Wood Profile: Adirondack Spruce

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Adirondack spruce has been the choice of bluegrass pickers for decades, and seems to add power to any guitar design.

Latin Name: picea rubens

Origin: U.S.A.: eastern North America, ranging from eastern Quebec to Nova Scotia, and from New England south into the Adirondack Mountains and Appalachians to western North Carolina

Tone Profile: 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.

Application: The aggressive player who wants volume and clarity without distortion; the player or collector who wants the vibe of a pre-war guitar.

Comparison: 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.

Aesthetics: 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.

Backstory: Pre-WWII-era guitars were defined by Adirondack. Today, this tonewood still enjoys immense popularity with players and collectors alike. Over harvesting led to a shortage of supply until recently, when a new generation of trees began reaching maturity.

Trivia / Fact: Adirondack spruce is a popular Christmas tree variety, and is an important wood used in making paper pulp.

Adirondack Images