The Adirondack Mountains are found in upstate New York. A unique red spruce grows on its steep mountain slopes, providing the best tonewoods in the world for making guitar tops.

The red spruce (Picea rubens) is a medium-sized evergreen conifer. This species is the most typical conifer species of the Adirondack region as a whole. The Adirondack spruce produces wood that is strong, light and sound-resonant. In other words, the most perfect wood for a soundboard. Our American supplier of Adirondack shows this in the following video:

The very best wood comes from the spruce trees that grow high on the mountain on the north side. The colder the better. These trees grow the slowest, resulting in tight grains. This makes the wood harder and this is good for the resonance.

New Netherlands

It is interesting to know that, in the 17th century, this region was once colonial territory of the Netherlands (named: New Netherland) and that gold was searched. Our distant ancestors behaved very violently there, with regard to the original inhabitants. For more information, read the article: “The gold of Adirondack”

What makes Adirondack so special?

The wood of Sitka and Engelmann spruce is by far the most commonly used for acoustic guitar tops. 

What makes Adirondack so special compared to these other spruce species?

  • Compared to Sitka and Engelmann, Adirondack spruce has a long historical reputation. For example, most high-quality pre-war guitars (e.g. by C.F. Martin) were built with Adirondack.
  • The wood is extremely rare because it comes from a National Park where all trees are protected. This protection applies even after they have been blown down by the wind. Only a limited number of wood suppliers are allowed to get the popular spruce wood from the Park.
  • Its rarity is partly due to the fact that this spruce can only be found in the northeast corner of North America. This tree does not occur outside this region.
  • The legendary tree produces wood with a much tighter grain than any other spruce. This makes the wood harder and therefore it resonates better.
  • Although it is a red spruce, the color of the sawn wood is lighter than other spruces, almost white.

Due to the scarce availability and sublime resonance, the price for AAA-quality Adirondack is on average three times higher than the price for Sitka or Engelmann. For that reason, most high-end brands only use Adirondack on their very best guitars which often cost more than $ 4,000.

Homestead uses Adirondack on all models

Because the sound is so much better than other spruce, Homestead uses Adirondack wood as standard on all its models. Our American supplier, John Griffin of Old Standard Wood, regularly travels to the Adirondack Mountains to pick out the very best wood.

In our selection of the available tops, we only settle for the highest (AAA) quality and we pay attention to various quality aspects. For more information on our selection criteria: Adirondack

In short: Adirondack standard on all our models, that’s one of the reasons why a Homestead sounds so good.

Robin van de Poll, 26 april 2022