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Author Topic: Laminate tops and side.  (Read 2183 times)

Offline oskie

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Laminate tops and side.
« on: September 16, 2013, 03:51:52 PM »
Does type of wood make a big difference in the sound  of a laminate top and sides. I understand that solid woods do, but isn't laminate the same on the inside of your guitar? Thanks!

Offline YerDugliness

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Re: Laminate tops and side.
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2013, 08:47:54 PM »
Does type of wood make a big difference in the sound  of a laminate top and sides. I understand that solid woods do, but isn't laminate the same on the inside of your guitar? Thanks!

Based on my limited experience with this sort of thing, I would say so.

I own three Washburn Mini Jumbo guitars.  One, the WMJ11S, has solid cedar top and laminate mahogany (maybe sapele) sides and back. The other two, WMJ21S models, have solid cedar top and laminate rosewood sides and back.  The WMJ21S sounds very different from the WMJ11S and the only difference is the tonewood used for the laminate sides and backs.

Now, the top is a different matter....a solid wood top will "open up" over time....as the cytoplasm inside the wood cells dries up the cells take on the ability to "ring" like a bell, or more appropriately like a sphere or a cube, when excited into motion.  This can have a huge impact on sustain and volume, not to mention some other issues.  The laminate will not do this, as what you have in a laminate is (most likely) three different layers all bonded together with a glue which has been assigned the job of keeping the laminate layers stable...not exactly the best recipe for a soundboard.

Combine the best of both worlds...solid wood top along with solid wood sides and backs and you have the top-of-the-line offerings from Washburn and almost every other manufacturer. I know you didn't ask about all-solid-wood guitars, but just thought I'd throw it out there.

I own an old Harmony steel string made of all laminate construction...it is nothing to write home about, but when it's the only guitar at the campsite it sounds OK....it's all relative, I guess!

Cheers!!

Dugly 8)
YerDugliness,Esq./Post No Bills
Guitar Playin' FOOL, attempting to age disgracefully!
Washburns:WD32SW,D61SW,D62SW,C124SWK,
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