#1
Well, I currently own a Yamaha Fg345 (25 year old laminate) which sounds great for a laminate but plays atrociously and is.... a laminate. I have $350 saved up and I was originally looking to buy a nice solid top guitar (Yamaha Fg 730s or A&L).

Now I was wondering, if I wanted to upgrade to a solid top, wouldn't it be just a few months before I wanted to upgrade once more to an all solid guitar? Are the tonal differences evident enough to make the switch? (Between say a $300 A%L and a $600 Masterbilt). Should I just buy the $300 solid top now or should I wait a bit and buy a $600 all solid guitar?
#3
save up $50 to get a nice Epi, Fender, or Schecter.

save up$450 to get a Gibson SG Special, Fender Highway One Strat or Schecter C-1 Hellraiser
#4
Save up about $200 more and buy a Blueridge. They are truly amazing quality. I love mine.
#5
save for a bc rich.amazing guitars with amazing tone and youll be able to play a range from the blues to death metal...
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Beating yea bi
#6
Quote by mp3stalin
save up $50 to get a nice Epi, Fender, or Schecter.

save up$450 to get a Gibson SG Special, Fender Highway One Strat or Schecter C-1 Hellraiser


This is the acoustic guitar forum haha. I have a Highway One Tele anyway.

So I guess save up?
#7
From all that I have read solid back and sides have a very small impact on the tone of the instrument in comparison to the top. You can get an excellent solid top in the $300-$400 range (Seagull and A&L most notably). I view the solid back and sides to be in the same category as fancy inlays and finishes.
#8
I agree with most others. Save up a bit and buy an all solid wood guitar. It will definitely be worth it in the end. Although the A&L's or Seagulls are fantastic guitars for the price they sound better than a lot of low end all solid wood guitars. You could also check around the used market. Check your local pawn shops etc.. you never know what you might come across.
#9
Here's the point I'm getting at about the optional and unnecssary nature of solid backs and sides; how does the wood contribute to the sound? Vibration. A solid back only reflects the sound back from the soundboard. If it's pressed against your body while you play it isn't going to resonate much. I've played the Masterbuilts against the Seagulls and there is a lot I can do with the extra money I have in my pocket by going with the laminate sided guitar.
#10
As far as the solid back and sides go, yes it is a matter of vibration/tone. It is a subtle difference just as different bridge pins, nut/saddle material, bracing used, finish etc.. make small changes to the tone. It is all up to your own ear and with time solid wood ages where as a laminate will always stay the same. Many laminates are great guitars especially the seagulls, but for my money I'll pay extra for the subtle tone because I'm a tone hound.
#11
Well, my laminate Yamaha doesn't sound too far off from most of the solid tops offered at the $250-$300 range, so I'll probably just saved another $300 to $400 to buy a nice all solid guitar. Any recommendations? I'm hearing rave about the Masterbilt series, and how about the Guild GAD 50?
#12
the guild GAD series is quite nice. i'm actually quite surprised that a lot more people dont have them.
#13
No stores around me carry the GAD50, but I'm going to truck it over and make a day trip and hopefully try out (and possibly buy) guitars in this price range.

Would the said Guild sound notably better than a A&L/Yamaha? Given that it is twice the price.
#14
the Guild definitely sounds a bit better. you most certainly get what you pay for in most cases.
#15
If solid body is the way you want to go I'd recommend the Epi Masterbuilt series. I'm not sure of the model but there is one that is not significantly more than the Seagull S6. I may hit Guitar Centre between classes and practise so I'll let you know which one it is. The Epi was the only one that gave the Seagull a run for it's money. The one question I have about the Epi is the finish. Is it lacquer or poly? Lacquer lets the top vibrate and open up more than a poly finish. Keep that in mind.
#16
Quote by -K-@QoP
I view the solid back and sides to be in the same category as fancy inlays and finishes.


You can't be serious...

In the realm of inexpensive guitars, yes, laminate backs and sides are not too far off from solid wood. Once you move on to medium or high quality instruments, solid is the only way to go. You are correct in saying that all they do vibrate, but it is the vibration characteristics that set nice sounding guitars apart from poor ones.

For the case of the poster, I would recommend saving more. Once you eclipse the $500 mark, you will find many more options for styles and build characteristics. Don't rush into anything.
#17
Quote by GC Shred Off
You can't be serious...

In the realm of inexpensive guitars, yes, laminate backs and sides are not too far off from solid wood. Once you move on to medium or high quality instruments, solid is the only way to go. You are correct in saying that all they do vibrate, but it is the vibration characteristics that set nice sounding guitars apart from poor ones.

