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  #31  
Old 03-31-2014, 04:08 PM
Tony Done Tony Done is offline
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Originally Posted by zhunter View Post
Why don't laminate guitars age? Is this based on folks not hearing aging? Is the aging phenomena suppressed in some known way for laminates?

Thanks

hunter
I think they might age in much the same way as solid tops, which isn't always an improvement (d'ya wanna hear about my J-40 yet again?). I don't see why they shouldn't given that the changes are apparently in polysaccharide chemistry, if I recall Al Carruth correctly. - But I guess it wood depend on the timber used, since cedar is supposed not to age, again IIRC.
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  #32  
Old 03-31-2014, 04:16 PM
Tony Done Tony Done is offline
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Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
What's making this confusing is the connotations in behind the word "plywood."

When many folks hear the word plywood (me included), we often think of the material you use to build a dog house or a bird house. It's the stuff you buy in huge sheets from a home-improvement store.

The layered woods used in guitars are usually made of tone woods glued together in layers. Is it plywood? Yes, technically it is because it is made of plies. However, comparing plywood from Lowe's to layered tone woods on a guitar is like comparing bologna to a t-bone.

Just my $.02.
I deliberately use the term "plywood" rather than "laminated" just to cause a bit of aggro. Greg Smallman builds a nice plywood classical.
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  #33  
Old 03-31-2014, 09:40 PM
Jerry D Jerry D is offline
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Thank you, Jim.
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  #34  
Old 03-31-2014, 10:07 PM
Athana Athana is offline
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Originally Posted by Zankou View Post
He is basically calling any laminated top "plywood."

High-end classical guitars now commonly use high-tech laminated tops. They are super light and stiff, and give great volume. They aren't really similar to ordinary laminated tops or plywood though. Instead they have a thick core of nomex and thin veneers on both sides, so really it's more of a "nomex top" with thin veneers over it, a composite top. Calling it a double top or plywood isn't overly accurate, though they are often called double tops.

http://www.classicguitar.com/doubletop_article.html
Glen Hi,
If they've come up with something that sounds as good then thats what it is,but Im suspect of anything new as most new stuff is not an improvement.
Id have balked at a Fender Stratocaster & Les Paul back in 1954 had I been of age swearing by a proper carved Archtop but inreality I think those instamatic guitars through a great hot tube amp is the greatest sound the guitar has ever made.

You know a common adirondack top in lumber I think is like $60.
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  #35  
Old 03-31-2014, 10:24 PM
LouieAtienza LouieAtienza is offline
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Originally Posted by Tony Done View Post
I deliberately use the term "plywood" rather than "laminated" just to cause a bit of aggro. Greg Smallman builds a nice plywood classical.
I believe Smallman actually uses a plywood "frame" within the body of the guitar to keep the sides from deforming. This is in addition to the laminated back and sides, and lattice-braced top.
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  #36  
Old 03-31-2014, 11:02 PM
LouieAtienza LouieAtienza is offline
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Originally Posted by Athana View Post
Glen Hi,
If they've come up with something that sounds as good then thats what it is,but Im suspect of anything new as most new stuff is not an improvement.
Id have balked at a Fender Stratocaster & Les Paul back in 1954 had I been of age swearing by a proper carved Archtop but inreality I think those instamatic guitars through a great hot tube amp is the greatest sound the guitar has ever made.

You know a common adirondack top in lumber I think is like $60.
After searching sets for builds, I've found that I can get better grade Sitka for far less than base grade Adirondack. I've seen AAA grade Adirondack selling for $200 a set and higher.

Currently, I can get Sitka for less than $10/bf (board-foot, that's a 1' x 1' x 1" section), and I can select from hundreds of boards. Even if I get a lousy two sets from 2bf, it's still cheaper than buying pre-dimensioned stock. The guitar companies get it for even cheaper in quantity, and they have, or have access to, better resaw capabilities.

