Term Synonym Explanation
A-Grade Lowest Grade, 4th best quality, lowest quality A-Grade tops, physical and optical grading properties, prices and dimensions.
AA-Grade 3rd Grade, 3rd best quality AA-Grade tops, physical and optical grading properties, prices and dimensions.
AAA-Grade 2nd Grade, 2nd best quality AAA-Grade tops, physical and optical grading properties, prices and dimensions.
Acoustic Guitar Acoustic guitar is a hyper term for all classical and western guitars. The strings transmit the sound waves to the guitar's body. Usually an acoustic guitar is fitted with a flat guitar top (soundboard, sound board). The guitar top tonewoods are softwoods, from different spruce species or cedar.
Air Seasoned 100 percent air dried; Wood drying; Wood seasoning The traditional method that I use to drying all my Spruce wood. The tops are 100 percent dried in an outdoor climatic environment, WITHOUT any kiln dry from the log to the finished guitar top!
Antonio De Torres Antonio de Torres Jurado (13 June 1817 in Almería, Andalucía - 19 November 1892). Luthier and guitarist from Spain. He was one of the most important Spanish guitar maker of the 19th century. His guitars were the templates and the starting point of the modern classical guitar. Antonio De Torres uses German Spruce for his guitars.
Average Ring Spacing Rate of growth; Annual rings per inch, Annual ring growth The annual radial growth of wood on a living tree. The unit of measure is annual rings per inch. I prefer straight and not to extremely tight ring spacing for my guitar tops.
Bear Claw Spruce Haselfichte (German); Haselwuchs der Fichte (German); Hazel See the term "Haselfichte".
Brace Wood Spruce wood for braces; Bracing or fan strutting Spruce wood for braces, bracing and fan strutting. The quality is similar to the wood of the guitar tops. Unit in 1kg, length 540mm, split and planed in split direction. Dimensions can vary a little in length. Different profile dimensions.
Classic Guitar Nylon String Guitar; Classical Guitar; Concert Guitar; Spanish Guitar This style of guitar is used in classical, Spanish and flamenco music. It is an acoustic guitar with nylon strings. Antonio De Torres (1817-1892) was a pioneer of the modern classic guitar design and construction.
Classification Quality-grades of guitar tops; Top's grading; Guitar top's grade; Grading system; Careful hand-selection The classification of the Guitar tops in different grades (Master-Grade, AAA-Grade, AA-Grade, A-Grade) under inclusion of all optical and sound relevant criterions. The guitar top's grade is the combination off all quality criterions and finally the optical aspect of a guitar top as a whole.
Density Low density; Relation from exact weight to volume The density, or the relation from exact weight to volume is measured in mass per volume (gr./cm3). The density of my guitar tops varies from log to log. For example in my "Log descriptions" the spruce's density of a guitar top is 0.39 gr./cm3 by a wood moisture of 10.0 percent (air seasoned).
German Spruce Alpine Spruce; European Spruce; Common Spruce; Picea Abies (lat.); Picea Excelsa (lat.) German Spruce is the topic for a famous and acclaimed Spruce species especially in guitar building. Preferable the regions of the Bavarian (German) Alps, the Bavarian Forest, the Austrian Alps and the Italian Dolomites.
Guitar Sound Summary the acoustical result out of construction and wood characteristics of an acoustic guitar. There are a lot of attributes to describe the Sound of a musical instrument the attack point, amplifying, sustain, damping and resonance. A guitar sound can be very subjective and varies from ear to ear between pure notes and power, harmonic and dynamic.
Guitar Top Guitar Soundboard; Guitar Sound Board One of the most important parts of an acoustic guitar is the top (soundboard, sound board). The guitar top is basically the surface of a guitar. Thru the bridge, the strings are directly connected with the guitar top. The energy of a plucked string puts the guitar top in vibration. Traditionally, a guitar top is made of two successive quarter-sawn boards from a split wood wedge (I call these two boards "guitar top set" in my offers), which are symmetrical glued together. Guitar tops are out of softwoods like Spruce and Cedar. See also the term "Tonewood".
Haselfichte (German) Bear claw spruce, Haselwuchs der Fichte (German); Hazel The Haselfichte is probably a genetic variant of the Common Spruce (Picea Abies), which occurs in the Alps, Dolomites and the Bavarian Forest. It is not doubtless clarified, what this particular growth form provokes. You can clearly identify the Haselfichte when the bark is removed. In the longitudinal direction of the debarked wood, there are grooves. This grooves are exposes the radial disturbance of growth from this unique spruce subspecies. Finally, the Haselfichte is a worldwide high requested and very rare tonewood. To see the sensational patterns from Haselfichte guitar tops is a god's given present. Isolated "Hasel" are no reduction in sound quality of a guitar top!
