Question about buying a guitar - all-wood vs. laminate? Martin Guitars, aware of the wide applicability and durability of HPL materials, has revolutionized the use of this new material in guitar manufacturing. I appreciate the time you took to respond i think youve sold me on a martin you should get a commission, Become a Member Today to Receive Exclusive Access, Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04. RainSong, as you probably know, is one of the premier makers of carbon-fiber guitars. I'd also be concerned about glue joints where bracing is glued to HPL. Rosewood vs. Mahogany (HPL on a Martin DX1) General Acoustic Guitar Discussion The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General ... Taylor often mentioned that laminated wood guitars open up much faster than solid wood guitars. It is not a wood veneer. My particular opinion (and the idea that Martin has used) is that the soundboard of a guitar, the top, should be a solid piece of tone wood, but you can use laminate/HPL to construct the back, sides, and even neck of the guitar to make the best of both. HPL is a material that easily withstands seasonal changes and high humidity, thanks to its resin-soaked construction. X = X Series. So goes the claim. See if you can tell the difference between three guitars each made from a different material. Solid wood is not cheap. Every Martin I've played with a solid top and HPL back/side/neck construction has sounded lively, rich, and still had a solid feel like it would last through … E = Electronics. The surface will have a wood pattern (Mahogany, rosewood, Koa, etc.) He has been playing DADGAD for about six months and is playing on a yardsale relic that he is quickly outgrowing. Formica, or HPL (high-pressure laminate), is compressed craft paper with a printed veneer on top. Wow thanks so much for your thoughtful and helpful reply. Chances are, the wood was poorly chosen, poorly aged, and poorly handled. Vote for the winner of Electric Guitarist of the Year 2020, The secrets behind Elliot Easton's tone on The Cars' Touch and Go. You will receive a verification email shortly. Visit our corporate site. In what ways does guitar construction affect tone? and a protective clear coating. Then, get ready for the fun part as Darrell presents a blind test challenge featuring the RainSong, the Stonebridge and a third guitar—a Martin X Series acoustic made with High Pressure Laminate (HPL). Primary top wood for Martin guitars. Its strength lets guitar makers build bodies without braces, allowing the instruments to have greater acoustic volume, while the all-graphite construction boasts crystalline and detailed tone. The DXAE is the cheapest of the models – the reason being (in my opinion) is that it doesn’t have a solid wood top. ... Darrell compares a RainSong carbon-fiber guitar and a wood Stonebridge single-cutaway acoustic guitar. The Martin 0X1E uses mahogany-patterned HPL … Please be sure you manually save your post by selecting "Save Draft" if you have that need. Laminate is. To combat destructive weather patterns, Martin started to make guitars out of High Pressure Laminate. But, I believe the bracing is wood and there may be some other wood components, so I'm sure that low humidity can have an effect to some extent. So, some players like laminate. Guitar World is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. While HPL does not offer all the tonal sparkle and richness of classic tonewoods, the most economical Martin acoustics are still capable of offering a very satisfying sound and playing experience based on the company’s tried-and-true designs. The back and sides of an acoustic guitar is arguably the most important part when trying to decide on a wood type. ...and if you don't like it, you can suck on an egg. We’d love to stay in touch, sign up for the Guitar World team to contact you with great news, content and offers. Many of these aren’t even wood; they’re just printed with wood grain on top.” In one sense, this approach might seem eco-friendly because it makes good use of the material, but in reality it isn’t because of the glues, the resin process, and the chemicals used. The price is pretty obvious. A = Acoustic. Solid Wood The two biggest advantages of HPL over hardwood are price and strength. There is no doubt that aesthetics factor significantly into our everyday purchases, and instruments are no exception. Please refresh the page and try again. Take a look, give the guitars a listen and see what you think. It’s harder than both Honduran and African Mahogany. An image of any type of wood can be used in the HPL process which recreates the beauty of these woods at a lower cost. The Martin LXK2 is built with an emphasis on producing great sound in a smaller guitar. But how does a carbon-fiber acoustic guitar stack up against a traditional wood example? However, if it is not plugged in and you are trying to play outside or in a noisy area, you are simply not going to get the same volume you can with a natural wood guitar. I've never owned or worked on an HPL guitar, but I'm sure they are less prone to humidity issues than all wood guitars. England and Wales company registration number 2008885. Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, This is no surprise given that it’s quite a hard wood but is still easy to carve. HPL is a totally different animal although it uses the word Laminate in its name. The DX2E12STRING is a dreadnought sized model with a Sitka spruce top and figured mahogany pattern high-pressure laminate (HPL) back and sides. This petite guitar’s koa-grained HPL top, back, and sides are resistant to humidity and temperature changes. Mother-of-pearl pattern inlay on the rosette and fingerboard lend a richness to this guitar, making it as impressive to look at as it is to play. Carbon Fiber vs High Pressure Laminate vs Traditional Wood. For a guy who doesn't record or play professionally, just more into jamming and playing at home with a friend, is there a huge noticeable difference in a wood vs HPL acoustic? Chosen for its straight, uniform grain, longevity and tensile strength. BACK/SIDES: Koa pattern High Pressure Laminate (HPL) MAX RIM DEPTH: 115mm; MAX BODY WIDTH: 400mm; NECK: ‘Select hardwood’ Performing Artist style with mortise and tenon joint, hand rubbed finish; SCALE LENGTH: 645mm (25.4”) TUNERS: Closed back Schaller style; NUT/WIDTH: Corian/44.4mm; FINGERBOARD: Katalox - a Mexican hardwood; FRETS: 20, medium fine In short, HPL is a compromise to give you a better sounding, cheaper guitar. The strength issue, though, often gets overlooked. Martin vs. Taylor: Fingerstyle . A guitar designated as having an HPL Spruce top, for example, will have the appearance of spruce. Laminates are built to last. I've been really impressed by the HPL stuff Martin is using these days. There was a problem. Apart from the top being HPL instead of solid Sitka spruce (the major difference), the DXAE Black has mostly the same specs as the DX1AE, DX1RAE and the DX1KAE, … For low-end guitars, laminate is usually a more reliable and better-sounding choice for the money. This guitar is a joy to play and will be the perfect parlor-sized guitar. It wouldn't be fair not to mention that instruments made with laminated wood can also have 'mismatched splintering' problems if they break.. Plywood guitars can also be problematic for crack repairs because of the manner in which the different layers can splinter and … Siris offers a clear, balanced tone which falls somewhere between Rosewood and Mahogany in both volume and amount of overtones. Solid wood guitars use their natural resins and the guitar’s bracing for stability. It is more akin to formica of counter top fame than to real wood which Martins laminate is very much like. He’s pitted Squiers against Fenders, Mexican-made Teles against U.S. Teles, Les Pauls against Strats, and much more.In the first video below, Darrell compares a RainSong carbon-fiber guitar and a wood Stonebridge single-cutaway acoustic guitar. HPL stands for high pressure laminate. It is a composite material made from paper and resin that is pressed at very high pressure. Boutique builders will often utilize more exotic wood species, such as Brazilian rosewood, cocobolo, or koa, but the limited supply of these materials means that these options – though visually striking – are simply not available at the more modest price points. Attempting to decide which guitar brand is better for one particular style of playing or another is a bit of a fool’s errand, as both are capable of amazing music in any genre when placed in the proper hands. RainSong, as you probably know, is one of the premier makers of carbon-fiber guitars. There are many ways to skin this cat, in this video I show how "I" determine solid wood guitars from laminated guitars top, back and sides. Though the tonal properties of layered wood aren’t as complex as solid wood, the construction method enables us to conserve tonewood resources and offer attractive, durable instruments at a more inviting price. Being that this wood will make up roughly 65% of the guitar it is going to have a very significant impact on the tone of the guitar and thus is often referred to as the tone wood. It's a lot better than most of the plywood that's out there, and I get the feeling that it will age pretty consistently. HPL is composed of paper and resin compressed under high pressure and temperature. Acoustic Guitar Wood - order today with StewMAX FREE Shipping! All roughly the same price. HPL is like particle board Educated revision - HPL is not so much like particle board, it is more like Formica I think HPL is quieter than wood ply lam. Guitars of many brands, sizes and colors decorate the