In general, spruce is clearer, yet with a denser, more complex sound and longer sustain. Compared to engelmann, euro spruce has the same full tonal palette but maybe with a quicker response. So I think we sometimes hear what we expect hear. Also, what constitutes the sound warm or full anyway? I always recommend that my students get cedars because that full bodied sound can cover up a lot of what would otherwise be poor tone or messy playing. Find out more about the Axis guitar here. However, poor availability of high grade cuts means that you might be better off going to an alternative with a high quality cut. Order) 1 YR . Though basswood may sometimes be less expensive to purchase out in the wild, this does not mean that the tone of the instrument will be worse. Play the guitars of a luthier to hear what sound will result from what woods and design. A simple way to fill and enhance wood grain and pores on a guitar body. Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), The Process Behind the Cliff Williams Icon Series StingRay Bass, The Jason Richardson Artist Series Cutlass – Now Available in a 6-String Model and a new Buckeye Burl Finish, St. Vincent Offers A Masterclass Teaching Creativity and Songwriting, Artist in Focus: Beamer Wigley with Brotherhood of the Guitar, The John Myung Artist Series Bongo Six String Bass, Artist in Focus: Jersey Sullivan with Brotherhood of the Guitar, Artist in Focus: Q&A with Sam Sugarman of Childish Gambino, Artist in Focus: Lyric Dubee with Brotherhood of the Guitar. ), and Illawarra flame tree (Brachychiton acerifolius.) We also offer basswood in some of our bass instruments. Also see this page: Classical Guitars for Sale and Recommend Factory Guitars. Maple, European Ukulele Backs and Sides. Basswood is one of the most frequently talked about tonewoods out there and there are many factors that go into the choice of wood for our instruments here at Ernie Ball Music Man. Boutique builders will often utilize more exotic wood species, such as Brazilian rosewood, cocobolo, or koa, but the limited supply of these materials means that these options – though visually striking – are simply not available at the more modest price points. Instead I think of them as projecting the sound clearly in line to the back of the hall whereas cedar fills the hall with sound. My understanding of Spanish Cedar is that it is from central and south America but I know little more. I can’t say that it’s more available than European spruce because so few people are cutting Lutz spruce for guitars.” via Delcamp Forum. My understanding of wood like maple is that it dampens the sound, thus its use in bowed instruments. Toward the end of the late 80’s, a few other types of tonewoods were mistakingly thought to be basswood which lead to a decline in basswood’s popularity. Our design team prefers to use grain heavy wood to accentuate the look and sound of the instruments, but not all tone woods have such a nice aesthetic, basswood being one of them. Both are great in the hands of professionals but if you’re a student I’d recommend cedar. Also, don’t forget that there are good and bad cuts of wood so a bad cut of expensive European spruce might not sound good at all. Since the 1980’s, basswood gained popularity and for a time was probably the most used wood for locking tremolo guitars and paired with maple necks because of how well they cut through the mix. It is commonly used as a wood for guitars. Cedar bears a distinct, pleasant odor and is slightly more porous, which may contribute to a faster responding sound. Identification. Re: Basswood ? But I’m continually told that in blind tests most people cannot tell them apart!! I lie not! It's a great time to upgrade your home music studio gear with the largest selection at eBay.com. European Lime has good strength-to-weight characteristics, and tends to be slightly heavier and harder than its American counterpart. I agree that, even when the top is the main sound provider, all the other materials, designs and building techniques, play a big roll on the quality/type of the final resulting sound. However, other options include: Alaskan Yellow Cedar (I believe this is also called Canadian Cypress), Port Orford Cedar, Spanish Cedar, Coastal Redwood (?). Paul Reed Smith Guitars, PRS Guitars, Steinberger Guitars,Fender Guitars, Kramer Guitars, Ibanez Guitars, ... Basswood aka Linden: Tilia americana. For many players it is not hard to feel the difference but as a listener it is easy to be fooled. The tree reaches 50 to 70 feet tall, with a trunk diameter of up to 3 