#1
So I think it's fairly common knowledge that solid top guitars build better tone over time. The more you use it, the older it gets the better and better it starts to sound. Is this true with laminate guitars as well? Or to a slightly smaller degree?
#2
Spruce tops have the reputation of "aging in". That is sounding better with age. Cedar tops have the reputation of sounding as good as they're going to, shortly after manufacturer. (It goes without saying that top wood is, (or at least should be), cured properly before using it for a guitar top.

Plywood is dimensionally stable, much more so than solid wood. So, if you can't say anything else nice about a plywood guitar, they stay in tune fairly well.

As to sounding better with age, up front that would depend on what the laminations were made of. They're isn't a real leap of faith assuming that the underlying wood in a lam top is spruce also. Good spruce for a solid top is expensive. However, spruce and other evergreen species are reasonably fast growing and "plentiful".

Still in all, I think the glue binder would tend to inhibit any improvement the wood itself might acquire with time. Just a wild guess really, but any adhesive I'm aware of, doesn't "improve with age", they mostly just stay the same, or deteriorate.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Apr 3, 2012,
#3
I'm not even sure if it is the just the top alone or whether the aging of the rest of the body has some influence.

I once had a Ovation spruce top, that I recieved new in the 80s that never showed any noticable improvement, versus other guitars I have purchase near that time that demonstrated a small but marked change for the better as time as passed. It may have been due to the quality (or lack thereof) of ovation top or possibly some other variance and I realize that one sample doesn't qualify as a scientific experiment. I wonder if any other Ovation owner have noticed the same.
I'm the only player to be sponsered by 7 guitar companies not to use their products.
#4
I know I'll catch flack for this but, I had two Ovations from the 80's, and neither one of them was any good to begin with. Later, they were both stolen. So who knows, how glorious the sound might have been, or for that matter, how much dust the cases were capable of collecting

DISCLAIMER: This was my personal experience. Your results may vary, not that I care.
#5
if ya want 'em back cranky, they're in my closet. can i blame richis sambora for the folly that was 80's Ovations?
#6
Step... The Captain is entitled to his opinion. He doesn't like O's, so be it. No one is perfect... and no, he can't have them back! They play great now!
Just kidding Capt.

As for laminate tops getting better with time... what you have when you get it is about what you will have 20 years from now. There really isn't much room for opening up between layeres of glue and wood.

Rarely will lam top ever sound better that a solid top acoustically. That being said, plugged in may be a very different matter.
--- Joe ---
77 Bradley LPC || 07 PRS CE22 || 11 PRS MC58 Artist || 95/02 Fender Strat || 99 Gibson LP DC Std Lite
06 Ovation Elite-T || 12 Martin GPCPA4
Boss GT100 || Peavey Stereo Chorus 400 || Peavey Bandit 75 || Roland JC77
#7
yes i can auri!!! i'm still blaming Cranky for the AMC Gremlin and bell bottom pants( i suspect he had a hand in making the movie "ishtar" too).
#8
Quote by stepchildusmc
yes i can auri!!! i'm still blaming Cranky for the AMC Gremlin and bell bottom pants( i suspect he had a hand in making the movie "ishtar" too).
At least I had absolutely nothing to do wuth "Gigli", and that garbage was shot right here in "Killadelphia"......so there..

"Return with us now, to the thrilling days of yesteryear" and bask in the glory days of "Bennifer". "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times".. (I extend my condolences to Chuck Dickens for that rip. But, it should be in the public domain by now anyway)!

Yeah, you caught me, I ripped the whole, "yesteryear thing, from the intro to the, "Lone Ranger").

It was late, I was a quart low on bullshit, I did what I had to, and tapped a fresh jug from the classics. No apologies)...
Last edited by Captaincranky at Apr 4, 2012,
#9
I have an Ovation dating back to the 1980s. I loved it back then. Today, I think it sounds pretty much the same as when I first purchased it.

