Adirondack vs Sitka spruce tops

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by riffmeister, Jun 18, 2005.

  1. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    I've had two Collings D1's in my possession for the last couple of weeks. About the guitars:

    D1 (Sitka/mahog dread), D'Addario p/b mediums, 1 11/16" at the nut, guitar is approx 1 yr old, I've had it for six months.

    D1A (Adirondack/mahog dread), D'Addario p/b mediums, 1 3/4" at the nut, guitar is approx 6 months old, I've had it for three weeks.

    About me: I play both fingerstyle (flesh & nail right hand), with a flatpick, and hybrid pick (pick between thumb and index finger, finger pick with middle and ring fingers). I have a light to medium touch, generally......only ocasionally will I really wail (usually just for single string leads, etc).

    So here's my short answer as to how these two guitars differ in sound. The Sitka guitar has a narrower frequency response, not quite as brilliant on the top end, not quite as large in the bass, compared to the Adi guitar. The Sitka guitar has a bit more midrange focus and punch, but the note separation when playing chords is greater on the Adi guitar. I vacillate on an hourly basis as to which guitar I prefer. :rolleyes:

    So are the differences all due to the differences in top wood? I dunno. Probably, the Adi guitar needs more play time to "open up", so I imagine I will keep both for as long as I can afford to and make a decision down the road as to which to keep and which to let go. Or maybe I'll win the lottery and keep both! :dude
     
  2. Den

    Den Member

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    Based on this and other posts you made on acoustics, I'd say my style and tastes run along the lines of yours. I was all over town checking out Goodalls when you had your two and appreciated your thoughts.

    I agree, I've generally found the note separation or "string-to-string clarity" to be better to my ears with Adirondack. But, I think as you've found, many times with acoustics you can just throw the rules out the window, because there can be such a difference from one guitar to another even when all parts and specs are equal.

    I'm still on the search for the one acoustic that will really knock my socks off doing the styles of playing you describe. Thanks
     
  3. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    so true! always best to try before you buy with an acoustic instrument!!
     
  4. m1911

    m1911 Member

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    So?...what did you decide?
    I have a Collings 0002H arriving today from Stu.
    Standard Sitka Top....sounded GREAT!
    Mark
     
  5. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I think it depends entirely on the design of the guitar, the wood used for the back and sides and the skill of the builder. To simply say one top is more this or that than the other is innacurate, taken by itself.

    To compare them both on similar styled guitars with the same back and side woods is an OK basis for comparison in that small realm, but it tells you nothing about other styles and other tone woods. Or, for that matter, other builders who may or may not pay attention to voicing each individual instrument.
     
  6. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm keeping both for a while......the Adi guitar really needs to open up some more, and if the differences in sound down the road continue as they are currently, I'll probably keep both. I love them both for what they do.
     
  7. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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  8. Ogre

    Ogre Member

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    You are keeping the right one. (most likely) There is something special about Adirondack spruce.
     
  9. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    Actually from what I understand, Sitka needs more time to open up and it will sound more like what Adirondack sounds like from the start, and Adirondack will open up and sound more complex and fuller as it opens up. Although I believe Sitka is stiffer? and gives more volume/projection?
     
  10. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    People in the know tell me Adirondack is the stiffer wood, in general (but you must realize that there are no absolutes with two pieces of wood). My experience with these two guitars is that the Sitka sounded more full out of the starting block than the Adirondack. I've had an Adirondack Collings OM1A for almost a year, and it has defintitely opened up and become more full sounding. I'm expecting more or less the same with the dread.
     
  11. stephenT

    stephenT Silver Supporting Member

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    Adirondack is the stiffer top wood (in general). I've got a Merrill OM in Adirondack, it's the best I've played.

    Sitka can sound wonderful but doesn't take as long as Adirondack to break in or open up.
     
  12. Doug Brown

    Doug Brown Member

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    Thereis a great article on this subject in the July 2005 Acoustic Guitar Mag.

    Thanks for the thead.

    Doug
     
  13. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    I still can't say that one sounds 'better' than the other.....they both sound great and my opinion flip-flops from day to day.

    The deciding factor is the nut width.....both are great for flatpicking and strumming, but the wider nut on the Adi guitar helps me out for fingerstyle, which is what a play quite a bit of the time, since I am actually a bit more of a classical guitar nut than a steel string acoustic guitar nut. ;)
     

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