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  #1  
Old 05-31-2017, 02:36 PM
Tico Tico is offline
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Default $10,000+ Greenfield guitars have laminated sides

Kudos to the man for being brave enough to think for himself in a field where most fear bucking tradition.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAeXskZHC2o

FF to 1:00 to hear Mr. Greenfield explain and show the laminations of his guitar sides.

I always thought solid sides were best, and only the cheapest guitars had laminated sides.
Who knew?
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  #2  
Old 05-31-2017, 02:57 PM
rmyAddison rmyAddison is offline
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This is simple to me........

I would have to play a Greenfield, not guess, not presume, and see how I like it. I've bought a few Martins in this price range, they were exceptional to me, and worth the price, and Martins are rock solid and universally known in the used market.

If the Greenfield blew me away, regardless of woods or laminates, then it blew me away, and might be worth it. If not, doesn't matter what the price is.

However I like the vintage woody sound, i.e Martins, there are a lot of modern voiced guitars, more fingerstyle oriented to me, that folks love and pay big bucks for, works for them.

Nobody can have a serious opinion about a guitar they've never played......
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Old 05-31-2017, 03:25 PM
PiousDevil PiousDevil is offline
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I'm in the wrong business.
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Old 05-31-2017, 03:35 PM
drive-south drive-south is offline
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Laminated sides are used on many high end classical guitars. You also find double top guitars from boutique builders. Its not plywood like you may find on an inexpensive instrument.
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Old 05-31-2017, 03:39 PM
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BBWW BBWW is offline
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I've played many guitars from a lot of world class builders. Michael is one of the best and to me his guitars are worth it. If I had a list of the the top ten builders, I would put Michael on it. One of his guitars I played was the best I'd ever held, heard or played. At least that is how I remember it. :-)
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Old 05-31-2017, 03:42 PM
JSDenvir JSDenvir is offline
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There are a number of reasons to laminate sides, reasons that have nothing to do with "budget" guitars.

Some builders want extremely stiff sides, so as to allow the top and back to work together without interference from the sides. Call that the "drum" model.

Some are trying to salvage a great set of wood. What do you do if you have a set of Brazilian, but the sides are too thin or unstable?

And some figured woods just don't want to bend. Or rather, they don't want to bend at a thickness that will make for stable construction. So they need to be thinned, bent, and then laminated to a stable substrate.

So laminated sides are not at all uncommon in the custom guitar market.

Laminated tops, on the other hand, you probably want to stay away from :-)

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Old 05-31-2017, 03:44 PM
RodB RodB is offline
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My Taran guitar has laminated sides I'm pleased to say - You might be interested to read the last paragraph of this: http://www.taranguitars.co.uk/about/construction
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Old 05-31-2017, 03:51 PM
Halcyon/Tinker Halcyon/Tinker is offline
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Factory ply is used to cut costs, no other reason.

High end builders using double sides do it as a perceived tonal and structural benefit. It is extra cost for them in material and effort.

So yeah, technically double sides are plywood, but the intent between the two camps is miles apart.
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Old 05-31-2017, 03:52 PM
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Larry Pattis Larry Pattis is offline
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Where to begin...?

Okay, just to throw one of the more well-known names out there (and one of the biggest price tags, as well), the starting price for an Ervin Somogyi guitar is currently $35,000. All of Ervin's guitars are laminated sides, and this has been true for at least 15 years...maybe longer. Nearly all Ervin's former apprentices (a 2-year, old world apprenticeship) use laminated sides, and many of these builders are quite well known...in the world of handcrafted guitars.

The most well-known right now (and most sought after luthier on the planet) could possibly be Jason Kostal, and I'm guessing Jason has a 5+ year wait-list right now. Maybe longer. Maybe much longer.

My friend and top-builder Simon Fay uses laminated sides.

The laminated sides the OP thinks about on the lesser-quality production model guitars bear no resemblance to the lamination process (nor results in rim-stiffness) used by the *many* top-shelf builders across the world...for steel-string *and* classical guitars.

This is all common knowledge in the building and playing community for high end guitars, and dozens (if not hundreds) of examples of these builds can be found/seen right here on the AGF in the Custom Shop sub-forum.

I apologize for my initial use of the word "ignorance"...although that post has now been deleted, apparently.

I should have said "lack of knowledge".

They both mean the same thing, but the reader can easily confuse my directness for negativity. I too am ignorant on many things in our world.

The bottom line is that this kind of build process has been used by a large number of top-shelf acoustic guitar builders for much more than a decade.

I won't go into the physics or theories behind what stiffer rims create on a handcrafted guitar, as this is just *one* feature of how/why the world of handcrafted guitars delivers a better sounding instrument (by and large) than what a production-line instrument can deliver.



Quote:
Originally Posted by JSDenvir View Post
<<snip>>

Laminated tops, on the other hand, you probably want to stay away from :-)

Steve


I don't know if this was supposed to be facetious, but a handcrafted double-top (laminated, but not the way you think) will also come from some of the top small-shops across the world, in both the classical and steel-string worlds.
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Last edited by Larry Pattis; 05-31-2017 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 05-31-2017, 03:56 PM
Tico Tico is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBWW View Post
I've played many guitars from a lot of world class builders. Michael is one of the best and to me his guitars are worth it. If I had a list of the the top ten builders, I would put Michael on it. One of his guitars I played was the best I'd ever held, heard or played. At least that is how I remember it. :-)
For the record this thread was in no way an jab at Michael Greenfield.
I'm in learning mode.
I discovered something.
I'll bet some posters here are learning this too.

Okay, some of you already know this.
Sorry to ruin your day.

IMO fora are are for educating, not for ego stroking by fighting over a pecking order based on who knows what.

It makes sense laminate is stronger than solid wood.
Wonder why the Martin and Taylors don't use it.
But then tradition (even based on ignorance) is a powerful thing.
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Old 05-31-2017, 04:02 PM
HHP HHP is offline
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I think original Selmer-Maccaferri's have laminated backs and sides, they run about $20K these days. Like everything in guitars, better to look at the builder than the materials.
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Old 05-31-2017, 04:03 PM
TerryC TerryC is offline
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Materials aside, I just got sucked into that video and watched the entire thing all the way through. Really fascinating, thanks for posting. I think I want to be a luthier when I grow up!
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Old 05-31-2017, 04:04 PM
Tico Tico is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Pattis View Post
I apologize for my initial use of the word "ignorance"...although that post has now been deleted, apparently.
Apology accepted.

Thank you.
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  #14  
Old 05-31-2017, 04:06 PM
JSDenvir JSDenvir is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Pattis View Post
I don't know if this was supposed to be facetious, but a handcrafted double-top (laminated, but not the way you think) will also come from some of the top small-shops across the world, in both the classical and steel-string worlds.
Definitely facetious, at least in terms of luthier-made guitars :-)

Steve
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  #15  
Old 05-31-2017, 04:25 PM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is offline
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I have two guitars with double sides, both from single-person shops: a William Kelday 12 fret 000 steel string, and a Brunton classical guitar.

That said, I would not be able to argue the relative merits of this approach to building. I just know that both these guitars have that in their build and both are each hand made by a single person.

Tony
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Last edited by tbeltrans; 05-31-2017 at 08:48 PM.
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