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  #1  
Old 01-08-2020, 07:04 AM
hat hat is offline
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Default classical guitars lam or solid?

Just wondering, it seems like with the lower tension that classical strings generate, is there even enough energy there to cause a difference in reaction between a solid back/sides, and laminated? ( assume the same solid top, setup, etc)
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Old 01-08-2020, 07:28 AM
Bax Burgess Bax Burgess is offline
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I guess yes, since I hear differences with different saddle materials, as I do with steel guitars, and I use low tunings, spongey for anyone who tunes to standard.
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Old 01-08-2020, 10:27 AM
Red_Label Red_Label is offline
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I've owned quite a few classical/flamenco guitars... both solid and laminated. Honestly, I really don't hear a difference if all things are equal. For instance, right now I have a Cordoba C5 CET Ltd thin body laminate that doesn't sound any less quality for all practical purposes, than the all-solid FCWE Reissue, 55FCE maple, or 55FCE Ltd ziricote thin bodies that I had. What does sound different are the electronics. All of those higher-end models had the Fishman Prefix ProBlend systems, which I prefer over any other system for nylon strung guitars. The C5 CET has the Fishman Isys system and I do like it so far, more than the Presys system that is generally on Cordoba's lower-end guitars.

I've also owned nylon stringed guitars from Yamaha, Takamine, Rodriquez, Breedlove and others and frankly, the differences between them never seemed to be whether they were solid or laminate. For instance, my laminate Breedlove Passport N250 compared to my solid Breedlove Masterclass Bossa Nova. The top tier Bossa Nova had far superior fit&finish to the N250... but the tones weren't miles apart between them.

Honestly, my belief is that the reason that people generally assume that all-solid guitars sound better, it because they are usually the mid, and top tier instruments... which are built with better materials and with more care. All of which results in a better sound. If one were to take identical models of guitars, except one had laminate B/S and the other had solid B/S... IF there were a difference, it would only be related to the fact that as an all-solid guitar ages (and gets played more), its wood changes and will generally become a little more responsive. Whereas the laminate guitar will tend to resist that change more, because the thin layers of wood are glued/bonded.

By far, an all-solid top > over a laminate top. The back and sides make much less of a difference all things being equal.

Last edited by Red_Label; 01-08-2020 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 01-08-2020, 12:09 PM
TRose TRose is offline
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Some of the finest and most expensive classical guitars have layered sides( and sometimes back). There was a thread here recently that discussed this and one particular builder was referenced. Lots of specifics were discussed in that thread.
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Old 01-08-2020, 12:22 PM
TRose TRose is offline
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$10,000+ Greenfield guitars have laminated sides
https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=471825


Hereís a thread that may be enlightening to wander through.
Cheers.
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Old 01-09-2020, 04:45 AM
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Cincy2 Cincy2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRose View Post
Some of the finest and most expensive classical guitars have layered sides( and sometimes back)
The classical and steel string guitars I've owned that had the best combination of tone and volume all had laminated sides. Greenfield, Joshia deJonge, Marc Maingard, Casimi and two wonderful Australian luthiers Kim Lissarrague and Ashley Sanders. The Australians also laminate the back and arch it to eliminate the back braces. At the end of the day the construction technique doesn't matter as much as the skill of the luthier. Doubled sides doesn't guarantee great tone and volume. It is one tool a good luthier can use to create his/her signature voice.
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:45 PM
whvick whvick is offline
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Default classical guitars lam or solid?

