Western Redcedar exists as a counterpart to Spruce with a distinct set of attributes that has gained a devoted set of fans among luthiers and guitarists. Today many high quality nylon string guitars, and increasingly steel string guitars, are made with Cedar.
Cedar is more fragile and not as elastic as Spruce, but it is more stable with changes in moisture content. It is liked for its warm color, straight grain, and clear crisp tap tone. The sound of a Cedar topped guitar is regarded for its harmonic richness and complexity and for a wider dynamic range compared to Spruce – though it’s lack of “headroom” makes it a poor choice for heavy handed flatpickers. The color ranges from light to reddish to (only rarely) chocolate brown with subtle unevenness of color being allowed sometimes even in the higher grades.