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Author Topic: Laminate vs Solid top Acoustic  (Read 7905 times)

Offline Quinn Spalpeen

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Laminate vs Solid top Acoustic
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2010, 09:31:05 AM »
quote:
Originally posted by freddy_j

A LITTLE off the subject, but not much...does anyone have any idea when the first laminate guitars were made?


Freddy, that is great question, an obvious question that never crossed my mind. I know that laminate construction was used on some double basses as long ago as the 20's.  I think but can't say with certainty that Loar/Gibson used laminate in the late 30's and 40's.

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Offline skip77

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Laminate vs Solid top Acoustic
« Reply #16 on: January 14, 2011, 04:32:12 AM »
Im late in this thread and probably no one will care about it now but I wanted to add that modern guitar design is making it more difficult to notice significant differences between laminate and solid top acoustics. Mainly the laminate wood itself if better quality, higher density and more suitable for transfering energy or in other words better tone than laminate from 50 yrs ago. Also bracing configurations have changed and improved guitar tones. The placement and shape of modern braces is improving tones in acoustic guitars. Choice of strings available is adding to the mix. I have a vintage Ovation Applause AA-31 made in Korea with lam top and that thing has volume and tone to rival any acoustic - because of deep bowl back, bracing and quality of lam top (made early 80's)
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Offline greygoose625

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Laminate vs Solid top Acoustic
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2011, 04:06:48 PM »
Solid or laminated top.......the quality and bracing are of major importance.  A laminated top can be thin with the spruce on the top layer as thin as a postcard.....I've seen the bridge tear this layer off before.  Laminated tops, like plywood have the grain going in different direction......giving strenth......but not responding to the viberation of the string as well......a laminated top will warp by sinking between the sound hole and bulging on the opposite of the bridge.  A solid top will crack and if the grain isn't correct, the top too thick, the bracing improper it will not sound good.  On an acoustic guitar the way the player sets the string vibrating and if the arm is resting on the guitar and quality and gauge of strings can be a deal breaker for good tone.  What's better.......a lot of factors can make the difference.......all my guitars are high end with solid tops......janeguitar.com
 

Offline YerDugliness

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Laminate vs Solid top Acoustic
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2011, 09:44:03 AM »
quote:
Originally posted by greygoose625

On an acoustic guitar the way the player sets the string vibrating and if the arm is resting on the guitar and quality and gauge of strings can be a deal breaker for good tone.


I'm so glad to see someone else mention these issues.

The motion I use to set the strings into vibration differs between my steel-string guitars and my classical guitars.  On my steel-string guitars I tend to pluck the strings into motion parallel to the top of the guitar, on my classical strings I capture the string between the tip of the finger and the fingernail and actually press it downward toward the top of the guitar, releasing it to vibrate in a path perpindicular to the top of the guitar.

My Darren Hippner handmade concert-grade classical guitar sounds quite different when I suspend my arm over the soundboard compared to when I rest my arm on the soundboard.  My most recent classical guitar purchase, my Washburn C124SW, has a floating armrest, and I do occasionally catch myself getting lazy and allowing my forearm to rest on it rather than keeping it suspended above the soundboard.  Fortunately, the floating armrest allows the soundboard to vibrate to its full capacity by keeping my arm from damping the soundboard.

We have two different schools of thought here on the forum regarding strings, Jane.  I would say the majority of the members believe strings are strings, but in their defense I would submit that the majority of the players here on this forum board are playing steel-string guitars, not classicals.  With classical guitars, it has also been my experience that the quality of the strings is paramount in getting the best sound (and that includes getting the right tension grade of strings, too).

Cheers from.....

Dugly [8D]

YerDugliness, Esq./Post No Bills
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