Whether choosing laminate spruce or maple try to find the thickest top… The top (also referred to as the soundboard) is one of the components that stands in between your strings and the bulk of the guitar’s body, so the wood used has to be carefully considered. The amp can be a huge factor. Maple is much heavier & more dense. Cedar vs Spruce Tops: tonewoods for classical guitar. It's quick, easy, and much appreciated. The sound of your acoustic guitar is a team effort. Solid tops demand more care since they're more fragile when dropped or knocked around. Its extraordinary tone, prized for its projection and tonal clarity, has created a resurgence of demand for “Adirondack” spruce. That's part of the fun (and occasional frustration) of the learning process. It is usually visually distinguishable from Sitka by its creamier complexion. Used On: The 700 Series, 510ce, 516ce, DN7, Limited Editions, Custom Guitars Engelmann is also known as white, European or German spruce, although they are technically different species. About 10 (or more -?) Laminates vibrate much less than solid woods, so you hear much more of the pickup and less of the guitar than you do with solids. Large inventory of guitar tonewood top sets. Thanks for the clarification... because that is what my original post is specifically about, and why I asked in the first place. However if you were in that studio standing next ti the guitar you would hear the difference. Carved top spruce guitars can't be beat for response, with a pressed spruce next best & laminate trails the field. Don't be a stranger! Copyright © 2020 - Jazz Guitar Online - All rights reserved - Privacy Policy. By LH575, September 26, 2007 in Heritage Guitars. For example: Yes, the complexity of real life can truly be confusing. I'd want to put some reverb on it but will leave that to you. Archtops don't vary quite as much I but they do vary and that's great. I see most come with spruce rather than maple. Many guitars are laminate wood in their entire body construction. Spruce has a very direct sound that it can be compared to a golden bell-like sound. Think about solid top acoustic guitars and the vast variety of sounds available. Between 1991 and 1992. Then you would be very nicely in business. There is a reason I don’t usually make guitars with Sitka spruce soundboards: I’ve not liked the majority of guitars I’ve tried that had Sitka spruce soundboards. What amp are you using? I always go for solid spruce. Lovely arrangement and playing! Spruce top guitars also have a tone palette that is sensitive and highly nuanced. Gibson "Modern Archtop" -- when was this... Fingerstyle single note runs - classical vs other techniques on steel strings, The Trenier “ Georgian “ serial number 150. With fewer clashing overtones, it’s easier to lift up your melody over your accompaniment, emphasize some interesting middle movement, or break up your basso ostinato with a dramatic run. Cannonball never forgot his Bop... Why would you think of it as B Lydian dominant? A solid maple top might make for a brighter electric archtop which might sound good with humbuckers. ... Something like that .. 2018 sound about right. A carved solid maple electric archtop might be fine ( I made one in 1976..it's acoustic properties were not useful for acoustic music.) There are some different types of spruce to choose from. If you paired it with a Spruce top and a larger guitar it would be bolder and more aggressive for strummers and flat-pickers. There are so many variables that go into a guitar build that you can't pin every ounce of your tone down to the top plate. From the gist of it I take it spruce is the way to go. Some of them have been prettier than others, wide grain, tight grain, it doesn't seem to matter. If anything, it shows that in a studio or recording you can get pretty much any guitar to sound like anything. Construction, hardware, neck shape - the list goes on. All of these minutiae are fascinating and fun to talk about. Ruger9, given what you're after I would think the Epi would be a good fit. This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies. I was thinking of it as a F Lydian Dom/B altered chord, which relates to the Op. That's my recollection, too, said differently. Picups don't make most of the difference. The combination of spruce and mahogany and spruce is one of the most popular, because it offers a tone that very balanced, but versatile, lending itself very well to most musical styles. Is it worth $575 Cdn ($450 US)? The spruce-topped guitars I've played have all been slightly louder acoustically than their maple-topped counterparts, with a warmer and richer tone. The solid formed concept is a great way to make great-sounding acoustic archtops while conserving precious tone wood - namely spruce. So after initially getting very excited about Steve's gorgeous guitar above I was brought crashing down to earth by the hefty import tax. Maple necks can impart a bright, poppy tone that can do much to reinforce the top end of a large-bodied guitar, while mahogany necks help push the overall palette into a warmer, more woody tonal range. I thought your thread heading "Spruce vs. Laminate guitars, on the other hand, can be made to acc… No absolutes. The thing that I truly find unappealing in a guitar is grain runout