Some beginners are told that the guitars have solid Cedar top are better than those with Spruce. The reason why people so concern about the materials of guitar top is that guitar side and back contribute little to the tone and loudness of an acoustic guitar.
The top is the most important contributor. Solid top is better than laminate top in general. As to Spruce or Cedar, it is hard to say. Why people think Cedar top is better than Spruce? Personally, I think it is because some guitar makers don’t use good quality Spruce in their entry level models. Some factories seem to use high quality Spruce like Europe Spruce and Engelmann Spruce in their high end product lines.
For cedar, the good Cedar is much cheaper than good Spruce. Good Cedar is easier to find and you can buy a good beginner guitar with Cedar top at affordable price. Some said that there is difference between Cedar and Spruce guitar sound—Cedar sound is mellow or Spruce sound is dark. But for beginners, it is hard to tell the difference and you should pay more attention to the general sound quality, playability, durability and affordability than on difference of tone between two woods. Another reason why people want to choose Cedar is that cedar seems to sound better when aged, but there is not solid proof of that.
Don’t hung up on the material of top wood too much when starting learn guitar. Just buy the best with in your budget, just avoid the too cheap guitars (or kids toys).