#1
Composite wood for guitars: Solid, Laminate, or neither?

When a specific body part of a guitar is made of composite wood, such as it's back and sides, is it considered to be solid or laminate, or is it in a league of it's own?

Example: The Ovation C2078AX-5 has a solid spruce top, but the rest of the body is made of composite wood.

Would one say:
it is an all solid wood guitar?

it has a solid top but laminated sides/back?

Or you would you say it has a soild top and composite back and sides or body and the back/sides or body wouldn't even be considered solid or lamlinate?

Thanks.
#2
an all solid guitar has solid wood top, back and sides. that means the wood is a slice of wood as nature grew it - it's not laminated, shredded or in any way engineered or made out of multiple pieces. as far as i know, ovation bowls aren't wood at all - they're a material like plastic.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#4
Doesn't really matter does it? You generally talk about woods in regards to tone, and let's be honest, if you buying an Ovation, it's probably not because of the way it sounds.
#5
Although the "all-solid" guitar continues to represent the top end of acoustic instruments, I think it's inevitable that various synthetics and composites will make up more and more of the lower-priced spectrum. The good "tone woods" are becoming more and more scarce and like Brazilian rosewood, may disappear altogether.

Increased research will very likely result in composite materials which are excellent for the purpose; the various carbon-fiber instruments are quite well-recieved.
Ovation has been around for a while now, I'm old enough to recall when they hit the market. They are a durable, easy-playing instrument for the most part that sounds very good played through a system; a good choice for a gigging musician.
#6
Thanks for the comments. So it sounds like composite wood doesn't really get classified within the same realm as regular wood guitars. You really wouldn't describe the composite sections as solid or laminate.

Another example, the specs for the Daisy Rock Pixie Acoustic-Electric state: BODY Composite Oval Back w/Flame Maple Top

So, one might just say this guitar has a laminate top with a composite back and just leave it at that.
#7
Quote by Jimjambanx
Doesn't really matter does it? You generally talk about woods in regards to tone, and let's be honest, if you buying an Ovation, it's probably not because of the way it sounds.


True enough, but enquiring minds and all that......

I'm pretty sure that their initial success was due to a very good pickup/preamp system for the period and the efforts of Glen Campbell, but they have hung on in spite of all kinds of improvements going on around them. I tried a deep-bowl Adamas when they first came out; I really liked the sound, but it didn't sit well on my knee. It was also expensive.

FWIW, the latest Chinese-made Ovations mostly sound better to me than the US-made ones.
#8
i've played some high end medium bowl ovations that sounded like heaven. in fact, the first one i ever played, in 1972, blew me away and i remembered that tone for years. unfortunately my budget didn't really stretch that far, so my ovations were much lower on the food chain and didn't deliver that wonderful sound.

Quote by Jimjambanx
Doesn't really matter does it? You generally talk about woods in regards to tone, and let's be honest, if you buying an Ovation, it's probably not because of the way it sounds.


it's not wood at all in the case of the ovation.

Quote by bachfantasia
Thanks for the comments. So it sounds like composite wood doesn't really get classified within the same realm as regular wood guitars. You really wouldn't describe the composite sections as solid or laminate.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#9
Quote by bachfantasia
Thanks for the comments. So it sounds like composite wood doesn't really get classified within the same realm as regular wood guitars. You really wouldn't describe the composite sections as solid or laminate.

Another example, the specs for the Daisy Rock Pixie Acoustic-Electric state: BODY Composite Oval Back w/Flame Maple Top

So, one might just say this guitar has a laminate top with a composite back and just leave it at that.
I'm still trying to process where you came up with the idea that there is "composite wood", in the Ovation you linked. The page says nothing about it.

If you want to know what "composite wood"(s) are, look no further than, "Masonite", or, "particle board", mobile home floor decking, OSB board.

