Acoustic Guitar Soundboard Options with Pictures and Descriptions

Topwoods - Stiff, Lightweight Softwoods

Sitka Spruce

Sitka Spruce


Sitka Spruce is strong, tough, and elastic. It is the most commonly used top wood in steel string guitars, and is known for being more durable than other types of Spruce. Tonally, it tends to produce strong fundamentals with few overtones. Sitka is from the Pacific Northwest.
Bearclaw Sitka Spruce

Bearclaw Sitka Spruce


"Bearclaw" Sitka Spruce is tonally similar to Sitka, and gets its name from the random grain pattern running through the wood. It is popular due to the beauty of this pattern, which is caused by growth patterns and environmental/genetic factors. Bearclaw Sitka is also from the Pacific Northwest.
Adirondack Spruce

Adirondack Spruce


Adirondack Spruce, also known as Adirondack Red Spruce, is known for its powerful, clear tone. Adirondack Spruce is found in the Mountainous regions of the Northeastern U.S.
Alpine Spruce

Alpine Spruce


Alpine Spruce is known for its warm, focused tone, and has a reputation as an excellent topwood. It is very stiff and tends to have more tonal depth than Sitka. Alpine Spruce comes from high elevations in the Alps.
Carpathian Spruce

Carpathian Spruce


Carpathian Spruce is stiff and slightly brighter than German or Alpine Spruces, with a wider grain pattern. It is known for excellent resonance and sensitivity. Carpathian Spruce is found in the Caucasus Carpathian mountains near the Black sea.
Engelmann Spruce

Engelmann Spruce


Englemann Spruce is whiter in color and more lightweight than Sitka, while still being very stiff. The lightweight nature of Englemann Spruce makes it louder and more open sounding than Sitka. Englemann Spruce grows in the high elevation regions of the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Cascade Mountains.
German Spruce

German Spruce


German spruce is whiter in color than other varieties of Spruce. It is known for having exceptional tonal clarity. German Spruce actually comes from The area formerly known as Yugoslavia, on the Northeast border of the Adriatic Sea.
Alaskan Yellow Cedar

Alaskan Yellow Cedar


Alaskan Yellow Cedar is known as a great top wood for flat pickers due to its bright, sustaining tone. Alaskan Yellow Cedar comes from...you guessed it...Alaska.
Western Redcedar

Western Redcedar


Western Redcedar is less responsive to climate changes than Spruce, which can be seen as a benefit. It is known for having a crisp tone. Western Redcedar grows most prominently in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S.
Redwood

Redwood


Redwood, although unconventional in appearance, is an excellent topwood. It is stiff and lightweight, with a strong, even tonal response. Slightly warmer and less bright than Spruce, it imparts a soothing, open tone with rich bass response. Redwood comes from the Pacific Coast of Northern California. My supplier uses fallen logs exclusively, no live trees are cut for these soundboards.

Continue to : Information on Guitar Tonewoods for Backs and Sides

Back to : A Lesson on Guitar Tonewoods


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