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1. ADIRONDACK SPRUCE
The King Of Top Woods (also called ‘red’ spruce) hails from eastern North
America and Canada. It can be driven hard, but remains dynamic and toneful right across the spectrum. It’s also the most expensive option.
2. WESTERN RED CEDAR
Darker in colour and generally ‘softer’ sounding than spruce. It usually
offers more dynamic range to lighter fingerstyles. The trade off is reduced dynamics and compression when played hard.
3. SITKA SPRUCE
Found in North America and Canada, this is the most common wood
for tops. A good mix of strength, clarity and dynamic range over a variety of styles and looks.
4. ENGELMANN SPRUCE
Native to western America and Canada, this is usually an upgrade
from Sitka, albeit ‘different’ rather than ‘better’. It’s lighter and less stiff; it can give a subtly richer sound than Sitka.
5. GERMAN SPRUCE
Not to be confused with Engelmann, but it exhibits similar tonal qualities. Also
called European spruce (as are other European spruces), and is popular for classical guitars.
A group of species, the best of which is/ was from Central and South America. It’s a
hard wood (unlike the others), and is more dense, which often means a more direct sound.