Bearclaw has a shallow, cross-grain curl that seems to increase cross-grain stiffness. Many luthiers feel that it enhances the tone and sustain of spruce.
Latin Name: picea sitchensis
Origin: U.S.A: Pacific Northwest
Tone Profile: Strong, focused tone with strong fundamental — perfect for flatpicking styles. Usually takes a slightly longer period of playing time to open up.
Comparison: Not so cleanly defined as European spruce but, instead, as warmer, more fundamental, and largely free of overtones. It’s a good, solid sound and bluegrass flatpickers and folk-musicians tend to like it a lot.
Aesthetics: Looks like a bear has clawed across the grain of the wood. Highly appreciated for its unique patterns, resulting in an eye-catching shimmer.
Trivia / Fact: The figure in bearclaw is not actually caused by a bear clawing the tree. While the true cause of the figure is unknown, it is widely assumed to be caused by either genetic mutation or climactic stress.