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  #16  
Old 03-31-2014, 09:38 AM
Athana Athana is offline
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What high end classicals are made with plywood tops?
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What Classical guitars that are considered serious musical instruments have plywood tops????
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  #17  
Old 03-31-2014, 09:42 AM
Athana Athana is offline
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Glue layers with wood layed in contrary directions..originally used for more stability & less movement is a ka ka idea if the whole point of a soundboard is to respond & vibrate to a string.
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  #18  
Old 03-31-2014, 09:46 AM
Rmz76 Rmz76 is offline
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Taylor has just changed their marketing term for their "laminate" guitars to "layered woods" just so that it doesn't get mixed in with laminates, and potentially plywood, that are perhaps made of lesser quality. Taylor uses popular for the inner layer.

Seagull does a great job with their laminates.
That is very interesting... Hope that term becomes part of the lexicon.
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  #19  
Old 03-31-2014, 09:50 AM
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Martin uses mahogany for the inner layer of their laminate guitars, which according their wood folks was chosen specifically for the sound.
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  #20  
Old 03-31-2014, 10:01 AM
scottishrogue scottishrogue is offline
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Cool Plywood is not a tone wood?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Athana View Post
What Classical guitars that are considered serious musical instruments have plywood tops????
As Todd stated, plywood has an odd number of layers, where the grain is oriented in perpendicular direction. A "double-top" has only 2 layers of very thin tonewood, glued with the grain oriented in the same direction. It will add strength without sacrificing tonal response, and they are far more expensive than a solid wood top, and sound better. Calling the double-top plywood, is simply not accurate.

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  #21  
Old 03-31-2014, 10:57 AM
LouieAtienza LouieAtienza is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dru Edwards View Post
Taylor has just changed their marketing term for their "laminate" guitars to "layered woods" just so that it doesn't get mixed in with laminates, and potentially plywood, that are perhaps made of lesser quality. Taylor uses popular for the inner layer.

Seagull does a great job with their laminates.
I personally think "layered" is misleading, as if someone is glueing and layering veneers in the factory. Nothing can be further from the truth. Taylor 100 and 200 series are indeed plywood, and the poplar core is perpendicular to the show wood. Poplar by the way is probably one of the cheapest woods available at a lumber yard. Usually greenish or amber in tint with brown and grey streaks; not the most attractive wood, but there are some boards with nice figuring, but generally I'd consider it a paint-grade wood. I understand Seagull has plywood custom-made with inner cores of quality hardwoods, which I feel would be a good improvement.

Laminate is what we in the wood industry refer to Formica, WilsonArt, NevaMar, or other phenolic material that have a paper layer containing the color and pattern plus a plastic (melamine) coating. At least Martin is honest enough to call it what it is, HPL.

When we refer to "laminated" in the wood industry, it generally implies layers of thin wood or veneers wiith the grain running in the same direction, to provide (directional) strength by continuity of grain. Curved stair rails and stringers, splayed table legs, modern furniture, even trusses, are examples.

Layered is what I like to refer to the double-top guitars that many classical builders and some steel string builders are producing. This is actually a core of Nomex, a honeycomb composiite core used mainly in the aviation industry, with very thin outer skins (usually cedar inside and spruce ouutside). It produces a very light, responsive and stiff top, though some may say the one can be a bit harsh and cold. There also is almost no room for error or repair, as the outer layers are extremely thin.

Now I'm not so much a wood snob to suggest a plywood guitar cannot souund good. I own one, and after some tweaking, I feel it sounds really good. But not great, and nowhere near exceptional. I've played great and exceptional guitars, and I gurarantee none of them were plywood! But my thinking it, it is the irregularites and difference in stiffness along different axes that lend "character" to the sound of a guitar. Engineered materials such as plywood do not offer such character, as it is "locked in" by the process.
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  #22  
Old 03-31-2014, 12:12 PM
Zankou Zankou is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Athana View Post
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What Classical guitars that are considered serious musical instruments have plywood tops????
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
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  #23  
Old 03-31-2014, 12:23 PM
Hillster Hillster is offline
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A double top is two thin layers of wood with a nomex core that is in a honeycomb pattern. Most of the inner core is air. The honeycomb is just the structure to hold the two layers of wood apart. To confuse this with plywood is reaching for the stars. This creates a top that is much lighter than solid wood.

