A: Actually, there are many differences between off-the- shelf birch plywood and true Baltic birch. A guitar over $300 should have a solid top with the back and sides made of laminate and a guitar under $300 is likely to be all laminate. Another good way to tell if your Kramer is an overseas made model is if it is made out of plywood or composite wood. I think that's the stock Striker neck. Then, bolt a pre-made neck onto the body and attach the bridge. If a guitar uses solid spruce instead of laminate, it will say so in the catalog/website as it's an excellent marketing tool. This is because it doesn’t have the popularity of a Gibson or Fender nor the resale value. Generally a Yamaha isn’t a guitar that is often faked like a Gibson or Fender. With plywood you'll see very shallow ridges if you look at the guitar's sides. In case of laminated wood, the wood veneers are pasted parallel to each other, as AG editor Greg Cahill and Dana Bourgeois contributed to this article. The modern Starcaster series of guitars, amps, and drums are merely marketed by Fender, in order to use a successful brand name to help sell that line of cheaply-made, student-level instruments.. Tone is subjective. The top and bottom layers' grain runs parallel to the strings while the middle layer runs perpendicular. The next concern was how to identify the wood to see if I could some leftovers for my next guitar project. Your axe was probably made in the year 2000. Any virtuoso can make it very hard for you to tell if it's a $5000.00 fine wood guitar or a $500.00 blue plate. The main difference between the two is the fact that plywood is made from sheets of wood called veneer, whereas laminates can be manufactured from high-density fiber, melamine resin or wood particles. The top veneer can be of a fine grained wood and the other layers of lower quality wood; the result is a sheet of wood very strong and stable but not as resonant. Pressed plywood - referred to as laminate - is essentially multiple layers of thinly processed wood that has been pressed and bonded together with an adhesive for strength and stability. I replaced the bridge with a higher quality unit. I find that plywood stands up better than OSB and particle board. They're really pretty similar to any other Kramer neck, and the best part of those guitars. The most important thing for your guitar's sound is the piece of wood on the top. Untrue. More so for the feel and the way the strings feel on any givin type of wood. Looking carefully on the pallet I found a small stamp that had numbers and syllables on. It sounded like absolute crap. Q: Is there a difference between Baltic birch plywood and birch plywood? Plywood is made with three thin layers of wood glued together like a sandwich. The latter two can be very heavy but the worst part is how they shatter and crack if they are bounced around too hard when being transported. Spruce as said is a family of trees related to firs. Laminated/plywood means a low price but also a somewhat duller tone than that of solid wood. It's sometimes near implorable, I mean impossible, to tell a wood from a carbon or a soft wood from a hard wood. I'd make the comparison to a MIM Strat in feel and construction. That said, it was an entirely functional guitar and served my guitar … A finely made plywood guitar, for instance, will likely sound superior and be more resonant than a poorly built rosewood guitar—just as the finest guitar made from premium Adirondack spruce and Brazilian rosewood will only sound as good as the guitarist playing it. There are a lot of woods used for different guitars, depending on the sound you want, but the most important thing to … It can sometimes be hard to tell if a Kramer is made overseas because Kramer (like other companies at that time) intentionally made it unclear for their own marketing purposes. I had a Strat type, 2 piece body(not plywood), sunburst, ceramic pickups and low end hardware. I find that plywood does much better. The side walls and top still seem to be MDF. Determining the origin and value of American made Dean guitars is actually quite easy. They sounded on par with the sustain from a danelectro. You can look inside the PU/control-cavities too. But on the other hand it is just a chassis. Guitar Overview. Plywood and laminated wood are two types of common available alternatives to traditional wood. You can usually tell different types of wood apart by looking at the wood grain, color, and the visibility of growth rings. Think of a laminate top countertop, with a thin layer of attractive wood covering up plywood or other hard interior. If not, swap it over to a solid wood body. Maya411, Your Starcaster is not a true Fender, but rather is a Chinese-made or Indonesian-made replica. You need to make sure that the room where you keep your guitar has humidity of 45% - 55%. Mileage can vary though. Mahogany is a pinkish or reddish-brown type of wood commonly used in furniture. Homemade Guitar: This is the first guitar that I've made, I plan on making more. In acoustic guitar construction plywood is to dense and rigid, it won't allow nice vibration for the sound chamber. Harmony-made Stella guitars are made of “plywood”. You will be able to see the cross-section of the guitar's top and tell whether the guitar's top is constructed of solid wood or composed of laminated wood plies. The bottom panel in fact looks like plywood rather than MDF. However, there are many examples of guitar models using cheaper wood than should be found in their price range. The speaker baffle also appears to be a plywood (I can’t tell if my original is plywood or not, there is a grain to it but it is mysteriously even and unnatural in appearance. Harmony Guitar Company was revived in 