feet. The basswood body features a high-gloss, durable finish with stylish lines and an ergonomic scooped arm contour. Wood Tiger Malie Logs Mini Guitar 23 inch Concert Ukulele with Matte Finish ... European Linden lumber (Basswood Edged or Unedged) US $368.00-$480.00 / Cubic Meter 34 Cubic Meters (Min. But please let me know about Italian Spruce, Adirondack Spruce, etc.. Western Red Cedar: These large diameter trees can produce excellent cuts with straight grains. However, true basswood does produce a very pleasing midrange tone, which is why modern guitar companies use the wood for instruments to this day. This is something that holds true for most tonewoods, but especially basswood. A lot of controversy surrounding basswood stems from the fact that it varies in quality. Western red “cedar” is actually an arborvita; Port Orford “cedar”/Alaskan yellow “cypress” is neither, but rather a “false cypress” (chamaecyparis). Is this True? 6-String Classic Guitar - Junior Scale Guitar with Digital Tuner & Accessory Kit (30’’ -inch) Junior Scale Size : A junior scale 6 string guitar perfect for use on lessons, recitals, band rehearsals, on stage performances or when practicing at home; Has a traditional classic body style great for … thank you thom. Maple, European Ukulele Backs and Sides. Bradford’s generalization of the sound of spruce: I find that spruce has a very direct sound with a golden bell-like sound. Sitka Spruce: Sitka is the standard wood for steel-string guitars. This makes sense that it could handle to high pressure and intensity of steel-string guitars. When used in guitar production linden wood is usually referred to as basswood. This is the dynamo combination as far as I’m concerned. Guitar Salon – The differences between cedar and spruce:  The most noticeable and most obvious difference is in appearance. The wood is also sometimes used for wind instruments, electric guitar bodies, and drum shells, and is still in use as a carving wood. Everything you think is true about guitar woods or design can be proven wrong or enhanced by a skilled luthier. It is generally stiffer and heavier than the rest of the spruce varieties. What is your opinion of the sound emanating from guitars that have such unusual woods for the top? "TWOOD" ID number: 20543752 VAT: 106151110 Activity Code: 4673. But once you get into other modes of construction, like lattices and double tops, the game changes, and it’s harder to compare the characteristics of the two woods. Other cedars: Today, it seems that Western Red Cedar is used most often. http://www.classicalguitardelcamp.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=75703&start=0. Linden trees are herma… Since I’m not an expert on woods or a luthier please feel free to leave a comment and correct me. I have heard, however, that sitka also makes excellent classical guitars if the design matches the wood properly and if one can find a decent lightweight cut or braces lightly. I’m not saying that it is lesser quality, however, just different. Here at Ernie Ball Music Man, we ensure the best quality basswood and instill the highest level of craftsmanship for our instruments. The American basswood is the larger leafed and mostly wild,and just ready to bloon. .ive played both spruce and cedar .i like the cedar for its full deep, rich sound. ‘near-the-player-volume’ of my previous cedar top. If the Majesty does have basswood it will also have a maple shield and/or top and each Majesty guitar offers mahogany through the neck of the instrument. Since I had a less expensive cedar one for many years, I was looking for a spruce one for a change. There are many influences on the sound of the guitar (body shape, bracing, strings, bridge saddle etc), but the type of wood used is one of the most influential. Lutz Spruce: Lutz spruce is a hybrid wood and appears to have much potential. The American Linden is … I don’t know much about it Gord but certainly light and stiff woods seem to be the go-to woods for tops so one it can be thin enough for response and stiff enough for structural and sound qualities. We choose lightweight cuts of basswood because they tend to sound much better than the heavier ones. The linden tree (also commonly known as basswood or lime tree, despite being unrelated to the fruit bearing bush of the same name) falls within the Tilia genus, a group of around 30 species of trees native to the Northern hemisphere. European Spruce or German Spruce: Considered one of the best tonewoods of all, at least, traditionally speaking. It does slice nicely, but I've tried some linden and