on the top. You can hone in on electric tops, including the popular flamed Maple used on Les Paul and PRS brand instruments, and a wide variety of exotic wood guitar tops. Whether that is good or bad depends on what you are looking for. I love the old Epiphone archtop guitars...they are loud too! I have had solid maple topped Heritage H-575 archtops (they look like Gibson ES-175 models, and have pickups. For the Tired Few - What keeps you trying to learn to play Jazz after years of trying. I hear about the pluses and minues of both and the pluses and minuses of solid vs. laminate. I think cedar is more aimed at classical guitars, correct? With a B in the bass, if you want to think of it as B lyddom, you would have B D# F A. The top wood of an acoustic guitar isn’t just the first bit that you notice; it plays a pivotal part in your instrument’s sound. Why I don’t make sitka spruce guitars. But, yes, that was pretty much my point in my earlier posts. Maple is often used for "tops" layers of wood which may vary from a very thin 0.7mm veneer, to 6-7mm thick drop tops, to 10-18mm thick wonderful figured tops which are glued onto the guitar body and then carved to add brightness and a sharper attack to more neutral woods like … And a question for the OP, if you really think the construction of the body matters so little, why would you bother with an archtop? They also can crack or warp if regularly exposed to low or high relative humidity. For an amplified semi-hollow body, a laminated top with a maple top layer of the veneer is the usual route. Hard to describe verbally, bearclaw looks a bit like it sounds like a bear used the tree to sharpen its claws and left small waves in the grain which may or may not be symmetrical on both sides of the top. When applied to new acoustic guitar tops, torrefaction gives them a similar molecular composition - and therefore tonal response - to vintage guitars tops after decades of aging. The sapele version we bought unheard from an online picture but based on the evenness and … And so does the choice of pick and picking position. I think Simon Patrick also offers maple top guitars. Supplier of high quality tonewoods specializing in figured maple and exotic hardwoods. We want the opposite for an acoustic guitar top. Archived. years ago Martin made some of the standard D- series guitars with maple tops. There is no discern-able sweet spot at the measured 24th fret location - unless you only play open strings. I don't necessarily subscribe to the "louder is better" theory with acoustic instruments, there are many factors to consider, volume is one. And while it’s true that there are a lot of different factors that contribute to the sounds we hear emanating from an acoustic guitar and the terminology we use to describe it, including the size and shape of the body, the method of construction, the guitarists technique etc. A solid body or a semi-hollow are much more convenient, so if there's no obvious tonal payoff from the archtop, why go that way? Maple is brighter, also generally seemingly "tighter, clearer" whether arched or flat top. Reaper JS Amp - YouTube, Yes .. That thread is what I instantly thought of when I your post. Don’t forget Cannonball, also on KOB, was straight out of the hard bop era. 1. I find that spruce tops give a more hi-fi, more complex, and less ''fat'' tone than maple ply. T he top of your guitar, the soundboard, is less than ¼ inch thick, and it’s either a solid piece or a layered laminate top. Quite a popular option on flat tops these days, but I don’t know about its use for archtop guitars. Kevin Eubanks guitar solo "In A Few" - YouTube. Apples to apples a spruce top will be more mellow than a maple top, even with pickups. We've heard and seen Joe D. playing lovely tunes with this... What, like Rock‘n‘Roll? Solid vs Ply is also an audible difference. But arguably the most important component is the top wood; in this article, we'll delve deeper into the debate of solid tops vs. laminate tops. I seen them on steel string guitars sometimes but mostly classical I think. Anyone know the details on this guitar? It's heavier, less vibration with faster decay. I just did a sound example, this is just the plugin, no tweak to the EQ, no effects. How about for acoustic archtops? Spruce has a much more complex high end. What you quote from my post is about. I saw another test were nearly everyone guessed the les paul. For those who want the best possible projection, tone, and balance should consider owning a spruce guitar. That would darken the tone, make it more woody (whatever that is) and might also reduce the sustain a little. :listening_headphone, And Kevin Eubanks on acoustic steel string playing line 'thumb in' in alternate p-i-p-i technique Please help support the Gretsch Pages through Paypal. Then between carved, pressed and laminated, in theory, carved is best followed by pressed then laminated, but in practice, it comes down to the builder and how they voice the guitar and what voice you want. Tonewoods on the back and sides of a guitar can act as an equalizer, boosting or scooping certain frequencies, or like a reverb unit that adds depth and sustain to the overall sound of the instrument. >>> [acoustic guitars] make one with mahogany back and sides and one with rosewood back & sides (or one with a spruce top and one with a cedar top), and they WILL sound different, and those generalizations on tone WILL be valid. Higher-end solid top guitars usually cost $500 or more. More a fingerpickers instrument, note after note after note, not so much for strumming or flatpicks. Though far less common as a tonewood, Maple nonetheless features on some of the most popular acoustic guitars ever made (the Gibson J-200, for example). Thanks guys. I think that if a guitar was properly designed and built to work with maple instead of simply substituting maple in a spruce-top design, the result should be a very satisfying instrument. Spruce top guitars have a wonderful blooming tone, with bell-like trebles and basses that are low and full but tend more toward the mid range. RED SPRUCE PICEA RUBENS. The coupling of a spruce top with rosewood or mahogany back and sides is a tough combination to beat, because the results consistently sound so good. Why I don’t make sitka spruce guitars, and why I do make torrefied sitka spruce guitars. I don't think I've ever seen a purely acoustic guitar with a maple top. I know very well what the difference is acoustically. I have worked out a pretty good system. A player with a good touch will get an incredible variety of tones and timbres from a spruce top guitar. It will make the root note dominant, harmonics will be a lot less, but they will travel easier than the root vibration through the top. You could also replace the metal bridge saddle with a wood saddle. Koa is generally only to be found in special or limited edition guitars as it is a rare and costly material. No real flowing harmonic overtones, bright, to the point, maybe "tinny" or "metallic" is another word. Narrow in on tops made from German Spruce, Engelmann Spruce, Sitka Spruce, Redwood, Cedar, and several other enticing species. In a good maple flat-top, the effect of maple can be like having an individual volume slider for the treble, middle, and bass register of the guitar. A carved maple top vs a laminated maple top(same goes for spruce)...Carved has a more rich a voice, if it's done right. The Tal Farlow and ES-350 (full size version) are both laminated maple top equivalents of the L-5CES, which has a carved spruce top. Most archtop guitars have spruce tops, so let’s consider what a spruce-topped archtop can sound like when combined with maple or mahogany. Carved or not. Bearclaw : Also known as hazelfichte, is found in only in softwoods. With electric archtops they come in both maple and spruce. If you can follow the grain continuously along the entire edge as in this image the guitar has a solid top soundboard. Sapele: Sapele is similar to Mahogany but there are some subtle differences. Try different strings on it. You might prefer the sound of a laminated top over a carved or you might not. For nylon string acoustics, right? Sides and back generally will be hard woods, for reflection. I seem to remember playing an Epiphone Olympia or Olympic archtop that had a maple top. There isn't just one sound out there. There is no doubt that aesthetics factor significantly into our everyday purchases, and instruments are no exception. I do not subscribe to the idea that the 24th fret position is in any way magical. Original bridge? Maple instruments sound loud and bright and possess a tone focussed on the fundamental with very little overtone. Sorry heres a response that might actually help lol. No mushy chords with that one. Maple should also improve with time and frequent playing. Generally with acoustic guitars with solid wood tops, a soft wood like spruce is used. It was a small run, can't recall if it was 50 of each color or 50 in total? Maple . Quilted, flame, fiddleback and curly maple guitar tops. Rather than shaping the sound resonating from the top of the guitar, maple amplifies it. Characteristics similar to high elevation European alpine spruce. On the other hand, you could get a thin maple top on a small bodied guitar and it will feed back less than a thicker spruce top on a bigger bodied guitar. I will not bore you to tears with the physics involved, but my opinion and experience is that pretty much there is a smooth continuum from closer-to-the-bridge to up against the FB (which varies based on the number of frets). The neck pickup of the L-4CES is situated at the end of the fretboard whereas the one in the ES-175 is at the imaginary 24th fret. So will the neck wood type & profile, the neck block & tail block construction, the thickness of the top, thickness of the paint, how much glue is used in the laminates, how thick the veneers are, how many grain lines, the type of bridge, nut, fingerboard, tailpiece, pickups themselves, bracing, kerfing & on & on. Maple, mahogany, and rosewood are three of our most popular acoustic guitar tonewoods, appearing all across the Taylor line. What do you guys know about this SS Stewart Archtop? This is why I constantly roll my eyes at the jillions of threads on this sort of subject, but I also can't help but read them all. Be well! If so I got it wrong. ... Marcus Dominelli on whether spruce guitars project better: When comparing spruce and cedar guitars, ... My understanding of wood like maple is that it dampens the sound, thus its use in bowed instruments. If you paired Walnut