Custom Guitar Options.
Master Grade Top Wood Options.

Since a guitar's soundboard is one of the major components defining the sound of a guitar, I use only the finest master grade top woods. As a coupled system, the sound of the guitar is the result of the interaction of many components. Therefore, the tonal characteristics of the soundboard alone will not soley determine the sound of the guitar. The guitar body style, bracing pattern, etc. all come into play.

While there are several species of woods used for acoustic guitar soundboards, a trait they share is a high strength-to-weight ratio; that is they are strong and light. No single species of wood produces the "best" soundboard. The best soundboard depends on the player's desired sound and playing style. The ideal soundboard depends on whether you play lightly or aggressively, whether you're a flat picker or fingerpicker, whether you prefer a bright sound, a deep boomy sound, a balanced sound, etc. Also, cost is not a reliable indicator of soundboard quality. Instead, cost reflects the availability of the wood. An average grade of a less available wood will often cost more than the highest grade of a more available wood.


Adirondak Spruce

Also Known as: Red Spruce

Botanical Name: Picea rubens

Origin: Appalacia from Tennessee to Nova Scotia, Canada

Comments: Adirondack Spruce is stronger and heavier than Sitka Spruce. It was the wood of choice used on the highly-prized pre-war Martin vintage guitars. However, over the years the heavy logging has diminished the supply and quality of wood large enough for guitar soundboards, thereby driving up the cost. Acoustically, Adirondack Spruce has a strong fundamental tone combined with a rich overtone content. It has great projection and can be strummed aggressively without distortion. It is ideally suited for flat picking. Visually, the Adirondack Spruce in use today has more variable grain spacing and color variation compared to either Sitka Spruce or Englemann Spruce.

Adirondack Spruce Set #1
Adirondack Spruce Set #1 Closeup

Adirondack Spruce Top - Set #1 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 200

Adirondack Spruce Set #2
Adirondack Spruce Set #2 Closeup

Adirondack Spruce Top - Set #2 (D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 200

Adirondack Spruce Set #3
Adirondack Spruce Set #3 Closeup

Adirondack Spruce Top - Set #3 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 200

Adirondack Spruce Set #4
Adirondack Spruce Set #4 Closeup

Adirondack Spruce Top - Set #4 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 200

Adirondack Spruce Set #5
Adirondack Spruce Set #5 Closeup

Adirondack Spruce Top - Set #5 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 200


Engelmann Spruce

Botanical Name: Picea engelmannii

Origin: Rocky Mountains of Northern US and Canada

Comments: Engelmann Spruce is lighter and softer than Sitka Spruce. It produces a guitar with a weaker fundamental with a rich overtone content. It provides great sensitivity to a light touch making it idelally suited for fingerpicking and light strumming. It is also the most popular spruce used on classical guitars. Engelmann spruce ranges in color from a bright white to yellowish with an ivory sheen. It also tends to be more homogeneous than Sitka Spruce with the early and late-growth rings being less distinct.

Engelmann Top Photo
Engelmann Top Close-Up Photo

Engelmann Spruce Top - Example

Engelmann Spruce Set #2
Engelmann Spruce Set #2 Closeup

Engelmann Spruce Top - Set #2 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 100

Engelmann Spruce Set #3
Engelmann Spruce Set #3 Closeup

Engelmann Spruce Top - Set #3 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 100


German Spruce

Botanical Name: Picea abies

Origin: Germany

Comments: German Spruce is a stiff wood with a stong fundamental tone and broad overtone content. It has been the preferred tonewood for bowed instrument makers for years. Visually, German Spruce ranges from a creamy-white to a slightly golden color.

German Spruce Set #1
German Spruce Set #1 Closeup

German Spruce Top - Set #1 (D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 200


Sitka Spruce

Botanical Name: Picea sitchensis

Origin: NW US Coast, British Columbia Canada, Alaska

Comments: Sitka Spruce is the most popular tonewood used today for acoustic guitars. Featuring the highest strength-to-weight ratio of all tonewoods, Sitka Spruce is ideally suited for steel string guitars. The stiff, light weight characteristics produce a loud, punchy guitar with a strong fundamental and low overtones. These qualities make Sitka ideally suited for flat pickers. Sitka Spruce is typically creamy white in color with occastionaly pink streaks.

