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jzucker
02-12-2010, 08:01 PM
Just curious why folks usually assume solid wood is better? Some of the best tones EVER were made on 335s and 175s. I have a 339, an HR Fusion (recently sold) and a Painter archtop, all plywood and they all sound fabulous. I have played $10k guitars that don't sound as good. I hope we can discuss this without a bunch of back-stabbing and snide comments.

When I discussed this with Tom Painter, his comment was that he could make any kind of guitar he wanted but he chose plywood because he thinks it sounds better.

Discuss...

enharmonic
02-12-2010, 08:07 PM
I personally think it's horses for courses. It's the same kind of discussion with drum shells. Maple sounds great...so does birch...so do acrylic vistalites :D

I would think that there's a certain rigidity with laminate bodies that would be hard to replicate with solid wood. Likewise, there's some resonant qualities of solid wood that would be difficult to duplicate with laminate. Both have their place, and as a general rule, i wouldn't consider one "better" than the other. Either material in the hands of a skilled luthier will produce favorable outcomes...just as either material in my hands will produce a lot of sawdust :D

Flyin' Brian
02-12-2010, 08:08 PM
I've been looking at the Sadowsky arch tops lately, which as you know Jack are pretty nice and made of fairly thin laminates. I also own a Heritage Sweet 16 which is carved, and also I've played Henry Johnson's carved Heritage and a Bendetto.

I'd say that in addition to structural soundness, most laminated guitars sound better plugged in while the carved tops sound better unplugged.

The cool thing about the Sadowsky guitars is that they sound great unplugged too.

If sound was ever "in the hands" it truly applies to luthiers.

mg550
02-12-2010, 08:09 PM
I prefer the term "laminate". :D

Anyway, it's stronger, less prone to feedback, more dense, which improves sustain. Not to mention it sounds glorious.

In my view, a guitar could be made out of plywood off the rack at Home Depot. If it sounds good, it sounds good!

jzucker
02-12-2010, 08:25 PM
Luthiers like Holst, Moll and Painter make their own plywood and it's thin like the plywood gibson used to make in the early '60s. If you pickup a modern gibson 175 it weighs a couple lbs more than it's '60s counterpart. Plywood let's you make a light, resonant guitar that's more resistant to feedback than it's solid wood counterpart.

With archtops, a lot of the solid top guitars are designed as acoustics and then a floating pickup is added. Many of those end up sounding nasally to me when amplified.

Of course, to play devil's advocate there are many bad and nasally sounding plywood guitars out there too but there are a lot of good ones as well...

sahhas
02-12-2010, 08:46 PM
yea, i always wonder this debate.
i've been loving my semi-hollow tele-it's plywood top and bottom w/ mahogany core. sounds great.
s---
www.myspace.com/scotthansen (http://www.myspace.com/scotthansen)

jzucker
02-12-2010, 08:56 PM
I'd love to see your tele. I haven't seen one like that.

gixxerrock
02-12-2010, 09:18 PM
Not exactly the same thing, but I have played a bunch of acoustic guitars and IMO, the plywood ones sounded no-where near as nice as the solid wood ones.

gulliver
02-12-2010, 09:21 PM
Yes, "laminate" when talking hollow bodies ... but if you wan to talk solid plywood, I can tell you I had a plywood body strat copy with the exact same bridge PU as a solid maple Carvin. Certainly, apples and oranges as they were different styles, but the plywood strat used to tick me off because it sounded much better for a fraction of the cost.

jzucker
02-12-2010, 09:24 PM
Yes, "laminate" when talking hollow bodies ... but if you wan to talk solid plywood, I can tell you I had a plywood body strat copy with the exact same bridge PU as a solid maple Carvin. Certainly, apples and oranges as they were different styles, but the plywood strat used to tick me off because it sounded much better for a fraction of the cost.

Was the carvin neck-through? I've found the neck through guitars to have a peculiar resonance that I can't get used to.

PixMix
02-12-2010, 09:24 PM
Just curious why folks usually assume solid wood is better? Some of the best tones EVER were made on 335s and 175s. I have a 339, an HR Fusion (recently sold) and a Painter archtop, all plywood and they all sound fabulous. I have played $10k guitars that don't sound as good. I hope we can discuss this without a bunch of back-stabbing and snide comments.

When I discussed this with Tom Painter, his comment was that he could make any kind of guitar he wanted but he chose plywood because he thinks it sounds better.

