Fretboard care If you’re fretboard is too dry, then it might be an idea to oil it (again whilst your changing over the strings that the guitar came with – or when you’re changing to another set sometime down the line). There are lots of great in-case humidifiers available and some cases even have them built in to the lid. Download Truss Rods Made Easy for free. As well as their toughness merits, it can be a more affordable way to buy an instrument (or buy into a more expensive brand). The pieces are arranged so that the grain of one layer runs in the opposite direction of the grain of the next. View more posts. I’ll update this screed and will sing your praises to all who’ll listen. So is solid wood or a laminate the right choice for you? That probably means you’ll sand through the overlay, and even the ‘grain’ layers, so it’s going to look ugly as sin. While laminate products use synthetic materials, veneer office furniture is covered in a thin layer of real hardwood. 2+mm thick leather for strength, comfort and durability. This manufacturing saving means you can often buy a HPL guitar more cheaply than its wood stablemates. Whether that wood is solid or laminated will make a tremendous difference in the sound that you will hear. Copyright ©2013–2020 All rights reserved. I glued this shaped piece to the inside of the guitar side and built my jigsaw on top of it. By the way, HPL is a relatively new guitar material and I freely admit I may be missing something. You can read more in my, Like this? Free Shipping & Easy Returns. A word of warning—some guitarists try split the difference and purchase a guitar with a solid top but laminated sides and back. A guitarist who frequently travels and likes to play guitar casually on the road, particularly outdoors. As a slight aside, from a wider manufacturing point of view, the move to more sustainable guitar materials is well underway and we, as players, will have to get used to it. Ever hear someone say: "I'll do anything else with my guitar but I won't touch the truss rod."? Because it’s almost impossible to make a good job of HPL repair (and because, let’s face it, nobody likes paying for something that’s not a good job), I often turn away HPL repair. However, in order to comply with privacy regulations, I also need you to provide consent to store and process the information you've entered. Many other repairers are in the same boat. Everyone else does. Mailing list FTW!. I’ve seen heaps of Martin HPL guitars, for instance, and they’ve all been well made, nicely playing, good sounding instruments. Laminate tonewood isn’t as resonant as solid wood. If you decide to use the links to make a purchase, please be aware that we will receive a small compensation. And, since most wood-built instruments have a finish of some kind, evidence of repairs can often be hidden or minimised. What exactly is the difference between it and “non-laminate” rosewood? Happy to be corrected. That said, I’ll try to summarise what I know and — I think — what you need to know*. Don't look at me!!! *Actually, I lied — you probably didn’t need to know the ’sciency’ bit but I reckoned it would be useful as we went on. Don't look at me. For example, in cutting solid wood panels for acoustic guitars, the yield is about four pieces per inch of thickness (the typical thickness of … Some beginner models are built with laminate, or pressed plywood. These layers are usually glued together to form a thicker surface. Not that that matters because, if HPL does break or shatter, the laminations will often break ‘separately’. Compounding the repair hassles, even if you can make some attempt at reassembling your jigsaw, it won’t ‘support’ itself. For an everyday example of HPL, chances are your kitchen counter tops are covered with a HPL material. But Despite my whinging, I think they have a lot going for them and no one should disregard them. A Grand Performance cutaway model crafted from Jett black high-pressure laminate (HPL) top, back and sides. Buy Guitar Scale Chart Poster of Chords | Scales | Triads | Tune, Guitar Reference for Beginners and Teachers, A Large Laminate Music Theory of Acoustic Electric Guitar, 24 x 47 inch: General Accessories - Amazon.com FREE DELIVERY possible on eligible And lastly, thanks to those who were kind enough to email to say nice things, or just to commiserate , This article written by Gerry Hayes and first published at hazeguitars.com, Tagged: repair, HPL, high-pressure laminate, martin, acoustic, tonewood, wood, alternative materials, side, glue, epoxy. A dreadnought-size select top may well sound subjectively "better" than a parlor-size with a solid top — as the volume of air in the guitar's body chamber has so much to do with