Adirondack (Red) Spruce Tonewoods
Adirondack spruce has been the choice of bluegrass pickers for decades, and seems to add power to any guitar design. If it’s loud you want, Adirondack is for you. Adirondack is even more dynamic than Sitka spruce, and has a higher ceiling for volume. You can strum an Adirondack-topped guitar aggressively without distorttion or loss of clarity. For the aggressive player who wants volume and clarity without distortion; the player or collector who wants the vibe of a pre-war guitar. Like Sitka, it has strong fundamentals and responds well to either a light or firm touch, but has higher resonance and exhibits a more complex overtone content. Adirondack is relatively heavy, with a high velocity of sound, and has the highest stiffness of all top woods across and along the grain. New-growth Adirondack tends to be wider-grained and more irregular in color and grain patterns, than vintage pre-war Adirondack. Creamy white in color.
Adirondack (Red) Spruce - A great acoustic guitar top tonewood
Adirondack spruce is also famous as the Appalachian spruce or Eastern Red spruce, and is often identified with many of the iconic pre-world war II era guitar designs. Today, the Adirondack era is returning once again as other wood species as the iconic sound and tone is becoming highly desired by all types of musicians and guitar players.
About the Wood
The scientific name of Adirondack spruce is Picea rubens, but its common name is red spruce. It grows in North America, and spreads to places like Nova Scotia and Quebec. It is also available in some parts of New England (south) in the Adirondack Mountains and in the Appalachians that spread towards western Carolina.
This particular wood is famous as yellow spruce and West Virginia spruce. Its distinct yellow color makes very attractive instruments.
The wood has a distinct aesthetic as compared to that of other top tonewoods, used for making guitars. It can have a wider grain and interesting and attractive color patterns. It is very different from Sitka spruce, which is another common and desired top tonewood. The reason why Adirondack has proven desirable for making guitars is its ability to create amazing tone. It is very stiff and hence, the tone is very impressive and loud, offering guitar manufacturers a great tonewood options when selecting the top tonewood for an instrument build.
The tree is a native of North America, which makes it very accessible and attractive to US instrument builders.
Why It’s Good for Guitar Building
Generally, aesthetic appeal and tone matter most when it comes to making guitars. This is why this wood serves the builder well. It makes great sounding guitars. They are extremely strong and stiff, with the highest grain stiffness and strength as compared to other wood types.