The plywood people refer to when they are talking "bad for top wood" is the cheap low grade stuff used in entry level guitars.
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  #24  
Old 03-31-2014, 12:28 PM
PorkPieGuy PorkPieGuy is offline
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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.
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  #25  
Old 03-31-2014, 12:43 PM
Bingoccc Bingoccc is offline
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A short read of interest......http://liutaiomottola.com/PrevPubs/Plywood/Plywood.htm
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  #26  
Old 03-31-2014, 12:51 PM
LouieAtienza LouieAtienza is offline
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Quote:
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.
Well, if you consider poplar a guitar tonewood, then sure. In fact, there was a time when manufacturers were unabashed about calling it what it is. Poplar is great for an electric guitar that 's pained in wild graphics for shredding, but maybe not so much for an acoustic guitar. Otherwise, it's as cheap as plywood and they'd use it as solid wood for a guitar without veneer. In fact I'd prefer it over plywood.

I do believe that manufacturers are confusing the buying public, and it's done intentionally to make people believe there is a higher intrinsic value to a lower-end offering. There needs to be better machining control with bindings, since the show veneer is so thin and care needs to be taken in sanding.

So yes, it's a higher grade of plywood, but it is still plywood, with a filler wood used for the core. Look, I've been in the cabinetmaking business on and off for the last 20 years. I've purchased marine-grade teak plywood that cost upwards of $900 a sheet. But when a manufacturer tells you the sides are "layered" it conjours up visions of side veneers bent and put in a press, and that is not what happens. The plywood sheet is cut, steamed or heated, and put in a mechanical press to "form" it's shape. Same as the back. You can even set a CNC up so that the cuts occur with the bookmatching of the veneer on the plywood; you don't even need to square the sheet on the CNC as it will account for that as well.

So it's really comparing Oscar Meyer to Boar's Head, but in the end, the marketing hype is a bunch of boloney (not bologna...)
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  #27  
Old 03-31-2014, 02:11 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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Everything effects vibration, which effects sound..."tone."

Coming from the jazz world, a lot of guys prefer laminate guitars for performance because they're durable and resistant to feedback. But laminate guitars are not all the same..."laminate" by definition isn't even the same process from maker to maker...how many layers? what's in the middle?

If you ever get a chance, audition a maple backed ES-175 to a Mahogany backed ES-175. They both will suck as acoustic guitars, mind you...but plugged in, they will indeed have a very different character to the tone.
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  #28  
Old 03-31-2014, 02:36 PM
zhunter zhunter is offline
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Quote:
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 .
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
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  #29  
Old 03-31-2014, 02:36 PM
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The wood in a solid wood top, or solid wood sides and back, has an internal structure that is the result of the organic tree growing. There are wood fibers that go longitudinally, there are transverse structures that hold them together, there are tiny voids, there are resins, etc. etc. That organic structure matures and ages with time and responds to vibrations from the guitar being being played over the years. With any kind of plywood, laminated wood, layered wood or whatever the guitar making company tries to use as a marketing term to get more sales, you loose much of that organic structure since you now have 3 or more paper thin layers of wood, with a layer of glue between each layer, and typically with the interior layers being less expensive wood and aligned at 90 degree to the grain direction of the adjacent layers. This means that the resulting 'wood' is not going to have the internal organic structure of a piece of solid wood. And this means that you will get your tone mainly from the design and construction of the guitar and not from any particular tonal aspect that the decorative top and bottom wood veneers might give had they been solid. So the decorative veneer is not going to change the tone you get so long as the overall design and structure of the guitar is kept the same. In an all plywood guitar (top, back, sides) You can have a decoration of mahogany or rosewood or koa or whatever and it will sound pretty much the same since the tone is coming from the design and construction of the guitar. If you put a solid wood top on a guitar made with plywood back and sides you will get a combination tone from the overall design and construction plus from the tonal qualities of the solid wood top.
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  #30  
Old 03-31-2014, 04:05 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
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Quote:
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.
Well said, PPG. Although I will admit I do like a nice bologna sandwich once and a while.
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