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  #16  
Old 01-25-2010, 01:10 PM
patchmcg patchmcg is offline
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Originally Posted by oldandintheway View Post
It depends a little on how the laminate is constructed. Some manufacturers use thin sheets sandwiched around a wood filler. Martin uses mahogany and mahogany with a thin slice of Sapele in the middle. With rosewood the outer two layers are rosewood with a Sapele center. Laminate guitars are very strong and resist brekage. I've owned 2 Martin laminates and I really couldn't
hear any difference between the laminates and the solid woods as long as they were in a similar price range.
I have an Ovation Custom Elite that has a bubinga laminated top. Ovation used bubinga veneers to sandwich a piece of birch, much like how they build an Adamas top with carbon fiber sandwiching birch. It's one of the better sounding Ovations I've played, and I've played some nice ones.
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  #17  
Old 01-25-2010, 02:03 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Originally Posted by AllThumbsBruce View Post
My solid Collings sounds better than our laminated Yamaha.
Well, I certainly believe that!

Regards, Glenn
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  #18  
Old 01-26-2010, 09:44 AM
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Kitchen Guitars Kitchen Guitars is offline
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I measured a few Yamaha tops At the sound hole. (S) Solid (L) Laminate
The FG1500 (S) .128 /5
The LL35 (S) .127
The FG300 (L) .120
The FG30LTD (L).114/ 5
Makes ya kinda think about those fancy Double Tops Luthiers are selling. Which BTW those double tops are LIGHT and tough.
The Yamaha Laminate guitars seem to be made as such for strength and ultimate tone more than for a "fill"
The 30 LTD is a canon that responds to the lightest touch.
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  #19  
Old 01-26-2010, 05:53 PM
Chris Kemp Chris Kemp is offline
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Laminate came about because it is easier to work with then bending the wood as in side construction. It usually consist of three layers and each layer is thin enough to bend in the lay-up form with out using heat. In a production environment less skill is required. It depends more on where the laminate is built into the guitar and who and how the guitar is built. Laminate on the sides does not hurt or help sound. It can however help to make the guitar stiffer and keep the vibrations from moving to the sides and it can do this without a whole lot of effort from the builder. This stiffness can help to keep the vibration in the top where it is needed to create sound. But this can also be done with solid wood sides and with good building techniques.

Considering my building ability, if given a choice I would have no problem with laminated sides. Second choice would be to place it in the back but I would be reluctant to use it on a top.

Laminate backs and sides with a solid top makes for a good sounding guitar at a reasonable price.

But on the other hand, Smallman and Shramm guitars are made with laminate and I think they start out at around ten thousand dollars. In the types of guitars that they build, their main focus is to keep as much of the vibrations in the top and stiffer sides will do that. Shramm uses laminate on the backs of his guitars but he builds the radius into them using a mold. In doing it this way the backs of his guitars do not require any braces. The back is in effect an echo board or reflector for the sound that is created from the underside of the top. The lack of braces probably gives his guitars a cleaner sound because there is no bracing to break up the sound as it reflects off of the back. That part is just my thoughts.
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  #20  
Old 01-26-2010, 06:20 PM
Mike_A Mike_A is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Kemp View Post
Laminate came about because it is easier to work with then bending the wood as in side construction. It usually consist of three layers and each layer is thin enough to bend in the lay-up form with out using heat. In a production environment less skill is required. It depends more on where the laminate is built into the guitar and who and how the guitar is built. Laminate on the sides does not hurt or help sound. It can however help to make the guitar stiffer and keep the vibrations from moving to the sides and it can do this without a whole lot of effort from the builder. This stiffness can help to keep the vibration in the top where it is needed to create sound. But this can also be done with solid wood sides and with good building techniques.

Considering my building ability, if given a choice I would have no problem with laminated sides. Second choice would be to place it in the back but I would be reluctant to use it on a top.

Laminate backs and sides with a solid top makes for a good sounding guitar at a reasonable price.

But on the other hand, Smallman and Shramm guitars are made with laminate and I think they start out at around ten thousand dollars. In the types of guitars that they build, their main focus is to keep as much of the vibrations in the top and stiffer sides will do that. Shramm uses laminate on the backs of his guitars but he builds the radius into them using a mold. In doing it this way the backs of his guitars do not require any braces. The back is in effect an echo board or reflector for the sound that is created from the underside of the top. The lack of braces probably gives his guitars a cleaner sound because there is no bracing to break up the sound as it reflects off of the back. That part is just my thoughts.
my 114 is exactly how you described the smallman and shramm guitars... except for the price.
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  #21  
Old 01-26-2010, 06:25 PM
VintageToneGuy VintageToneGuy is offline
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I went to a store and picked up a $130 Washburn Classical C-40 and couldn't believe the tone and playability! I asked "solid" or "laminate" expecting it to be a solid top and the owner said "all laminate".


