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  #31  
Old 01-27-2010, 03:02 PM
Chris Kemp Chris Kemp is offline
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Part of my arsenal consist of a 1962 Gibson J-50 and a 1971 Yamaha red label FG-300. The J-50 has laminate sides solid back and top - sounds great. The Yamaha is all laminate with a laminate top and sounds just as good if not better. In fact the Yamaha has more volume then the J-50 and I think that it is due to it having a stiffer back. Also the top is laminate on the Yamaha, and they were able to use much smaller braces for that reason, in fact it has the smallest braces that I have ever seen on a dred top.

As a whole I feel that a solid rosewood back and side set sounds as good as it does because rosewood is naturally stiff. Even though it bends easy under heat and is one of the easiest woods to bend, at normal temperatures it is stiff and dense. In guitar construction its really hard to screw up if the back and sides are rosewood. If some one ask me to build a good sounding guitar, that just plain sounds good with a lot of volume; then I say, "Well it's a no brainer, rosewood back and sides with a spruce top". But the downfall is price for materials. When building a rosewood back and sides, spruce top and mahogany neck, with an ebony fretboard, the material usually runs me around four to five hundred dollars.

Now you guys are going to laugh at me about this one. But the other day I was at the hobby store and I stumbled across some real good looking 1/8'' and 1/16" plywood, real cheap. I think that they use it in model airplane construction or boats or something. Now it got me to thinking...I could build a body out of this stuff for about $40.00. I stay real busy so I'm not gonna promise anything but just maybe in the future....mmmmmmmmm....an indestructible camp guitar!
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  #32  
Old 05-01-2013, 06:09 PM
nobodeuno nobodeuno is offline
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Default Maybe~Maybe Not

I disagree that all solid wood guitars "always" sound better than some laminate B/S guitars with solid tops. I have a superb example 09 Gibson J45 Historic Red Label and a 93 Rosewood 800 series Taylor. My fairly recent and inexpensive Bedell HGD28 sounds as good if not better than either. Blind sound tested by several musicians! Remember that many super high-end ($8-10 thousand dollar) flamenco and classical guitars prefer laminated back and sides....as one poster said it can help control resonance, vibration and presence making for a guitar that sounds better to the listener than it does to the player due to projection properties. True though that not all laminates are created equal! Solid tops produce about 90% of the guitars tone...while the choice of woods for the back and sides do more for the coloring of that tone. So don't count out a great sounding well made solid topped acoustic. Try some of the Breedlove/Bedell guitars and see what you think! There are some very killer acoustic guitars coming out of China and Japan these days! ie; Guild, Bedell, Alvarez Breedlove, Ibanez~to name just a few.
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  #33  
Old 05-01-2013, 06:19 PM
DesertTwang DesertTwang is offline
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I'll put it this way: While I DO believe that solid wood - probably - sounds better, I could not tell you which is which if you played two guitars side by side to me. I have heard solid wood guitars that sounded bad and laminates that sound way better than a solid wood, and vice versa. It really depends on the instrument in question.

Last edited by RP; 05-01-2013 at 06:32 PM.
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  #34  
Old 05-01-2013, 06:21 PM
Steve1 Steve1 is offline
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I used to own an all solid Maton 808TE. I unfortunately had to sell it and recently went to buy another, out of curiosity I decided to try some of the other guitars in the 808 series they had and ended up walking away with the cheapest of the 4 I tried. The 808L has a solid Cedar top and lam walnut back and sides. Despite it being laminate, to my ears it sounded better than the 3 all solid Matons I tried.

People just love to hate on laminate because it can be associated with cheapness, I also find a lot of guitarists are to proud to admit that sometimes an all solid guitar isnt the best of them.......their loss is my gain in this case.
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  #35  
Old 05-01-2013, 06:26 PM
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flaggerphil flaggerphil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abobby View Post
Hi
Is having a laminate guitar a bad thing? ... I would like some advice as to only purchase a solid wood sides and back, or would laminate be okay.
thanks
No, a laminate guitar is not a bad thing. There are laminate guitars out there that sound fantastic.

If a laminate has the sound you want, go for it.
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  #36  
Old 05-01-2013, 06:40 PM
Kevin A Kevin A is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nobodeuno View Post
I disagree that all solid wood guitars "always" sound better than some laminate B/S guitars with solid tops....So don't count out a great sounding well made solid topped acoustic.
First post & its in a 3-year old thread.

