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  #1  
Old 10-10-2009, 08:38 PM
Bigzam12 Bigzam12 is offline
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Default Solid vs Laminate back and sides

Hello,

I'v been looking into buying a twelve string guitar recently, and I found a Breedlove guitar that I really like, but I was upset when I figured out its back and sides are laminated. I would buy the all solid maple guild, but the Breedlove has a solid englemann spruce top.

I know that both of those brands are great guitars, and one isnt better then the other, they're just diffrent. My question is, would you get the solid maple tone out of a good laminate maple, even though its three sheets of wood glued together? Does it sound diffrent?

Thanks!
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Old 10-10-2009, 09:16 PM
66strummer 66strummer is offline
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A lot of the overall tone rests in the top bracing and soundboard. I own a solid top/ laminate maple Washburn jumbo that sounds very nice. Would it sound better if it was all solid? It might, but I'll bet it wouldn't be a huge difference.
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Old 10-10-2009, 09:22 PM
brian a. brian a. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66strummer View Post
A lot of the overall tone rests in the top bracing and soundboard. I own a solid top/ laminate maple Washburn jumbo that sounds very nice. Would it sound better if it was all solid? It might, but I'll bet it wouldn't be a huge difference.
+1 for Ryan's comment.
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Old 10-10-2009, 09:31 PM
Wadcutter Wadcutter is offline
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I would venture to say that the average person if blind folded couldn't tell the difference in tone between a guitar with laminated B&S and one with solid wood B&S. The top is the major contributor to tone and would be my major point of focus in geetar acquisition.
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  #5  
Old 10-10-2009, 09:34 PM
SpruceTop SpruceTop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigzam12 View Post
Hello,

I'v been looking into buying a twelve string guitar recently, and I found a Breedlove guitar that I really like, but I was upset when I figured out its back and sides are laminated. I would buy the all solid maple guild, but the Breedlove has a solid englemann spruce top.

I know that both of those brands are great guitars, and one isnt better then the other, they're just diffrent. My question is, would you get the solid maple tone out of a good laminate maple, even though its three sheets of wood glued together? Does it sound diffrent?

Thanks!
I'd say not too different. Breedlove builds quality across their product line and for a 12-string, unless you're Pete Seeger, you'll most likely play the 12-banger sparingly, but with its laminated back-and-sides, it'll still sound very nice! I'd suggest getting a mid-level 12-string and see if you'll play it very much. For me, 12-strings are the most wonderful sound in the Universe--for about 20 minutes--but my fretting-hand tends to get tired and I begin to miss the punch and dynamics of a good six-string guitar real quick! Your mileage with a 12-cylinder tone engine may vary.

My 12-string experience is based on owning a 1976 Guild Madeira 12-String, a 2007 RainSong JM3000 12-String, and a 2008 Taylor 355ce 12-String. Others may disagree with me but I'd suggest keeping your foray into 12-string axes fairly cheap to begin with.

Regards,

SpruceTop
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:24 PM
66strummer 66strummer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
I'd say not too different. Breedlove builds quality across their product line and for a 12-string, unless you're Pete Seeger, you'll most likely play the 12-banger sparingly, but with its laminated back-and-sides, it'll still sound very nice! I'd suggest getting a mid-level 12-string and see if you'll play it very much. For me, 12-strings are the most wonderful sound in the Universe--for about 20 minutes--but my fretting-hand tends to get tired and I begin to miss the punch and dynamics of a good six-string guitar real quick! Your mileage with a 12-cylinder tone engine may vary.

My 12-string experience is based on owning a 1976 Guild Madeira 12-String, a 2007 RainSong JM3000 12-String, and a 2008 Taylor 355ce 12-String. Others may disagree with me but I'd suggest keeping your foray into 12-string axes fairly cheap to begin with.

Regards,

SpruceTop


Sounds like a good perspective and some very good advice there, SpruceTop.......
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:31 PM
JackInTheGreen JackInTheGreen is offline
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Default "Solid Wood Back & Sides, Not Required"

I've played Gibson 12 Strings for about 29yrs...I picked up a cut away Breedlove import at a GS store and played it for about 4 min......I went home a bought one on Ebay...The neck profile is amazing....My Luthier told me a story of a Classical Guitar builder that to prove a point, made a guitar with a proper solid wood top, and the back and sides of "Papier Mache'e".....Enjoy
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  #8  
Old 10-10-2009, 10:32 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpruceTop View Post
My 12-string experience is based on owning a 1976 Guild Madeira 12-String, a 2007 RainSong JM3000 12-String, and a 2008 Taylor 355ce 12-String. Others may disagree with me but I'd suggest keeping your foray into 12-string axes fairly cheap to begin with.
I agree.