Discuss...

Perhaps because laminate is generally less expensive, and you know how it goes... the more expensive the materials, the better the tone. :rolleyes:
Was the same assumption made during 50s, 60s and 70s, though? Does anyone know when did it start?

I have Benedetto's book on making archtops, and one of the guitars fetaured in the book is made of construction grade pine, full of large knots and of a very inconsistent grain. According to Benedetto, that guitar sounds as good as any other one made of premium grade woods. Laminates are at least quite consistent in density and thickness.

Personally, I'd go for an ES-175 rather than a solid wood equivalent of it. But that's just me.

GA20T
02-12-2010, 09:25 PM
Late 60's Yamaha FGs. Great, if not better.

mattmccloskey
02-12-2010, 09:58 PM
I think you are right. Lots of really nice sounding 335's, 175's and similar out there.

I have a really gorgeous Walker archtop that is solid, but it has a mounted non-floating humbucker. Kim Walker was the first one to admit that the sacred floater would likely just be a thin sounding, feedback-prone pain in the butt for my application, even though most guys buying this type of guitar would never want to cut into the top for a pickup.

The solid top, in this case, is nice for very low volume playing, because it is acoustically louder than the ply tops, and I like the blend of the acoustic sound with the amp sound when playing in duos or with a vocalist.

That said, for amplified sound with a drummer, etc., I don't think it matters that much, I dial in the same general sound with all of them.

101Volts
02-12-2010, 10:27 PM
My Sears LP Copy is made out of plywood (Not sure about the neck) And it is very loud when played acoustically. The guitar sounds good, Its just not a player right now due to the neck being so warped. That being said, I'd build a guitar body out of plywood (Or Laminate, As some folks would like to call it) or Pine... Or any kind of wood I can get my hands on.

duaneallen
02-12-2010, 11:36 PM
When it comes to semi-hollow and archtop guitars, I definitely go for laminates. Has a thicker, more dryer tone that I like. But when it comes to acoustics, nobody can tell me that laminates sound better. I can hear the difference instantly. The solid woods (especially the solid top) has more sparkle, more overtones, and just a more "sophisticated" sound, for lack of a better word.

toneboy
02-12-2010, 11:47 PM
i had a hand in the design of a new gretsch model back in 2007.
one of the reasons gretsch/fmic is using laminates for the tops on the pro line guitars is because it adds more sparkle and more overtones,that is all part of that gretsch sound.

jzgtrguy
02-13-2010, 12:16 AM
I'm a pragmatist. If it works it works. I have never understood the anti laminate mentality when so much great music has been produced on plywood guitars. I couldn't agree with you more. Especially for electric guitars where feed back can be a problem.

EADGBE
02-13-2010, 12:17 AM
I don't know about hollow bodies but when it comes to solid body electrics I'd pass on plywood. It tends to lack bass and warmth. Too stiff and dense I suppose.

Secret Ingredient
02-13-2010, 01:34 AM
Cheap plywood will have voids that cause issues. My first electric guitar was a very cheap Les Paul copy. You could see the plywood layers on the edges. It looked like the plys were alternating layers, one layer of "solid" wood and then a layer of chips and glue, then another "solid" layer. As you can guess, it was a pos. Bad plywood construction taints the overall impression of the material.

jzucker
02-13-2010, 05:35 AM
I don't know about hollow bodies but when it comes to solid body electrics I'd pass on plywood. It tends to lack bass and warmth. Too stiff and dense I suppose.

Well the 335 isn't exactly a solidbody but it certainly doesn't lack warmth...

tooter007
02-13-2010, 05:52 AM
Funny this was brought up! I just took the pickguard off a really GREAT sounding late 80's Squier (MIK) Strat in LPB to spray the pots, and yep....it's plywood. I had no idea, didn't care. Oh....a few more things....it's bone stock, has factory paint shielded single/single/hum routing, large steel trem block with fender stamped bent saddles, and magnet strip single coils....it sounds really great!

Hmmmm..if I sent this to Jack Zucker to make a video demo, everyone would be out looking for late 80's plywood Squiers!:idea

jzucker
02-13-2010, 06:06 AM
Funny this was brought up! I just took the pickguard off a really GREAT sounding late 80's Squier (MIK) Strat in LPB to spray the pots, and yep....it's plywood. I had no idea, didn't care. Oh....a few more things....it's bone stock, has factory paint shielded single/single/hum routing, large steel trem block with fender stamped bent saddles, and magnet strip single coils....it sounds really great!

