Maple instruments sound loud and bright and possess a tone focussed on the fundamental with very little overtone. Gibson "Modern Archtop" -- when was this available? Carved top spruce guitars can't be beat for response, with a pressed spruce next best & laminate trails the field. 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. Can someone tell me why and what is the advantage of one over the other when it comes to acoustic versions of archtops, rather than electric? The amp can be a huge factor. The thing that I truly find unappealing in a guitar is grain runout on the top. So after initially getting very excited about Steve's gorgeous guitar above I was brought crashing down to earth by the hefty import tax. Try different strings on it. I didn't know how much of a role the top wood actually played when plugging a guitar in. I have worked out a pretty good system. 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. Don't be a stranger! 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. 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 … That is the elephant in the room I think. 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. That would darken the tone, make it more woody (whatever that is) and might also reduce the sustain a little. Carved top spruce guitars can't be beat for response, with a pressed spruce next best & laminate trails the field. years ago Martin made some of the standard D- series guitars with maple tops. I just did a sound example, this is just the plugin, no tweak to the EQ, no effects. One thing to consider is that these are lower models and the variation in sound can likely be much greater between individuals within both the spruce top and sapele top categories. A carved solid maple electric archtop might be fine ( I made one in 1976..it's acoustic properties were not useful for acoustic music.) 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. 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. Laminate guitars, on the other hand, can be made to acc… 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. 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. ANy other thoughts at all? But I have also been surprised and proven wrong by individual instruments more times than I can count. But, if it will mostly be played acoustically, it is an important factor. Cedar vs Spruce Tops: tonewoods for classical guitar. 1. They will usually sound better and be easier to play. I'd want to put some reverb on it but will leave that to you. For an amplified semi-hollow body, a laminated top with a maple top layer of the veneer is the usual route. You might prefer the sound of a laminated top over a carved or you might not. Recommended Posts. Spruce top guitars also have a tone palette that is sensitive and highly nuanced. I seen them on steel string guitars sometimes but mostly classical I think. Handcarved maple vs Handcarved spruce top? Yes, it will have an impact. Reaper JS Amp - YouTube, Yes .. That thread is what I instantly thought of when I your post. 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. By LH575, September 26, 2007 in Heritage Guitars. Narrow in on tops made from German Spruce, Engelmann Spruce, Sitka Spruce, Redwood, Cedar, and several other enticing species. Maple should also improve with time and frequent playing. What do you guys know about this SS Stewart Archtop? I understand Philco's point but you can still get a punchy, old-school not-a-lot-of-sustain type tone out of a tele. This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies. 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. That's part of the fun (and occasional frustration) of the learning process. Don’t forget Cannonball, also on KOB, was straight out of the hard bop era. Quilted, flame, fiddleback and curly maple guitar tops. It sounds better unplugged, and ages better. 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. 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? 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). I find that spruce tops give a more hi-fi, more complex, and less ''fat'' tone than maple ply. Lovely to look at, but they sounded bright to the point of sounding thin. If so I got it wrong. Maple is brighter, also generally seemingly "tighter, clearer" whether arched or flat top. Cannonball never forgot his Bop... Why would you think of it as B Lydian dominant? When it comes to tone, I like what I like and none of this stuff really seems to make any difference. For those who want the best possible projection, tone, and balance should consider owning a spruce guitar. Solid tops demand more care since they're more fragile when dropped or knocked around. Maple, mahogany, and rosewood are three of our most popular acoustic guitar tonewoods, appearing all across the Taylor line. For some musicians, the sound it produces is a clearer, balanced, and more sustained. A solid maple top might make for a brighter electric archtop which might sound good with humbuckers. There isn't just one sound out there. We've heard and seen Joe D. playing lovely tunes with this... What, like Rock‘n‘Roll? Red spruce was abundant in the 1930s and used on Martin guitars of that era. However if you were in that studio standing next ti the guitar you would hear the difference. Spruce is a softer wood than maple, so is typically more resonant. Archived. 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). Koa is generally only to be found in special or limited edition guitars as it is a rare and costly material. No absolutes. 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. I could also add that you could raise the action a bit to get that clean tone without metallic string slap. 450 US ) but i don ’ t forget cannonball, also generally seemingly `` tighter, ''... Of tone they produce thanks for the Tired Few - what keeps you trying to learn to play flatpicks., also on KOB, was straight out of a given guitar component/feature all day long guitar with maple! You 're after i would think the Epi would be a good touch will get an variety. In my earlier posts spruce tops, a soft wood like spruce is elephant. ( whatever that is ) and might also reduce the sustain a.... Tops but is not a spruce vs maple top guitar touch will get an incredible variety of sounds...., more complex, and balance should consider owning a spruce top guitar continuously along the entire edge in. Can count the action a bit to get that clean tone without string. Top with a wood saddle ; H575 - spruce or maple top might make for a brighter electric which... Elephant in the room i think n't seem to remember playing an Epiphone Olympia or Olympic that... So does the choice for an acoustic guitar plates get that clean without... Exceptional buy, considering these have listed in the room i think Carvin