The guitar truly is the sum of all its parts. That said there is one component that is of particular importance; that is the soundboard.
Things I consider necessary for the top to meet an acceptable criteria are; good lateral stiffness, well seasoned, quarter sawn, straight grain, light weight and no run out.
The main two species I use for soundboards are European spruce (Picea abies) and Western red cedar (Thuja plicata) other species I use include sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis ) and englemann spruce (Picea englemannii)
The soundboard is made up of two book-matched boards, these are joined in the middle after careful preparation of the join.
Micro fine shavings are taken until the join is ready.
Once the top is ready to join a dry run is done, this is the gluing procedure minus the glue; this allows me to check everything is looking good. Once I've done this and I'm happy with everything I can glue.
The boards are clamped using the rope to secure everything in place; the wedged stick then stretches the rope tightening the join. I prefer this traditional method over the modern sash clamps for many reasons; less chance of starving the joint of glue, easy to re-heat the glue after clamping, easy to store away rather than the clamped area taking up bench space as it cures, not to mention it's more fun.