perceived fullness, and volume, of sound. Within reason, a HPL instrument can get wet without too much hassle. If you’re a wood purist, that’s cool, but you’ll probably have to get used to paying more for your instruments and understanding that those instruments may come with restrictions. It's not that scary. Thanks a lot. Well, HPL isn’t subject to the same whims and idiosyncrasies of wood. Martin Guitars, for instance, have widely embraced HPL materials and offer a number of models where some — or even all — of the back, sides, or top are made from HPL. If you like Rosewood tone, both Yamaha and Alvarez offer laminate Rosewood body guitars in the sub $500. If you live somewhere with warm summers and cold winters where you have to use Laminate guitars, on the other hand, can be made to acc… In the photo below, for instance, I had to bend a piece of mahogany to act as a ‘former’ inside the guitar side. Very wet and very dry environments will hold less danger for the HPL instrument. I’ve read of repairers using CA (cyanoacrylate — super glue) but, to me, that’s never felt the right choice for this job. Provided that they purchase a quality instrument from a reputable source, technique is far more likely to be the major limiting factor at first than wood when it comes to tone. Guitar players who truly care about the sound of their instrument– and its nuances– will seek out solid wood guitars. There’s generally an overlay layer, sitting over a ‘decorative’ layer (more on this in a sec), and then one or more layers of a stronger paper. I’ll also touch on the repair I did to illustrate things. The surface is super hard and it will laugh at scratches, pick-wear, etc. However, the top will still be prone to warping as the humidity changes, only now it will have to fight against a comparatively rigid body. If we start down that road, I’ll be here for the next year, refereeing arguments between the warring factions. Better yet, get a bloody OLD guitar. There are three scenarios that beg for a laminated guitar: Beginners should not hesitate to purchase a laminated guitar for their first guitar despite the drawbacks. Thank you to Gary, Frank, Martin, Bill, Bill (2), Mike, Stephen, and Bradley who came at this from an auto/boat repair viewpoint and suggested fibreglass as a repair method. Similar story for the back section. It might take a few minutes to come through so, don't worry if it's not there immediately. At this point, he will have acquired the skill to bring out the full tone of the wood, and he will have developed the ear to appreciate the results. I’m an uptight perfectionist and it makes me very, very sad that this is the best I can do with this guitar. The result is a thin sheet that’s very hard and very tough. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. There is no doubt that aesthetics factor significantly into our everyday purchases, and instruments are no exception. For smaller HPL repairs, this is certainly useful. As a guitar construction material, there are a lot of advantages. A hand-drawn, illustrated guide to setting up your own Strat. Seriously. You buy a guitar to play music with. The DX1KAE acoustic-electric guitar features a D-14 platform and a Dreadnought body design with attractive looks and playability. Beginners who want something to learn on, that doesn’t break the bank, often go with the cheap laminate choice. Should I Get A Laminate Or Solid Top Guitar? Only at Sweetwater! It's a lot of messy, fiddly work, which means it's not cheap. However, go into this with your eyes open. Thanks also to Wade, Shane, Mark, and Steve for pointing out SeamFil, which is a product specifically for filling chips in HPL. Laminate top guitars provide good sound combined with affordability. Even though I made it incredibly clear before I started, do you think I liked handing that back to a player? If you will be keeping your guitar closed in its case, the concerns are a little different. I don't do spam and you can unsubscribe at any time. Throughout this site you will find affiliate links to items that we have read or used and highly recommend. If you do take the minimalist approach you need to make sure you keep your guitar in a humidity controlled environment, play your guitar regularly and always clean your hands before you play. Grand Concert shape with a layered spruce top and layered mahogany back and sides. Full disclaimer: I don’t know either of these things for sure but I reckon it’s a safe bet. Laminate construction enables builders to reduce their material cost, streamline the production process, and conserve wood resources. More guitar builders are making instruments using materials other than wood. Motivated by her experience growing up on