Hmmmm..if I sent this to Jack Zucker to make a video demo, everyone would be out looking for late 80's plywood Squiers!:idea

I don't know about that but I can tell you from experience that the american strats from that period had lam tops too. I had a gorgeous american standard in sunburst and alder...Except that the alder was a laminate. Not sure what the inner core was. Poplar maybe...

tooter007
02-13-2010, 06:40 AM
Yes, I have heard that, and also have heard that late 80's strats labeled as USA were actually MIJ? Any truth to that? Fender was once again in the sh*tter financially at that time if I recall.

go7
02-13-2010, 10:18 AM
Most have not owned a nice solid wood semi-hollow. Eric Clapton solid wood 335 about 15 K. from Gibson. Yes, His 335 was real wood. Every laminate 335 I`ve owned feeds back way more than my Heatley solid wood semi hollow and I have p90`s.
My band mate plays a stock Gibson 335 laminate so this is real world stuff.
Most simply have no experience w/ well made solid wood semi hollows and repeat the forum mantra. Laminate doesn`t feed back as much. I call bull hockey.

jzucker
02-13-2010, 10:23 AM
Most have not owned a nice solid wood semi-hollow.

I have. Several 336, 446, several prs hollowbody. I think my 339 smokes all of them but it's just personal preference. The point is you can't generalize.

tastylicks
02-13-2010, 11:50 AM
I think it's essentially tied to how one considers an acoustic. There's a much clearer divide with acoustics, so it's reasonable that people might apply the same logic to archtops. Also when people think of "finely crafted instrument", they def. prefer the image of a wise, hunched-over artisan, meticulously and lovingly carving, rather than somebody/something slapping together various un-charming wood elements.

Personally I agree that laminates sound great amplified and less great unplugged. I have an ES-175 laminate top that I really like. I could definitly see that carved tops would sound nicer acoustically, but it would be a shame if my jazz axe sounded better unplugged than amplified.

mattmccloskey
02-13-2010, 12:00 PM
plugging in just changes everything. The guitar may be still a major factor, but the pick-ups, amp, and actual tone settings become just as much of a factor, maybe more. Just think of how radically a clean guitar sound changes with the flip of a pickup selector, or when you roll off the tone control, let alone the amp controls, reverb, etc.
Just the high-impedance magnet 'mic' that we call a pick-up is a massive filter of frequency, plus the capacitance of pots, cables, amp input. The volume issue is completely taken care of with amplification.

I would venture to say that if I recorded myself with both laminate top and solid top guitars through a normal amp with my normal tone settings nobody could tell which was which.

Also, consider how many great old jazz bass players gigged and recorded with those plywood Kay basses!

mondaythursday
02-13-2010, 12:43 PM
I like the sounds I get with both my solid top and laminated top archtops.

94prs22
02-13-2010, 07:21 PM
Just my 2 cents, but over the last year I'd been looking for a Gibson Byrdland to satisfy a hollow body need in my guitar arsenal. It took many miles of driving in Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota and trying out maybe 10 Byrdlands from 1958-1982 but in the end, I ended up choosing a laminate topped Ibanez Byrdland copy. It was less prone to feedback than most, if not all of the Gibson guitars, it had the most pleasing neck shape and had a more immediate tone, especially on the bass strings. Price was not an issue, in this case, I bought the guitar that resonated with me the most and it just happened to be the least expensive and has a laminate top and body construction. In the end, I think you have to let your ears be your guide.

sahhas
02-13-2010, 10:12 PM
here:

http://s616.photobucket.com/albums/tt249/evanpeewee/?action=view&current=tele.jpg

is my plywood semi-hollow tele.
solid rosewood neck (was a headless, now modified) that has a flat radius-which i love, carvin pu's, vintage-style trem (i just discovered that that it is wider at trem end for string spacing than my other 2 trems).
i like it. i need to change the input jack & the strings....
s---
www.myspace.com/scotthansen (http://www.myspace.com/scotthansen)

ssdeluxe
02-13-2010, 10:59 PM
Jack, I'm inclined to follow your way of thinking on this.
I've owned many archies: campellone special, umpteen es 3x5's, es 295, herb ellis, guild x700, guild x350 stratford, guild sf 3, guild aristocrat.52 epiphone zephr regent.......and a few a can't remember.

