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NECK MATERIAL: Natural Stratabond

Messages
15,345
So I was looking at a Martin Acoustic, and the neck material, as posted in the title of this thread, is Natural Stratabond...

... what in the world is that?

Sweetwater is happy to oblige with an answer to this existential question:

This is a trademark product of the Rutland Plywood Corporation. Composed of dye impregnated wood veneers in rich earth tones, Stratabond has formed the stocks and handles of millions of guns and bows for major manufacturers around the world since 1987. However, it has more recently been discovered by some guitar builders to be an excellent, cost-effective alternative to tropical mahogany, which has skyrocketed in cost over the last few years.
So... what's so damn natural about this stratabond stuff, anyway???

Here's a pic of the Martin in question...



I suppose the "natural" part refers to the *color* not the fact that this material is "real natural wood"...

Either way, if I am buying a Martin, I expect real wood. But that's me.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
39,571
since i suspect the rest of that guitar is made of some sort of kitchen countertop material, i wouldn't sweat it too much.

it is wood, just with lots and lots of glue layers in it. i would expect it to be very stable, stiff, and even, good qualities for a neck to have.
 

RL in Fla

Member
Messages
3,197


It's pressure-lam ply in "quartersawn" orientation .
Ditto walterw , the necks are no issue , and my lam body with actual spruce top is a *definite* keeper .
 

Atmospheric

Member
Messages
4,055
But that just looks soooooo wrong, I don't know where to start. Glad you like it; glad I already own the only acoustic I hope to ever own (H&D D-RH).

Different strokes.



It's pressure-lam ply in "quartersawn" orientation .
Ditto walterw , the necks are no issue , and my lam body with actual spruce top is a *definite* keeper .
 

Doug

Member
Messages
815
But that just looks soooooo wrong, I don't know where to start. Glad you like it; glad I already own the only acoustic I hope to ever own (H&D D-RH).

Different strokes.
In fairness, I'm sure this Martin costs considerably less than your Huss and Dalton. My dad bought one of these, less the cutaway and electronics, a couple of years ago. IMO, it was by far the best sounding $500 acoustic in the several stores we checked.
 

hinrich

Member
Messages
1
I just picked up a used Martin DCX1E which the neck is made of Stratabond and back and sides made of HPL. I nearly fell out of my chair when I strummed the first chord. Must have been the solid sitka spruce top. Crisp highs, even mids and deep lows that you can feel. The last time I got this sound was from playing a $3,000 Larivee at a music store.

I'm no pro but I've been playing long enough to know that for a guitar made of fake wood with a laminated neck, it's the best sounding $500 guitar I'll ever hear.

Martin, I'm not worthy! :bow
 

RustyAxe

Member
Messages
3,012
Either way, if I am buying a Martin, I expect real wood. But that's me.
Really ... then expect to ante up for a 15 series. The new "1-Series" use Stratabond necks. I would expect them to be exceedingly stable compared to a solid chunk of wood. Besides, the neck is an infinitely small percentage of the tone one hears. Let your ears and hands decide.
 

urizen

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,980
Didn't Framus guitars have laminate necks?
Yup, and stable as hell. I've got an old Framus cutaway archtop that's my camping/traveling beater*, and it has taken it all w/out complaints or issues.

About eight years ago, I visited w/ fellow in his store (he specialized in oddball guits) in northern CA. On that particular day, he was (well, he claimed to be) waiting for Pete Anderson to come check out/pick up an old Framus electric he'd put "on hold" over the internet; this shop owner claimed that Framus originally began using multi-ply/lam necks "sourced" from the wooden propellors of decommissioned German military aircraft "after the war" (didn't specify whether he was talking about The Great War or WW II); I never researched it, but I took it w/ a grain or three of salt... still, who knows?


* Sunburst, white top-binding, zero-fret, metal nut, full-width retaining bar/string-guide on the headstock just below the tuning pegs and approx. 2 1/2 inches above the nut, bolt-on fairly thin neck, a "frequensater"-style tailpiece, don't know the year or model, SN#67488 on a "made in Bavaria label visible through the left f-hole, unfixed bridge w/ thumbscrew height adjustment and individual plastoid saddles riding in a channel that allows forward/backward intonation adjustment for each string, 16 inches across the lower bout, 3 inch deep body.
 