So my take on it is this- if you don't like the way the laminate guitar sounds today, don't expect it to be different down the road unless YOUR tastes change.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#10
Quote by BoyLilikoi
So I think it's fairly common knowledge that solid top guitars build better tone over time. The more you use it, the older it gets the better and better it starts to sound. Is this true with laminate guitars as well? Or to a slightly smaller degree?


Laminate guitars will not age whatsoever.

It's important to understand the laminating process to understand why this is so.

Laminate woods are created by taking thing sheets of wood and then gluing them together with the grains in opposing directions. This makes for a VERY strong piece of wood as the strength of the wood runs with the grain direction (and that's why it's so durable as floor/tile material). However, an acoustic guitar's needs are different. Laminate is very durable, but it ends up being so stiff that the energy of the vibrating strings don't even come close to being able to make the guitar resonate optimally.

This is why laminate is seen as inferior to solid wood.

Quote by BlackbirdPie
I'm not even sure if it is the just the top alone or whether the aging of the rest of the body has some influence.


If the whole body is solid wood, they will all "age" just as much as the other.

In terms of which is most important, it goes in order of... top>back>sides.

This is more due to the area of the actual wood that vibrates. The top does the most because the kinetic energy of the strings are directly connected to the top. The back has the second most influence on the sound because it is the next largest and most free to resonate after the top. The sides have the least influence because they have a lot more structural rigidity than the top or back.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#11
Quote by captivate
If the whole body is solid wood, they will all "age" just as much as the other.

In terms of which is most important, it goes in order of... top>back>sides.

This is more due to the area of the actual wood that vibrates. The top does the most because the kinetic energy of the strings are directly connected to the top. The back has the second most influence on the sound because it is the next largest and most free to resonate after the top. The sides have the least influence because they have a lot more structural rigidity than the top or back.
This is one of those glorious moments in the collegial exchange of ideas, where I get to be right about Ovation's business model / hype, or you have to admit you're wrong about the importance of anything but the top.

In fact, this is such a glorious moment, because I get to agree with you completely, yet you, have to justify the above statements, by completely renouncing Ovation's , "massive breakthroughs" in guitar sound propagation technology.

If memory serves, (and in a long term sense, it still does well), Ovation claims that that wooden parts of a guitar, other than the soundboard, are basically parasitic, in that they absorb, rather than assist with projecting sound. That why their guitars sound so "good". Basically, all you need is a wooden soundboard, and you can fire the rest of the guitar up from plastic. Oops sorry, I meant to say "Lyrachord". (Notice now cleverly they've implied "Lyre" in that "objective marketing nomenclature". (Speaking of the term, "objective marketing", would that be an oxymoron)?

No, here's my question, if you don't need wooden sides and back, how can they possibly affect the "tone" of the instrument, either now, or at anytime in the future. If you take Ovation's cue, the sides and back could only make it sound less bad, or possibly less robbed of projection.

This is a small part of my objections to Ovation's business and promotional model. As such, I thought I would take the time to type it out, rather than taking the easy way out, and just cut to the smart remark.

Somebody once ripped the old Folger's Coffee commercial. The premise of which was this, "why is Folger's coffee so good"? Then Mrs. ???? would say, "because it's the richest there is". Apparently, this writer thought they were insulting the public's IQ en masse, with such a vague rejoinder. If I accept that analog, I must also accept Ovation's, "because plastic sounds better than wood", without question.
#12
Capt'n, it is Mrs Olsen damnit, maybe the commercial was rerun recently, so I'll cut you some slack on the long term memory statement, also you forgot to mention "Mountain grown". By the nasty taste of the stuff I think they are refering to the himalayas, fertilized by yaks and naturally watered by yetis.
I'm the only player to be sponsered by 7 guitar companies not to use their products.
Last edited by BlackbirdPie at Apr 5, 2012,
#13
Actually, I'm going to suggest that Maxwell House, is the "Scudweiser" of coffees, with Folgers coming in a very close second.

