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Old 04-10-2009, 02:51 PM
VickRamono VickRamono is offline
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Default How can I tell for sure if my guitar top is solid?

Hey everyone,

Is there a way to figure out if the wood on the top of a guitar is really solid or laminate?
(Like is there a way to find out, like a hands on way... not looking the guitar up on the internet?)

Thanks everyone!
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Old 04-10-2009, 02:53 PM
JTC111 JTC111 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VickRamono View Post
Hey everyone,

Is there a way to figure out if the wood on the top of a guitar is really solid or laminate?
(Like is there a way to find out, like a hands on way... not looking the guitar up on the internet?)

Thanks everyone!
Look at the grain lines on the edge of the wood around the soundhole.
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:27 PM
Fred Fred is offline
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Just elaborating a little more: As you look at the EDGE of your soundhole, you should see grain lines penetrate all the way through if the top is solid. If you see something that looks like a sandwich of some sort, it's laminate. One little trick that some laminate builders use is to PAINT that inside edge so you can't see anything. Paint means laminate...or anything covering up that inside edge probably means laminate. (I had an Ovation once that put a plastic ring inside the soundhole.)

I hope this all makes sense. Telling whether the top is solid is a lot easier than judging the back and sides.
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:31 PM
VickRamono VickRamono is offline
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Yea I'm pretty sure the sides are solid mahogany but it said "select"spruce top and it looks to be solid.
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Guitars(in the order the were purchased):
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-1967 Stella H-912: Maroon Sunburst
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:25 PM
__redruM __redruM is offline
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Take a saw and cut across the grain until the guitar is in two pieces. then look at the exposed edge of the top. From there it should be obvious, even with a painted sound hole.

Or, just look the specs up on the internet
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VickRamono View Post
Yea I'm pretty sure the sides are solid mahogany but it said "select"spruce top and it looks to be solid.
Hi Vick...
Generally, 'select' Spruce is another name for laminate. Usually solid Spruce tops are listed as ''Solid Spruce Top''.
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Old 04-10-2009, 05:04 PM
accougas accougas is offline
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The plastic ring on older Ovation balladeers, etc. does not indicate solid or other. It was just what they used on their round-hole models, I think.
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Old 04-10-2009, 05:06 PM
Jeff M Jeff M is offline
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You know the builder and the model?
Look them up on-line and see what it says about the construction.
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Old 04-10-2009, 06:24 PM
L20A L20A is offline
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Give us the make and model and we may be able to help.
Some guitar makers will add an S to the end of the model like Yamaha FG-730S,
when the guitar has a solid top.
If you want to know if the sides are solid, just pull the end pin out of the guitar and look in the hole.
You will see there if it's solid or laminated.
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Old 04-10-2009, 06:41 PM
AnthemBassMan AnthemBassMan is offline
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-Here's a close up of the soundhole on my guitar. You can see how the grain lines run from the top, through the soundhole edges. If yours looks a little rough or layered, then it's a laminated top. But just as LJ said, if they use the term "select" when desribing the top, most likely it's laminated.



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Old 04-10-2009, 06:45 PM
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I was going to say if the back and sides are solid then the top would be 99.99% solid. I have never seen a lam top with solid B&S. I have seen the othjer way around though. And yes select usually means laminate but the pics look like sold.
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Old 04-10-2009, 07:35 PM
sunshowers sunshowers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leeasam View Post
I was going to say if the back and sides are solid then the top would be 99.99% solid. I have never seen a lam top with solid B&S. I have seen the othjer way around though. And yes select usually means laminate but the pics look like sold.
That pic is not of OP's guitar. AnthemBassMan was using that pic to illustrate what the edge of the soundhole looks like on a solid top.

VickRamono, what makes you think the back and sides are solid? There's really no way of knowing just by looking at it, since there will be no free edge of the back and sides that you can inspect. What is your guitar's make and model? If we had that info it would be very easy for us to check for you.

From what you've told us, i'm 99.99999% sure your guitar is all laminate. "Select spruce" definitely means laminate. If it was solid, the manufacturer would make that obvious to you in no uncertain terms. And there is no such thing as a guitar with a laminate top and solid back and sides. It's much more difficult and more expensive to build with solid wood - why would any luthier in their right mind waste good wood and hard work by slapping on a laminate top?
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Old 04-10-2009, 07:48 PM
66strummer 66strummer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VickRamono View Post
Yea I'm pretty sure the sides are solid mahogany but it said "select"spruce top and it looks to be solid.

What makes you think that the sides are solid? Just curious......
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Old 04-10-2009, 09:33 PM
leeasam leeasam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunshowers View Post
That pic is not of OP's guitar. AnthemBassMan was using that pic to illustrate what the edge of the soundhole looks like on a solid top.

VickRamono, what makes you think the back and sides are solid? There's really no way of knowing just by looking at it, since there will be no free edge of the back and sides that you can inspect. What is your guitar's make and model? If we had that info it would be very easy for us to check for you.

From what you've told us, i'm 99.99999% sure your guitar is all laminate. "Select spruce" definitely means laminate. If it was solid, the manufacturer would make that obvious to you in no uncertain terms. And there is no such thing as a guitar with a laminate top and solid back and sides. It's much more difficult and more expensive to build with solid wood - why would any luthier in their right mind waste good wood and hard work by slapping on a laminate top?

woops did not catch that!

I was also curious as to why makes him think it is solids back and sides.
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Old 04-10-2009, 09:37 PM
BHulkster BHulkster is offline
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Well I watched your vids and looked at your sig/guitar in vids. If you're referring to the Epiphone DR-100, then I would say yes, then whole guitar is laminate.

But the videos were great! If you can do that well with a lammy, I'd say it's time to upgrade my friend

http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/p...ar-?sku=518569
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