Having read the previous 3 pages of responses from 2010, it appears no one is stating ALL solid wood guitar ALWAYS sound better—so I'm not sure with whom you are disagreeing.
In fact, the general consensus in this moldy thread appears to be one can find some rather good laminate guitars that speak to many players, and are well-made guitars with exceptional tone and fairly priced.
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  #37  
Old 05-01-2013, 06:41 PM
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I've recently acquired two Yamahas with laminated back/sides and solid tops. They sound better than some guitars I've owned, comparable to others, and maybe not as good as others. I think that's pretty much what you'll find across the board. It would be nice to assume that as one spends more money on solid wood guitars, he'll get increasingly better sounding guitars. That's often true, but not necessarily always the case. The good news is that tone is subjective so we're not necessarily going to agree on what sounds better. The other good news is that funds are limited for most of us so they often become the limiting factor as do other considerations. I'm so happy with the Yamaha LS6 and LL6 that I ordered a LJ6 from Musicians Friend today with a $100 discount. I'm going to have my guitar guy put bone saddles and Grover tuners (I hate gold) on them to make them really mine. Will I spend a moment concerned about whether the back & sides are laminated? NAH!!!!!!
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Last edited by RP; 05-01-2013 at 09:17 PM.
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  #38  
Old 05-01-2013, 07:25 PM
Opa John Opa John is offline
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I've got a 12 year old Martin DM, solid top, laminated b&s, that plays and sounds as good as any guitar I've ever played.

And, I'm not saying that because it's mine......I'm saying it because it's the truth. It's gone up against some strong competition and holds its own very well.

I also own an all-solid D-15M that I like a lot. It sounds a little different, but I wouldn't call it "better"....just different.
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  #39  
Old 05-01-2013, 08:04 PM
paulzoom paulzoom is offline
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I would never buy an all laminate guitar but a solid wood top with laminate back and sides is a good compromise.
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  #40  
Old 05-01-2013, 08:54 PM
CowboyRasta CowboyRasta is offline
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Default solid wood versus laminate

Lots of things affect the sound of the guitar. Body shape, bracing, neck joint, woods. If we hypothetically compared two otherwise identical guitars, solid wood wins every time. Not to say laminate sounds bad, nor carbon fiber for that matter. I like them all. Just for me, I can tell difference between sweet rosewood, woody hog, Koa, etc, and they are all lovely.

Last edited by CowboyRasta; 05-01-2013 at 09:43 PM.
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  #41  
Old 05-01-2013, 10:03 PM
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I was just sitting on the couch playing my Hohner L00 and thinking how sweet and musical sounding a $300 solid spruce top laminate back & sidesguitar it is. They all have their magic.
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  #42  
Old 05-02-2013, 03:11 AM
Snapcase Snapcase is offline
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I had more than 90 guitars over the years. Most of them acoustics of all quality grades. Some of my favorites are laminated. In fact my main archtop still is a '50s hand made laminated one. I also had many all solid hand crafted (and hand carved archtops) that were nothing special. It's all in the craftmaship and maker skills.
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  #43  
Old 05-02-2013, 05:44 AM
picassov7 picassov7 is offline
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I have a laminate Voyage Air that I travel with extensively. It sounds good and I will be hanging on to it for a while as it does its job perfectly. However, it cannot compete with my solid wood Taylor. Now, these are not close to being the same guitars so it is an apples and oranges comparison. I have also played some Carbon Fiber guitars that were not too bad, but I am not lugging a guitar through the Alaskan wilderness or the Outback so no need here. I guess my message is play many, pick the ones you like, and who cares what its made of (they all have a purpose).
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  #44  
Old 05-02-2013, 06:09 AM
AndrewG AndrewG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapcase View Post
I had more than 90 guitars over the years. Most of them acoustics of all quality grades. Some of my favorites are laminated. In fact my main archtop still is a '50s hand made laminated one. I also had many all solid hand crafted (and hand carved archtops) that were nothing special. It's all in the craftmaship and maker skills.
Totally agree. I too have owned many guitars in my 40 or so years of playing the things. Many have been costly, a few custom orders among them. Again some of my favourites feature laminate build. Laminate emphatically does not have to equate to 'cheap' or inferiority to all-solid construction, in any way. Some time ago it may have done-I'm thinking primarily of the heavyweight imports we saw in the late 60s/70s. Offshore build quality has improved to such an extent that it frequently rivals the big North American boys, and many European makers.

Take my Lag T200J for example; solid red cedar top, laminated mahogany back and sides, rosewood and maple binding, rosewood and maple rosette, and the thing is as light as a feather and so resonant that quiet conversation sets it vibrating and singing to itself. The build is Taylor-crisp, the finish is that glorious French satin you find on Lowdens and the whole guitar simply reeks of quality. Less than £350UK and I walked out of the store with it laughing.
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  #45  
Old 05-02-2013, 06:50 AM
LillyCollocott LillyCollocott is offline
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Default solid wood versus laminate

I don't think laminate guitar is a bad thing, its sound well from other shows. while practice it is better than others.

Last edited by LillyCollocott; 05-03-2013 at 08:47 AM.
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