Maybe that's how Folger's is "roasted", by putting it through yaks in the mountains. Since the yaks and the coffee are in the same place, one might extol the virtues of that by saying, "Folger's is the richest there is, because it's "roasted" as soon as it's picked".

I know I could have researched the commercial analog way better. My only defense is to say, "I was trying to be brief"....... Besides, who even needs a long term memory when we have the internet.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Apr 5, 2012,
#14
Quote by Captaincranky
This is one of those glorious moments in the collegial exchange of ideas, where I get to be right about Ovation's business model / hype, or you have to admit you're wrong about the importance of anything but the top.


Ohh, I never disagreed with you about Ovations. I'm not a fan because I think they sound terrible, acoustically. Plugged in, they're fine. However, they share the same electronics with Takamine--since they're owned by the same people--so why would I bother with an Ovation when I can get a Tak which sounds good both acoustically and plugged in?

I also find Ovations to be horribly uncomfortable. Sliding all over the damn place with their sound plastic back/side. I also can't deal with their thin profile necks.

Just my own opinion though. I'm sure many disagree and love Ovations here.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#15
Quote by captivate
Ohh, I never disagreed with you about Ovations. I'm not a fan because I think they sound terrible, acoustically. Plugged in, they're fine. However, they share the same electronics with Takamine--since they're owned by the same people--so why would I bother with an Ovation when I can get a Tak which sounds good both acoustically and plugged in?
Ummm... because its a not an Ovation? Honestly... Why Fender decided to buy (and ruin) so many good guitar companies, I'll never know.

Quote by captivate
I also find Ovations to be horribly uncomfortable. Sliding all over the damn place with their sound plastic back/side. I also can't deal with their thin profile necks.
I've said it before, I'll say it again... If you can't hold and play an Ovation... please take up the traingle. Just kidding... O's are an acquired taste

Quote by captivate
Just my own opinion though. I'm sure many disagree and love Ovations here.
Oh yes we do.

You guys are such kidders!
--- Joe ---
77 Bradley LPC || 07 PRS CE22 || 11 PRS MC58 Artist || 95/02 Fender Strat || 99 Gibson LP DC Std Lite
06 Ovation Elite-T || 12 Martin GPCPA4
Boss GT100 || Peavey Stereo Chorus 400 || Peavey Bandit 75 || Roland JC77
#16
i love my O's.... i'm also pretty keen on liver and onions. but i draw the line with Folgers.. mrs Olsen be damned !
#17
Quote by Auriemma
....[ ]....Honestly... Why Fender decided to buy (and ruin) so many good guitar companies, I'll never know.....[ ]....
OK, this is one of the open ended "proclaimations", that I would catch flack by making.

I'm not disputing it, but I'm not accepting, "because I say so" as vindication for it either. You'll have to elaborate a bit.

I've been around for quite a while, since before Ovation was born, so to speak, and I'm willing to give at least some detail about the company, as to why I hold them in low regard. It centers around their hype as to why plastic is better than wood, their poor treatment of lefties, and their extravagant price and time policies with respect to special orders. Oh, and then there's the soundboard bracing issues. Every time they glue the sticks on at different angles, that seems to warrant a $500.00 increase in MSRP.

Accordingly, I'm at a bit of a loss, to imagine how Fender, "ruined" a company that, (IMHO at least), wasn't that good to begin with.

Quote by stepchildusmc
i love my O's.... i'm also pretty keen on liver and onions. but i draw the line with Folgers.. mrs Olsen be damned !
Speaking of people named, "Olsen", how are the twins these days? Did they continue their descent into depravity via cocaine, and on into porn?
Last edited by Captaincranky at Apr 5, 2012,
#18
Captain... You have made it plainly clear you do not like Ovations. So to you, they were never any good. Quite a few of us out here like Ovations. We can deal with the round back, the unique tone, the ease of play, and the way they cut through a mix. I notice you don't lay into Composite Acoustics or other non-wood box companies. Maybe its a shape thing for you.