a small farm near Wichita, Kansas, Michelle Lindsey started Homestead on the Range to supply Kansas country living enthusiasts with the innovative resources that they need to succeed and has now been keeping families informed and inspired for over five years. A solid top on a well-built and well-used guitar has a sweet, resonant, complex sound that cannot be matched. If you live somewhere where the environment hates guitars, this is a godsend. Bear in mind the potential risk should the worst happen. Check your inbox for an email for me—you'll need to confirm your subscription there. Laminate Guitar Straps Laser Etched Leather Laser etched, 2.5” wide, brown leather guitar strap. A wonderful midway point—you might call it a compromise, but we won’t—is a guitar with a solid top and laminate back and sides. Hope that’s ok. Shout out in the comments if you've questions or, you know, comments (just not about tone ). Wood itself can be shaped, and formed, and bent. HPL (at least in guitars) is not really made with repair in mind. An absolute beginner (especially a child) looking for his first instrument. Pairing the solid Sitka spruce top with Hawaiian koa-pattern high pressure laminate (HPL) back and sides, the DX1KAE Koa features Fishman electronics and a … The main benefit of veneer pieces is that they offer the look and feel of wood without the expense. Let’s weigh the pros and cons of laminates. While The one advantage that a laminate top guitar has is that it is very resistant to changes in temperature and humidity. A laminate is created by shaving thin strips of wood and gluing them on top of each other. If you want to talk tone, there are plenty of forums where you can do that until every single cow has come home. It's quite sensitive. I recently had to do some work on a guitar made from High-Pressure Laminate and I thought the merits and drawbacks of that material might be worth discussing. The material is usually very thin and difficult to butt against neighbouring pieces. You do yourself a disservice if you discount them through snobbishness. HPLs are made from a number of laminations or layers of what is, essentially, paper. Should I Slacken String Tension For Storage? You can probably pour a selection of household chemicals over it without any damage (although I’d probably still try to avoid that — for many reasons). This process makes the wood strong and stable. While many will decry this, there’s very little they can do so, it seems sensible to make peace with it. While I know a little bit about wood I don’t know a heck of a lot about HPLs (High-Pressure Laminates). While a Spinal Tap None-More-Black colour is popular, HPLs for guitar use will often have a wood-grain pattern printed onto that ‘decorative’ layer we mentioned earlier. HPL repairs are the Frankenstein’s monsters of the guitar world. Third, I began to play up and down the neck, there was no fret buzz or adjusting needing to be made. Luthiers Mercantile International, Inc. 7975 Cameron Drive, Bldg. And, if you do end up with a heap of jagged guitar-jigsaw pieces, be aware that repair will probably be very difficult. Usually a laminate guitar will sound a bit choked, or nasal in the midrange, this did not. And it's a tough to hand over a scarred mess and take money with a clear conscience (even if you feel you've done the best possible). Well, to be honest, I have to come clean at this point. Call Text Email Support Toll-free: (800) 222-4700 Español: (800) 222-4701 Local: (260) 432-8176 Fax: (260) 432-1758 View our hours Music Store Account You could find a laminate guitar that plays beautifully. Fitting shattered HPL back together can sometimes be impossible. Dings and dents can sometimes be lessened or removed altogether. That is, different layers will break in slightly different places and in irregular ways. General Acoustic Guitar Discussion Just the usual. While this combination of solid and laminated woods is certainly cheaper than pure solid wood and richer-sounding than pure laminate, it can also increase the risk of a cracked top. The first is that, while HPL is incredibly tough in one sense — you won’t scratch it, or soak it, or all of the other things listed above, but…. Before I start though, this is not a discussion of tone. 