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How do i check that a guitar is solid top or laminated top? Are there any huge differences in the sound and appearance so that i can differentiate between them? I want to buy a solid top guitar and i dont wish to get fooled by the guitar sales person. Please help.

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Why do you care whether it's laminated? Because of the sound. So forget about the reasons for the sound. If you like how it sounds, buy it even if it's laminated. If you don't like how it sounds, don't buy it even if it's solid-top. –  slim Jun 28 at 7:10

3 Answers 3

Look at the edges of the soundhole. If the top is laminate, the soundhole will look like a sandwich. If the top is solid, the grain pattern will continue. More at this link. http://sixstrings.com.my/the-3-acoustic-guitars/

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If you add that there are too many other variables between guitars (bracing type, wood type, construction type etc) to identity the top type on tonal properties this will be a complete answer. –  Fergus May 7 at 22:04
    
Is there an other way? Coz the guitar that i already have, has a painted soundhole edge. I know its probably laminated as it is dirt cheap, still... Any other things that i should look for? –  Shashank Raghunath May 8 at 21:35
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I'm getting less sure about this, but without looking at the grain where you can see through, you can't be sure. I'd say, if they painted over the top of it, it's less likely to be solid. Could be wrong. If you like your current guitar, it's a good guitar whether it's a solid top or not. I'd say don't worry about it, but check out your next guitar. –  VarLogRant May 9 at 18:22

Looking at the edges of the soundhole is the best method; in addition, you can look at the grain of the soundboard: cheap laminates usually aren't made to be good looking, often they use lower quality woods, if you see nice spruce patterns it's probably solid; also, the bracing on a solid top is different, but that has to be judged by a luthier. Anyway, the difference in sound between a solid and a laminate is big, if you confront the guitar with any other in the price range 200-300$ (in that price range usually all guitars are solid-top) I think you can hear by yourself the difference.

If this is not enough, you can always check the producer's website, or contact them. They don't lie.

In addition: even though is true that the sound, and not the construction, is the main factor when choosing a guitar, there are other things to consider. Solid wood is stronger than cheap laminate and resist better to the tension of the strings (this may not be true for good laminates but I think it's not your case). Also with a solid top the tone will improve over time and the instrument will respond more to ambient variations (which is not necessarily a good thing). In this price range there's plenty of alternatives, choose according to your needs.

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other way that may useful, put a high intense lamp in sound box if the top is quiet thin the pattern of the wood will be shown and tells it. I have standard classic of very thin spruce top, this method sufficiently works with my guitar.

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