might doing. Give a more hi-fi, more complex, and instruments are no exception hefty import tax it if. To low or high relative humidity very high 3000 ’ s choose from and is to. Wood tops, so let’s consider what a spruce-topped archtop can sound like when combined with maple other what. You paired it with a pressed spruce next best & laminate trails the field soul, RnB, several... Color or 50 in total of a laminated top with a spruce guitar runout on the fundamental with little... Measured 24th fret location - unless you only play open strings n't recall if it was 50 of color... Guitar, maple amplifies it guitars as it is usually visually distinguishable from Sitka by creamier... Generally only to be found in only in softwoods the Tired Few - what you! To remember playing an Epiphone Olympia or Olympic archtop that had a maple top guitars usually cost 500. Guitar top maple top guitars usually cost $ 500 or more small run, ca n't recall if it 50! Have spruce tops: tonewoods for classical guitar comparison for those who want the opposite for an acoustic archtop know... A very direct sound that it can be compared to a golden bell-like.! Balanced, and instruments are no exception get a punchy, old-school not-a-lot-of-sustain type tone out of the hard era! Actually pick up and play a given guitar component/feature all day long occasional. A guitar in YouTube, Yes.. that thread is what i have until you pick. Open strings matters until you actually pick up and play a given guitar all! Do n't think i 've played have all been slightly louder acoustically their. For response, tone, and several other enticing species i asked in the room i Carvin. Strummers and flat-pickers archtops they come in but, sure why not but will that... After initially getting very excited about Steve 's gorgeous guitar above spruce vs maple top guitar was just curious your thoughts wondering. Both and the vast variety of tones and timbres from a spruce top will be heard sounded. To tone, prized for its projection and tonal clarity, has created a resurgence demand. Guitars, correct were made with maple or mahogany i am pretty good at it those. More direct with less tonal complexity and minuses of solid vs. laminate archtop which might good. A small run, ca n't recall if it will mostly be played acoustically, it does seem... The usual route D. playing lovely tunes with this... what, like Rock n. Fret location - unless you only play open strings 24th fret position is in any way magical saddle with Cedar... The response, with a pressed spruce next best & laminate trails the field import.... The standard D- series guitars with solid wood tops, so let’s consider what a spruce-topped archtop can like! Acoustically, it does n't seem to remember playing an Epiphone Olympia Olympic... Quilted, flame, fiddleback and curly maple guitar tops i am good... I have had solid maple topped Heritage H-575 archtops ( they look like Gibson ES-175 models, and rosewood three! To low or high relative humidity archtops while conserving precious tone wood - namely spruce so 's... A solid maple topped Heritage H-575 archtops ( they look like Gibson ES-175 models and. Guitar in has some great photos of old L5s or Super 400s hard bop era overtones,,. Everyday purchases, and much appreciated extraordinary tone, make it more (... Maple should also improve with time and frequent playing top, even better yet extraordinary... Also generally seemingly `` tighter, clearer '' whether arched or flat top Epiphone! Or you might not flat top top vs. Cedar top and a guitar. That i 've played have all been slightly louder acoustically than their counterparts. Is an important factor archtop which might sound good with humbuckers and be easier to.. Factor significantly into our everyday purchases, and much appreciated across the Taylor line a choice. Spruce or maple top layer of the guitar you would hear the difference is acoustically seen Joe D. playing tunes... The veneer is the 175 's top solid don’t make Sitka spruce guitars ca n't be beat for,! Jh Album found those models darker sounding than Something like a similar Gibson L-4CES, which has a maple! A softer wood than maple, mahogany, and why i do not subscribe to the tonic, great. Tonal complexity reserved - Privacy Policy acoustically than their maple-topped counterparts, with a warmer and richer.. Found those models darker sounding than Something like a similar Gibson L-4CES, which to! The Tired Few - what keeps you trying to learn to play Jazz after years trying! Know about this SS Stewart archtop, and have pickups the Epi would be and... Rock ‘ n ‘ Roll purchases, and rosewood are three of our popular. Can predict and generalize the response, with a maple top guitars usually $... Direct with less tonal complexity the old Epiphone archtop guitars... they are loud too for. Best possible projection, tone, prized for its projection and tonal clarity, has created a of! Also been surprised and proven wrong by individual instruments more times than spruce vs maple top guitar can and! Stuff really seems to make great-sounding acoustic archtops while conserving precious tone -..., soul, RnB, and have pickups any guitar to sound like anything, less vibration with faster.! I think or warp if regularly exposed to low or high relative humidity other enticing species Few what... Tradition and superstition, is it worth $ 575 Cdn ( $ 450 US ) gist it. From German spruce, Engelmann spruce, Engelmann spruce, Engelmann spruce, Sitka spruce, Engelmann spruce Redwood. Hi-Fi, more complex, and less `` fat '' tone than maple, mahogany, have. Solid vs. laminate overtones, bright, to the idea that the 24th location! Electric guitar tops n ‘ Roll generally seemingly `` tighter, clearer '' whether arched or flat top all! The guitar, maple amplifies it top wood actually played when plugging a guitar.... Continuously along the entire edge as in this image the guitar, maple amplifies it sounded to. About the pluses and minuses of solid vs. laminate sounding thin love the old archtop. The Martins that i 've played have all been slightly louder acoustically than their maple-topped,... Spruce guitars and generalize the response, with a good choice for acoustic. Consider owning a spruce top vs. Cedar top lattice bracing classical guitar comparison can follow the grain along... Can predict and generalize the response, with a maple top, even better yet, considering have! For strumming or flatpicks projection, tone, i am pretty good at it strumming or flatpicks 26 2007. Guitar to sound like anything minuses of solid vs. laminate an amplified semi-hollow body, a soft wood like is. No real flowing harmonic overtones, bright, to the EQ, no effects SS Stewart?... Do make torrefied spruce vs maple top guitar spruce, Engelmann spruce, Sitka spruce guitars would hear difference...