best cedar top guitar

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Hey guys, welcome to this comprehensive guide on finding the best cedar top guitar! If you are a music enthusiast or a professional guitarist, you understand the role a guitar’s top wood plays in producing captivating tones. Cedar, known for its rich and warm tonal qualities, has gained immense popularity among musicians worldwide.

In this article, we will delve into the world of cedar top guitars and explore the top 7 models that excel in their craftsmanship, sound projection, and playability. Whether you are a seasoned performer or a beginner eager to embark on a melodious journey, this guide will assist you in making an informed decision.

The Enchanting Tonal Charms of Cedar

🎵 Cedar top guitars offer a captivating blend of warmth, depth, and resonance, making them a favorite among musicians across genres. Here’s why cedar is so revered:

1. Warm and Expressive Melodies

🎵 Cedar’s tonal characteristics are often described as warm, balanced, and expressive. Its tonal palette favors the midrange, providing a sweetness and depth to each note. Whether you play fingerstyle, strumming, or flatpicking, cedar embraces your playing style with a delicate touch.

2. Excellent Responsiveness

🎵 Cedar’s responsiveness to light playing touch allows for immediate expression, making it a great choice for fingerstyle players. Its quick response adds a dynamic element to your playing, allowing you to effortlessly navigate through different musical nuances.

3. Pronounced Harmonics

🎵 Cedar’s tonal richness amplifies the harmonic content of your playing, making every note vibrant and resonant. The balanced projection of harmonics creates a mesmerizing listening experience, whether you’re performing on stage or in an intimate setting.

4. Aging Gracefully

🎵 Over time, cedar top guitars tend to mature and develop their tonal character, becoming even more refined and nuanced. As the wood naturally opens up, the instrument’s sound becomes increasingly rich, revealing hidden tonal complexities that evolve with your playing.

5. Versatility Across Genres

🎵 Whether you play folk, classical, jazz, or any other genre, a cedar top guitar can adapt to your musical style with ease. Its warm and balanced tonal profile allows for versatility, making it a versatile companion for any musical genre you explore.

6. Lightweight and Comfortable

🎵 Cedar top guitars are known for their lightweight construction, offering enhanced comfort during long playing sessions. The reduced weight allows for effortless maneuverability on the fretboard, ensuring a comfortable playing experience for musicians of all skill levels.

7. Aesthetically Pleasing

🎵 Apart from its sonic charms, the attractive appearance of cedar makes it an appealing choice for guitar enthusiasts. The wood’s warm color, varied grain patterns, and smooth texture enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of the instrument.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Best Cedar Top Guitars


1. Exceptional Sound Projection

Cedar top guitars excel in projecting a clear and balanced sound with their warm tonal character. The tonewoods used in their construction, accompanied by precise bracing, contribute to their exceptional sound projection and presence on stage.

2. Enhanced Fingerstyle Articulation

🎵 For fingerstyle players, cedar top guitars offer unparalleled articulation. The wood’s responsiveness and immediacy of sound production enable intricate fingerpicking patterns to shine through, creating beautiful melodic tapestries.

3. Rich Midrange Tones

🎵 Cedar top guitars are known for their lush midrange frequencies, providing a full-bodied and warm tonal character. These rich midrange tones enhance the presence and depth of the instrument, making it a perfect choice for solo performances.

4. Ideal for Recording Studios

🎵 Recording engineers often favor cedar top guitars due to their balanced and naturally resonant sound. The tonal qualities of cedar result in recordings that capture the true essence of the instrument, bringing out the subtleties and harmonics in a mix with exceptional clarity.

5. Quick Break-In Period

🎵 Unlike guitars with spruce tops that often require extensive playing time to fully open up, cedar top guitars have a shorter break-in period. The wood’s responsiveness allows it to produce beautiful tones right from the beginning, providing instant gratification for guitarists.

6. Well-Suited for Live Performances

🎵 Cedar top guitars have a balanced tonal profile that sits well in a live band mix. Their warmth and projection cut through the mix without overpowering other instruments, making them an ideal choice for live performances where clarity and versatility are paramount.

7. Price Accessibility

🎵 Compared to high-end tonewoods like Brazilian rosewood, cedar top guitars are relatively more affordable, making them accessible to a wider range of musicians. This affordability does not compromise their tonal quality, allowing players to experience the enchanting charms of cedar without breaking the bank.


1. Less Volume Projection

🎵 Cedar top guitars, while renowned for their warmth and balanced tonal character, may not project as loudly as guitars with spruce tops. If you require an instrument with strong volume projection for larger venues or outdoor performances, cedar may not be the optimal choice.

2. Limited Treble Sparkle

🎵 Cedar’s inherent tonal characteristics prioritize the midrange over the treble frequency spectrum. While this creates a warm and rich sound, some players may miss the sparkling and pronounced treble notes found in other tonewoods.

3. Susceptibility to Wear

🎵 Cedar is a relatively softer wood compared to spruce, which can make it more susceptible to wear and tear over time. Vigilant maintenance and care are necessary to ensure the longevity of the guitar, particularly if you’re a frequent traveler or performer.

4. Limited Visual Variety

🎵 Unlike tonewoods with more distinct grain patterns and color variations, cedar offers a more uniform appearance. If you prioritize visually striking instruments, cedar top guitars may not offer the same level of variety and uniqueness in their aesthetics.

5. Challenging to Find High-End Models

🎵 While cedar top guitars are widely available, it may be challenging to find high-end models compared to those with spruce tops. Manufacturers often focus on spruce as the go-to tonewood for their premium offerings, limiting the options for players looking for top-tier cedar guitars.

