Quarter cut versus slab cut

Different cutting techniques are used for logs depending on their intended purpose. Quarter sawing involves cutting logs into quarters through, or close to, the center (radial cut). Spruce used for violin bellies is always cut on the quarter, so that it features vertical annual rings.
Back plates may also be slab cut, a method frequently used for one-piece backs. In this case, logs are cut close to the edge of the log. Slab cutting brings out the wood grain and is considered more attractive.

Quarter cut of the violin Guadagnini, 1774, and slab cut of the violin Guadignini, 177x