I think it really depends on what you are going for. For me the campellone was too "alive" to be a good electric, putting a pu @ the end of the neck just doesn't do a gtr like this justice, imho, this gtr had the most amazing rich, throaty, full incredible acoustic tone, electricfied, it wasn't very good to me.

now, the guild x700 with its solid top and ply sides had the build in hums, and I think that is a gr8 sound, just like in a really good gibby wes montgomery.

its a compromise if you like to play acoustic, but for electric, the pu in the top made all the difference to me.

ulitmately, I've ended up with a couple 3x5's, gretsch 6122, and for my absoultely favourite archtop electric tone: the 61 barney kessel, that gtr is all ply and its perfect and the tone is astonishing, made with good quality ply.

to sum: i'd say, if you are concerned with electric tone, don't pay too much attention to solid woods, my fav. ended up being total ply....but a ply spruce top, kinda best of both worlds in this instance.

chucke99
02-14-2010, 04:33 PM
I'd also prefer to use "laminate" for semi and hollowbody tops (or for acoustics). Plywood sounds so cheap.

Now, "plywood" does apply when you're talking low-end solid-body guitars. I just bought this FirstAct LP knockoff, mostly because it was only $50 at a pawn shop, and because I thought the body looked super cool. Not only is it a carved top, but the sunburst is particularly well done.

That being said, this guitar is also "cheap" in the worst sense of the word. Even given its looks, it wasn't worth the $50. Luckily, I had spare pickups and electronics I could swap in, and a better bridge, but the body is pure junk. I'm just messing around with it until I can find a better project body for the pups/pots, etc.

Plywood solid bodies just suck.

http://www.chucke.com/pics/firstact.jpg

bluesjuke
02-14-2010, 05:34 PM
Most have not owned a nice solid wood semi-hollow. Eric Clapton solid wood 335 about 15 K. from Gibson. Yes, His 335 was real wood.


The Clapton model 335 is a laminate just like all other 335's.
His original is also.


I figure you also meant "solid wood" as laminate is real wood.
Layers of real wood.

sahhas
02-14-2010, 05:52 PM
i often wonder if 20-30 yrs down the road we'll have to change our thoughts on "solid woods" vs. plywood/laminates...w/ the scarcity of some woods that have been used for so long in guitar building. vintage guitar mag just had an article about the gibson raid b/c of possible use of "illegal madagascar rosewood". also makes me wonder if guitars like the flaxwood are the future, the combining of wood byproduct (spruce chips) w/ some type of epoxy is the future...
s---
www.myspace.com/scotthansen (http://www.myspace.com/scotthansen)

jzucker
02-14-2010, 06:04 PM
i often wonder if 20-30 yrs down the road we'll have to change our thoughts on "solid woods" vs. plywood/laminates...w/ the scarcity of some woods that have been used for so long in guitar building. vintage guitar mag just had an article about the gibson raid b/c of possible use of "illegal madagascar rosewood". also makes me wonder if guitars like the flaxwood are the future, the combining of wood byproduct (spruce chips) w/ some type of epoxy is the future...
s---
www.myspace.com/scotthansen (http://www.myspace.com/scotthansen)

Why would wood have to be in it at all? I think materials like carbon fiber hold the key. I had a composite acoustic Xi guitar that was one of the most amazing sounding instruments I ever owned. If they made a version with magnetic pickups I think it'd be a terrific product. The only reason I sold mine was it was horribly neck heavy.

Artur_I_Tis
02-14-2010, 07:20 PM
Metal resonators guitars, why not hollow bodies? You can make a house out of glass, why not a guitar?

gulliver
02-14-2010, 08:05 PM
Was the carvin neck-through? I've found the neck through guitars to have a peculiar resonance that I can't get used to.

No, was glued.

NoahL
02-14-2010, 09:16 PM
Plywood solid bodies just suck.

