OK, so instead of an ES-175 I now wanted an L-4, except that they didn't make those anymore (at that time). Laminate is a marketing-friendly term for plywood. Solid wood construction tends to express a wood’s tonal personality in the fullest, most complex way, resulting in a superior musical sound. Cocobolo If you’ve been playing guitar, or even looking into buying a guitar, for any length of time surely you’ve come across the topic of solid vs. laminated acoustic guitars. Laminate gets a bad rap in my opinion because it is indeed a cheaper option. It wouldn't be as big of a deal if the sides and back are laminate. Though not having the depth of Rosewood, it offers a much broader tonal response than mahogany. But they can't come close to the sound of a solid wood Martin. Guitar players who truly care about the sound of their instrument– and its nuances– will seek out solid wood guitars. You've heard of "babying" a guitar; maintaining a solid-wood acoustic means treating it much the same as a small child. Working in a guitar shop the easiest way for me to tell if the top is solid is look down the neck and at the edge of the sound hole. Cedar. My particular opinion (and the idea that Martin has used) is that the soundboard of a guitar, the top, should be a solid piece of tone wood, but you can use laminate/HPL to construct the back, sides, and even neck of the guitar to make the best of both. Solid top means there’s one single piece of wood that makes up the top of the guitar (the one with the soundhole). That’s the thing about laminates. But with Dupont and US Made Dell Artes I haven't noticed as big a difference between solid vs laminate. So before you run out and buy a solid wood guitar just for the sake of having a solid wood guitar you'd better play a lot of both and see which one you like the sound of or you could be very disappointed with your $1500+ guitar. In this post, we’re going to discuss laminated guitars, how to spot them, are they really that bad, and what you need to know if you’re buying a solid or laminated instrument. I play it much more in the summer than winter. If it looks "spongy" or compressed plys.. its Laminate. It will not get better with age like solid wood, but if it sounds great now, it will always sound that way. I've had two laminate Martins in the past, a 000 from the old Road Series, and a Cowboy 2. Like with a good red wine, time will define your ultimate choice between solid vs laminate wood acoustic guitars. I have a solid wood SEAGULL acoustic guitar and i am now going through my second round of the neck bending and needing to pay $80 to get it fixed. But, in order to go into this with y a solid wood top will sound richer acoustically, especially if it is not cut into for a pickup. If you are looking at purchasing your first guitar or are on a budget you probably have come across the term, layered or laminate body. The buying advice is to play what sounds best. Low price. Laminate instruments often have very attractive looks as the most visually appealing piece of the wood is chosen as the external layer. Let’s weigh the pros and cons of laminates. A laminate with, say, a thin top, small bridgeplate and scalloped braces might [move] more air vs an all solid wood guitar that is built like a tank. The sound of your acoustic guitar is a team effort. One truth: We make very, very good-sounding laminate guitars; just play them and tell me they’re not. But arguably the most important component is the top wood; in this article, we'll delve deeper into the debate of solid tops vs. laminate tops. The Guitar Wood – Solid Wood or Laminate Wood In this post, I’ll show you some knowledge about Solid Wood and Laminate Wood. maybe prone to splitting everytime they use it, etc. I loved both of them, and would take either of them over several solid wood guitars I've had in the past. Photo credit: suvajack (Flickr: Cebu – Alegre Guitar Shop and Factory) [CC BY … While in many cases solid wood is the preferred tone option, laminate instruments can still sound absolutely brilliant. The glue probably renders the wood's characteristics irrelevant, even assuming the laminate is all rosewood. And to address the solid indian vs. laminate braz question, let's be honest. HPL, or High-Pressure Laminate materials are becoming more commonplace in guitar construction. Aklot Bamboo Tenor Ukulele Review - Electric Ukulele Review […] Choosing Between Solid Wood vs Laminate … a solid wood top WILL feed back more amplified. Laminate is. General rule of thumb for me is, If i have a hard time seeing plain grain, it a lam.. also Google the model. Solid wood is not cheap. The "solid vs. laminate" question is very, very very common on guitar forums and the answer about sound quality is "it depends." The sound is generated by the vibration of the top, and a laminate (plywood) top does not vibrate as freely as a solid piece of wood. I've owned many guitars with solid woods and many that are laminate and as I've weeded down my collection to a more manageable size I've found that I've invariably chosen the solid-wood guitars over similar laminates--in fact, I now own only one laminated guitar, a custom ES-355 that is quite excellent, but not necessarily better than one of my solid-wood