And this always comes up in the context of Rainsong guitars, "they're not plastic, they're carbon fiber!. Right! Carbon fiber is a cloth, It's the 21st century fiberglass, which BTW, is a cloth also. You can't make a guitar out of either one, unless you put it in a mold, and slather it thoroughly with goop. The "goop", is a product of the petrochemical industry, more commonly referred to as "plastic". And unless anybody wants to start remembering 30 letter specific identifiers for the aforementioned goop(s), then you should consider calling the crap, "plastic" as well.

Formica, Bakelite and Micarta are different "composite" compounds. There is a (different (?)) filler for each one.

I think of any of the "composite guitars", the Martin "X" Series, stands the best chance of having any sawdust in the material. Although, that might be wishful thinking.

Quote by patticake
an all solid guitar has solid wood top, back and sides. that means the wood is a slice of wood as nature grew it - it's not laminated, shredded or in any way engineered or made out of multiple pieces. as far as i know, ovation bowls aren't wood at all - they're a material like plastic.
Ovation bowls are ostensibly constructed of "Lyrachord". That's ad speak for "fiberglass". To make fiberglass more musician compatible, you take the name of an ancient musical instrument, "the lyre", and cross it with another term for the strands of fiber in the glass cloth, "chord(s)", and wah-la (*), you have "Lyrachord". (Before I forget, you also get the ironic homonym, "chord", which is three or more note played at specified musical intervals).

"Wah-la", is actually spelled "viola". Since that's a musical instrument also, I went with the phonetic version....
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jun 27, 2015,
#10
Quote by patticake
it's not wood at all in the case of the ovation.


I know that, I should have said "back and sides material", but you get the idea. My point is regardless of whatever category it falls under, these labels are often an indication of sound quality, and Ovations are almost never going to be played unplugged (unless you like the sound of tin cans).
#11
Quote by Captaincranky
I'm still trying to process where you came up with the idea that there is "composite wood", in the Ovation you linked. The page says nothing about it.



Hmmm. I see what you mean. The example I gave for the Ovation Elite, doesn't say composite wood, it just says "composite body". I think I just assumed it was composite wood. So you're saying it's not composite wood, but composite fiberglass?

I suppose I made the assumption the composite material was composite wood, because on certain sections of their website, they reference both fiberglass and composite bodies when describing certain parts of their guitars. So I thought maybe that if they are specifying one part is fiberglass and one part is composite, than it was assumed the composite was composite wood, otherwise they wouldn't have said composite body, but they would have said fiberglass as well?

Example for clarification: For the Adamas page, in the shape section the description is "Deep composite bodies for pronounced low end", but then in the section of it's top the description is "Thin carbon-fiber tops for genuine Ovation tone"

http://www.ovationguitars.com/guitars/adamas


Thoughts?
#12
When the ad agencies get a hold of something to hype, truth and accuracy usually go out the window.

When "Mrs. Olsen" was asked, "Why is Folder's coffee so good", she answered, "because it's the richest there is". Which essentially tells you less than nothing, since you now know less than before you asked the question. You're left there, still in wonderment, with an 8 year old's "but why", permanently stuck in your throat.


So, on the Adamas page, all I basically learned, is that, "adamas"is Latin for, "diamond in the rough".

Moving on, we need to confront hastily concocted acronyms. "AST" (Adamas Suspended Top".
Adamas Suspended Top (AST) for increased vibration

Well, anytime you want to make something relevant or groundbreaking, you formulate an acronym. For example, I am now as familiar with "IBS", (irritable bowel syndrome), as I am with "NASA", or "SPCA", thanks to the steady drone of TV commercials, touting some extravagantly expensive new drug, designed to cure an ailment you never even knew you had.

Moving on, we have Ovation double speak:

1st:
Thin carbon-fiber tops for genuine Ovation tone

2nd:
Aerospace-grade graphite soundboard for clear, rich resonance


OK "graphite" is crystallized carbon, which then ostensibly, is woven into, carbon fiber, (cloth). Double talk, along with omission is the order of the day, plain and simple.

Here's the Wiki page on graphite: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphite (Which is more than likely available on your search engine as well).
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jul 9, 2015,