Rob Sharer

Muso-Luthier
Messages
2,822
Didn't Framus guitars have laminate necks?
Not just the guitars; loads of Framus banjos have them as well. I've been messing with Framus 4-strings, which are about 1 1/8" wide at the nut,
for years, and I can tell you that the laminated ones are psycho-stiff. I tried to break one once, just to see if I could. No soap. I think you'd have to invent some really radical sort of misuse to bust the peghead off of a neck made like that. Meanwhile, I've yet to run across one that showed any sign of distortion or warp. Cheers,

Rob
 

zombywoof

Member
Messages
4,734
this shop owner claimed that Framus originally began using multi-ply/lam necks "sourced" from the wooden propellors of decommissioned German military aircraft "after the war" (didn't specify whether he was talking about The Great War or WW II); I never researched it, but I took it w/ a grain or three of salt... still, who knows?
Yeah, I heard that same story but never tried to see if it was the gospel or not. Then again, Magnatone put their M series amps in old TV cases or something and Dan Armstrong used lipstick tubes for pickups.
 

bluestune1

Member
Messages
37
Really ... then expect to ante up for a 15 series. The new "1-Series" use Stratabond necks. I would expect them to be exceedingly stable compared to a solid chunk of wood. Besides, the neck is an infinitely small percentage of the tone one hears. Let your ears and hands decide.

I agree completely!! I bought a Martin OMC 1-E just a few days ago. It is made from solid Sapele wood on the back and sides ( incredibly similar to mahogany and stunning to look at and a great bookmatch) a solid sitka spruce top and a Stratabond neck. Let me say right now that this triple 000 instrument is just wonderful as any guitar at almost any price range. The Stratabond neck is incredibly strong and stable and straight as any neck on any price guitar I have ever seen in over 50 years of playing guitar. Don't let the fact that it is made from a composite wood material scare anyone. It is a great neck that plays like butter and won't be affected by humidity and temperture chages as easily as "regular" mahogany/ walnut/ or rosewood. My 2 cents
 
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bluestune1

Member
Messages
37
Yup, and stable as hell. I've got an old Framus cutaway archtop that's my camping/traveling beater*, and it has taken it all w/out complaints or issues.

About eight years ago, I visited w/ fellow in his store (he specialized in oddball guits) in northern CA. On that particular day, he was (well, he claimed to be) waiting for Pete Anderson to come check out/pick up an old Framus electric he'd put "on hold" over the internet; this shop owner claimed that Framus originally began using multi-ply/lam necks "sourced" from the wooden propellors of decommissioned German military aircraft "after the war" (didn't specify whether he was talking about The Great War or WW II); I never researched it, but I took it w/ a grain or three of salt... still, who knows?


* Sunburst, white top-binding, zero-fret, metal nut, full-width retaining bar/string-guide on the headstock just below the tuning pegs and approx. 2 1/2 inches above the nut, bolt-on fairly thin neck, a "frequensater"-style tailpiece, don't know the year or model, SN#67488 on a "made in Bavaria label visible through the left f-hole, unfixed bridge w/ thumbscrew height adjustment and individual plastoid saddles riding in a channel that allows forward/backward intonation adjustment for each string, 16 inches across the lower bout, 3 inch deep body.

The Germans used Sapele mahogany ( the wood Martin uses for the back and sides of the OMC1-E)for the building of the propellers on their dergables during WW1 as well as very high end German furniture and Stratabond is used for high end shotgun stocks and pistol grips.
 

bluestune1

Member
Messages
37
by the way, here is some intresting facts on Sapele Mahogany wood.

African Mahogany of the genus Khaya, and Sapele of the genus Entandrophragma, which is a little heavier and finer textured than Honduran Mahogany. Sapele mahogany is of the better tone species. Only found in Sierra Leone it is rare and often expensive but highly sought after by instrument manufactures. A fine wood for guitars.
 

asattwanger

Member
Messages
39
Kinda funny thread folks. Everything has come up. Even a laugh at glue and the look thing.

Cowboy II owner here. 7yrs old almost zero frets left. It's been to the beach and back into the AC with zero issues. I have done zero adjustments to it. Wipe it down and add strings. Some say it's a price range issue and target, but the people at Martin know that they have a outstanding product.

Would I object to ordering a $2000-3000 guitar without a Maple or Mahogany neck on it.
 

stephenT

Member
Messages
2,468
Kinda funny thread folks. Everything has come up. Even a laugh at glue and the look thing.

Cowboy II owner here. 7yrs old almost zero frets left. It's been to the beach and back into the AC with zero issues. I have done zero adjustments to it. Wipe it down and add strings. Some say it's a price range issue and target, but the people at Martin know that they have a outstanding product.

Would I object to ordering a $2000-3000 guitar without a Maple or Mahogany neck on it.
My Martin Cowboy is going great, sounds pretty good and is much fun to play, I'm always amused at folks who dis alternate building materials, no sense of adventure.
 




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