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  #1  
Old 01-07-2019, 11:46 AM
gerardo1000 gerardo1000 is offline
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Default HPL instead of carbon fiber?

Out of curiosity, has anyone considered to buy a Martin all HPL guitar instead of a carbon fiber one?
Possible advantages:
1) prices range between $600 and $700.
2) no need to keep it in the case, no need for humidification (like a carbon fiber guitar)
3) possibly, a sound more similar to a wood guitar.

What is your opinion?

Last edited by gerardo1000; 01-07-2019 at 11:53 AM.
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  #2  
Old 01-07-2019, 01:15 PM
Tf Tf is offline
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I had a Martin 000 full HPL a few years ago. Nothing spectacular but not a bad guitar either.
Have you seen this video? Quite fun to check if our ears agree with our eyes https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UlZveUnb5hY
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Old 01-07-2019, 04:01 PM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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Tof;

This was interesting and I got an A. Also interesting is the possibility that the favorite sound would vary by listener.

This same test would be interesting if done with a variety of wood/HPL/CF instruments.
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Old 01-07-2019, 04:18 PM
bsman bsman is offline
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I would imagine that in many ways they are comparable in terms of resistance to climate-induced variation, but would also imagine that HPL would be rather heavier than a comparable CF guitar.
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:52 PM
Dickey Clapton Dickey Clapton is offline
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I ve never heard of the need for humidification for a CF guitar. What would it accomplish?
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:57 PM
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eatswodo eatswodo is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickey Clapton View Post
I ve never heard of the need for humidification for a CF guitar. What would it accomplish?
If Gerardo had said "no need to keep it in the case, no need for humidification (just like a carbon fiber guitar)" it might have been a little clearer
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:01 PM
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eatswodo eatswodo is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tf View Post
I had a Martin 000 full HPL a few years ago. Nothing spectacular but not a bad guitar either.
Have you seen this video? Quite fun to check if our ears agree with our eyes https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UlZveUnb5hY
That was very interesting. I picked the wood guitar consistently, but mixed up the CF and HPL a couple of times.

I have a Martin LX-1 - HPL back and sides, solid spruce top and the stratabond neck. It has a sweet voice, but is just not comfortable for me to play. Nothing to do with its construction, just its geometry,
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Old 01-07-2019, 06:13 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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The main advantage is price. Also keep in mind that while the body and top might be HPL and therefore pretty impervious to humidity changes, the braces are still wood, and the neck is usually very stable (and heavy) Stratabond laminate. I have played a number of 000 and D sized Martin HPL guitars (my wife owns a LM in pink) and they aren't bad - probably better than most all-laminate imports. But they are not that impressive either, except when considering the price versus CF.....

Out of hundreds, I have only ever played one or two carbon fiber guitars that were outright bad. These were two early thin-bodied Rainsong's that were heavily gooped up with thick metal flake paint (silver and candy apple red). They may have been fine plugged in, but acoustically they were complete duds. They sat in that store for several years.
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Old 01-07-2019, 07:57 PM
Captain Jim Captain Jim is offline
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When I first considered a carbon fiber guitar, we were on an island in the Pacific Northwest. I called the closest Guitar Center and asked about RainSongs... they had never heard of them. I explained the carbon fiber construction, the guy on the phone asked what that looked like. When I mentioned "it's black," he said, "We have an HPL Martin here that is all black..." He went on to tell me it is like "pressed wood with black vinyl on the outside."



Um, not even close! He then said, "Or if you want it to look like wood, these can be had with kind of a picture of wood on the outside."



I'll pass.

I got my first CF guitar (not from them) right after that. For full disclosure, I have nothing against Martin's HPL guitars, just not what I want. I still have a GSmini (laminate back and sides). I am not a CF snob.
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:08 AM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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If you shock a Martin HPL guitar by dropping it in its case for example, they do have a tendency to fracture at the kurfing leaving the sides disconnected from the top or bottom or both. I've seen several in for this repair at a friend's shop.
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Old 01-08-2019, 09:15 AM
gerardo1000 gerardo1000 is offline
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My understanding was that this tendency to fracture is limited to models that have HPL body and solid spruce top, not to models that are all HPL ?
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Old 01-08-2019, 04:35 PM
jonfields45 jonfields45 is offline
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The ones I saw were bottom of the line all HPL. I imagine it's not common but not in the same league as CF for robustness none the less.
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RainSong CH-PA1100NS, Mi-Si Trio (Baggs Element), Elixir PB 10s, TKL 8975 Case, set up to cover electric guitar riffs
RainSong CO-PA1100NS, Fishman Rare Earth Humbucker stored in the case, Elixir 80/20 Polyweb 12s, TKL 8975 Case
One QSC CP8 (21 lbs) high/behind & Yamaha MG10XU mixer

www.justsoduo.com
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  #13  
Old 01-09-2019, 11:22 AM
MiG50 MiG50 is offline
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HPL is just not as resonate as carbon fiber, which is a pretty big detraction. Carbon fiber has the strength AND resonance, which is why it's beloved among the believers. If it was JUST about climate conditions, maybe you'd have a point. HPL can make pretty good guitars at their price point, but if you ignore price, then carbon fiber is just a superior-sounding instrument.
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  #14  
Old 01-09-2019, 01:29 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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Carbon fiber has the good resonant properties of a decent piece of wood, but with a different mix of strength, stiffness and internal damping. HPL has the resonant properties of a piece of plywood - not much.
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  #15  
Old 01-09-2019, 07:12 PM
EvanB EvanB is offline
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Some plywoods are better than others and some pretty high-line guitars have plywood backs and sides. Some guitars are totally plywood and they manage to sound all right. Even Masonite and plastic guitars can be OK. But all those guitars fail to compete with the durability, shaping, and advancements of CF instruments.
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