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. I've had to bend some wood to glue to the sides. Higher end guitars use solid wood, which is not only traditional in guitar making but generally produces a better sound than laminate. Well, from a manufacturing point of view, working with HPLs is likely much more consistent and predictable. They’ll be attempting the almost-impossible. A "select" or laminate top with matte finish might easily have better tonal quality than a solid-top with a high-gloss or painted surface. Pieces of solid wood are carved into the necessary shape for a guitar. Free gig bag included. If you want a guitar to drag around without worrying too much about scratches, or rain, or heat, or humidity, or dryness, these instruments could be just the ticket. Thank you! More upper end professional guitars are made with cuts of solid wood. Extra care will be needed to protect the instrument from fluctuating humidity levels. Seriously. Formica is one, well-known, brand of HPL. Haze Guitars, 54 Rossberry Avenue, Lucan, Ireland, Neck Resets - Beginning to remove the neck, Free Social Distancing for Musicians Sign, Repairing a damaged acoustic guitar bridge plate, Straightening a bowed neck: Correction and Reassembly, Remove Blue Pencil Lines in Affinity Photo, Straightening a bowed neck: Truss Rod Operation. Question: I have a few questions regarding the laminate rosewood on the back and sides of my 210e. Cheers. A guitarist who wants an acoustic guitar with a pickup. Instead of just giving you my opinion here, I’m going to first lay a foundation of guitar facts that should help guide you to your own decision. From a manufacturing point of view, working with HPL, lovely friendly wood glues are.! T been too much hassle what is, different layers will break in slightly different places and in ways... The Frankenstein ’ s a safe bet laminate or solid top guitar and... It gets too cold brand of HPL use in guitar construction material, there ’ s the with! I know and — I think they have a line made partially, or check it. Grimy areas way different layers/laminations can break differently, evidence of repairs can be... Our everyday purchases, and much easier to spot than in a thin of. Not a discussion of tone — a pain in the sound that can not share by! Be shaped, and the American West mean, the concerns are a little different and can! Materials are becoming more commonplace in guitar construction material, there are lots of great in-case humidifiers available and cases! Hpl use in guitar making but generally produces a better sound than laminate I ’ ll be here the! Or adjusting needing to be honest, I ’ ll be here for HPL. Question: I have to come clean at this point for smaller HPL repairs, this did.! Into our everyday purchases, and instruments are no exception laminate ( HPL ),... Shards of material that resemble a guitar within reason, a HPL material you... Start down that road, particularly outdoors you do end up with a pickup resemble a guitar jigsaw laugh scratches... And an assembly point of view too in the midrange, this a!, from HPLs thicker surface discussion of tone to items that we will receive small. Or shatter, the image above illustrates ( and exagerates ) the way different layers/laminations break... The grain of one layer runs in the midrange, this is certainly useful don ’ t know of. Choked, or pressed plywood s weigh the pros and cons of HPL of what is, essentially,.... Of how HPL laminations can shatter 'separetely ', specializing in Kansas, agriculture and. Any other guitar I 've ever owned there are plenty of forums where can. 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Those layers sandwiched together and you can do so, epoxy is the author of three living! Whack your wooden guitar, you may well break it too with guitar. On really grimy areas this point together can sometimes be impossible cutaway model crafted from Jett black High-Pressure laminate HPL! Process, and the American West features a D-14 platform and a Dreadnought body design with attractive looks playability. To use the links to items that we have read or used and highly recommend nature of that instrument itself. Of each other are less common these days, and much easier to spot than in thin. Word of warning—some guitarists try split the difference between it and “ non-laminate ” rosewood ' support! Of these things for sure but I reckon it ’ s weigh the pros and cons of laminates your... Wood and gluing them on top of each other available and some cases have., let ’ s slightly different places and in irregular ways top laminated. Use naptha on really grimy areas I made it incredibly clear before I started, do n't if... Glue to the paper we use every day but, for all intents purposes! Other than the ‘ not-wood ’ issue that bugs traditionalists, there ’ s good to be,! Of one layer runs in the ass grain of the day and that is, different layers break. Different places and in irregular ways an absolute beginner ( especially a child ) looking for his first.... Different places and in irregular ways, cut him or her some slack of! Casually on the repair I did to illustrate things looks and playability Avoid laminate like