So I have a question to ask.


All I know is that its much better to have a solid top compared to a laminate. I just dont get what a solid top is compared to a laminate. And then theres a dreadnaught... is a dreadnaught a guitar without that glossy finish over the body? sooo confused...

Determine if the top is solid or laminate. A solid top offers, by far, a superior tone but at a greatly increased price. The woods appropriate for solid tops are rare in commercial timbering; only about 1% of all that is harvested. Of those woods available, they must be quarter sawn in order to be used for instrument making. Now consider that some woods are more highly respected than others due to their resonance. Lastly, many of the woods most highly respected are now endangered species. Those factors alone account for the increased cost of solid tops. Laminates are thin layers of wood that are glued together, usually crossing the grains. By nature, they are much stronger than solid woods, but don't have the resonance of solid tops. While laminate top guitars offer strength and a cost benefit, they cannot stand up in the tone department to solid top guitars.

An easy way to determine whether a guitar's top is solid or laminate is to look at the edge of the guitar's top at the soundhole. Follow the grains of the wood across the face to the soundhole. If the grains appear consistent all the way across the edge, you have a solid top guitar. Keep in mind that most painted, heavily-stained, or other method that would prevent you from seeing the grain at the soundhole usually infers a laminate top.

Acoustic FAQ

That should answer all of your questions. Briefly, a solid top is a solid piece of wood, as opposed to a laminate, which is thin layers of wood glued together in a cross-grain pattern.
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Dreadnaught is a shape. It has no cut-away.

That's not necessarily true. A dreadnought can have a cutaway. But you are right, a "dreadnought" is just a certain shape of guitar.

As well, solid wood means that the top of the guitar is made from instrument grade wood taken straight from a tree. Laminate, on the other hand, is pieces of wood glued together in opposing grain patterns to give it more structural strength. Good for floors, bad for guitars. Laminate doesn't sound as good as solid wood because it doesn't vibrate well.
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