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Engleman Or Sitka

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It's just a tonal preference. Most will say the best choice is Adirondack (Red) Spruce, and Western Red Cedar can be used as well, though it isn't popular because it's not as strong as the spruces. In a pinch, just about any soft wood will work. It should be straight grained with very little runout. From there, it's more about the luthier than it is about the wood.

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  • 2 months later...

I use European (local) or Adirondack (because I have some) spruce for bracing, otherwise I'd probably go with Sitka. You want high stiffness and low weight, and though Engelmann will likely be just fine, it's - on average - often a little less stiff than Sitka or Adi (or Euro).

I would not use Cedar (light, soft, fragile) or hardwoods. Bracewood is pretty cheap and easy to source, and an important structural part of your instrument. Don't skimp on it.

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  • 3 months later...

Bob: Looks like I am a bit late for these posts. Spruce is the wood for braces. The reason.................best stiffness to weight ratio. Although Cedar appears to be a good candidate, it has a few things going against it. Lower stiffness to weight then spruce. A bit more likely to be fragile and more likely to peel off ,IMO.


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