Sitka Spruce Top Photo
Close-Up of Sitka Spruce Top Photo

Sitka Spruce Top - Example

Sitka Spruce Set #25
Sitka Spruce Set #25 Close-Up

Sitka Spruce Top Set #25 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0

 

Sitka Spruce Set #26
Sitka Spruce Set #26 Close-Up

Sitka Spruce Top Set #26 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0

 

Sitka Spruce Set #27
Sitka Spruce Set #27 Close-Up

Sitka Spruce Top Set #27 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0

 

Sitka Spruce Set #28
Sitka Spruce Set #28 Close-Up

Sitka Spruce Top Set #28 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0

 

Sitka Spruce Set #29
Sitka Spruce Set #29 Close-Up

Sitka Spruce Top Set #29 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL

Upcharge: $ 0

 

Sitka Spruce Set #30
Sitka Spruce Set #30 Close-Up

Sitka Spruce Top Set #30 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0

 

Sitka Spruce Set #31
Sitka Spruce Set #31 Close-Up

Sitka Spruce Top Set #31 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0

 

Sitka Spruce Set #32
Sitka Spruce Set #32 Close-Up

Sitka Spruce Top Set #32 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0

 

Sitka Spruce Set #33
Sitka Spruce Set #33 Close-Up

Sitka Spruce Top Set #33 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0

 

Sitka Spruce Set #34
Sitka Spruce Set #34 Close-Up

Sitka Spruce Top Set #34 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0

 

Sitka Spruce Set #35
Sitka Spruce Set #35 Close-Up

Sitka Spruce Top Set #35 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0

 

Sitka Spruce Set #36
Sitka Spruce Set #36 Close-Up

Sitka Spruce Top Set #36 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0

 

Sitka Spruce Set #37
Sitka Spruce Set #37 Close-Up

Sitka Spruce Top Set #37 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0

 

Sitka Spruce Set #38
Sitka Spruce Set #38 Close-Up

Sitka Spruce Top Set #38 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0

 

Sitka Spruce Set #39
Sitka Spruce Set #39 Close-Up

Sitka Spruce Top Set #39 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0

 

Sitka Spruce Set #40
Sitka Spruce Set #40 Close-Up

Sitka Spruce Top Set #40 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0

 

Sitka Spruce Set #40
Sitka Spruce Set #40 Close-Up

Sitka Spruce Top Set #41 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 50

Comments: Rare single piece top wood.


Bearclaw Sitka Spruce

Botanical Name: Picea Sitchensis

Origin: NW US Coast, British Columbia Canada, Alaska

Comments: Bearclaw Sitka Spruce is a variation of Sitka Spruce that exhibits rippling of the longitudinal fibers. The resultant eye-catching figuaration looks like a bear "clawed" at the board. Acoustically, it shares the same desirable characteristics as the traditional Sitka Spruce.

Bearclaw Sitka Spruce Top Photo
Bearclaw Spruce Top Close-Up Photo

Bearclaw Sitka Spruce Top - Example

 

Bear Claw Sitka Spruce Set #3
Bear Claw Sitka Spruce Set #3 Close-Up

Bearclaw Sitka Spruce Top Set #3 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0

 

Bear Claw Sitka Spruce Set #4
Bear Claw Sitka Spruce Set #4 Close Up

Bearclaw Sitka Spruce Top - Set #4 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0

Bear Claw Sitka Spruce Set #5
Bear Claw Sitka Spruce #5 Close Up

Bearclaw Sitka Spruce Top - Set #5 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0

Bear Claw Sitka Spruce Set #6
Bear Claw Sitka Spuce Set #6

Bearclaw Sitka Spruce Top - Set #6 (D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0

Bear Claw Sitka Spruce Set #7
Bear Claw Sitka Spruce Set #7 Close Up

Bearclaw Sitka Spruce Top - Set #7 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0

Bear Claw Sitka Spruce Set #8
Bear Claw Sitka Spruce Set #8 Close Up

Bearclaw Sitka Spruce Top - Set #8 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0

Bear Claw Sitka Spruce Set #9
Bear Claw Sitka Spruce Set #9 Close Up

Bearclaw Sitka Spruce Top - Set #9 (D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0


Aged Sitka Spruce

Botanical Name: Picea Sitchensis

Origin: NW US Coast, British Columbia Canada, Alaska

Comments: These aged soundboards are from a Sitka Spruce tree that stood dead and dry for over 60 years. This wood has the amber appearance and stiffness with the acoustical properties of vintage pre-war guitars.