Go figure!
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  #22  
Old 01-26-2010, 06:31 PM
JLS JLS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abobby View Post
Hi
Is having a laminate guitar a bad thing? I have noticed that some fairly expensive taylors and there are probaly many more. I would like some advice as to only purchase a solid wood sides and back, or would laminate be okay.
thanks
If it sounds good, it IS good.
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  #23  
Old 01-26-2010, 06:46 PM
rwrrwr rwrrwr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamaha Junkie View Post
Laminated guitars are some of my best friends.
Some of mine too.
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  #24  
Old 01-26-2010, 06:54 PM
Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
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All-laminate guitars can sound surprisingly good with the caveat "for a low priced guitar". Or they can sound really dead and tinny. I've never played one that was remotely in the tone, sensitivity and dynamic range category of even a halfway decent all-solid guitar.

For instance, I played a Silver Creek T-170 recently that was far and away better sounding than any "surprisingly good" Yamaha laminate instrument out there. And I also used to own a Johnson Carolina dred (same factory as Silver Creek most likely) that was no great shakes compared to a good D-28 but there was more difference between that Johnson Carolina and a similarly priced all-laminate "surprisingly good" guitar than between most Martins and that Johnson Carolina.

There are no miracles (unless you count the price you can buy one of those Silver Creeks as a miracle) and a laminated guitar soundboard is limited to the range from bad-sounding to "surprisingly good". Nobody with much experience playing decent guitars will mistake one for the other.
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  #25  
Old 01-26-2010, 08:01 PM
ironman187 ironman187 is offline
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Well, Laminates can sound good...given the fact that they are a laminate. But a solid wood guitar can sound good.
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  #26  
Old 01-26-2010, 10:37 PM
sfden1 sfden1 is offline
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The guitar I started learnng on was a Yamaha with solid top and laminated b/s. It was a terrific sounding guitar and I wouldn't hesitate to get another one.
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  #27  
Old 01-26-2010, 11:10 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hutto View Post
All-laminate guitars can sound surprisingly good with the caveat "for a low priced guitar". Or they can sound really dead and tinny. I've never played one that was remotely in the tone, sensitivity and dynamic range category of even a halfway decent all-solid guitar.

...

There are no miracles (unless you count the price you can buy one of those Silver Creeks as a miracle) and a laminated guitar soundboard is limited to the range from bad-sounding to "surprisingly good". Nobody with much experience playing decent guitars will mistake one for the other.

Well said. While it's very true that well-made laminated backs and sides are several degrees of magnitude better-sounding than cheesy, slapped-together laminates made mostly of luan (so-called "Philippine mahogany.") But as Brent has stated, in the vast majority of cases, most players will prefer the sound of an all-solid wood guitar. There's just a richer, more resonant quality when the back and sides are solid wood.

What's more, the tone seems to break in more with steady playing with all-solid guitars. With solid top/laminate back and side guitars, the top will break in, but the further developing of the tone that you get when all-solid backs and sides break in won't be present.

And with all-laminate guitars, the tone you get when the guitar is brand new is pretty much what you can expect for the life of the instrument. There may well be some slight, subtle changes as the guitar physically gets looser as it gets used, but it won't be nearly as noticeable as on an all-solid wood acoustic guitar.

And while many of us with extensive instrument collections might have some all-laminate or solid top/laminate b & s guitars, I doubt many of us who also own all-solid wood guitars would ever have a personal preference for tone of the laminate guitars.

I gig out with all-solid instruments, and have always recorded with all-solid, as well. The laminate b & s guitars I have are used for when I have to play in fairly extreme weather conditions, or for handing to church musicians who show up without a guitar but expect to play, anyway.

That's what I have my solid top Simon & Patrick for. It sounds great, and it's durable, and it was inexpensive to buy off Craigslist.

But my handbuilts and my 000-42 and my Larrivées and my Gibsons sound better still.

Hope that makes sense.


Wade Hampton Miller
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  #28  
Old 01-27-2010, 02:26 AM
Sleehrat Sleehrat is offline
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Not much more to add here except that I have a Yamaha F325 sitting on a stand year round as my "quick grab" instrument during the cold weather/low humidity season when all my other guits are in cases with humidifiers.

Laminate all around but with a tusq saddle and a nice set of John Pearse strings, it sounds quite excellent. The laminate is fairly impervious to the changes in humidity (though I do have to tweak the truss rod with seasonal changes). For a $125 instrument, it was and is a good investment.
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  #29  
Old 01-27-2010, 04:13 AM
emmonsh emmonsh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfden1 View Post
The guitar I started learnng on was a Yamaha with solid top and laminated b/s. It was a terrific sounding guitar and I wouldn't hesitate to get another one.
i bought a yamaha 700 this year. one of the most amazing guitars i have bought in years considering under 2 bills. sounds and plays great.
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  #30  
Old 01-27-2010, 05:10 AM
scooter jenkins scooter jenkins is offline
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Play some solid wood guitars and some laminated. Which ever one speaks to you is the one I would go with. I've owned and played a bunch of different guitars, but my Epiphone EJ-200 has so far been my favorite, and its all laminated.
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