What all-solid woods for the back and sides will give you over laminated back and sides is more "warmth" and a bit more resonance. But those qualities, ironically enough, can actually get in the way in a 12 string.

12 strings basically give you too much of everything, and clarity can be a problem as a result.

You already know you like the sound of this inexpensive Breedlove, and that right there ought to be your guide above all else when selecting a guitar.

I sure wouldn't let the supposedly "lesser quality" of laminated sides and back stop me from buying a guitar.

I've put my money where my mouth is on this, by the way. I own some very fine, very high dollar musical instruments, including several custom made guitars. If I wanted to, I could put the money aside and get any 12 string guitar I wanted.

But the one I chose and the one I own and play is a Seagull 12 string, with a solid cedar top and, yes, laminated cherry back and sides.

It sounds better than some all-solid wood 12 strings that I tried out that cost three and four times the price.

I'm not a big fan of laminated woods in 6 string guitars, but 12 strings operate in a slightly different way, and laminates on the backs and sides actually help the clarity and projection, in my opinion.

Hope this helps.


Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 10-11-2009, 03:17 AM
Michael T Michael T is offline
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I tried a couple Laminated cherry Breedlove during my hunt too, nice guitars and I do like the Breedlove style. I ended up with a Mahogany B/S Larrivee primarily for the tone. The separation was clean and the punch was signifcantly better to my old ears. I also liked the neck better, but I already had a 6 string Larry, so that may be attributed to familliarity. I originally went looking for a Breedlove Classic Xll ebony, but the Larry couldn't be resisted at less than 1/2 the price.
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Old 10-11-2009, 03:52 AM
wgnorman wgnorman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigzam12 View Post
Hello,

I'v been looking into buying a twelve string guitar recently, and I found a Breedlove guitar that I really like
If you really like it, then who cares about the back/side construction material?...IMHO, you are worrying too much about what folks say about solid vs laminate construction - as some have already pointed out, there are probably very few people that could ever distinguish a sound difference between back/sides laminate vs solid - if you like the guitar - go for it.
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  #11  
Old 10-11-2009, 09:11 AM
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Kitchen Guitars Kitchen Guitars is offline
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I attended a Collings gathering. Bill was asked "when will you build a 12 string"
He said never. The Collings overtones would be overbearing, buy a laminate Yamaha for a good 12 string. His words!
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Old 10-11-2009, 09:28 AM
Huckleberry Huckleberry is offline
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Play them both and buy the one you like the sound of. I don't much care how a guitar is built or what it's made of so long as it sounds good and feels good to play.

I used to own a few Martins, including HD-28 and D16GT. The one I held onto the longest was an HPL DX1R because it sounded great and, bang for the buck, the best guitar I've ever owned.
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Old 10-11-2009, 09:52 AM
gary0319 gary0319 is offline
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Quote:
My 12-string experience is based on owning a 1976 Guild Madeira 12-String, a 2007 RainSong JM3000 12-String, and a 2008 Taylor 355ce 12-String. Others may disagree with me but I'd suggest keeping your foray into 12-string axes fairly cheap to begin with
I agree with Spruce Tree

My two love affairs with 12 strings lasted about 6 mos. each, and selling them took longer than the love affairs.

Gary
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Old 10-11-2009, 10:49 AM
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I think I'm with Gary and Spruce Tree on this one. The first guitar I bought, about a million years ago, was a 12-string and I have a nostalgic attachment to the idea of a twelver. But when I've picked them up recently and played them, I find myself wondering if I'd really get much utility from one. Back when I had the 12-string, I was primarily a strummer, a style that made good use of the 12-string's virtues. Now, I mostly flatpick and a 12-string doesn't do that very well. For one thing, upstrokes and downstrokes sound different on the octave-strung pairs, and that's typically not good for flatpicking. Triplets don't sound like triplets anymore. Pick direction can't be determined primarily by what works best mechanically and the differences in sound have to be taken into consideration. That makes everything harder.

If I ever get back into strumming or fingerpicking, I might be tempted to get another 12-string. But for what I'm playing these days, it would just be a novelty that wears pretty thin pretty fast. In the right hands, playing the right stuff, I still love the voice of a good 12-string but I just don't think it would be a good choice for me. No doubt, I'll continue to admire some of the beautiful ones out there, though. They definitely have a certain pull for me.
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Old 10-11-2009, 11:05 AM
Tunes Tunes is offline
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Mr. Big,

I'd personally give the nod to a Guild 12 string, there are many models with spruce tops. The Guild F-212 has a spruce top, the JF-30 has a spruce top, the F-412 has a spruce top - and so on.

There are several of these on ebay today at VERY cheap prices. The Westerly U.S.A. built Guilds are among, if not THE best production 12 strings every made, IMHO. They are still highly sought after and played by the best players in the industry.

And they are solid wood.
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