Scientific name: Thuja plicata
Origin: West coast of North america
Other names: Western red Cedar, Cedro rojo
Average density: 23lbs/ft3 – 370kg/m3
Uses: Guitar soundboards
Western red cedar is by far the most popular cedar used in soundboards. It has a nice red-tan color that ranges from light chocolate or honey brown to cinnamon or beige. Western red cedar is by far the most popular cedar used in soundboards. It is common to classical guitars and, over the last years, it has become a favorite soundboard wood among the steel-string guitar community. Compared to spruce it has lower stiffness along the grain and requires a significantly shorter break-in period, which is a particularly interesting characteristic for some players and builders. A Spruce-topped guitar can sound tight at first, its sound may take some time to open up and needs to be played-in for a period of time before its sound is fully realized. A Cedar-topped guitar, after it is strung for the first time, has a vibrant full sound which tends to be a bit warmer and with less sparkle than Spruce. Some have described the tone as intimate.