For a short time I had a Martin Sigma Tele copy. It decades old -- bought it off Craigslist for $100, put $100 into it (mostly to have a pickguard made), and sold it for $400 on eBay. It was some kind of plywood (someone want to guess based on the broad grain pattern?), solid (not semihollow). Also had a laminate neck, with the laminates running vertical to the fretboard, like the current Martin X series. This Martin Sigma Tele was a CANNON. It had Maxon pickups. I bought it to sell it, but I think if I'd kept it and tweaked the electronics, it might have made a great rock machine.

http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a192/noahli/MartinSigma.jpg

RCCola
02-15-2010, 02:06 AM
Metal resonators guitars, why not hollow bodies? You can make a house out of glass, why not a guitar?

Normandy makes aluminium hollow body guitars.

Ampeg has made plexi glass guitars for a while.

purestmonk
02-15-2010, 03:47 AM
just to say abit about the solid bodies: if im not wrong, kurt rosenwinkel is using a solid wood archtop and it's sounding pretty good isnt it?

pat martino is currently using a benedetto benny which is solid wood

wolfgang muthspiel uses a heritage semi-hollow which is solid wood too

i suppose if one's playing is good, you can sound good both ways

there are laminated guitars that dont float your boat - just as how there are solid wood guitars

also, you can do solid wood + 2 pickup - that'ld take away the acoustical property tho - but bill comins say that this will sound great amplified

jzucker
02-15-2010, 07:29 AM
just to say abit about the solid bodies: if im not wrong, kurt rosenwinkel is using a solid wood archtop and it's sounding pretty good isnt it?

Nope. He was using a d'angelico and is now using a sadowsky, both of which are plywood. Abercrombie's also using the sadowsky as is Russell Malone. Dan Wilson just bought a Tom Painter which is plywood.

pat martino is currently using a benedetto benny which is solid wood

His sound is awful now. Muddy and indistinct IMO...His best tones were from the first few records where he was using a (solid top) L5 stuffed with cotton. (of course, IMO...)


wolfgang muthspiel uses a heritage semi-hollow which is solid wood too


Yes, even the heritage 175 style guitar is solid wood. I think the only plywood guitar they make is the kenny burrell.

sahhas
02-15-2010, 10:37 AM
so is the martin X-series-are these the guitars they say are built w/ "stratabond"???

was always curious of those, if that's what that is?

i will agree i think the question of "how much wood needs to be used?" or does it need to be wood at all? is a good question....

ideas-
1.teuffel birdfish-wood neck, body is metal parts pretty minimal mostly
2.xox handle guitars-graphite-the vids i've seen have been interesting

an interesting debate....to say the least....
s---
www.myspace.com/scotthansen

jekyll & hyde
02-18-2010, 04:04 PM
What is the thickness of the plates that Painter is using?

purestmonk
02-18-2010, 04:08 PM
What I was referring to was Kurt using a moffa now
http://www.moffaguitars.it/maryan_e.htm

He recorded his latest with album with it

Nope. He was using a d'angelico and is now using a sadowsky, both of which are plywood. Abercrombie's also using the sadowsky as is Russell Malone. Dan Wilson just bought a Tom Painter which is plywood.


when you speak about PM, i havent heard him on the benny .. but i think good EQ and knowing how to use the tone knob would solve the problem?
if you listen to jim hall's hemispheres with bill frisell - he sounds pretty muddy to me compared to previously .. i think it's down to his setup .. he's always on the laminates

stevieboy
02-18-2010, 05:51 PM
Heritage semi hollows--H535, H555, and Prospect are laminated top and back, H110 (interesting new model) and Millenium are solid. Thin hollowbody H525 is also a laminate.

I googled Wolfgang and came up this pic. Looks like a solid carve Millenium Ultra (though the Heritage site shows it with a stop tailpiece.)

http://www.jazzreview.com/f/user_images/6-3348-1843-1-5.jpg

I recently flipped a very nice CS336 and got an ES335, because I love that funky sound a lamintated semi hollow gives you.

Gibfenderson
02-25-2010, 05:59 PM
I have. Several 336, 446, several prs hollowbody. I think my 339 smokes all of them but it's just personal preference. The point is you can't generalize.


I have to agree. The 339 and the 336 is the same guitar with difference being solid wood vs laminate. I much prefer the 339!

Also, love the new Grestches ( laminate) and didn't care for Eastmans ( solid wood).

