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Alaskan Yellow Cedar tops


Chamaecyparis nootkatensis

Alaskan Yellow Cedar, called Canadian Cypress by some, belongs to a genus so closely related to the true Cypresses that it was once classified with them by botanists. It is one of the most stable of woods in terms of dimensional change due to moisture content change and so is more immune to cracking than any of the other soundboard woods (with the exception being Port Orford Cedar - another Cypress-like tonewood). Tonally, the wood is especially well suited for flatpicking steel string guitars when a strong tone with a bright attack is desired (its specific gravity is close to Sitka and Adirondack Spruces). Some classical and flamenco guitar builders report that it imbues the instrument with a chimey, clear, articulate tone with great sustain.

See an Alaskan Yellow Cedar guitar by luthier Hank Mauel.

Tops Dimensions
  Wood Grading article
  Soundboard quality terms