THE ETERNAL QUESTION
Many people have asked me the same question for years and there is a lot of information out there about this subject. Spruce top guitar or Cedar top guitar?. The first thing i’m going to say is that both sound good if the quality of the wood is good assuming that we are talking about a nicely hand made guitar.
The quality of the wood and the seasoning process is essential in a good classical guitar. For that reason rather than getting obsessed about what type of wood to choose for your next guitar, focus in what quality wood you next guitar will have. Most spanish guitar makers know that and that’s why they store a large amount of quality wood seasoned at the mediterranean climate for years. That gives them a good source of quality material for they guitars.
Spruce tops have been used for generations in spanish classical guitars and flamenco guitars. There are many types of spruce woods and different qualities: German Spruce is generally used in many classical guitars and flamenco guitars. The age of the wood and the seasoning process will determine its quality. Generally the closer the stripes of the wood are, the older the wood is. That is also applied to Cedar tops.
Spruce Tops generally are more trebly, they sound more punchy and bright, for some people they are too bright. It is generally said that Spruce top guitars are somewhat louder & versatile in nature and is ideal for a variety of music to be played on it. The individual notes when played contrapuntally sound more separated in case of spruce tops. They have a wider tone palette with more tonal complexity.
The use of Cedar tops in Classical guitars started with Jose Ramirez III in 1965. This discovery was later adopted by, practically all guitar manufacturers in the world, although, at the beginning it was highly criticized because of its innovative nature. A guitar with Cedar top need less time to reach it full potential in sound but stop improving sooner that the ones with spruce tops. Cedar Tops have a soft attack, and are sensitive. The have a ‘warm’ mysterious tone. Does not have a wide tone palette, not tonally complex.
Apart from the obvious differences in looks, if you buy a nice classical guitar from a reputable guitar manufacturer like Alhambra guitars, Raimundo Guitars, Hermanos Camps or Jose Ramirez (Just to mention a few) you will get a guitar with nice quality woods in it and that combined with the perfect manufacturing process will give you a fantastic guitar despite the top you choose. At Guitarfromspain.com you can choose the top in practically all guitar models and because they come from factory you can apply that change and others to the guitar of your choice.