Exceptional quality, limited availability
Rare Red Spruce from a few choice trees felled at high altitude in the Appalachian mountains.
Red Spruce was used on the most prized Martins from the late 1920s through 1945, and Gibson also used it until 1945. For many collectors today, there is simply no comparison to the Red Spruce tops from that Golden Era.
Bookmatched set of two halves. When joined they are large enough for a Dreadnought guitar.
- Each half is approximately 8-3/4” x 23" (222mm x 584mm)
- Thickness-sanded to 0.125"-0.130" thick (3.18mm - 3.30mm)
Approximately 3/16" (4.7mm) thick, ready for thickness-sanding to your own specs.
Red Spruce (also called Adirondack Spruce) responds to the full range of attack on the strings. Where other top woods decay or sound muffled when played hard, Red Spruce stays clear and powerful. It looks like other Spruce varieties, with a slightly warmer color.
Old Growth/Second Growth
Old Growth trees grew in competition with surrounding trees for rain, sunlight and nutrients. Developing slowly, their grain is closer-spaced than Second Growth trees.
Second Growth forest develops after an area has been logged. These trees grow faster, and show wider grain than Old Growth. The vast majority of existing forest in the U.S. is second growth, so Old Growth becomes ever more rare.
Use our grading system to choose your soundboard...
Color: Higher soundboard grades have more consistent color (color affects the instrument's appearance only, not its tone).
Grain straightness: Higher soundboard grades have straighter, more uniform grain due to slower wood growth, with more grain lines per inch. Variations in grain straightness generally don't affect the wood's structural integrity. Closely spaced grain has been traditionally favored, but luthiers have found that wider grain can produce very good tone.
Quartersawn grain: The higher the grade, the more closely quartersawn the wood. Higher grade soundboards are usually stiffer, stronger and more resilient, and less likely to deform under string tension.
Grain run-out: Our soundboards are sawn from split billets to reduce the amount of grain "run-out," caused by a twist in the tree. By splitting the log, the twist is followed when sawing. Higher grade soundboards have less run-out, for more strength. However, properly braced lower grades can be excellent soundboards, especially for classical guitars. Engelmann spruce trees grow at higher altitudes, and usually have some run-out due to their smaller diameters.
Origin and drying: Our soundboards (except Red Spruce) are from western North America, and have been kiln-dried and stored for up to a year.