The Lyrachord bowl is very different than a wood box... better is VERY subjective.

Everytime a company "improves" a guitar, they raise the price. How does that make Ovation any different?

Their poor treatment of lefties? ... That goes for most of the guitar industry.

Fender already had Ovation. Then bought Guild, and Hamer and put them all in the same factory. Great for Guild and Hamer, they get all of Ovations skilled labor. But now, Ovations will be made overseas with the exception of Adamas and custom order Ovations... and yes, they do take time to make... by hand. Try buying a custom order Martin and see how long it takes. We will see how long it takes before Fender (in all their wisdom) lowers the quality then ships them overseas too.

I agree... we disagree.
--- Joe ---
77 Bradley LPC || 07 PRS CE22 || 11 PRS MC58 Artist || 95/02 Fender Strat || 99 Gibson LP DC Std Lite
06 Ovation Elite-T || 12 Martin GPCPA4
Boss GT100 || Peavey Stereo Chorus 400 || Peavey Bandit 75 || Roland JC77
#19
ya know... why do 1/3 of the threads turn into an Ovation debate? most O's don't utilize a lam top , just a back thats made from '72 Datsun dashboards. so they're irrelevant to the TS' original question. i am kinda( am i the only one?) curious as to capi's experience with yak piss! lams arent a bad choice for a starter or "beach" guitar.... they get the job done. they do have their place. if "we" didn't buy them, they'd stop making them. i'd love to sit back with a nice cup of Jamaican Blue and rip on the cheaper lams all day but i know they have their place. experience breeds experience in gear and as we get better we upgrade our gear.
what freakin' idiot is gonna go out and buy a Taylor( other than dumb 'ol me) as a starter? on the other foot... would capi bring his beloved Martin to a beer pong tournament? i'm guessing probably not.
#20
Quote by stepchildusmc
....[ ]...so they're irrelevant to the TS' original question....[ ]...
Well, that truth of the matter is, the TS's question has been asked and answered. That was, "do laminate guitars get better with age". I think we're pretty much agreed that they most likely don't. It's actually a bit subjective as to whether solid spruce guitars get better with age. That aside, unless you choose to believe, "the sound of glue mellows with time", then a lam can only stay the same, or delaminate if exposed to sea water. The moral of the story there is, don't use your Yamaha 310 as a surfboard.....

BTW, some research reveals that the Celebrity and Applause lines, may be, at least partially, laminated tops.

Quote by Auriemma
Captain... You have made it plainly clear you do not like Ovations. So to you, they were never any good. Quite a few of us out here like Ovations. We can deal with the round back, the unique tone, the ease of play, and the way they cut through a mix.
You can probably "convince" any decent 3 band EQ / onboard preamp, to "cut through a mix". I doubt if it has to be an Ovation.

Speaking of which, would you believe my Korean "Crafter" A/E 12 string has LR Baggs pickup & a preamp with a, "presense" slider? I think "presence control" is another way of saying, "this lever makes it cut through the mix".
Quote by Auriemma
I notice you don't lay into Composite Acoustics or other non-wood box companies. Maybe its a shape thing for you.
No, please don't accuse me of being a "shapist", at least not with repect to guitars. Ovations fall off my lap, but know what, so do wooden dreads, but not so much as wooden jumbos.

I have no direct experience other composite / exotic materials guitars. Hence, I have the good taste, and good sense, not to speak to them.

Quote by Auriemma
Everytime a company "improves" a guitar, they raise the price. How does that make Ovation any different?
When you deal with all wood instrument, most of the time the makers go through the pretense of offering a better grade of wood with the upgrade, not just glue the soundboard braces into different places. You can pretty much buy any O, at any price point and get the same bowl. They couldn't give you a crappier bowl, at the lower price point, since then they'd have to admit they cheated on that too.

