#1
Hello, whats the diference between Plywood, Laminated wood and other more common woods like mahagony? are the first two good or bad? how do we recognise a bad wood?
#2
Plywood is a type of laminated wood. It's typically made from several sheets of birch (always an odd number of sheets), each sheet's grain being perpendicular to the sheets next to them.

Laminated wood is a broader definition that isn't exclusive to birch.
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#3
Plywood consists of thin veneers glued together with the wood fibres in different directions, to make a strong material. It is a general term, and really says nothing of what it actually is. Being specific, there are many different kinds of plywood suitable for different applications. (If it used in a guitar, that guitar is very likely the cheapest kind available)

Laminated wood is also wood glued together. Used in cheaper acoustics, also in expensive semi-hollow guitars like the Gibson ES-335 because it has been found that it resists feedback better than solid wood, and in the construction of necks to make them stronger. You will find that many Ibanez necks made of up to 5 pieces of wood for this reason, for example. Some will argue that 1-piece necks are better, some will argue that laminated necks are better.

Even if the specifications stated that the body wood of a guitar is "alder" or "mahogany" what that does tell you is also not very specific. Solid wood is generally better for guitars, but it does not have to be. And even if a guitar is made out of "alder" it can be 2 pieces glued together or it could be 8. The more expensive the guitar is, the better the wood is and the fewer pieces - usually.

I hope that I cleared some things up, and I can't stress enough that you have to judge everything from a case by case standpoint.
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#4
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The more expensive the guitar is, the better the wood is and the fewer pieces - usually.

I hope that I cleared some things up, and I can't stress enough that you have to judge everything from a case by case standpoint.


Glad you added that last, because I have some notable exceptions to the "fewer pieces" business.

Gibson's necks get more multipiece the more expensive they are...and the cheaper they are. At the low end, they've commonly glued together two or three pieces of mahogany; mostly because the pieces are leftovers from the manufacturing process and it's a cost-cutting measure. In the middle price range (Les Paul Standard), neck woods are often single piece.

At the high end, however, Gibson returns to multipiece necks for strength and looks. The neck on this Gibson L5S is built of three pieces of figured maple separated by walnut stringers:



Most upper end Les Pauls are "laminated," in that they have a maple cap laminated to the top of the mahogany body. The LP Supreme has figured maple caps laminated to both top AND bottom of the guitar.

This Moonstone V has neck-through construction of two pieces of figured maple with some exotic darker wood as stringers, capped off with a Brazilian rosewood fretboard. The body wings are mahogany with panels of burled maple laminated onto both back and front of the guitar:

#6
Plywood/laminated wood... two names for essentially the same thing, although the term plywood is usually used to infer construction-grade wood, where laminated tends to be used for higher grade woods used in cabinet making and sometimes guitars.

A lot of lower end acoustic guitars use laminate woods for the side and back, and sometimes the soundboard. I have an all-laminate acoustic I bought in 1973 that rivals the tone of my expensive solid wood acoustics.

Ply or laminate wood is not seen much in solid bodied electrics except some very cheap models. For that reason it often gets a bad rap as sounding like crap, when it is actually only one of many factors that makes a cheap guitar sound like crap. I've played a number of ply/laminate electrics that sounded just fine.