laminated acoustic tops?
well not wrong...but what does solid tops have that laminated tops dont?
or is it something in the long run like quality?
because i got suggestions to get solid tops
but i played an Ovation CC 48
...its a laminated spruce top,sounded fine to me
please put your input!
Think of a laminated top as a plywood. Lots of a little pieces wood glued together. When the vibrations get transfered to it, it doesn't conduct the sound as well.

A solid top will sound much louder, and will have an overall better tone. Also, as it gets played, the it just gets louder and sounds better. Laminated tops do not mature in this manner.

Especially since the price range you are looking in has MANY, MANY options with Solid tops, I wouldn't even bother looking at a laminate top. If it costs more then $200, it should have one. Take a look at the stickied page at the top for some of the suggestions there. None of htem have electronics, but its easy to install a soundhole pickup or to mic them when you need to perform. For about $400, I really like the Seagull S6. Solid cedar top, wild cherry sides, and a nitro cell finish. THe finish is light, and makes the guitar louder right out of the box then anything else in that price range.

Partscaster/Tele into a bunch of pedals, a Maz 18 head, and a Z Best cab.
solid tops resonate more than laminate tops. the ability of the sound board to resonate is one of the, if not the biggest factors affecting tone on an acoustic guitar.

the way a guitar with laminate body woods sounds will not ever change. guitars constructed of solid wood sound better after they have been played for a while. playing the guitar makes the top resonate and it makes the wood "open up" and it also has some effect on the natural oils found in the wood but i can't remember the specifics of this anymore. i'm sure somebody else can elaborate on it.
cant i just plug in for when i want it louder?
oh yeah...
and i dont gig
so its just really for home or family gatherings when i play
but that ovation wouldnt be bad right?
Last edited by brocksta57 at May 22, 2006,
The glue in laminated tops makes the guitars sound dead the same way old strings make a guitar sound dead. Try leaving the strings on your guitar for 3 months. Make sure you play that gutiar at least a little bit every day. At the end of the 3 months play the guitar 1 last time with the old strings. Mentaly note the way the gutiar sound. Then change the strings and play it with the new ones. It's amazing how Alive the guitar will sound. The reason the old strings sound dead is because they are full of grime that stops them from vibrating freely. If you amplify the guitar so that it is loud but you still have the old strings on there the grime in the strings will still make the guitar sound dead.

The glue in the laminated top works the same way the grime in old strings does. If fills in all the gaps and spaces, and it deadens the top. It doesn't matter what volume you play at, the guitar will still sound less alive then it would sound if it had a solid top.
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^-- hey corduroy.... when you've got a spare second could you give a quick explanation of the aging process of solid wood guitars and explain a little bit about why they sound better over time (before they eventually get played out of course). it seems like i remember reading somewhere that it has something to do with the natural oils in the wood. seems like i also remember reading that the oil in the wood has a lot to do with the differences in tone in different kinds of wood. anyway, i'm sure that you can elaborate on this some and enlighten me a little. thanks.
The cells in the board are filled with sap. When the board dries so does the sap. The sap will stick to the cell walls which dampens the tone. As the top gets played it breaks the sap off of the cell walls. This will make it so that the top is slightly more responsive. Also as the top vibrates it starts to break down the bonds that hold the cells together. When the bonds start to break down it also helps the top to move more freely while retaining it's rigidity. The bigger movement in the top makes it so you can have a much warmer middle and low end which helps the guitar to sound more musical.

The oils in the wood do change the tone but the materials used for tops are not oily woods. The oil comes into play when you are using koa, and rosewood. The oil makes everything heavier so it increases sustain and gives a warm low end, but it does dampen the high end quite a bit. That is why when a luthier uses a wood that has lots of oil, we are sure the wood is also very dence. Dence materials have a strong high end and the oil will balance it out. Just think of how bright maple is. Maple is dence but has no oil. Rosewood is even more dence than maple but it's high end isn't so harsh because the oil balances it out.
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^-- thanks chris. it was definitely sap and not oil that i was thinking about in regards to sound board aging.

thanks for the bits about the oils also though! very interesting.