Last night, I got about an hour into the Joe Pass performance DVD NetFlix has. He plays several guitars throughout the many years covered by the DVD, starting with a surprisingly "jazzy" sounding Jazzmaster (that clip's on YouTube and it's been posted on the Sound Lounge before). Then comes his ES 175, then what looks like a D'Angelico or Benedetto, then an Ibanez archtop (Joe Pass model?). The striking thing was that the D'Angelico-type looked like the nicest guitar, and arguably had the richest, woodiest sound -- but it was kinda muddy. There wasn't the clarity and separation of the 175 or the Ibanez. I've been thinking about this idea that maybe laminate tops have advantages even at moderate decibel levels, and this kind of supports that. On 335 types, the boutique makers -- and Eastman -- typically brag of having solid, hand-carved tops -- often spruce -- but I'm wondering if this is always an advantage. Would love to hear the thoughts to those here who are more expert than me on the subject.