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Author Topic: Sitka spruce versus Moonwood /Austrian Red Spruce  (Read 434 times)
RandyB
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« on: July 06, 2017, 01:44:46 PM »

When buying a used guitar how can you tell if the top is Moonwood or standard Sitka spruce? Is it obvious by looking at it? Is there a specific number indicator on the model of the says it Sitka spruce or Moonwood? I don't know enough about Tone Woods to be able to visually tell the difference. i'm not sure if I trust the person selling it to me to tell me the truth either.


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George
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2017, 03:05:13 PM »

Good question.  The truth can be Somewhat elusive at times.  If it is a Larrivee, and if you know the serial number, you can sometimes find out by using the serial number lookup feature on Larrivee's website.  The description does not always detail everything, but later model Moonwood spruce and European spruce are often noted.  Typically, European Spruce is "whiter" than Sitka and/or Adirondack, but not always...  European spruce can be called by other specific names as well, i.e. Alpine Spruce, German Spruce, Austrian Spruce, High Altitude Red Spruce, etc., but the reality is they all come from the same mountain regions of Europe which cross many country borders.  Moonwood only indicates a unique harvesting process.  A truthful dealer should disclose only what they know as fact about the tonewood details about any guitar...  the question sometimes gets down to whether you trust a particular dealer or not.  When not, I decline to do business with them...

In my humble experience, the quality of the tonewood selected by the luthier is the most crucial element, regardless of where the tonewood is grown or how it is harvested...
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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2017, 07:12:37 AM »

Sitka is slightly orangish, while European/Italian/Austrian/Moon (all the same thing) is pale yellow where Engelmann is a bit whiter.

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flatlander
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« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2017, 10:17:20 AM »

Is this guitar one you are able to see and play in person? And...do you plan on it being a player, not an investment? If both of those things are true, and if it were me, I would just be concerned in how it sounded. Otherwise I don't know how you would tell for sure if it was moonwood. How would you know if it grew in an exact region at certain altitude, let alone what part of moon cycle it was harvested in. You would have to trust the source. I do have a moonwood top guitar, and I like it. But it was for a custom order so there was no way to hear it ahead of time. I talked to several people in the know, including a couple top luthiers, and they liked it. So I gave it a shot and was pleased. If I could have heard it ahead of time, I wouldn't care if it was FROM the moon or mars and made by highly developed aliens. It would only matter how it sounded.
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« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2017, 12:05:31 PM »

If I could have heard it ahead of time, I wouldn't care if it was FROM the moon or mars and made by highly developed aliens. It would only matter how it sounded.

 +1  Well said!
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George
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