The last time I purchased aircraft-grade 3mm Baltic birch ply, a 5' x 5' sheet cost less than $20, or about 80 cents/sqft. This sheet contains no voids, though defects may be "patched" on one side. A plywood manufacturer will make plywood to your specs if you purchase a large enough quantity. A lot of the plywood sold in teh big box stores used to come from Canada, but I've seen more and more come from Chile and China.
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  #37  
Old 03-31-2014, 11:56 PM
DesertTwang DesertTwang is offline
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Originally Posted by Jerry D View Post
A lot of laminated guitars sound good, but they don't age. A solid wood guitar, over the years, will sound better at ten years old than it did when it was new. A laminated guitar is gonna sound like it did when you took it out of the box when you are seventy years old .
Interesting statement. Is there any scientific proof to back that up?
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  #38  
Old 04-01-2014, 12:08 AM
Tony Done Tony Done is offline
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Originally Posted by LouieAtienza View Post
I believe Smallman actually uses a plywood "frame" within the body of the guitar to keep the sides from deforming. This is in addition to the laminated back and sides, and lattice-braced top.
I think it's more like a reso, a very solid box (7-ply rosewood?) with a thin lattice-braced spruce membrane only around the bridge. I don't know the size of the membrane, but it looks about the same as a 9 1/2"National biscuit cone.
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  #39  
Old 04-01-2014, 12:27 AM
MJRB MJRB is offline
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Originally Posted by Tony Done View Post
I think they might age in much the same way as solid tops, which isn't always an improvement (d'ya wanna hear about my J-40 yet again?). I don't see why they shouldn't given that the changes are apparently in polysaccharide chemistry, if I recall Al Carruth correctly. - But I guess it wood depend on the timber used, since cedar is supposed not to age, again IIRC.
I have heard that Cedar "plays out" earlier than other top woods. Don't know how true it is.
I hope it's an "urban myth", one of my favourite guitars has a Cedar top.
MJRB
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  #40  
Old 04-01-2014, 01:20 AM
Tony Done Tony Done is offline
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Originally Posted by MJRB View Post
I have heard that Cedar "plays out" earlier than other top woods. Don't know how true it is.
I hope it's an "urban myth", one of my favourite guitars has a Cedar top.
MJRB
I've heard the same - you never buy an old cedar topped flamenco guitar. My 15yo cedar-topped Maton has obviously had a very hard life and still sounds like good cedar, so I'm not overly worried.
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  #41  
Old 04-01-2014, 05:33 AM
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mikealpine mikealpine is offline
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I'm lazy this morning, and didn't read all the posts. Just wanted to say that I still love the soft sweet sound of my Takamine from 1980 or earlier. Laminated back and sides. Just a joy to play and listen to.
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  #42  
Old 04-02-2014, 01:21 AM
Tony Done Tony Done is offline
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Originally Posted by mikealpine View Post
I'm lazy this morning, and didn't read all the posts. Just wanted to say that I still love the soft sweet sound of my Takamine from 1980 or earlier. Laminated back and sides. Just a joy to play and listen to.
Is it a cedar top? Tak were quick to realise the potential advantage of a cedar top with lam b&s. - as in my Maton 225.
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  #43  
Old 04-02-2014, 04:26 AM
815C 815C is offline
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I picked up this Strat clone for $50 in a used music shop. The body is made of plywood. I got it to keep under my desk at work, but at some point I slapped some good pickups in it and took it gigging. It had a great neck and I needed another guitar tuned to an open tuning for a gig.

Turns out it has a GREAT tone for blues. Its my favorite electric for playing slide.

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  #44  
Old 04-02-2014, 06:07 AM
LouieAtienza LouieAtienza is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Done View Post
I think it's more like a reso, a very solid box (7-ply rosewood?) with a thin lattice-braced spruce membrane only around the bridge. I don't know the size of the membrane, but it looks about the same as a 9 1/2"National biscuit cone.
David Schramm is a contemporary of Smallman, and builds guitars in Smallman's fashion. If yuou check his website out, you'll see some of the inner structure, including the plywood frame that sits just below the soundboard.
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  #45  
Old 04-02-2014, 05:30 PM
Tony Done Tony Done is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouieAtienza View Post
David Schramm is a contemporary of Smallman, and builds guitars in Smallman's fashion. If yuou check his website out, you'll see some of the inner structure, including the plywood frame that sits just below the soundboard.
Yeah, I've looked into Greg Smallman's methods a few times. The term "toilet seat" has been used to describe his tops. Apparently part of their high price is the fact that he has a very high discard rate on the tops.
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