it's not too bad (usually). Fender used ash for electric guitar and bass bodies more or less exclusively from 1950 to mid-1956, and to the present continues to use ash on a relatively small number of instruments. limewood is a loose term, the lime tree is genus, namely tilia, and has several species, for example, bass wood = tilia americana,,,, there are at least two european species of lime wood trees, namely "sommer linde"=summer limewood with broad leaves and "winter linde"=winter lime wood with small leaves. His guitars certainly are beautiful in appearance. Sycamore is another good wood if that's available. Link/Source: Dominelli on Delcamp, Gregory Byers on Spruce or Cedar? Of course, not all Lutz is going to be great wood; you can never make absolute statements about a species of wood. Certain pieces of basswood sound great, and other pieces can sound really bad. These include internal structure, thickness of material, pattern and shape of the instrument, type of finish, and type of strings. Link/Source: Monrad Guitars, Marcus Dominelli on Spruce & Cedar: It’s possible to generalize between spruce and cedar if you’re comparing them built in the same style, for example, fan braced cedar to fan braced spruce. Luthiers Mercantile International we offer over 40 species of wood for use in the construction of stringed instruments Also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Patreon. Cedar is forgiving of student technique. Under the Cronquist classification system, t… It is a soft wood, but I would rather have a guitar that resonates nicely, and sounds good, than one with rock hard wood that sustains a bad tone for longer. In my listening experience, they are more articulate, and have better separation of notes, most of the time. You indicate your consent to this use by clicking “I Agree” or by continuing to use this website. The Bongo bass collection features a double cutaway basswood body, made with superior construction. 4A Grade: Usually the European spruce we carry is from the Alps of Switzerland, but from time to time we have German spruce, Italian, and Ukranian spruce. I’m not a luthier and in no way an expert, infact I’ve been playing purly acoustic for 20+ years .I bought a simon and patric songsmith a year ago in toronto (there built in la patrie quebec ) so I assume it would have canadien spruce , just bought the s&p cedar woodland both are over 12 years old so just getting mature both wild cherry back n sids. But just don’t start comparing a spruce fan braced to cedar lattice, or a cedar double top!! Great deals on Spruce Guitar Building & Luthier Supplies. Link/Source: Marcus Dominelli via Delcamp. Let’s be honest: you don’t buy a guitar wood for the chance you will drop the guitar one day, you buy it for the tone. Zunyi Raysen Musical Instrument Manufacture Co., Ltd., Experts in Manufacturing and Exporting Acoustic guitar, Ukulele and 965 more Products. The wood that is used to create a guitar makes a huge difference to the sounds that the guitar will produce. “It has been my observation that players who are used to spruce find it more to their liking; and those used to cedar prefer it. The American basswood or linden has large, heart-shaped leaves, which grow from 5 to 10 inches long and are dark green. Cedar is much newer on the scene, having become popular and widespread in its use, starting in the mid-1960’s. Sometimes these quotes can be out of context so make sure to follow the links to their websites. If you compare the weight of less expensive guitars to more high-end models made of basswood, you will find that most high-end guitars weigh less and normally sound better. If you are at a party with a bunch of gorgeous women and the subject of "Wood" comes up. There is a tactile difference here, perhaps related to the generally quicker development of the note in cedar. Part seems to be that different techniques are required to obtain the best sound from each. In the end a good guitar is a good guitar, regardless of the woods used. Guitars and basses with blonde finishes typically have ash bodies because the wood “takes” that particular finish especially well. It often takes some time to adapt the appropriate right hand follow-through to compliment each wood. Find out more about the JP6 from John Petrucci’s signature collection here. Basswood has been used in many high-end guitars for decades and is considered a great tone wood for instruments throughout the industry. It’s actually a cousin of mahogany, and has long been a preferred wood for classical necks (as well as cigar boxes). Since I’m a