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2 Piece Bodies Instead Of One


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whats the point of this? a lot of people say that one piece bodies sound and are higher quality. i saw the godin factory tour, and they cut wood in half, then glue it back together. seems really stupid to me. is there actually a reason for this? the only reason i can think of would be to decrease drying time.

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My opinion is that the "1-piece sounds better than 2-piece" thing is a crock. [Edit: In light of the following couple pages of conversation, just wanted to emphasize the first two words of this post, "My opinion..." I'm far from an expert, but I have been around guitars for many years, and this is just an expression of my experience so far. There's much to learn, of course.]

I'm not sure why they'd cut in half pieces that are wide enough to make bodies and then reattach them. 2-piece bodies are usually used because it's much more cost-effective to buy wood that's not as wide and glue it up.

It's also possible to get half a body through a 13" planer (of course that's not a problem for big commercial operations).

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They are cutting that wide board into 3 pieces, two of which appear to be neck blank size and the other a 7 or so inch width for two piece bodies. They are making good use of the wood for matching body and neck pieces.

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They are cutting that wide board into 3 pieces, two of which appear to be neck blank size and the other a 7 or so inch width for two piece bodies. They are making good use of the wood for matching body and neck pieces.

+1

One piece bodies aren't that common. It's hard to find many types of wood in that width, and even it you do it is going to be more expensive.

I think believe there is any trade-off in tone. Many factory produced guitars are 3 pieces or more, and many people have gotten great tones out of 'em.

CMA

Edited by CrazyManAndy
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Some of they stuff they were saying though sounded odd. Like was said about cutting the boards in half and then gluing them back together. Now if they are removing sections for neck blanks to make better use of the entire board that is fine. But then they said they allow 2 months dry time after gluing to let the wood fully dry again. That just strikes me as being a little over kill.

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I agree that this is done in the name of economics, far easier to find 2 pieces to achieve the overall width required than 1. I have built several guitars and have another 6 bodies in progress....EVERY one is a 2 piece bar one. NO difference in tone or sound quality at all, better variation and range of colours and grain.....centre line is obvious (for the non cnc/home builder this is a bonus)....very easy to make 2 pieces appear as one if the wood dictates it or work with the contrast if the wood encourages it. For me, I prefer 2 piece over one every time. :D

Edited by AprilEthereal666
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2 is nice because you can use quartered wood (ie, easier to find), which often looks nicer than flatsawn in addition to being more stable. On mahogany and limba blanks, though, I have real difficulties locating the centerline visually, because the grain's fairly uniform. The end-grain usually gives it away, because I tend to 'flip match' bodies, so you get a sort of 'bookmatch' effect at the end grain.

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My two cents from waaaaaay back in shop class: Whenever we made furniture, we'd cut the wood, flip one piece and glue back together. My shop teacher explained that it prevented the wood from warping or cupping. I'm assuming it's the same principle in addition to the other replies of not enough wood being of correct width for a full body.

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I wonder how many of the people giving an opinion in here, have trialled a one piece, versus two piece body, both sourced from the same plank (for the best consistancy), with the same pickups, hardware, etc etc.

My question is... if five pieces are "bad" (general opinion), and one piece is "good", at how many pieces does it BECOME bad.

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I wonder how many of the people giving an opinion in here, have trialled a one piece, versus two piece body, both sourced from the same plank (for the best consistancy), with the same pickups, hardware, etc etc.

My question is... if five pieces are "bad" (general opinion), and one piece is "good", at how many pieces does it BECOME bad.

Now that is the question to ask yourself. Maybe a better question would be what exactly will make a one piece body "good", then what would remove(or possibly add) that "goodness" by jointing more pieces?. Is there potential for too much of a "good" thing? Does jointing possibly help control the level of "Goodness".

Before you just randomly say the vibration will do this or that, or you will get an extra cup and a half of "tone" from the body. Try to think about the relationship between the strings, neck and body, as well as other components. The way the strings vibrate is what the pickup will convert to signal. The way the body vibrates makes little difference if it doesn't actually change the vibration of the strings. So what will that hunk of wood do to the way the strings vibrate, and how will jointing effect that?

