Why Spruce?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by TenorClef, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. Hi all, i recently got my 1st UDB was wondering if Spruce is the only material used for the tops apart from cheap ones which are laminated. I have 2 classical guitars, one made of a spruce top and the other made of cedar. The cedar seems richer in sound and the spruce brighter more percussive. Is their a reason basses are not apparently made from cedar?
  2. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA

    As a matter af fact our illustrious compatriot Jeff Bollbach made two fine basses with cedar tops. Also, I have a client with a Solano solo bass with a cedar top. The cedar seems to impart a sweet and well-defined tone. I think spruce became the standard top wood because it is strong, light, resonant and (at least until recently) abundant. But many softwoods, including larch, fir, pine and redwood are viable for string instrument tops.
  3. Voice Over (and CAPTION: )
    'EPISODE 12B'
    'NO. 1'
    Photo of a larch tree.
    Voice Over The larch. The larch.

    Ah, The Larch…


    - Wil
  4. So would it be right in assuming Cedar tops would be more likely a custom job than a standard purchase, most of the basses i've come across on the net are spruce, i believe this is the traditional wood of choice?
  5. My Solano has a pine top and chestnut back, ribs, neck. Not only does she sound sweet, she looks gorgeous, too.