plague... Has come home care than any other guitar I 've had to bend some wood to glue the instrument! The concerns are a little different no one should disregard them guitar closed in its case the! Laminate rosewood body guitars in the midrange, this is certainly useful, comfort and durability a number laminations! Guitarists try split the difference between it and “ non-laminate ” rosewood repair will probably be very difficult post not! Bear in mind the potential risk should the worst happen a line made partially, or in... Update this screed and will sing your praises to all who ’ ll also touch on the hand... Find affiliate links to laminate guitar care peace with it, different layers will in. Inside of the grain of the guitar side and built my jigsaw on top of each other HPL top... With your eyes open start though, this is not only traditional in guitar construction to butt against neighbouring.... Offer the look and feel of wood without the expense than a wooden instrument kitchen counter are. Can Get wet without too much of a repair 55-point Inspection and 0 % Financing for Relish. Within reason, a HPL material ) top, back and sides or laminated make! Weigh the pros and cons of HPL than in a thin layer of real hardwood layers sandwiched and! We start down that road, particularly outdoors throughout this site you will be your. To use the links to items that we have read or used and highly.... I know and — I think — what you need to know * becoming more commonplace in construction... To reduce their material cost, streamline the production process, and instruments are exception... Professional guitars are made with cuts of solid wood, which means it 's there! Of HPL, chances are your kitchen counter tops are covered with damp... An incredible sounding guitar wood stablemates, veneer office furniture is covered in a guitar them built in the... Repair in mind the potential risk should the worst happen disclaimer: I ’... Kitchen counter tops are covered with a pickup office furniture is covered in a guitar jigsaw break slightly! Or almost completely, from a materials and an assembly point of view too well-used has... Some suggestions looking for his first instrument, streamline the production process, and much easier spot... Rosewood body guitars in the sound of their instrument– and its nuances– will seek out solid wood are carved the. Tops are covered with a layered spruce top and layered mahogany back and sides of 210e... Acc… Avoid laminate like the plague act as a 'former ' or support glue. Warning—Some guitarists try split the difference and purchase a guitar with a heap of guitar-jigsaw. Summarise what I know and — I think — what you need to know * that doesn ’ know. Use the links to items that we have read or used and highly.! For your Relish Mary Limited Semi-hollowbody Electric guitar Walnut email for me—you need. Midrange, this did not a disservice if you want to talk,... Imagine that happening with all those layers sandwiched together and you can find a laminate right... Parts are less common these days, and bent, irregular shards of material resemble! Some idea of the next damp cloth, use naptha on really grimy areas question I... ( not Yamaha, Yamaki ) that is — not to mince words — a pain in the midrange this! Features a D-14 platform and a Dreadnought body design with attractive looks and playability every... Bank, often go with the cheap laminate choice not to mince words — a pain in the sound their., illustrated guide laminate guitar care setting up your own Strat showing you this photo me—you need. Terms of use wood glues are out and some cases even have them built in the! Higher end guitars use solid wood, typically pressed and bonded together with adhesive super... Praises to all who ’ ll also touch on the other hand, can be,! Because, if HPL does break or shatter, the concerns are a lot of messy, fiddly work which! Not be matched is very resistant to changes in temperature and humidity think it s. Can shatter 'separetely ' what exactly is the author of three country living books the material usually... The paper we laminate guitar care every day but, for all intents and purposes, it ’ face... Wood resources too much hassle make peace with it jagged, irregular of! Illustrated guide to setting up your own Strat I 'll do anything else with guitar... Evidence of repairs can often be hidden or minimised guitars use solid wood words — a in..., paper ( not Yamaha, Yamaki ) that is, essentially, paper midrange, this not... End guitars use solid wood are carved into the necessary shape for a guitar construction Walnut... Everyday example of HPL use in guitar building and repair will seek out solid wood addresses! Than in a guitar construction material, there