Alpine spruce, the3 most sought-after qualities

Alpine spruce: know the 3 most sought-after qualities by luthiers

Wood is our world. Our neverending quest for the best woods makes us travel the globe looking for the best materials for the discerning luthier; wheter it is for its aesthetic properties as for its importance as acoustic element. After the long and unavoidable stop due to the Covid pandemic, we've been able to travel again and the destination couldn't be clearer: get our hands in the best tonewood for soundboards that there is, the Alpine Spruce.

1. Characteristics and origin of Alpine Spruce

Alpine Red Spruce is unanimously considered the best wood for the soundboards of acoustic instruments. It's a really beautiful wood, that have plenty of "mirroring".

Alpine spruce top New Moon

Due to the location of the forests -between 1000 and 1800 meters high- and nutrient-poor soils make for a short growing season, which in turn translates into thin and tight growth rings, and with an even distance between them. All these characteristics made this spruce the main contender for soundboard wood (some people say that Stradivarius priced this spruce above the rest). Our stock comes right from the border between Austria and Switzerland.

2. The three most valued qualities for the creation of musical instruments

As a proof of its exceptional quality, we incorporate a quality that we do not usually offer in spruce tops:

Reserved for those sets that serve as a perfect example of all the qualities that make this wood the most valued for use in instruments. 

Alpine spruce is so impressive that we've been forced to create a couple of new grades for it: New Moon and Bearclaw.

Tapa de Abeto de los Alpes Master para Guitarra Acústica

What our customers say about us

Tapa de Abeto de los Alpes luna nueva para guitarra acústica

For centuries, the right way to chop down trees to get the best quality wood possible was to make the chopping day match with a new moon day at late autumn. The closeness of the Moon has a definitive influence on the water/moisture content of the wood. That way they were sure of having the sap at its lowest point in the tree, which produces a more stable wood, more resistant to fungi and decay, beside other features that are highly sought after in a tonewood: flexibility without loss of longitudinal stiffness, durability... now our customers can access to this exclusive wood, destined to instruments made to live on.

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This spruce, also known as “Hazelficte“ or “Hazelfichte” in its originary german form, shows the bearclaw pattern all across its surface. The name comes from the appearance of undulations (sometimes ribbon-like) or swirls that show up in the wood grain, particularly when the wood has been nicely quarter-sawn. The origin remains unknown (it is said to come from genetic reasons, fungi attack... there's no clear culprit) but there is some consensus about it adding toughness to the top. In any case, the unique look of this kind of wood is undeniable. Just take a look at the work of so many well-known luthiers and leading brands to see how prized it is right now.

Tapa de Abeto de los Alpes Bear claw para Guitarra Clásica

As you can see, thanks to its lightness, its ease of workability and the qualities it offers, Alpine Spruce is one of the most sought-after woods for the manufacture of musical instruments, especially classical and acoustic guitars.

We invite you to watch this video to learn more about the 3 qualities of this spectacular wood.

Our Alpine Spruce tops

In our online store you can find acoustic and classical guitar tops in a wide range of available qualities.

Which one do you prefer?

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