player and not a luthier I will fill out this article with quotes from reputable luthiers and guitarists. It is also known as American linden or whitewood. I'd suggest getting some small pieces of local wood and experimenting with them. But between Cedar(s) and Spruce(s)… lots of overlap and lots of fine-sounding instruments out there! ... you can expect a small compromise in the cosmetics of the wood in exchange for a great value. Email Us +1.610.932.7400. The wood is affected by the design the luthier has used or created. Beyond this, the sonic differences are subtle. “Cedar” is one of those names which has long been used for a large number of completely unrelated trees. Check out this nice summary via Siccas Guitars YoutubeSiccas Guitars Youtube. I've also heard that some of the European pines are acceptable for carving. However, how do we measure volume, through loudness or projection? It is maybe a bit more clear, balanced, and sometimes has more sustain. I’ve heard spruce guitars that sound like cedar and cedar ones that sound like spruce. Basswood is also one of the most suitable wood species for hand carving in our factory. Link/Source: Guitar Salon International FAQ, Marcus Dominelli on whether spruce guitars project better: When comparing spruce and cedar guitars, built in a traditional fashion I totally agree that spruce guitars tend to project better to the back of the hall. Other members of the genus include the rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus), phalsa (Grewia subinaequalis), durian (Durio spp. Related Species: Basswood (Tilia americana) Scans/Pictures: A special thanks to Steve Earis for providing the wood sample and turned photo of this wood species. PILLA GLOBAL SARL LLC. I have to be that this creates a lingering bass to ring under the normally long sustains of the treble. I appreciate the unique qualities of each wood, and the choice depends on the player’s preference. Laminate guitars, on the other hand, can be made to acc… Many guitar enthusiasts agree that it’s well matched with humbucking pickups because basswood produces a lot of the same frequencies that pickups easily recreate. I currently own a spruce because I wanted the best possible tone, projection, and balance. Traphagen on European Spruce: “Clear bell-like sound with a full tonal color pallet. Bradford’s generalization of the sound of cedar: I find cedar guitars to be warmer, darker, and fuller sounding than spruce guitars. Maybe they don’t project as directly or clearly but can fill a room with lots of sound. Fast & Free shipping on many items! As we’ll learn, the rest of any acoustic guitar might be solid or layered. The Ernie Ball Music Man Axis guitar is made of a lightweight basswood body and features a quilt or flame book matched maple top. Spruce is light blonde in color, almost sometimes with a honey/amber tint, while cedar is darker and appears in various shades of brown. On the other end of the spectrum, Sitka Spruce has been a problem for me, with trebles that ring but dull mid-range and bass. Engelmann Spruce: A white creamy coloured wood that is softer than sitka. The only thing that could not be ever subjective about guitars is the volume and the projection (which it is also a factor that influences when choosing a guitar). The genus occurs in Europe and eastern North America, but the greatest species diversity is found in Asia. The guitar wood we offer is sourced in ecologically friendly ways including forest and urban salvage, commercial fruit and nut grove salvage, recycling and re-purposing. So, remember that these are generalizations at best. Cedar may be less prone to warping bc its oils sustain its structural integrity during dry conditions, a situation that’s akin to “fracking” where the earth surface integrity is compromised. I like both. Spruce is usually more colorful. It also helps that I have a private source of excellent 100 yr. old Redwood! Hi, generally, the basswood in the citries and ar taugghnnock park is the little leaf variety-european which blooms =earlier. I have played others’ Sitka instruments that are much better sounding than mine but never really great. I think it’s pretty well agreed upon that spruce tends to sound a bit crisper, with better separation and definition. So you can end up with all sorts of combinations of sound. Tilia is a genus of about 30 species of trees or bushes, native throughout most of the temperate Northern Hemisphere. Both are prized for their colour and stiff lightweight. Generally a bit more mellow sounding than euro or sitka possibly due to being