For Semi or hollow bodies - I am a laminate guy.

jtees4
02-26-2010, 11:34 AM
It's all in the mind. Everyone thinks they know what they hear, but do a real blindfolded test and many of the best ears fall apart. Just Coke vs: Pepsi for guitar players (If you're old enough to remember).

thewalkingboss
02-26-2010, 01:20 PM
I have 2 jazz boxes, a D'Aspiranta "New York", made by Peerless with a laminate top, and I paid about $900 all in for it new. The other one is a PRS Archtop II with a carved maple top, that used to sell new for about $6K. Guess which one I play more often. If you guessed the PRS, you guessed wrong.

radiohead
02-26-2010, 02:48 PM
i stayed away from the ES type guitars for years thinking they would sound and feel cheap due to the laminate.. man was i wrong. after playing my buddy's 335.. i thought it sounded better and livelier than my les paul at the time. that led me to getting the 339 i have now.. i thought about the 336 (before finding out that they were cut from solid wood), but the 339 just had that sound i preferred more when i tried them out.

sahhas
06-02-2010, 09:34 AM
just read a review of one of the danelectro reissues (like the jimmy page model).
and they talk about how inexpensive they are and body is plywood core w/ masonite for top.
and w/ the lipstick pu's they talk about how good it actually does sound...

semi-hollowbody
06-02-2010, 10:20 AM
Ive read a lot of reviews on "affordable" guitars and the adjective "plywood junk" was used alot...I think people just hear it enough and although theyve never extensively played a guitar made of laminate or plywood just assume its true...same thing with costs more = better...its a natural assumption that quality and price are inversely related...

wood is wood...different doesnt mean better or worse, just different

Bluedawg
06-02-2010, 01:05 PM
I like them both for hollowbodies.

It was explained to me at a young age that plywood is somewhat of a misnomer for ES-335s and such. High Quality laminate is a much better and much more accurate way to describe the wood in those guitars. Although high quality plywood isn't really inaccurate.

I love the sound of a solid spruce top, though, and almost always prefer the tone of a solid carved archtop even amplified. IMHO A good solid spruce top doesn't need to have the treble controls turned way down to make it sound like a traditional jazz guitar.

There are plenty of great sounding laminate top hollowbody guitars out there, too. I have a 175 that I really like alot.

If you're going to turn the treble tone controls down to 0 and crank up the reverb and delay ... it probably doesn't matter which one you're playing on.

Laminated solid bodies are usually the super cheap ones ....

:wave

arnie65
06-16-2010, 07:21 PM
One only needs to listen to the old 60's and 70's recordings of Jim Hall, or even Joe Pass, to realize that plywood/laminates make great tops for archtops, besides being incredibly tolerant to changes in humidity and weather. An elderly gentleman who I used to take lessons from back in the early 80's, once told me that he knew someone that had specifically ordered a laminate guitar from Jimmy D'Aquisto. Jimmy told him he only had quality woods in the shop, but the guy insisted he just wanted inexpensive wood on the guitar (go figure) When the guitar (an Excel model) was finished, he hung it in the shop, and over a few days, player after player asked to try it and were astounded by how good, warm and resonant it was (both unplugged and amplified) he never told anyone it was a plywood laminate. I can vouch for it, I met the man years later and played the guitar!!



Cheers, Arnie..

RRfireblade
06-16-2010, 08:31 PM
Kinda old thread . . . anyway ,

Like everything else there is quality plywood and 'typical' plywood.

Plywood guitars that get slammed are usually built with run of the mill , not high quaility plywood. Which is terribly inconsistant in layers , quality of glue up , degree of pressing and with the addition of voids in uncontrollable areas.

Thats why. :)

Whiskeyrebel
06-16-2010, 09:12 PM
For acoustics even, how much of the differences in sound are based on laminates being used in budget instruments where it doesn't pay to put a lot of work or detail into the rest of the construction? Same with solid electrics. If only the lowest priced items with the lowest price hardware get made out of the material, that will cast a pall on the material itself.

musicofanatic5
06-17-2010, 01:58 AM
It was explained to me at a young age that plywood is somewhat of a misnomer for ES-335s and such. High Quality laminate is a much better and much more accurate way to describe the wood in those guitars. Although high quality plywood isn't really inaccurate.

It's plies of wood, right? Ply-wood. I am amused by those who wish to insist plywood be referred to as "laminate material"! To me that term suggests formica kitchen counter tops!

Here's a nice plywood gtr!

