's clear as a bell, and I've never played anything that I would trade it for.
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  #27  
Old 04-29-2019, 01:28 PM
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I would again recommend a Furch OM. They are quite special with cedar or spruce.

To throw a monkey wrench in, have you considered an Alpine Top? I find it to be smoother than Sitka but more headroom than Cedar. I have a Grand Auditorium Alpine/Cocobolo that is really awesome
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  #28  
Old 04-29-2019, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbroady View Post
Thanks for all the responses, and keep them coming. To address some of the questions, comments....

My guitar stable is already dread heavy and has guitars that are great in a big jam. So thatís not a priority. The next guitar I want to get should be totally different as well as recording friendly. Thatís one of the reasons I'm leaning away from a deep body. Also, I would like to use it for solo singer songwriter type of gigs and like the idea of a smaller guitar which can get a big sound live (most likely a dual source pick up)

I am awaiting the demo vids. Though web vids are never a conclusive medium in regards to choosing a musical instrument it does help get a general idea. Of course it all comes down to getting the guitar in your hands for couple of days and then deciding.
It sounds like you have thought out your choice very well. I have a Taylor 512 cedar mahogany, almost a OM size. It has a sweet lyrical tone that I really enjoy. Like you I have different makes, models and tone woods among my collection. I love the sound of a cedar top, even with medium/firm strumming.
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  #29  
Old 04-29-2019, 02:05 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Originally Posted by DownUpDave View Post
I don't even know how you had the courage to post the video, hideous indeed. Apparently the builder wasn't aware of the sweeping generalities regarding the poor consequences of such pairings, dimensions and atmospheric intolerances

As is said many a time.....YMMV
Fair enough - I knew I would get some pushback from mentioning some possibilities that ran counter to the beatific group hug some of you were engaged in! . But I chose to play Devilís Advocate simply because nobody else was doing so.

Itís quite obvious that magnificent OM guitars can be built out that tonewood combination, provided that the builder has experience working with it. I would hesitate to ask a builder who hasnít used it before to make an OM, though, simply because of the aspects I mentioned in my earlier post.

Hope that makes more sense.


Wade Hampton Miller
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  #30  
Old 04-29-2019, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitar View Post
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.
No sarcasm intended, Pitar, but you're saying that a change in relative humidity of 3% for one hour is the difference between a dull thud and sustaining ring?
This is a bit of hyperbole or do you mean this literally?
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