Log Description Wood Description; Description of the top's wood The Log Description is a short information of important data about a Spruce log (trunk) of a specific Guitar top. Includes information of date of logging, location of logging, above sea level, density, speed of sound (method by Matthias Dammann) and average ring spacing.
Luthier Lutherie; Lutheria The knowledge and craft of making guitars. A manufacturer of lutes and guitars. The Luthier designs, builds, repairs and restores all musical instruments from the guitar family.
Master-Grade Finest Grade; First Grade; Best quality Grade Master-Grade tops, physical and optical grading properties, prices and dimensions.
Medullary Rays Rays; Cross-silk-pattern; Silver grain Rays connected with the pith. Radially rays of cells they transport food horizontally in the tree. By spruce wood only visible when the wood is accurately quarter-sawn! See also the term "Quarter-Sawn".
No-Run-Out No Axial Run-Out; Minimum Run-Out No-Run-Out is not to be confused with quarter-sawn (medullary rays). A guitar top with much run-out can also have great and much medullary rays. A guitar top's run-out is not visible at first sight. The run-out is a result of a spiral growth, where the grain flow is not being parallel with the axis of a tree (Log). An extreme run-out occur by mass production of guitar tops! When a whole log comes into the band resaw, the saw cuts the log along the axis without any attention of the spiral growth and the reference plane! Therefore an exact and accurately hand-splitting of wedges is a very important step by producing a good guitar top. By a No-run-out top the wood fibers running lengthwise and parallel through the board. A symmetric light reflection of both guitar boards of a Guitar top, is a sure sign that there is no-run-out. See also the term "Wood splitting".
Optical Criterions Optical aspects of a guitar top; Visible quality factors The optical criteria that contribute to a guitar top classification mostly influences the sound not very much. Tight grain, fine grain, straight and even grain, even color, whitish color, defects of color, compression wood, pitch pockets, knots, isolated bear claw (Haselfichte).... It all depends on the right dosage. See also the term "Sound Relevant Criterions".
Quarter-Sawn Quarter sawn; Edge grain; Quartered; Radially-sawn; Quarter sawing; Accurate quarter-sawn You can identify a well and exact quarter-sawn board by lots of Medullary rays. Wood that has been sawn at the right angle to the annual rings have a great stiffness crossways and lengthways. During the wood's air seasoning these boards do not warp, also by the favorable cutting geometries the boards shrunk evenly with a balanced distribution of tension. See also the term "Medullary Rays".
Ratio Of Latewood Summerwood The later formed proportion of a growth ring. The latewood is characterized by darker, smaller and denser cells. By good Spruce-Tonewood the ratio of latewood is very low.
Sound Relevant Criterions Physical characteristics; Sound characteristics; Quality characteristics; Sound preferences; Sound properties; Tonal qualities; Sound-forming factors In comparison to the optical criteria for a guitar tops classification, the sound relevant criteria can influences the sound immense. We distinguish between 1. wood dependent: Density, Modulus of Elasticity, spiral growth and 2. dependent by the way of cut: Run-Out of fibers, Medullary rays. See also the term "Optical Criterions".
Speed Of Sound Longitudinal speed of sound in m/sec.; Speed of Sound calculation by Matthias Dammann The measuring unit for speed of sound is meter per second, and describes the distance in a second, that sound travels through a guitar top board lengthways. This value you can calculate with E-Modulus or with the formula descript in sound speed calculation by Matthias Dammann. For detailed information download "Criterions of Quality for Tonewood by Matthias Dammann".
Spiral Growth Twisted growth; Turning growth; No straight growth; No constant growth See the term "No-Run-Out".
Tonewood Tonewoods; Tonholz (German); Resonanzholz (German) For guitar tops the most important sound forming properties are the relation between stiffness and gravity of the wood. Spruce and Cedar are the most common softwoods are used as tonewood for the soundboards by instruments like acoustic guitar, lute, mandolin, bouzouki, ukulele, oud, saz... . Hardwoods are used for the neck and the body of stringed instruments. See also the term "Guitar top".
Western Guitar Steel-string guitar; Dreadnought The western or steel-string guitar is younger in history than the classic guitar. These guitars are strung with steel strings. The tension of the steel strings is higher in comparison with the nylon strings by a classic guitar, this affected a louder and brighter sound. There are many body types from model "00" (Grand Concert), "000" (Grand Auditorium), Dreadnought and Jumbo to name a few.
Wood Splitting Riving; Cleaving Wood splitting is the perfect technique, to make my spruce wedges before sawing (cutting) the guitar tops. Compared to sawing, the growth characteristics of the tree can be seen by splitting along the grain. This is very important for the next steps in production of a fine grade guitar soundboard. The best tool to split tonewood is the froe. See also the term "No-Run-Out".