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Wood quality...

Monty Burns

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1 piece vs 2 or 3 pieces ... usually all (or almost) choose a piece. But I ask: why this choice?

In my experience, to create a body is preferable, for certain types of wood, which is in 2 parts.

"More stable", this is the main reason that I found in reasonable time.

Of course I speak from my experience and advice that I have received from old and young master luthiers.


Ex. Mahogany: different qualities have different characteristics (almost conflicting). It's the choice of a high-quality mahogany to make a real difference, no 1piece vs 2-3pieces

What do you think?

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I don't think anybody can prove one piece is better than two or three but people generally prefer one-piece bodies on their Gibson guitars. Most Gibson guitars from their golden era had one-piece bodies and that's probably why it's perceived as being better. I think to a point that multi-piece bodies are considered substandard and cheap. It allows the manufacturer to use wood that would have otherwise not been used as a guitar body and that's probably the reason why it's frowned upon. Not to mention looks - have you ever seen a Gibson SG with three to five pieces of mahogany glued together? It looks horrible.

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You can make all the woodworking arguments you want about glueing more than two pieces of wood together to make a solid body guitar.


The majority of players out there are of the opinion that the less pieces the better. I know plenty of players, including myself that won't go more than two pieces.


The usual stability argument dosen't hold water for players like myself, because I've owned instruments that are 50 years old and older, made with one piece bodies, and there's no problems. Currently I've got a '65 Gibson MM with a single piece body and single piece neck. No problems, sounds and plays fantastic.


The quality of the mahogany is an interesting point. Putting more that two pieces of mahogany together to make a body can bring as many different vibrational and tonal characteristics into play, because there's no guarantee that these pieces of wood are from the same tree. And for me, that's where the multipiece problem is - IMO, based on my playing expierences, the more pieces you've got, the muddier the sound. And all the woodworkers arguments in the world aren't going to change my opinion.


From a players standpoint, when looking for a solid body, that's why most are looking for one or possibly two piece bodies, and they shun three or more piece bodies. Whether it's right or wrong, empirical or based on science.


R9 also has a point on the looks and perceived cheapness of multipiece bodies.

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Honesty I can't argue with the novice in detail and with scientific basis why one or other choice is better.

However I believe, the quality of the wood used is always the most important thing.

But it is also true that beauty is more important for many people.

When you are uncomfortable (even for a estetic appearance) you'll play bad (IMO)


It's difficult to find *a* solution, I think

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