Quote by Auriemma
Their poor treatment of lefties? ... That goes for most of the guitar industry.
No, it goes for most of the import business. If Ovation is to lay claim to being consumer oriented, then they might view the LH policies of Carvin, Martin, Taylor, and yes, even Guild, as a guide. Hell, even Rondo music has a full page of Korean made LH Agiles.

Quote by Auriemma
Fender already had Ovation. Then bought Guild, and Hamer and put them all in the same factory. Great for Guild and Hamer, they get all of Ovations skilled labor.
It has been my understanding the Guild already makes what many consider the best 12 strings in the world, why would they need Ovations "skilled labor"? The only possible reason to draw this conclusion, is if Fender refused to accept Guild employees, or refused to assist in relocating them.

Quote by Auriemma
But now, Ovations will be made overseas with the exception of Adamas and custom order Ovations...
Well, Ovations already are made overseas. Can you say, "Celebrity"? So, they pretty much already have a place to move to, all picked out.

Quote by Auriemma
and yes, they do take time to make... by hand. Try buying a custom order Martin and see how long it takes. We will see how long it takes before Fender (in all their wisdom) lowers the quality then ships them overseas too.
Well, here's the thing, I've already, "tried ordering", a custom Guild 12 string. It took less than 10 weeks and came at a 15% premium. Not the 40% & 6 months the clowns at Ovation had in their literature.

You really need to get this through your head, American workers are flat out, straight up arrogant. They want at least $20.00 dollars an hour, to do a job the average Chinese would do for less than $20.00 a day. It's why everything is being mass produced overseas. And the hand made thing? You can give me a CNC neck any day, over a hand carved neck. Like it, or hate it, each one will be exactly the same. When you come right down to it, the reason the US guitar industry has held out as long as it has, is advertising hype, BS, and blind loyalty. So, a huge part of American industry is already overseas. It begs the question, is it really sensible to bother bemoaning the loss of one more petty ante company. It's like watching a forest burning down, then yelling at somebody for stepping on a dandelion.

So, if people could afford guitars made in America, the overseas guitar industry, as a whole, wouldn't be flourishing, now would it? And Fender couldn't have bought Ovation's stateside business, which was likely foundering, for a song, now could they?

Quote by Auriemma
I agree... we disagree.
Couldn't a said it better myself
Last edited by Captaincranky at Apr 10, 2012,
#21
Man... tell us how you REALLY feel!

I'm not going to even rebuttle... not worth it.

Peace.
--- Joe ---
77 Bradley LPC || 07 PRS CE22 || 11 PRS MC58 Artist || 95/02 Fender Strat || 99 Gibson LP DC Std Lite
06 Ovation Elite-T || 12 Martin GPCPA4
Boss GT100 || Peavey Stereo Chorus 400 || Peavey Bandit 75 || Roland JC77
#23
Quote by stepchildusmc
all i gotta say is... i like dandelions !
Well, I certainly hope that extends to Chinese dandelions.
#24
I think one thing that should be said for laminate guitars is that they are durable as all hell. I just got a new all solid wood acoustic, but I plan to keep my all laminate Takamine I got years ago around as a beater guitar that I know I don't have to worry about messing up. It doesn't sound as good, but a poor sounding laminate guitar always sounds better than a messed up solid wood guitar.
Quote by necrosis1193
As usual Natrone's mouth spouts general win.

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man, Natrone you're some kind of ninja I swear


Quote by gregs1020
plexi


i realize the longshot that is. little giant to humongous one.


Rest In Peace Stevie Ray
#25
Quote by Natrone
I think one thing that should be said for laminate guitars is that they are durable as all hell. I just got a new all solid wood acoustic, but I plan to keep my all laminate Takamine I got years ago around as a beater guitar that I know I don't have to worry about messing up. It doesn't sound as good, but a poor sounding laminate guitar always sounds better than a messed up solid wood guitar.