I am not a true classical guitarist, so please forgive my ignorance. I have an Aria A-560 from around 1970. I have always thought it had great sound and projection. I had assumed it was solid wood, but now believe it is laminate with a solid top. I assume you would consider it a student level guitar.
It has aged out really well.
Is anyone familiar with this model, and how is it regarded in the world of classical guitars
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Old 01-15-2020, 09:25 AM
redir redir is offline
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As long as the top is solid you are good to go. But yes there is definitely enough energy in the strings to drive the top and have the top couple with the back. Many luthiers think the ideal design is a solid top, rigid laminate sides and a solid back. But for the most part the top is where it's at. Still unless it's for budget reasons or you want a guitar to play by a camp fire solid woods all round or one with only laminate sides is going to be the best for tone.
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Old 01-16-2020, 06:10 AM
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StephenHD35 StephenHD35 is offline
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My 2016 Hill Guitar Co. Performance model (made in California) has a laminated top. Thereís a layer of spruce, a layer of Tolmex, and a layer of cedar. Itís a beast.
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:58 PM
Kitkatjoe Kitkatjoe is offline
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[QUOTE=Red_Label;6259585]I've owned quite a few classical/flamenco guitars... both solid and laminated. Honestly, I really don't hear a difference if all things are equal. For instance, right now I have a Cordoba C5 CET Ltd thin body laminate that doesn't sound any less quality for all practical purposes, than the all-solid FCWE Reissue, 55FCE maple, or 55FCE Ltd ziricote thin bodies that I had. What does sound different are the electronics. All of those higher-end models had the Fishman Prefix ProBlend systems, which I prefer over any other system for nylon strung guitars. The C5 CET has the Fishman Isys system and I do like it so far, more than the Presys system that is generally on Cordoba's lower-end guitars.

I've also owned nylon stringed guitars from Yamaha, Takamine, Rodriquez, Breedlove and others and frankly, the differences between them never seemed to be whether they were solid or laminate. For instance, my laminate Breedlove Passport N250 compared to my solid Breedlove Masterclass Bossa Nova. The top tier Bossa Nova had far superior fit&finish to the N250... but the tones weren't miles apart between them.

Honestly, my belief is that the reason that people generally assume that all-solid guitars sound better, it because they are usually the mid, and top tier instruments... which are built with better materials and with more care. All of which results in a better sound. If one were to take identical models of guitars, except one had laminate B/S and the other had solid B/S... IF there were a difference, it would only be related to the fact that as an all-solid guitar ages (and gets played more), its wood changes and will generally become a little more responsive. Whereas the laminate guitar will tend to resist that change more, because the thin layers of wood are glued/bonded.

By far, an all-solid top > over a laminate top. The back and sides make much less of a difference From the conception of the guitar to the completion of the instrument therein lies the mystery. The builder's secrets bring to us that heavenly sound that we need.
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Old 02-02-2020, 04:43 PM
papmrt papmrt is offline
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I know very little about them but it seems that the "sandwich top" or "double top" classicals seem to be be getting fairly popular. Technically, it seems to me, this is basically a lamination process. Maybe high grade laminate as it were but still the same thing. Of course I could be full of smoke, maybe?
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Old 02-02-2020, 08:42 PM
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I have two LaPatries.
In the product line, they are right next to each other.
A Presentation and a Collection.
One has lammy s/b, the other solid.
I honestly couldn't tell the difference if you blindfolded me and handed them to me.
So, no.
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Old 02-05-2020, 01:02 PM
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Tolmex or Nomex? I built one with Nomex. It is essentially a laminate top, this is true, but it's not the same thing. Laminate top guitars are produced cheaply for lower budget guitars. They are typically 3 layers. Spruce/luan/Spruce or some such thing. As such you have a very heavy guitar top which is very bad for tone.

A double top guitar uses layers as well but they are often pieced together or routed out which was the method I used so that you have pockets of Nomex together with spruce or cedar and then capped off with spruce or cedar. The idea behind it is that Nomex is a very light weight material that is also very strong when laminated up. So with a DT guitar you are making a very light weight top.

The one I built sounded ok, not great. But it was also my first go of it. It's really not that bad just different. But I had a guitar come in for repairs last year, a double top built by a very respected luthier and it blew me away. I didn't like it at all at first. It almost felt liek there was something wrong with it. But it quickly grew on me. I was playing it in my shop when my wife walked in and said, "is there batteries in that thing or something?" It was so loud it really sounded like it had an amp in it.
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Old 02-05-2020, 07:57 PM
alnico5 alnico5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drak View Post
I have two LaPatries.
In the product line, they are right next to each other.
A Presentation and a Collection.
One has lammy s/b, the other solid.
I honestly couldn't tell the difference if you blindfolded me and handed them to me.
So, no.
When I bought my La Patrie Concert I tried the solid mahogany Concert and the laminated cherry Etude. The Etude was louder but the Concert seemed "richer"
ie;, less pronounced highs or more mids/bass.

According to La Patrie's website, the Presentation and Collection are both solid rosewood sides/back.
http://www.lapatrieguitars.com/guita...ollection.html
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