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Old 12-23-2010, 08:11 PM
comicvent comicvent is offline
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Default Laminate top vs. Solid Top Acoustic Guitars

Greetings,

I am posting here as it has been quite some time. I am looking on-line at some of the newer acoustic solid top guitars out there and have played a few and I swear the Washburn D9C with a laminate top still plays quite well for my needs. I was told by someone in the know that Washburn has actually had some issues with the WD10S model solid top and so I think I will continue to play the Washburn that I have.

The one new line that has peaked my curiosity is the Great Divide line. I wonder what these sound like. I may end up with one of these in the future.

Cheers, Larry Harris
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Old 12-23-2010, 08:14 PM
markd markd is offline
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[QUOTE=comicvent;2453518]I swear the Washburn D9C with a laminate top still plays quite well for my needs. /QUOTE]

There you go. If it suits your needs, then don't fix it.
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Old 12-23-2010, 09:00 PM
TwoMartinMan TwoMartinMan is offline
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Hey, I have an all laminate 1979 Yamaha FG-331 that is an absolute cannon. Fantastic tone. Just goes to show ya...a good guitar is a good guitar.
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Old 12-23-2010, 09:38 PM
MartinOM28V MartinOM28V is offline
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One of the best recording guitars I've ever had is an old laminate top classical guitar. If it works it works.
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:52 PM
mdutr0 mdutr0 is offline
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GENERALLY speaking, a solid top will sound better (more full, resonant, etc) than a laminate top guitar. The corollary to that being that solid backs and sides will sound better than laminate backs and sides.

Of course there are enough exceptions to that rule out there that it's tough to call it a rule at all...

The ONLY rule that I know of that holds constant in the world of guitars is the following:

"A good guitar is a good guitar."

Everything else is pretty variable.
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Old 12-24-2010, 02:03 AM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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The typical musicians' preference for solid top acoustic guitars is based on the simple fact that they're much likelier to sound good than laminated top guitars sound. Yes, individual all-laminate guitars can sound pretty good, on occasion. But the overall preference for solid wood vibrating plates in acoustic instruments is based on simple, easily reproducible results: at least 99 times out of a hundred, they sound better.


Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 12-24-2010, 03:11 AM
ErikH ErikH is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
The typical musicians' preference for solid top acoustic guitars is based on the simple fact that they're much likelier to sound good than laminated top guitars sound. Yes, individual all-laminate guitars can sound pretty good, on occasion. But the overall preference for solid wood vibrating plates in acoustic instruments is based on simple, easily reproducible results: at least 99 times out of a hundred, they sound better.


Wade Hampton Miller

Yes. Agreed. Beat me to it.
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Old 12-24-2010, 04:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinOM28V View Post
One of the best recording guitars I've ever had is an old laminate top classical guitar. If it works it works.
Amen. Sometimes we spend too much time speculating as to what makes a great guitar but fail to recognize it when it shows up in a different form....
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Old 12-24-2010, 07:25 AM
Guitar Hack Guitar Hack is offline
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The Great Divide Line is pretty good. They are made by Bedell Guitars who makes really good guitars for less. The Great Divide line is their entry level guitar. I have played them and was quite impressed. For the price you won't likely find anything better.
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Old 12-24-2010, 07:35 AM
harryboss1 harryboss1 is offline
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I have had some laminate top guitars that were great. I do,however, like the sound of a solid top better. To me, laminate back and sides aren't as important as the top. That said, play the guitar which you like best because your opinion is all that really matters.
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Old 12-24-2010, 05:21 PM
Misifus Misifus is offline
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With respect to Wade's post, I once acquired a nice guitar with laminated b/s. It was a Seagull twentieth anniversaire model with lam maple b/s and a solid spruce top.

All-in-all, I thought it sounded pretty good, so I played it for a luthier I know. He listened politely, then said, "Yes, it's good, but it still sounds like a laminated guitar." It wasn't the label, he could hear the difference.

-Raf
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Old 12-24-2010, 05:46 PM
eflatminor eflatminor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misifus View Post
I played it for a luthier I know. He listened politely, then said, "Yes, it's good, but it still sounds like a laminated guitar." It wasn't the label, he could hear the difference.

-Raf
I too can almost always hear a laminated top but that's not a slam. The opposite in fact. I've done a fair bit of recording and more often than not, if the band has all solid guitar and one with laminated backs and side, the latter will sound better ON THE RECORDING. I can recall a few times where a laminated top sounded best. Interestingly, Mahogany backed guitars almost always record better than rosewood but I much prefer the latter to the ear. And there this too - when recording an electric guitar, if you want a big sound, use a little amp. Exactly the opposite of what we hear live.
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Old 12-24-2010, 08:46 PM
RiloKiley RiloKiley is offline
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I would like to see some blind sound tests of laminated guitars vs. non-laminated guitars. Preferably same body shape, design elements, I think Taylor may be a good basis for the tests since they have some guitars with laminates and others in similar (identical?) shapes made with solid woods.

Of course, I would assume that solid woods sound better, but can I say that I actually know this? No. I have heard some guitars with laminated sides and back that sound pretty good, but I've never actually compared them side by side..... I think it would be an interesting and enlightening test.

I will say that I wouldn't discard a material to build guitars with simply because it is not traditional.
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Old 12-25-2010, 06:11 AM
comicvent comicvent is offline
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Thanks for the info
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Old 12-25-2010, 08:29 AM
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There are exceptions to every rule.

I recently stumbled across an all laminate Epiphone jumbo, model EJ200 Artist, and I can't believe the volume and tone from this guitar. In a blind test, you would have a hard time convincing me it doesn't have a solid top to make all that sound coming out of it.
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