Solid vs Laminate

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
Nick Trapani
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Solid vs Laminate

Post by Nick Trapani » Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:31 am

Is there a significant difference in a guitar with a solid top, sides and back versus one with a solid top, and laminate sides and back. If so what are they and how significant are they?


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Re: Solid vs Laminate

Post by prawnheed » Sun Oct 14, 2018 2:33 am

Without being more specific about which two guitars you are referring to, the only real assertion that can be made is that the back and sides are of different material. Anything else would be a speculative generalisation which may or may not be true.

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Re: Solid vs Laminate

Post by GuitarsWeB » Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:35 am

Lots of nice guitars with laminated sides and back. 99% of all the guitars from Japan are laminated sides and back. Now, there’s a difference between laminated sides and double sides.

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Re: Solid vs Laminate

Post by Wuuthrad » Sun Oct 14, 2018 4:22 am

Generally speaking, a laminated guitar will be less susceptible to temperature and humidity variation, but very few Luthiers bother making them. People do claim they sound inferior, but I believe that's a generalization, one which is not supported by my experience in every circumstance.

Factory guitars that are built with laminates are often much cheaper than all solids. If you're planning to travel, gig and play outside, a solid top might be too precious of an instrument to risk, whereas a laminate might have more durability or be easier to replace.

There is certainly a mystique and almost legendary status to all solid wood guitars. Whether or not this is relevant to the quality of the guitar is up to the individual!

I think it's also important to know the purpose of the instrument to make the right decision, as a hand built solid wood instrument usually does cost (up to quite a bit) more, but determining the real value is something open to interpretation.
"Pay no attention to what the critics say. A statue has never been erected in honor of a critic." -Jean Sibelius

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