Aged Sitka Spruce Set #1
Aged Sitka Spruce Set #1 Close-Up

Aged (60+ Years) Sitka Spruce Top Set #1 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 100

 

Aged Sitka Spruce Set #2
Aged Sitka Spruce Set #2 Close Up

Aged (60+ Years) Sitka Spruce Top - Set #2 (D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 100

Aged Sitka Spruce Set #4
Aged Sitka Spruce Set #4 Close Up

Aged (60+ Years) Sitka Spruce Top - Set #4 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 100


Alaskan Yellow Cedar

Botanical Name: Chamaecyparis nootkatensis

Origin: Pacific Coast Region fron Southern Oregon to Alaska

Comments:

Alaskan Yellow Cedar Set #1
Alaskan Yellow Cedar Set #1 Close Up

Western Alakan Yellow Cedar Top - Set #1 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0

Alaskan Yellow Cedar Set #2
Alaskan Yellow Cedar Set #2 Close Up

Alaskan Yellow Cedar Top - Set #2 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0

Alaskan Yellow Cedar Set #3
Alaskan Yellow Cedar Set #3 Close Up

Alaskan Yellow Cedar Top - Set #3 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0

Alaskan Yellow Cedar Set #4
Alaskan Yellow Cedar Set #4 Close Up

Alaskan Yellow Cedar Top - Set #4 (D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0


Port Orford Cedar

Botanical Name: Chamaecyparis lawsoniana

Origin: Oregon and California

Comments:

Port Orford Cedar Set #1
Port Orford Cedar Set #1 Close Up

Port Orford Cedar Top - Set #1 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0

Port Orford Cedar Set #3
Port Orford Cedar Set #3 Close Up

Port Orford Cedar Top - Set #3 (D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0


Wester Red Cedar

Botanical Name: Thuja plicata

Origin: North America

Comments: Western Red Cedar is a soft, light wood that reveals an open sound immediately without an extensive break-in period. Widely used for classical guitars, it is becoming more popular for steel string guitars. Its warm, mellow tone is favored by many fingerpickers and classical players alike.

Visually, Western Red Cedar exhibits a warm reddish to brown color and a straight grain.

Western Red Cedar Top Photo
Western Red Cedar Top Close-Up Photo

Western Red Cedar Top - Example

Western Red Cedar Set #2
Western Red Cedar Set #2 Close Up

Western Red Cedar Top - Set #2 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0

Western Red Cedar Set #3
Western Red Cedar Set #3 Close Up

Western Red Cedar Top - Set #3 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0

Western Red Cedar Set #4
Western Red Cedar Set #4 Close Up

Western Red Cedar Top - Set #4 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 0


Redwood

Also Known as: California Redwood, Coastal Redwood

Botanical Name: Sequoia sempervirons

Origin: Northern California and Oregon Coasts

Comments: Redwood harvested from the California and Oregon coasts is steadily gaining in popularity as a tonewood for acoustic guitars. Tonally, Redwood is similar to Western Red Cedar, with more headroom when driven hard. Like cedar, Redwood is favored by fingerpickers and classical guitarists. Visually, Redwood ranges in color from orange/brown to a pronounced deep red. It also is occasionally found with a striking curly figuring.

Redwood Set #1
Redwood Set #1 Closeup

Redwood Top - Set #1 (OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 50

Redwood Set #2
Redwood Set #2 Closeup

Redwood Top - Set #2 (OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 50

Redwood Set #3
Redwood Set #3 Closeup

Redwood Top - Set #3 (OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 50

Redwood Set #4
Redwood Set #4 Closeup

Redwood Top - Set #4 (OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 50

Redwood Set #5
Redwood Set #5 Closeup

Redwood Top - Set #5 (OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 50

Redwood Set #6
Redwood Set #6 Closeup

Redwood Top - Set #6 (OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 50


Sinker Redwood

Also Known as: California Redwood, Coastal Redwood

Botanical Name: Sequoia sempervirons

Origin: Northern California and Oregon Coasts

Comments: Sinker Redwood is Redwood salvaged from the bottom of the Sacramento River. These logs were harvested over 150 years ago, and floated down the river to the mills. Many logs sank before reaching the mill. Minerals that leached into the wood, as the logs sat on the river bottoms for decades, create a stunning range of colors. The colors of each log are one-of-a-kind.

Due to concerns regarding fish in the rivers, salvaging of these logs is no longer permitted. As a result, the supply of Sinker Redwood is limited. Sinker Redwood has the beautiful tonal properties of Old Growth Redwood.

Sinker Redwood Set #1
Sinker Redwood Set #1 Closeup

Sinker Redwood Top - Set #1 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 100

Sinker Redwood Set #2
Sinker Redwood Set #2 Closeup

Sinker Redwood Top - Set #2 (J-OM, J-12, D, OM, CL)

Upcharge: $ 100