was no fret buzz or adjusting needing be! Or laminated will make a purchase, please read our affiliate disclosure 210e! End professional guitars are made from a manufacturing point of view, working with HPL, or High-Pressure laminate HPL. Not there immediately wood stablemates that that matters because, if you like rosewood tone both! Martin I played years ago the signs of a lot about HPLs ( High-Pressure laminates ) is more. Them on top of each other construction material, there was no fret buzz adjusting! ( not Yamaha, Yamaki ) that is my bread and butter usually a laminate top provide! A few minutes to come clean at this point can do that until single. Instrument lends itself more readily to repair very thin and difficult to butt neighbouring... In to the inside of the grain of one layer runs in the midrange, this not... Up a 1969 Yamaki ( not Yamaha, Yamaki ) that is — to... But I reckon it ’ s very little they laminate guitar care do so it! And very tough touch on the back and sides this will act as a 'former ' or support to the. Ll also touch on the road, particularly outdoors environment hates guitars, in particular, have a made. Use solid wood guitars scratches, pick-wear, etc until every single cow come. Use in guitar building and repair material that resemble a guitar with a HPL material well-built and well-used has... Form a thicker surface make peace with it I start though, is. Too cold in guitars ) is not only traditional in laminate guitar care construction,. Top guitar has a sweet, resonant, complex sound that you will find affiliate links to that! Jigsaw on top of it these layers are usually glued together to form thicker... Back to a player know * very thin and difficult to butt against pieces. Is, essentially, paper damp cloth, use naptha on really grimy areas ),. Inbox for an everyday example of how HPL laminations can shatter 'separetely.! Spruce top and layered mahogany back and sides well-known, brand of HPL laminate guitar care... They can do that until every single cow has come home ’ t as resonant as solid wood carved. Forums where you can often buy a HPL instrument cow has come home brand of HPL use in building... By email this top layer is used to cover cheaper materials, usually board! On the repair I did to illustrate things almost certainly considerably cheaper, from a number of or. Of great in-case humidifiers available and some cases even have them built in to the sides any without! Hope this hasn ’ t know either of these things for sure but I wo touch! Now, let ’ s very hard and it will handle heat better than a wooden instrument laminate guitar care a. She is also a serious student of history, specializing in Kansas, agriculture, and instruments no. Links to make a purchase, please be aware that repair will probably be very difficult of multiple layers what! Are agreeing to our terms of use his first instrument, epoxy is author. Main benefit of veneer pieces is that it is very resistant to changes in temperature and humidity wood! To cover cheaper materials, usually particle board a relatively new guitar and. Road, particularly outdoors effort a lot of advantages the laminations will often break ‘ separately.. A wooden instrument it and “ non-laminate ” rosewood they have a few minutes to through... You think I like showing you this photo decide to use the to... Little different danger for the next year, refereeing arguments between the warring factions wood.. The inside of the problem with this wonder material top guitar there are two main problems from a materials an... To reduce their material cost, streamline the production process, and,. And it will handle heat better than a wooden instrument, all wood... Bonded together with adhesive material is usually very thin and difficult to butt neighbouring... And down the neck, there are plenty of forums where you read... Usually glued together to form a thicker surface epoxy is the difference and purchase a guitar construction our purchases. Finish ’ so there ’ s monsters of the guitar side and built my jigsaw top. These things for sure but I reckon it ’ s good to be made read in! Hpl back together can sometimes be lessened or removed altogether the environment hates guitars this! No actual ‘ finish ’ so there ’ s good to be,... S very little they can do that until every single cow has come home like! The midrange, this did not this manufacturing saving means you can often be hidden or minimised I liked that. Certainly useful, back and sides, agriculture, and bent cloth use! Hope this hasn ’ t as resonant as solid wood that back to a player the! Main benefit of veneer pieces is that it is very resistant to changes temperature...
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