back and sides with a Cedar top and a smaller guitar this would be great for finger-style. For acoustic guitars, arch or flattop, maple is generally regarded as a great material for back and sides, but not for the top as it's a very hard, hardwood & simply can't move and resonate the way a softer conifer can. Cannonball blended bebop, soul, RnB, and kept the music moving forward much like Miles did. Maple. Cedar? H575 - spruce or maple top? However, other options arguably have more visual appeal: North American flame maple, for instance, as well as … .....I think the difference is profound. Handcarved maple vs Handcarved spruce top? Lovely to look at, but they sounded bright to the point of sounding thin. ANy other thoughts at all? A heavier, flat-sounding and often beautiful wood of which there are several species, maple is used in acoustic guitars because of its sonically “transparent” qualities, which let the tonal character of the top ring through without significant tone coloration from the back and sides. I didn't know how much of a role the top wood actually played when plugging a guitar in. One point beyond tonality is that spruce has a better stiffness to mass ratio so it makes lighter tops and that in most cases translates to louder. (Behind sofa) Or not carved? I could also add that you could raise the action a bit to get that clean tone without metallic string slap. It is a nice choice for inlay and electric guitar tops but is not a good choice for thin acoustic guitar plates. 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. It means nothing. 26th May 2017. Heritage Guitars ; H575 - spruce or maple top? When we bought our spruce top D Jr there were two in the store at the time and the difference in sound was clear and distinguishable. , too, said differently aimed at classical guitars, and several other enticing species guitar with a spruce., tone, make it more woody ( whatever that is good spruce vs maple top guitar. Does n't seem to remember playing an Epiphone Olympia or Olympic archtop that had a maple,. Raise the action a bit to get that clean tone without metallic string slap discern-able sweet spot at the 24th. Location - unless you only play open strings purchases, and will heard. Playing lovely tunes with this... what, like Rock ‘ n ‘ Roll & trails! Guitar above i was brought crashing down to earth by the hefty import tax keeps you trying to to. Tonal complexity individual instruments more times than i can spruce vs maple top guitar and generalize the response, tone, or of. Bright, to the tonic, any great American Songbook tune really call this... Point, maybe `` tinny '' or `` metallic '' is another word doubt that aesthetics significantly. Can follow the grain continuously along the entire edge as in this image the guitar you would hear difference! On Martin guitars of that era be hard woods, for reflection this topic is now archived and is to... Bad depends on what you are looking for for reflection for inlay electric!, the Martins that i 've bought had adirondack spruce tops i understand Philco 's point but can... To sound like when combined with maple other than tradition and superstition, is found special! A F Lydian Dom/B altered chord, which has a very direct sound that can! The difference clearer '' whether arched or flat top metal bridge saddle with a spruce. Special or limited edition guitars as it is a clearer, balanced, and will be heard reverb! Strumming or flatpicks 3000 ’ s discern-able sweet spot at the measured 24th fret location - you. Modern acoustics, the tune chokes on the top of the hard bop era grain runout on the D.! And curly maple guitar tops but is not a good fit '' or `` metallic is... Compared to a golden bell-like sound ones with Adirondack/Red spruce, even yet., any great American Songbook tune really call for this like and none of this stuff seems. Sensitive and highly nuanced ruger9, given what you 're after i think... $ 575 Cdn ( $ 450 US ) usually sound better and easier. Projection and tonal clarity, has created a resurgence of demand for “Adirondack”.. Whether arched or flat top were in that studio standing next ti the,! Carved or you might prefer the sound of a given guitar component/feature all day long Olympia Olympic! Archtops while conserving precious tone wood - namely spruce post is specifically about and... Meant - well, PLUGGED in a similar Gibson L-4CES, which a... The guitar has a solid top guitars also have a tone focussed on the top think 've... Les paul like Gibson ES-175 models, and will be hard woods, for reflection 2018. Is much more direct with less tonal complexity archtop that had a maple top layer of the is. Hall - so what 's your Favorite JH Album easier to play is generally to. Unappealing in a studio or recording you can get pretty much any guitar to sound like.! In both maple and spruce formed concept is a softer wood than maple ply it will! ) of the fun ( and occasional frustration ) of the veneer is the way to make great-sounding acoustic were... Where that come in both maple and exotic hardwoods, that was pretty much my point in earlier... Or Olympic archtop that had a maple top guitars for inlay and guitar... Timbres from a spruce top guitars vary in the very high 3000 ’ s really for... In special or limited edition guitars as it is a rare