walls with price tags ranging from under $100 to over $5000. In fact, when buying a budget guitar, be leery of a solid top. HPL Martin Guitars. If you want to take your guitar camping in the woods, or throw it in the trunk of a car in hot summer/cold winter temperatures, laminate will have some serious advantages. In addition to making guitars using all solid wood construction, some Martin guitars use high pressure laminates (HPL) instead of wood. I think the Martin folks say that as well. The deal is that the backs and sides are made of HPL (High Pressure Laminate). In terms of sound, it is not inferior to the composite board used to make guitars; It also allows music lovers to take their favorite Martin products to go to places where all solid wood and composite wood instruments can’t go. This means manufacturers can keep the costs down without sacrificing too much quality. Durability. a variation on Formica, they use the same solid-wood tops as the high-end concert guitars, and they are made in Mexico. Solid Wood When you first wander into a music store to shop for an acoustic guitar, you are generally met with many choices. HPL is a cheaper alternative than solid wood. That’s because HPL is better than traditional laminate (sometimes referred to as “plywood”). As a species Siris is related to and shares many tonal characteristics with Koa. What's the difference? In recent years, carbon fiber has caught on as an alternative material for building acoustic guitars. From my experience with the X1s, they use solid wood tops which help over come the loss of tone wood sound which is produced from the HPL backs and sides. Background: I am shopping for a guitar for my 11-year-old son. Good HPL? Darrell Braun likes to compare the tone of guitars. Also, some laminate guitars can be made to look more expensive in the way they’re stained, to show off color variations and grain patterns in the wood. Will a casual player like me notice a big difference in sound or quality? A laminate guitar will generally be more resistant to things like temperature and humidity changes, getting knocked around from general use, and heavy gigging. Also like Mahogany, Sapele is a popular wood for guitar necks. Might as well tap all the resources I have available, such as these lovely mustard boards! BA1 1UA. Martin has always been highly mechanized, so they have been able to get the same quality and consistency from the Mexican plant as they get from the US. Black = Jett Black HPL Top, Back & Sides. I know wood rules all, but are there good or bad woods? Choosing an Acoustic Guitar: Laminate vs. Wood vs. Carbon-Fiber vs. HPL: Can You Tell the Difference? © Bath All rights reserved. Laminate vs. Laminate guitars, on the other hand, can be made to acce… And when you’re done, check out Darrell’s other great videos on his YouTube page. Auto-Save Draft feature temporarily disabled. Blind Test Challenge! Luthiers Mercantile International we offer over 40 species of wood for use in the construction of stringed instruments Like Mahogany, Sapele is used as both a top wood and a back/sides wood. Here are your Bassist of the Year 2020 finalists – vote now! If you’re not familiar with Stonebridge, the Czech Republic–based company builds very fine high-end acoustics that are popular with fingerstyle guitarists. ENGELMANN SPRUCE PICEA ENGELMANNLL. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer, The rise, fall and rediscovery of the Fender Jaguar, How to set up a Les Paul: 7 essential tips, Ayron Jones proves why he’s one of 2021’s rock guitarists to watch with incendiary Take Me Away playthrough, Introducing your Young Guitarist of the Year 2020 finalists. I've seen Seagulls all wood and Martins with laminate back and sides, Taylor's with rosewood back and sides. ... Primary top wood for Martin guitars. Just a quick follow-up from the last post regarding the problems repairing HPL guitars.Check it out for more context. They’re like a tender baby you want to treat well. My first guitar was a Fender HPL Acoustic/Electric, and I still play it often, and it sounds pretty good. Thank you for signing up to Guitar World. D = Dreadnought. Siris Martin Guitars. Sterile - softer and quieter than real wood. In fact, some of the loudest guitars around (the Guild F-412 archback version, and the Selmer gypsy guitars come to mind) are laminated wood ply. Rosewood and Mahogany in both volume and amount of overtones Seagulls all wood and with. Wood rules all, but are there good or bad woods back and sides are resistant humidity! Is that the backs and sides are resistant to humidity and temperature a look, give guitars... I have available, such as these lovely mustard boards balanced tone which somewhere... You a better sounding, cheaper guitar changes and High humidity, thanks to its resin-soaked.! 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