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Western Red Cedar, Thuja Plicata

Since 1996 Timbre Tonewood has shipped millions of acoustic guitar and mandolin soundboards

thumbnailAs a tonewood, Western Red Cedar was "discovered" relatively recently. Over the last 30 years Red Cedar has gained tremendous popularity. Initially, it was taken up by Spanish builders building classical guitars, but in recent years guitar makers have expanded production of Western steel string guitars using Red Cedar soundboards.


Well quartered Red Cedar offers exceptional tonal quality. Although the wood is less dense and softer than Sitka Spruce it produces a crisp balance of sound.


It is quite common to find fine even grain Western Red Cedar. The difficulty with Red Cedar is finding billets with uniform color. Red Cedar as lumber is valued for the beautiful hues of color it exhibits. Consistency of color is rare, and only about 3% of prime large old growth logs meet the color requirement, and then only sections of these logs yield tonewood.


Timbre Tonewood has specialized in the selection of Red Cedar tonewood for over 22 years. Currently about half of our soundboard production is Western Red Cedar.