CS-356's. This is frequently used as an acoustic guitar soundboard - especially on nylong string guitars - and has a warm, soft, open sound with beautiful overtones. Solid vs Laminate. Laminate consists of thin layers of wood pieced together, and it is commonly found on entry level ukuleles. Pros. Resonant properties are improved with solid top guitar versus laminate. Laminate wood does not make for the best tone, especially for tops. There are $30,000 laminate guitars and $500 solid wood guitars, and both can sound great. A lot has transpired through the years in the debate over acoustic guitars in the area of laminate versus solid wood construction. The guitar will project with greater volume. Used for: Back/sides. A friendly and well-meaning fellow at a music store told me that if I really wanted a good sounding guitar I've better get something made of solid wood and not laminate wood. In general, solid wood is best, especially with regards to the guitar top, or soundboard. At that point, in my opinion, I don't think solid vs ply top will make any significant difference. Martin Guitars, in particular, have a line made partially, or almost completely, from HPLs. There are some bragging rights involved in … Laminate tonewood isn’t as resonant as solid wood. pressed means laminate. I think a lot of these solid wood models were made just to make guys transitioning from the flatop/archtop world feel better about buying a Selmer type guitar. Used for: Soundboard. Construction, hardware, neck shape - the list goes on. Chances are, the wood was poorly chosen, poorly aged, and poorly handled. Beginners who want something to learn on, that doesn’t break the bank, often go with the cheap laminate choice. There is no point spending a lot of money on a guitar that does not offer you durability. Solid Wood. Solid vs. Laminate There is a widely held belief that if an acoustic guitar has all solid wood it will sound better than a guitar that is laminate. This is a review of my recently acquired Solid Top Acoustic Guitar Takamine EG440SC vs my 23 Year old acoustic all laminate Yamaha :-) Which essentially makes it a solid body guitar in function and a hollowbody in looks). carved is carved, a solid wood top. By Ken Searcy A lot has transpired through the years in the debate over acoustic guitars in the area of laminate versus solid wood construction. It would be easy if it were this black and white all the time, but the unique experiences and needs you have will determine what materials will be suited for you. So is solid wood or a laminate the right choice for you? A solid piece of wood is able to vibrate considerably more freely than laminate wood. solid wood vibrates more, which means more sound, but also, a greater chance for feedback. It is not a secret that the type of materials and craftsmanship affect the quality, durability, sound and price of acoustic guitars. As a guitar construction material, there are a lot of advantages. If you see grain running though it, its solid. To start I will give a brief summery of solid vs. layered/laminate tone woods. It is not a secret that the type of materials and craftsmanship affect the quality, durability, sound and price of acoustic guitars. That guitar looks like it has a center block like some ES-335s, or at the very least a substantial block under the stop bridge unit. This is what you get with solid wood that you cannot get with laminates. Another truth: No matter what type of outside veneer we put on them, the sound changes very little if at all. In every belief there’s a small lie (see what I did there). In fact, when buying a budget guitar, be leery of a solid top. Laminate VS Solid Wood Acoustic Guitars We’ll explore some personal preferences and some instances where it’s obvious what type of guitar you’ll need. And unlike laminate wood, solid wood has a tendency to get better with age, meaning that the tone will open up even more over the […] November 17, 2018 Reply. In closing all laminated means is 2 or more pieces of wood glued together. Right now every string vibrates against the neck and is pointless to play. This wood is full and responsive. As a general rule any instrument under $199 is likely to be layered/laminate. mean it is good quality solid wood. Older Guilds tend to be more heavily built so Im not surprised you enjoy your Alvarez more. But first, I have to say that though the woods will has more effect on the quality sound of guitar however that not mean you just choose a guitar which made of quality wood and you will best sounds. Read on for the full lowdown! If you are on a serious budget then this could be an option but I would avoid it at least for the soundboard if you can – often you can pick up something cheap that has a solid top but laminate back and sides. Another factor that influences sound is whether the wood used in your instrument is constructed from solid pieces of wood or from wood laminate. I live in cold weather right now but it is always in its case like the man in the store suggested. One of the widely recognized distinguishing features of a premium or professional-grade acoustic guitar is the use of solid wood panels for the top, back and sides. The solid wood models are consistently better then the laminates.