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t195/musicofanatic/P6150002.jpg

mullytron
06-17-2010, 02:26 AM
Interesting thread. The guys who make surfboard fins are years ahead of us, since they lay up different materials at different angles and differnet thicknesses ROUTINELY, to see how it affects the flex and rebound and modulus of the finished product. I guess it's easier with synthetics than wood.

Laminate is proven to sound both great and terrible, depending, just like cut up trees. Design and execution will almost always trump material. Anyone ever try old Framus'es? Way ahead of their time, I love those necks, moreso on the electrics than the acoustics actually, laid up maple strips, about 1/16" wide? Like a mini bowling alley. So stable, strong as hell, fast and bright sounding, but even, maybe lacking warmth (predictably). Anytime you laminate you reinforce fundamental and need to be sure you don't damp out too much timbre in the harmonics. I was thinking it would be cool to try using high-quality laminate stringers in a hardwood matrix, or inset pieces of laminate to liven up or deaden a given body template in different spots. Hmm...

EADGBE
06-17-2010, 04:00 AM
Anytime you laminate you reinforce fundamental and need to be sure you don't damp out too much timbre in the harmonics. Actually the more laminates there are the less fundamentals there will be. Really stiff materials/woods tend to boost trebles to the detriment of bass.

pcovers
06-17-2010, 07:38 AM
Actually the more laminates there are the less fundamentals there will be. Really stiff materials/woods tend to boost trebles to the detriment of bass.
Fundamentals are about the lack of harmonics. An archtop acoustic guitar is preferred by jazz players (ply or solid) due to the strong fundamentals and limited harmonics/overtones. A fingerstyle player often prefers strong harmonics. Most flatop guitars of ply lack rich overtones. Most archtop guitars of ply have strong fundamentals (limited harmonics). You can have a bass or treble that is strong in the fundamental of the note and limited in harmonics.

pcovers
06-17-2010, 07:55 AM
There are so many examples solid wood, ply-wood, and non wood guitars that sound great that there is no rational argument for solid is better or ply is better or even wood is better. There are just individual experiences that are often 180 degrees opposite of other's experiences. We are left with a clear picture that most assumptions are anecdotal and often don't reflect others assumptions.

I tend to agree with those that suggest that, to a large degree, we hear what reinforces what we expect. Most blind tests over the years that I have had fun with when playing with buddies is that it is usually a 50/50 crap shoot that what you think it is, is just as likley not what you thought it was going to be.

I'm all for whatever gives you that little extra snap, sparkle, and attack.

dspellman
06-17-2010, 08:32 AM
Was the carvin neck-through? I've found the neck through guitars to have a peculiar resonance that I can't get used to.

Unlikely that it has anything to do with "neck-through" construction. I've got at least ten neck-through guitars of various woods and body shapes and none exhibit a common "resonance" characteristic. A dollar says I can put up five each of set neck and neck-through guitars in a blind test and you can't pick the differences between neck styles with any precision.

mad dog
06-17-2010, 09:24 AM
There are so many examples solid wood, ply-wood, and non wood guitars that sound great that there is no rational argument for solid is better or ply is better or even wood is better.

I'm all for whatever gives you that little extra snap, sparkle, and attack.

Makes sense to me. I let my ears be the judge. No reason to doubt the construction on my two semi-hollows (ES-335, Guild Stafire VI). They sound good enough to make discussion irrelevant IMO. Might be smarter to take each guitar as it comes ... assess it by sound and feel rather than some arbitrary standard.
MD

Bluedawg
06-17-2010, 10:37 AM
It's plies of wood, right? Ply-wood. I am amused by those who wish to insist plywood be referred to as "laminate material"! To me that term suggests formica kitchen counter tops!

Here's a nice plywood gtr!

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t195/musicofanatic/P6150002.jpg


Isn't plywood made by laminating plies of wood together together?


:munch

musicofanatic5
06-17-2010, 12:26 PM
Isn't plywood made by laminating plies of wood together together?


:munch
Yes. "Plies" of "wood". "Plywood".


"Laminate" as a noun, could refer to any number of possible materials, stacked and joined together with an adhesive, under pressure.

If one is marketing a product made of plywood, one had damn sure better market it as "of laminated construction", as the american consuming public needs to be coddled and bamboozled simultaneously.

socalscott
06-17-2010, 04:36 PM
I had a good sounding Coronet SG copy, bolt neck.
The neck and body were both plywood.

Never was lacking compared to any gits I jammed with. Pup swaps had it sounding better in some cases.