I definitely get what you're saying. But what about Glen Hansard's trusty ol' Takamine



Or even Willie Nelson's guitar? I doubt they'd still play them if they didn't sound good anymore.
#26
Quote by BoyLilikoi
I definitely get what you're saying. But what about Glen Hansard's trusty ol' Takamine



Or even Willie Nelson's guitar? I doubt they'd still play them if they didn't sound good anymore.
I'm fairly certain that at least in Willle Nelson's case, he doesn't play it without plugging it in either....

Then too, the hole in the top thing, really just screams ego.

Look at me, I've been around.

Look at me, I'm a worldly person.

Look how many times I've given concerts with this beat up old thing.

Look at me, I can still get great music out of this spent old turd.

You don't want me to continue, do you?


EDIT: I suppose you could say there's an extra hole to let the sound out. But you won't know if that's better or worse til you wear a guitar out to that point. Or if you prefer, break it in to that point.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Apr 13, 2012,
#27
Not to mention the guitar probably sounded better at some point Pre-hole.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#28
Quote by Captaincranky
I'm fairly certain that at least in Willle Nelson's case, he doesn't play it without plugging it in either....

Then too, the hole in the top thing, really just screams ego.

Look at me, I've been around.

Look at me, I'm a worldly person.

Look how many times I've given concerts with this beat up old thing.

Look at me, I can still get great music out of this spent old turd.

You don't want me to continue, do you?


EDIT: I suppose you could say there's an extra hole to let the sound out. But you won't know if that's better or worse til you wear a guitar out to that point. Or if you prefer, break it in to that point.


I don't know, I think I smell a hint of jealousy. I rather like it, and think it has character. I'm sure they're also emotionally attached to their guitars. Plus if you are familiar with Glen then you would know that you've just described the complete antithesis of who he is.
#29
Quote by BoyLilikoi
I don't know, I think I smell a hint of jealousy. I rather like it, and think it has character. I'm sure they're also emotionally attached to their guitars. Plus if you are familiar with Glen then you would know that you've just described the complete antithesis of who he is.
So buy one with a hole already in it, or wear yours out and stop asking stupid questions, since it appears you aren't going to like the answers..

As for "emotional attachment" to a guitar that beat up, I think that's just swell that any musician wears his or her heart on their sleeve like that. And they just want you to know that they do, which again, smacks of ego. It's kind of like taking a bull horn and shouting, "hey, look at me, I'm a sincere as a heart attack"!

Then there's the whole, "pO me, I be sufferin' to play the blues shtick", charisma with the ratty guitar. Moves me to tears just thinking about it.

In the mean time, your original question was answered several times.

If this is a new topic, start a new thread. Let me suggest one for you:
"Do you think that solid wood guitars sound better than laminate guitars when they both have gaping holes in the top".
Yeah, that's a dumb enough topic. We should be able to get plenty of traction with that issue.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Apr 13, 2012,
#30
Gee willikers you are a cranky captain. If anything, by the tone of it your guitar playing is far more pretentious than any of the "heart on their sleeve" artists.

Oh, and I understand my original question was answered several times, I'm not the one that started the pissing match about ovation guitars. You should have taken your own advice and started a new thread.
#31
Quote by BoyLilikoi


Oh, and I understand my original question was answered several times, I'm not the one that started the pissing match about ovation guitars. You should have taken your own advice and started a new thread.
Yeah I'm cranky. But, you got to give me credit for picking an applicable screen. I'm not claiming to be the God of something or somewhere as some do.

I do think you missed my point though. I'm all in for, and all up for, a pissing match on whatever topic, and wherever that topic may stray I just think it's time for a fresh pot. Capesh?

If you think about it, the thread didn't break down until your original question was answered, several times. Then, it went where it went, which is cool too. But, with this dialog you're hijacking your own thread. And so, I just thought I'd bring that to light for you.

BTW, my original observations about Ovation guitar, directly applied to your question, as it precipitated a dialog on what actually gets "better" about the sound of an aged guitar. Is it the top only, or the rest of the wood in the body as well.

It had nothing to do with artists whose guitar tops a full of holes.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Apr 13, 2012,