For the case of the poster, I would recommend saving more. Once you eclipse the $500 mark, you will find many more options for styles and build characteristics. Don't rush into anything.

Agreed. There is a huge difference between a maple back/side guitar and a rosewood back/side guitar. Speaking of which, look into the Epiphone Masterbilt series if you have your heart set on solid wood. If you find the neck width comfortable, then I'd recommend Seagull. It was the deciding factor for me.
Sincerely, Chad.
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#19
Quote by GC Shred Off
You can't be serious...

In the realm of inexpensive guitars, yes, laminate backs and sides are not too far off from solid wood. Once you move on to medium or high quality instruments, solid is the only way to go. You are correct in saying that all they do vibrate, but it is the vibration characteristics that set nice sounding guitars apart from poor ones.

For the case of the poster, I would recommend saving more. Once you eclipse the $500 mark, you will find many more options for styles and build characteristics. Don't rush into anything.


I also agree. Solid wood is really the only way to go. Although the side and back are not as important factors in the sound of the guitar as the top, the sides and back contribute to the overtones which really define the sound of the guitar.

Seagulls with laminate back and sides really give some solid bodied guitars within it's price range a great run for their money, but that's only because they're a special laminate.
#20
Quote by captivate
I also agree. Solid wood is really the only way to go. Although the side and back are not as important factors in the sound of the guitar as the top, the sides and back contribute to the overtones which really define the sound of the guitar.

Seagulls with laminate back and sides really give some solid bodied guitars within it's price range a great run for their money, but that's only because they're a special laminate.

Agreed. It's actually a two-ply laminate: maple on the inside, cherry on the outside. Not like other junk that's multiple sheets of imperfect, paper-thin wood.
Sincerely, Chad.
Quote by LP Addict
LP doesnt have to stand for les paul.. it can stand for.... lesbian porn.
#21
I just got back from GC just now and I had the chance to try out Seagulls, Masterbilts, and some others (Parkwood, Takamine, etc...). None of them impressed me too much, the Seagulls were nice besides the necks (the three I tried had this funny neck, it was as thin as an electric but flatter than one). I quite liked the Epiphone but I wasn't blown away by it, I'll head over to Sam Ash or somewhere and take a good look at the Guild GAD's some other day.
#22
Quote by Siren Silently
I just got back from GC just now and I had the chance to try out Seagulls, Masterbilts, and some others (Parkwood, Takamine, etc...). None of them impressed me too much, the Seagulls were nice besides the necks (the three I tried had this funny neck, it was as thin as an electric but flatter than one). I quite liked the Epiphone but I wasn't blown away by it, I'll head over to Sam Ash or somewhere and take a good look at the Guild GAD's some other day.

Different strokes for different folks. The neck was one of the big reasons I got the Seagull. It's a very wide neck, which suits my large hands.
Sincerely, Chad.
Quote by LP Addict
LP doesnt have to stand for les paul.. it can stand for.... lesbian porn.
#23
Haha the wideness was alright with me, it was just the shape threw me off. It was really thin and really flat, I'm not sure how to describe it, like a oval?
#24
Quote by Siren Silently
Haha the wideness was alright with me, it was just the shape threw me off. It was really thin and really flat, I'm not sure how to describe it, like a oval?

Well, of course the neck has to be slightly thinner. It'd be impossible, even for my huge hands, to play on a V neck or something with that sort of width. The fretboard still has the same radius as any other Godin guitar, so it's not "flat" by any means. Maybe you just found a bad bunch? I dunno. The neck is really something you love or hate.
Sincerely, Chad.
Quote by LP Addict
LP doesnt have to stand for les paul.. it can stand for.... lesbian porn.
#25
Quote by Chad48309
Well, of course the neck has to be slightly thinner. It'd be impossible, even for my huge hands, to play on a V neck or something with that sort of width. The fretboard still has the same radius as any other Godin guitar, so it's not "flat" by any means. Maybe you just found a bad bunch? I dunno. The neck is really something you love or hate.


My brother has a 25th anniversary Seagull Flamed Maple with a Spruce top. the neck is COMPLETELY different from the flat oval-like Seagull Cedar Performer that my friend has. it's very round, but it's also very thick and chunky feeling as well.

At first, i couldnt stand it, but now that im used to it, it's VERY easy to play, and i absolutely love it. the thickness gives you more leverage to play barre chords.
#26
Sorry, didn't mean to bash aall solid wood. I guess I assumed that we were talking about laminate vs. solid in the lower price range. I would totally agree that once you pass that certain price point solid throughout is a must.