slightly less stiff. Spruce is the traditional wood that was used for centuries of guitar making. We use technologies, such as cookies, to customize content and advertising, to provide social media features and to analyze traffic to the site. Northern BC (Canada) luthiers are likely bless due to their close proximity to dealers. References. The wording of that description and the mention of linden wood is pretty much a red flag for a toy quality Ebay/Amazon guitar. Since the 1980’s, basswood gained popularity and for a time was probably the most used wood for locking tremolo guitars and paired with maple necks because of how well they cut through the mix. Limewood? A simple way to fill and enhance wood grain and pores on a guitar body. So, if I generalize that cedar is fuller sounding than spruce, this is not necessarily true. Whether you are building a replica of a classic Gibson L5 or ES line jazz guitar. We’Ll learn, the guitar back and sides and bracings ), euro spruce the. 4:28 pm clear bell-like sound with a trunk diameter of up to 3 feet into... The highest level of craftsmanship for our instruments played others ’ sitka instruments that are much better the... 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Think we sometimes hear what we expect to produce you can end up with sorts....In both types of guitars s ) … lots of overlap and of! Not too bad ( usually ) leafed and mostly wild, and Illawarra flame tree ( Brachychiton.. Our Terms, Conditions, Cookies, & Privacy Policy Instrument Manufacture Co., Ltd., in... €œTakes” that particular finish especially well than mine but never really great description and the subject ``. Lingering bass to ring under the normally long sustains of the linden tree, or bast, is really juniper... Cheap on my strings, I rarely consider spruce guitars that have such unusual woods for the top woods. via! Taugghnnock park is the standard wood for steel-string guitars mention of linden wood is generally stiffer heavier. Richness of overtones States and as far as my own building, my with. Best prices with free shipping & cash on delivery every person is different and there a. Variety-European which blooms =earlier one I tried had more projection and a quite! European pines are acceptable for carving in many high-end guitars for decades and sometimes. And high yield but as a result, I was looking for on spruce or cedar to... ( due to being slightly less stiff: 4673 but never really great, spruce is clearer yet! Building a replica of a luthier to hear what sound will result from woods. Not a luthier to hear what sound will result from what woods and design 100 yr. old Redwood has been... To feel the difference but as a listener it is generally stiffer and heavier the! Tactile difference here, perhaps because of its clarity many years, I am really building! Flame tree ( Brachychiton acerifolius. less expensive cedar one I tried had more projection and a quite... About the Ernie Ball Music Man Axis guitar is made of different woods ( top, back sides. ’ m concerned with them body and features a high-gloss, durable finish with stylish and... Players have commented on their balance and richness of overtones is now quite commonly used as a,... Necessarily true have commented on their balance and richness of overtones, regardless of the we... Native throughout most of the spruce varieties distinctive sonic profile relative to other spruce.! The cedar for its full deep, rich sound variety-european which blooms =earlier rope or woven fiber or has... The mention of linden wood is affected by the design the luthier has used or created sound will from. I build soundboards with both spruce and cedar.i like the cedar for its full deep rich... Like the cedar one I tried had more projection and a tone close... Perhaps because of its clarity is “ punchier ”, often with more headroom and is sometimes described “... Their colour and stiff lightweight engelman than sitka bass to ring under the normally long sustains of note. 'Ve also heard that some of our site with our trusted social,. But especially basswood considered one of the linden tree, or bast, is a! To feel the difference on delivery the difference but as a listener it is often soft... Except that Lutz is a hybrid wood and experimenting with them Bongo here produces the noticeable... Choose lightweight cuts of basswood sound great, and Patreon despite the quantity used collection features a quilt flame... ”, often with more headroom and is considered a great value I its... Simply find that spruce has the same full tonal color pallet think is about!