#1
Do other people here prefer the sound of a cheaper acoustic's with laminated tops sides and backs, as opposed to solid woods, or not?
I think they sound a lot brighter and more resonant, and are much louder.
I have an acoustic with a solid spruce top which sounds very dull compared to a cheapie I picked up last week.
Both run Fender 20/80 bright bronze strings, and both are Dreadnoughts.
Any feedback is welcome.
Just my opinion of course.
Thanks.
Apologies if this has been covered before?
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#3
Its not just about how loud they are, and they're not more resonant. Its about how the sounds bounce around inside the chamber, how the woods vibrate, how it melds the tones together. You don't get a full sound out of a cheap acoustic. Nice solid woods let you hear overtones as well as the notes you're actually playing. Not happening with any cheap acoustic I've played. IMHO.
#4
If cheaper acoustics sounded better, people wouldn't waste their money

You can't beat a nice solid guitar imo. I also prefer acoustics with matt finishes, they feel more earthy to the touch and seem to articulate better, but that might just be me.
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#5
I have yet to see a mat finish guitar but that would be interesting. i loveee the satin finish on the neck of my taylor. it's so sexy i just can't even explain...

anyway... about laminate guitars... no. see how good that guitar is going to sound like in a few years.
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#6
Buy the $300 guitar and save your money and practice.

Then watch ebay, craigslist, pawnshops and buy that guitar you couldn't afford when you asked this question. If you shop and buy smart, and take care of your investment, you will never loose a dime if you decide guitar isn't your thing.
#7
You don't want a laminated top.
solid wood is the way to go.
get a mrtin for a clear crisp tone.
martin strings are the way to go as well.
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#8
guitars constructed of solid woods tend to sound better, although there are exceptions. i'm sure it wouldn't be hard to find a really cheap and crappy acoustic that happens to have a solid top. compare it to a higher-end laminate guitar and the laminate guitar will often times sound better. what kind of guitar do you have that you are using for comparison?
#9
I always loved the sound of my laminate top until I bought a cedartop and now I realise what I've been missing all this time.

My laminate top still sounds decent though, especially with fresh strings. I would say that I don't mind the sound of a laminate top at all, but I prefer the sound of a solid top.

Do solid sides and back make a HUGE difference to the sound? As collectively huge as a solid top? Cause I can't even imagine anything nicer than my cedar top (mohagony back & sides).
#10
Yeah, I play a cheap laminate top that I got for $80, and it sounds nowhere NEAR as nice as the high end Seagulls I fiddle around with while I'm in the shop waiting on my lesson to start. There's just a complexity and richness of tone that my cheapo can't hold a candle to.
#11
Thanks for your replies.
Yes I dream of owning a Martin, Seagul, Ovation, Gibson, Taylor, Takamine or similar one day, but being confined to cheaper units, I am comparing my own Washburn $700.00 and Martinez $200.00 guitars. I guess that's not a lot to go on. However, I have a 1968 EKO Ranger 12 which is laminate, and has a tone and presence like nothing else I've heard, and I would never sell it.
The cheapie just sounds clearer to me with more bass and treble, but that could be my own hearing aspects.
Ridiculous as it may sound, I really like it, and I have been in bands for the last 35 years, so it's just down to personal taste I guess, not just a beginners quest.
Remember, everyone hears differently.
I agree that most Cedar top guitars sound awesome, and have learn't that lacquered tops can dull an acoustic sound because the top wood is not able to "move" as freely.
It's impossible for me to run with Phosphor Bronze as they sound as dull as a wet week ( to me ) at least.
Maybe some recommendations on non expensive solid wood guitars with cedar tops are in order here ( if there is such a thing).
Thanks for listening.
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Mike.
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#12
It really depends on the guitar. There are laminate tops I like and dislike and the same for solid top. I have yet to hear a solid cedar top guitar i don't like, but typically i don't really go for all wood until i'm in the $800 range and above. $400 and below I judge a guitar on it's own merits If it sounds good to me and plays well, what it's made from doesn't really matter to me.
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#13
One more thing...

