Resonant Properties of Finer vs Wider Grained Sitka Spruce

pfdcoverEach tree expresses its life uniquely. Soil, sun, rain, wind and forest environment all affect how a tree grows and the character of its wood. For instance, sister spruce trees can vary in color, density and rate of growth due simply to a difference in the glacial soils in which they grow. Different woods speak to different kinds of guitars, and different parts of a guitar. At PRT, we work to match wood to luthiers’ desires.

Spruce – pound for pound – is stronger than steel, and so it makes for thin guitar tops that resonate with a clear, vibrant tone. Sitka and Engelman spruces, along with Western Red Cedar, are typically used for guitar tops, but maple, cypress, koa, blackwood, rosewood and ebony each has its place in a luthier’s vocabulary, each comes with its own history, look, and purpose.

At PRT, knowing how to read logs and lumber, to see the guitars they hold inside, is a craft Steve and his crew have cultivated over the years.

For a comparison of the resonant properties of finer vs wider grained Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis), take a look at this study that we commissioned (PDF, 3.12 MB):