Western Red Cedar
Red Cedar ranges
in color from a light brown/tan to a dark, chocolate brown. Lower grades
can show light or dark variation in color and striping.
almost all Western Red Cedar comes from the coast of British Columbia,
Canada. Western Red Cedar is a very popular tonewood among classical
guitar builders due to it's loud, focused bass, bright trebles, and the
fact it "opens up" much faster than Spruce does.
is a softer, more brittle tonewood than Spruce, as such it is not used
as often among steel string builders.
is found along the West Coast of the US and Canada from Oregon to
Alaska. The best top wood comes from the remaining old growth trees
found in Northern BC and Alaska.
Spruce is a light, strong soundboard wood with a bright, balanced sound.
It's durability makes it a very popular choice among steel string guitar
builders. Sitka Spruce is generally a creamy white with pink and light
brown color variations.
lower grades Sitka Spruce can show dark red and brown striping.
Big Leaf Maple
Bigleaf Maple grows in the North West US and South Western Canada.
It has a light cream/tan color and displays a wider curl than the
European or hard maples do. It is also the only maple in which the
quilted figure is found.
Bigleaf Maple can be somewhat difficult to work with, but due to it's
heavy figure it remains a very popular tonewood for use on steelstring
acoustic guitars, electric guitars, and carved instruments such as
violins, mandolins and archtop guitars.