Ever wonder why some guitars sound awesome and some dont? Sure the expensive ones sound better but exactly why? I found out some weeks back, quite by accident. I was surfing around deciding what guitar to buy and came across this phrase "solid top" guitars and decided to check em out.
So it turns out that solid top guitars have, surprise surprise, solid tops hehe. Now the diff that makes is something you have to hear to appreciate. The downside is that a fully solid top+back+side guitar will cost at least 4 time the normal substandard guitar. Now I call it substandard because after you play a solid top thats what they sound like. The basic difference is that substandard gats use plywood or cheap wood and the resonance of the plywood is so poor that you just cannot get music of great quality from it.
There are 3 types of guitars:
- pure solid top/back/side (made of spruce/ebony/mahogany/rosewood etc.)
- laminated top/back/side (which uses a combo of cheap+expensive wood)
- crappy top/back/side (usually made of plywood or something really cheap & dead sounding)
One big problem is that many salespeople in music shops have no clue about what is a genuine solid top and what is a laminated top. So you need to research on the net etc. & find out exactly the specs of a reputed brand & ask for a specific model in the shop.
Another way is to check the grain pattern on the inside & outside of the guitar - if the pattern is identical then it is a solid top/back/side.
Since they are so expensive, some companies compromise and make the back and/or side laminated to bring the price down. This is a good compromise since it is the top of the guitar that makes the biggest contibution ot the overall tone.
So next time you planning to get an acoustic gat, dont even think about "normal" gats, go for a solid top & hear your playing go up a few notches....its sound will take your breath away & thats really worth the extra cost.
some interesting links..........
effect of wood on guitar tone
authentic pics of diff types of wood (will help you identify the wood on the guitars)