If you wanted a low maintenance guitar, the laminate will prove to be more durable. It will endure being out of the case in low humidity better.

It would be interesting to find out if the tone is more stable too.

A local outstanding middle age guitarist just bought an Ibanez EW laminate top. I played one and it sounded nice.... and looks awesome. I've never seen a prettier guitar. Back to back with a solid guitar, it would be weak. But very decent anyway.
#14
If you like the sound of your laminate, then go for it.

But solid-topped guitars will sound better the more you play them, as the wood loosens up a bit from all the vibrations. I don't think that the same applies to laminate topped-guitars.

I bought an inexpensive guitar (~$250) with a solid sitka spruce top. It was the "house" brand of a local music shop, but it is well-built and sounds better than what I paid for it. They are out there if you look -- just don't get stuck on the brand name on the headstock.
#15
Quote by KSUGuy
Its not just about how loud they are, and they're not more resonant. Its about how the sounds bounce around inside the chamber, how the woods vibrate, how it melds the tones together. You don't get a full sound out of a cheap acoustic. Nice solid woods let you hear overtones as well as the notes you're actually playing. Not happening with any cheap acoustic I've played. IMHO.


Exactly. A cheap acoustic will just sound like a buncha strings being played seperately without the note you're trying to play "standing out"
#16
Thank you all for your comments.
They are most appreciated. I guess I just "happened" to get a cheapie which actually sounds pleasing to my ear, and at the end of the day, I do get the general consensus re: solid bodies.
As stated above, although I also DO have a not so cheap solid topped Washburn, maybe I need to up the ante even more? In the meantime, I'll plod along with what I have.
I'll keep saving for that Cedar topped unit that I long for though.
Wish me luck.
Thanks again
Mike.
Nobody leaves this place without singin' the blues.
#17
Quote by vlad88888888
Thank you all for your comments.
They are most appreciated. I guess I just "happened" to get a cheapie which actually sounds pleasing to my ear, and at the end of the day, I do get the general consensus re: solid bodies.
As stated above, although I also DO have a not so cheap solid topped Washburn, maybe I need to up the ante even more? In the meantime, I'll plod along with what I have.
I'll keep saving for that Cedar topped unit that I long for though.
Wish me luck.
Thanks again
Mike.


My husband is the biggest guitar snob ever and he picked up my beginner cheapie Yamaha guitar to play it one day...and he was shocked. He actually LOVED the sound of it. I love tooling around on that guitar so I was a little ticked because I didn't get it back for two weeks - he was always playing it and screwing around with drop D tuning so every time I picked it up I had to re-tune it.

Our marriage nearly ended over a cheap guitar. We both love playing it and we've got four other guitars in the house that cost three or more times what it cost. You're not crazy, I think it's all in the style of the music you're playing and all in the ear of the beholder. For some reason, our little cheap guitar actually has a nice sound to it. The only negative - it goes out of tune VERY easy so we're continually tuning it.
#19
Wouldn't buy a guitar with a laminate top. Thats were most of the sound comes from. A Laminate top impedes movement of that top.
#20
Yes but isn't laminate made from thinner material, therefore allowing more movement from the top section, and hence a different tone altogether?

PS: A guitar splitting nearly up a marriage? I saw the funny side to that...sorry.
Hope all is OK now?
Nobody leaves this place without singin' the blues.
Last edited by vlad88888888 at Oct 17, 2007,
#21
Depends, I know my friend just got a schecter acoustic guitar for around 350. But then again Schecter always has top of the line quality for cheaper.
#22
Quote by vlad88888888

PS: A guitar splitting nearly up a marriage? I saw the funny side to that...sorry.
Hope all is OK now?


lol - everything is great now. He finally went back to playing his Ibanez or his Gibson and I got my old, piece of crap guitar that I love back. All is well.

Two guitar players living in the same house together = ugly. He's in the process of building a guitar for himself now...maybe I'll start stealing that one from him <evil laugh>