2008 when Charlie Subecz launched a series of 1950s and 1960s reissues. To build an electric guitar, start by cutting out the guitar body from a piece of wood like maple or swamp ash. Like any other style of guitar, the Gypsy-jazz guitar has seen a range of design variations over the decades. (You can see the wood grain in the picture). I think wood on the neck is more important in electric guitars. It's good to keep a guitar in its case but that won't protect it from environmental problems. But worse. After a research on the web, I found that the pallet’s wood is Hemlock and Fir (Hem-Fir), pg 50. Best way is to have some light on it at different angles because the rigdes won't always show up that clearly. Even lots of guitar dealers don’t know or care to know the difference, so do your homework. Probably the best way to determine whether a particular guitar has a laminated top or a solid top is to angle it so that you can see the wood grain on the edge of the soundhole. [ATTACH] [ATTACH] [ATTACH] its hamburg model but is it carved or ply wood? I did this one in my in my high school woods class. :hmm: i dont know how to tell the diffrence. Better woods last longer. Types. Acoustic is a whole other ball park where i think every type of wood has a major impact on the over all guitar. The outer edges of the top are painted black, I presume to disguise the layers. Your traditional Christmas tree is spruce (but generally a small one of course).. Even with that plywood body, I would try upgrading the hardware and electronics first. Just my thoughts on the matter. High humidity can do particle board in. You might have a decent usable guitar. how to tell a good guitar from a bad: *what is it made out of , plywood is terrible , where as say alder or mahogany are the industry standard for "tone". Know the difference between laminate and solid-topped guitars. Profile guitars were imported from Japan in the early 80's. A guitar over $500 should be have a top, back and sides made of solid wood. Until the 1970s, the Harmony Company used only solid woods for just about every acoustic flat top instrument they made. Today we are going to take a look at Dean guitar serial number, and what you can find out using this information. Upon close examination of your hardware, you will find structural and visual inconsistencies. Finish by putting your strings on the guitar … Laminate is basically plywood. Anywhere you do a contour cut you'll see the multiple ply's, this can be VERY difficult to finish as the wood will be edge and end grain and soak up sealers etc differently. Cost was $150. Next, install the pick-ups, volume control, and guitar cord. Solid wood guitars are vastly superior to plywood guitars. I'm sorry I don't have any step-by-step instructions, but if you have any questions just comment and I'll answer them as soon as I ca… Casters can punch through the bottom. Most fake guitars will utilize multiple pieces of wood, creating a scarf joint on the neck. Every Dean guitar made in United States comes with a seven digit serial number that is printed on the back of the headstock. I can tell you from my experience: I tried to take an old guitar body, and fill in the trem cavity using plywood, and then attach a fixed bridge. One way to tell if a salesperson knows their stuff – ask if all solid wood or laminate? I’ll tell you this: when I was the Yardbirds, people used to pay a lot of attention to the fact that I was playing that guitar, and definitely they were paying a lot of attention to it in Led Zeppelin, because what I didn’t know, it was in Sears & Roebuck catalogue, it was a catalogue guitar, so it was a really cheap guitar. With Acoustic Guitars, the most common trick is for forgers to swap plywood in place of solid wood. I've also had guitar students who have made project guitars out of plywood. You can easily tell the difference between Baltic and veneer birch plywood as baltic birch has twice as many plys as veneer. You can begin to identify a guitar by its type. The effect is a bit difficult to photograph. A major difference between laminate and solid wood guitars involves how the … If stylistic rectitude is less of a concern for you, and you want the basic sonic footprint and feel of a Gypsy-jazz guitar, but with other timbral possibilities, don’t limit yourself to a Selmer- or Maccaferri-style guitar. Same with "audiophile" home speakers. Repairing dings and scratches that are severe and go through the finish to the wood.. Filing worn frets: If frets start to develop grooves or crevices, they need a pro to file or replace them. Close your eyes and use your ears. In electric guitar building it poses major issues with edges and finishing. Harmony made Archtop (named because of its convex body design) and Flattop styles. Intended for beginners, Strikers and other overseas models were made out of plywood as opposed to ash, poplar, alder, and maple like their Japanese and USA counterparts. The neck was great, it played well and stayed in tune. Their Stella instruments were made from solid slab-sawn birch, which to the untrained eye often has a grain pattern that looks rather like “plywood”. First of all, make sure that you’re looking at a solid piece of wood, as opposed to a veneer applied to plywood or MDF, or even a stamped piece of fiberboard—this is key to wood identification! Furthermore, the Gorky Park special edition model is also an overseas made guitar. Also, if your Kramer has "non-name" pickups or "Designed by Seymour Duncan" pickups, it is an overseas model. Fixing finish cracks. Mahogany is typically very smooth in texture, with few knots or voids, making it a desirable type of wood aesthetically, and easy to work with when building furniture or musical instruments.