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Adirondack Spruce was used for the tops on many of the great pre-war American guitars. Many guitarmakers today believe that this wood is a significant contributing factor to the strong, clear tone of those vintage/collectible instruments. In the last ten to twenty years there has been a resurgence of its use by many hand builders and factories, in an effort to capture that vintage sound. Unfortunately, these guitarmakers have found that the quality and useable sizes of this greatly desired tonewood to be very limited.
Finding available logs that will yield full dreadnought sizes in a quality similar to the Sitka and Engelmann Spruce available today is virtually impossible. True Master Grade tops are only rarely found by the cutters, in fact they are so rare that we no longer carry them. Our WAAAJ and WAAA tops are exemplary Adirondack tops and represent only a very small percentage of Adirondack Spruce being cut, hence the higher price. The cosmetic quality of the AAA is not quite equal to Engelmann and Sitka Spruce at the AAA grade.
Some Adirondack tops will exhibit subtle bearclaw-like figure. Please let us know if prefer not to see this figuring in the top you order. You can use write this request into the “special instructions” box on the checkout page.
In general, the visual/cosmetic quality in use today by the best builders and high end factories (typically the double A tops, WAAAJ and WAAA) has more grain and color variation than either good Sitka or Engelmann Spruce - but that variation has been accepted in acquiring and working with this fine, great sounding wood.
Please note: The first ‘A’ in the product codes below stands for ‘Adirondack’ and the other A’s designate the grade, so a WAAAJ top is a double A grade top, etc.