Pine -vs- Baltic Birch

The Real Difference and How To Choose

Pine -vs- Baltic Birch The Real Difference and How to Choose One of the most common questions I get when talking with a customer deciding what speaker cabinet is best for them is whether to use Pine or Baltic Birch, Plywood or Solid Wood. I like to ask a few questions to get an idea about how the cabinet will be used and the player's style(s), stage and recording volume etc. As a general rule, I ask what amp or amps they use, is it treble, mid-range or bass-heavy. I also like to ask what recordings of guitar tones they are trying to achieve so I can get a quality sample. Now, for Bass-Heavy amp circuits, I almost always recommend a Hardwood or dense plywood such as Solid Maple or Baltic Birch. The more dense wood material will help tame the low end and will provide a much more balanced tone projection overall. Tone and frequency manipulation can also be achieved through different rear panel choices. A closed back will tighten the low end and make it less prominent. A semi-open back will create a more three-dimensional tone projection while an Oval semi-open back can balance between the two, retaining low end while giving the player a more organic tone spread. There are other considerations as well such as weight and durability. Some of my more "age challenged" players may want to reduce weight while still taming the low end. For this I recommend a light-weight Pine Plywood such as our Radiata Pine Plywood which is relatively light weight and durable while retaining great tonal characteristics. I generally use 1/2" Baltic Birch or 3/4" Radiata Pine Ply for the light-weight cabinets. These same principals are used when a customer may have a low wattage amp or if they do not play at loud levels. Pine and other softwoods will allow the amp to hit that tonal sweet-spot without cranking it up to 10.