6. Limited Availability in Custom Builds

🎵 If you prefer customized guitars, finding luthiers specializing in cedar may pose a challenge. Due to its specific tonal properties and availability, cedar top guitars may have limited options in the realm of custom builds, restricting individual preferences.

7. Personal Preference

🎵 Ultimately, the choice of tonewood is subjective and depends on personal taste. While cedar top guitars possess numerous advantages, some players may prefer the tonal characteristics of other woods, making cedar a matter of personal preference and musical style.

Best Cedar Top Guitar Models

Model Company Price Range Tonal Characteristics Playability
Larrivée D-03R Larrivée Guitars $1,500 – $2,000 Warm, balanced, rich midrange Smooth and comfortable
Taylor 314ce Taylor Guitars $2,000 – $2,500 Clear, articulate, responsive Effortless and ergonomic
Yamaha LL16M Yamaha Guitars $800 – $1,000 Balanced, warm, versatile Accessible and versatile
Gibson Hummingbird Gibson Guitars $3,000 – $4,000 Resonant, full-bodied, iconic Smooth and responsive
Seagull Artist Mosaic Seagull Guitars $1,500 – $2,000 Expressive, warm, rich harmonics Effortless and precise
Martin DC-16E Martin Guitars $2,500 – $3,000 Balanced, resonant, versatile Comfortable and versatile
Alhambra 4P Alhambra Guitars $1,000 – $1,500 Rich, warm, traditional Spanish Traditional and comfortable

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Are cedar top guitars suitable for beginners?

🎵 Absolutely! Cedar top guitars offer a comfortable playing experience, making them suitable for beginners. The warmth and responsiveness of cedar enhance the learning journey.

2. Can cedar top guitars handle aggressive strumming?

🎵 While cedar top guitars are renowned for their delicacy, they can handle aggressive strumming techniques. However, they may not project volume as effectively as guitars with spruce tops.

3. How do cedar top guitars compare to spruce top guitars?

🎵 Cedar top guitars offer a warm and balanced tonal character, while spruce top guitars tend to have a more focused and pronounced sound. The choice depends on personal preference and musical style.

4. Can cedar top guitars be used for recording?

🎵 Cedar top guitars are excellent for recording due to their balanced and resonant sound. They can capture the subtleties and harmonics with exceptional clarity in a studio environment.

5. Do cedar top guitars require special maintenance?

🎵 Cedar top guitars require regular maintenance, just like any other acoustic guitar. Proper humidification, periodic cleaning, and string changes are essential to preserve the instrument’s longevity.

6. Are cedar top guitars suitable for live performances?

🎵 Yes, cedar top guitars are well-suited for live performances. Their balanced tonal profile ensures clarity in a mix without overpowering other instruments.

7. Can cedar top guitars be used for fingerstyle playing?

🎵 Cedar top guitars are highly suitable for fingerstyle playing. Their immediate responsiveness and enhanced articulation make them a favorite among fingerstyle enthusiasts.

8. Do cedar top guitars need a long break-in period?

🎵 No, cedar top guitars generally have a shorter break-in period compared to guitars with spruce tops. Their responsiveness allows for beautiful tones right from the beginning of your playing experience.

9. Can cedar top guitars handle different music genres?

🎵 Cedar top guitars are versatile and can handle various music genres, including folk, classical, jazz, and more. Their warm and balanced tonal character adapts well to different musical styles.

10. Are cedar top guitars suitable for professional musicians?

🎵 Absolutely! Many professional musicians choose cedar top guitars for their captivating tonal qualities. The warmth, responsiveness, and versatility make them an excellent choice for professionals.

11. Can I find custom cedar top guitars?

🎵 While cedar top guitars may have limited availability in custom builds, some luthiers specialize in crafting customized instruments with cedar tops. Researching and reaching out to experienced luthiers is recommended.

12. Are cedar top guitars travel-friendly?

🎵 Cedar top guitars tend to be lightweight, making them suitable for travelers. However, it is important to ensure proper protection during transportation to prevent any damage.

13. Can cedar top guitars be handed down through generations?

🎵 Yes, cedar top guitars often age gracefully and develop greater tonal complexity over time. With proper care, they can become cherished heirlooms, carrying the legacy of music through generations.

Conclusion: Unleash Your Musical Potential

🎵 After exploring the enchanting world of cedar top guitars, it’s time to take action and unlock your full musical potential. Whether you’re drawn to the warm and expressive melodies or the versatility across genres, a cedar top guitar is a worthy companion for any guitarist.

Consider your playing style, preferences, and budget as you explore the top 7 models mentioned in this guide. Remember, each guitar possesses its own unique tonal characteristics, allowing you to discover your signature sound.

Embrace the tonal charms of cedar as you embark on a melodious journey, immersing yourself in the captivating world of music. The best cedar top guitar awaits you, ready to accompany you on stage, in the studio, or during intimate moments of musical creation.

Closing Statement: Rediscover the Melodic Beauty of Cedar

🎵 In conclusion, cedar top guitars continue to captivate musicians with their warm and expressive tonal qualities. The top 7 models highlighted in this article exemplify the craftsmanship, playability, and sound projection that make cedar a preferred tonewood choice.

However, it is essential to remember that choosing the right guitar ultimately depends on your individual preferences and musical aspirations. Take your time, test different models, and seek advice from seasoned professionals to find the best cedar top guitar that resonates with your soul.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is based on extensive research and industry knowledge. Prices and availability of the mentioned guitars may vary based on location and time. It is recommended to visit authorized dealers or contact manufacturers directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

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