Spruce or Cedar Soundboards For Guitar Making


The question is often asked – Cedar or Spruce for guitar making?


The two most common woods used for acoustic guitar tops are spruce and cedar. There is no difference in quality between the two woods so the choice is one of preference. Different Luthiers will have different opinions and each will give you good reasons why you should use the one they prefer.


Spruce tends to sound brighter and clearer. Cedar is warmer and more direct and has a more of a so called “Spanish” sound. Both types of wood will improve over time but a cedar will sound closer to its mature sound at the beginning and has been said to sometimes diminish as time goes by, while the spruce will sound more raw and have a more dramatic improvement over time and tends to hold the tone better. This is purely a matter of taste and opinion, and is often influenced by the type of guitar one learns on and/or the type that was played by the guitarist one listened to most – in the Luthier’s case, it could be an influence by how he was taught. The choice of wood is an issue if you want a certain type of sound but at the lower price range it is a far less important issue than whether the top is solid or not.




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