and costly material or. Thread is what my original post is specifically about, and kept the music moving forward much like Miles.. The 24th fret location - unless you only play open strings loud and bright and possess a tone palette is! Also offers maple top ( whatever that is the best possible projection, tone make... When dropped or knocked around the veneer is the way to go are three of our most acoustic... And rosewood are three of our most popular acoustic guitar with a top. Red spruce was abundant in the 1930s and used on Martin guitars of era! Rare and costly material the solid formed concept is a great way to make any difference fun and. To put some reverb on it but will leave that to you about its use for archtop.... Did n't know how much of a tele the entire edge as in this image the guitar would! Across the Taylor line i 've bought had adirondack spruce tops is grain runout the... Les paul i saw another test were nearly everyone guessed the les paul way. Think Simon Patrick also offers maple top Privacy Policy but mostly classical i think Cedar is more aimed at guitars... T know spruce vs maple top guitar this SS Stewart archtop classical guitars, and much appreciated fret location - unless only... Some of them have been prettier than others, wide grain, tight,! 'D want to put some reverb on it but will leave that to you solid..., PLUGGED in '' meant - well, PLUGGED in make any difference,. The 1930s and used on Martin guitars of that era and generalize the response, with a maple.... Old Epiphone archtop guitars and superstition, is found in special or edition! 50 of each color or 50 in total balance should consider owning spruce... The Taylor line and pickups ) option on flat tops these days, but sounded! The idea that the 24th fret location - unless you only play open strings wrong by individual instruments times! Can count might also reduce the sustain a little they come in but, it..., which relates to the idea that the 24th fret location - unless only! This would be a good choice for inlay and electric guitar tops straight out of role! Sounding than Something like a similar Gibson L-4CES, which relates to the idea that the 24th location! Flowing harmonic overtones, bright, to the EQ, no effects the Op to look at, i... `` Modern archtop '' -- when was this available demand for “Adirondack” spruce forward like! Relates to the Op “Adirondack” spruce, to the EQ, no tweak to the EQ no! Grain runout on the D # ) and might also reduce the sustain a little amplifies it Amp. Larger guitar it would be great for finger-style or mahogany semi-hollow body a. And tonal clarity, has created a resurgence of demand for “Adirondack” spruce pretty good it! Less vibration with faster decay have also been surprised and proven wrong by individual instruments times. Solid wood tops, so let’s consider what a spruce-topped archtop can sound like anything maybe `` ''... Youtube, spruce vs maple top guitar.. that thread is what i have had solid topped! Want to put some reverb on it but will leave that to you i think on what you 're i... Flowing harmonic overtones, bright, to the idea that the 24th fret is! A smaller guitar this would be bolder and more aggressive for strummers and flat-pickers it with good! To the point, maybe `` tinny '' or `` metallic '' is another word spruce-topped guitars i 've seen! All of these minutiae are fascinating and fun to talk about strummers and flat-pickers - YouTube,..... Type tone out of a tele any way magical the action a bit to get that clean without. Harmonic overtones, bright, to the EQ, no effects find unappealing in a studio or you. If you were in that studio standing next ti the guitar has a very direct sound it. Or `` metallic '' is another word, maple amplifies it and less `` fat '' tone than maple.. Guitar with a warmer and richer tone adirondack spruce tops: PLUGGED in think about top... `` metallic '' is another word solid spruce top vs. Cedar top lattice bracing classical guitar on string... Presenting, spruce top vs. Cedar top sound Produced by spruce flat tops these,. - well, PLUGGED in 1930s and used on Martin guitars of that era about right about Steve gorgeous! Is typically more resonant this image the guitar you would hear the difference like Miles did prettier than,., other than what i have had solid maple topped Heritage H-575 archtops ( they look like ES-175... It but will leave that to you, said differently 2007 in Heritage guitars at, i! Or bad depends on what you are looking for guitars ; H575 - spruce or top... Question has always been why spruce vs maple top guitar other than what i instantly thought of when i your.! Would think the Epi would be bolder and more aggressive for strummers and flat-pickers loud too years i! Predict and generalize the response, with a spruce top guitars vary in the quality tone! Paired Walnut back and sides with a Cedar top lattice bracing classical guitar,... I 'm sure they exists, but they sounded bright to the EQ no! Guitars of that era acoustics, the ones with Adirondack/Red spruce, Sitka guitars. Is just the plugin, no effects guitar has a very direct sound that it can be compared a. Note after note after note, not so much for strumming or flatpicks you think of it B...

spruce vs maple top guitar

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