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Guitar Idea -- Would It Sound All Right?


Number_6
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I built a homemade guitar a while ago using a pre-bought neck. This spring I'm planning to make my own neck for it, which would free up the old one for a new project.

What if I got a comparatively small piece of, say, mahogany and attached the neck to that. This is what the pickups and bridge would be mounted on. I could then bend thin plywood to make sides, and create a top and bottom for it out of the thinnest, lightest plywood I could find. I know you aren't supposed to use plywood in building instruments, but if I use really thin stuff, and the centre block of wood is a typical electric guitar wood, and it's mostly hollow inside, is it going to sound good?

Thanks

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That is pretty close to how a Danelectro is built. They use a solid core of wood, a thin frame around the edge made of solid wood and top things off with masonite!!!

Does a Dan-o sound good? Well some people say that it is the best sounding guitar ever. Some not. But they DO have personality :D

I'd say go for it. You will for sure have a unique guitar and probably an unique sound.

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In my opinion, the most important thing is that you have good solid wood between the bridge and neck pocket. I don't know that I would use plywood for the wings, but the idea of adding decorative sides to a solid wood core goes all the way back to Les Paul's "log."

Will it sound good? We can all sit around and argue about the tonal qualities of this wood and that wood, and that may give you some ideas, but you won't know for sure until you build it. It could end up sounding bad, but it might also be great. I don't see why it "won't" sound good (unless you mean acoustically; that would probably sound pretty crap). I think the pickups and the choice of wood to go through the core of the body would make more difference than light plywood wings.

Just my 2 cents :D

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I don't think you can bend and shape plywood that will hold it's shape, so I don't think you can do it.

I would ALMOST say there's no way you can do it with plywood.

Have you done any research on archtops and semi-solids so you know how they're even constructed in the first place?

The Formicaster guy has been building guitars for many years, he is experienced, he already has the tools and experience to allow him to experiment with off-the-cuff stuff like that and pull it off successfully, I do the same thing in different ways, I'm always experimenting with things, but I have many many years experience behind me and I have a thorough understanding of what will probably work and what probably won't, so when you've spent the years, you sort of have a liscence to ill because of what you've done in the past will hold you up, you can 'lean' on your experience when you want to go way out on a limb like that and your intuitive knowledge will bring you back to safety.

Building just one guitar, I'd say rethink it out or save your money for something more worthwhile.

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Why not go with a thinline style or monoblock type --that way you can make any shape you want, hollow it out except for the central column, then cover it with your material of choice. No messing with bending, and because you still have a nice thick piece of wood in the center, you can cover it with pretty much anything.

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heheh yeah.. I was thinking the same... even a couple of grand worth Gretsch guitars are built out of plywood, so will it sound good, well if you like it yeah

No, not really. They ONLY have PRESSED PLYWOOD TOPS. :D

The sides are not plywood, and I don't think this guy knows anything about installing all the struts and ribs to support a true bent sided guitar. That is TON of hard work, and if he had investigated archtop or semi-solid construction pics, you would see those ribs right off the bat and understand the work involved and thusly, forget the idea most likely, especially on Plywood.

The Formicaster works under a different set of principles, it's not Plywood.

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Formicaster guy regarding his control cavity:

"Note the careful matching of the grain between the back of the instrument and the access hatch cover. With fine material such as this, it's important to bring out as much of the natural beauty as possible."

My new hero. :D

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