Maybe a good question to ask yourself is this. What happens to the resonant frequency of a body that is one piece vs two, or three, or eight, or whatever... If you can't answer that question, then how can you even say there is a difference. If you have experienced a difference in two guitars(a one piece, and multi). How do you know that the body even made the slightest difference in any percieved sound? There are soooo.. many other variables. What if the pickup in one of those guitars had a partial short in a coil(you would not see this)? Can you eliminate environmental differences that could have made a difference(temp, moisture, light fixtures, the way you held the guitar?).

Really the only thing that counts is if you like the guitar, and it sounds good and you love playing it. Part of what makes you enjoy a guitar is real, and part of it is in your head(which does color your perception, and certainly the way you will play). If you are going to convince yourself something matters, or will make a difference. It probably will one way or the other. We are not impartial animals by nature. So just have fun with it :D

Peace,Rich

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:? I don't know who you're talking to or what your criticism is, Perry. I have stated no particular stance on body blanks. I quite enjoyed that 'boat' one that was circulating a few years back... not to mention Carl Thompson's stuff... multiple pieces out the yin-yang. I've also enjoyed nice ash one-piece teles. I don't give a crap how many pieces a blank is.

It initially seemed like wasted work to resaw a blank, according to the original post. Then upon viewing the video, it was obvious that there's an economic and factory-efficiency reason for it. <shrug> It would be wasted work to saw a blank in half and re-glue it just for the sake of cutting and regluing. But that's not what they're doing. <shrug again>

Sometimes if you're going to criticize, it might be helpful to be clearer about who you're referring to and what you think their problem is. This vague veiled criticism just makes me think, "Huh? Is he talking to me? Does he even know what my stance is?" As for Rich getting it-- of course he does! Not sure that having elucidated means that he's the only one.

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I make a habit of tapping all the blanks I put together, for whatever purpose, in various stages of construction. My major 'problem' in terms of making good, solid comparisons is the fact I have yet to build two identical guitars. Very similar guitars, construction and dimension and scale and hardware-wise, yes. Completely identical? No. So that's a problem in evaluating the end-result.

I find neck blanks easiest to compare, because they're easy to get resonating (and relative to its mass, a lamianted neck blank has more glue surface than a 2-piece body). And frankly, with a solid glue joint, and wood from the same board (which is how I've done all my bodies and necks to date; recently even did a laminated neck and a non-laminated neck blank from the same batch of boards/same tree), I can't hear a significant difference. Not between glued and non-glued. There's variation, yes, but no more than between blanks of the same species and same construction. All of them have sounded good to great (in my not so humble opinion).

Beyond that, what Rich said.

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:? I don't know who you're talking to or what your criticism is, Perry. I have stated no particular stance on body blanks. I quite enjoyed that 'boat' one that was circulating a few years back... not to mention Carl Thompson's stuff... multiple pieces out the yin-yang. I've also enjoyed nice ash one-piece teles. I don't give a crap how many pieces a blank is.

It initially seemed like wasted work to resaw a blank, according to the original post. Then upon viewing the video, it was obvious that there's an economic and factory-efficiency reason for it. <shrug> It would be wasted work to saw a blank in half and re-glue it just for the sake of cutting and regluing. But that's not what they're doing. <shrug again>

Sometimes if you're going to criticize, it might be helpful to be clearer about who you're referring to and what you think their problem is. This vague veiled criticism just makes me think, "Huh? Is he talking to me? Does he even know what my stance is?" As for Rich getting it-- of course he does! Not sure that having elucidated means that he's the only one.

My post is directed at the majority of the posters in this thread who come out saying that there is no difference between one and two pieces bodies. If so, what experience do they have, and at what point do they think adding more pieces makes it 'worse'. Its just a question Greg. Just interesting to see how many had actually done the WORK, or if they were reposting info they had read by someone else who hadn't done the work...

--

I find it funny that when you look at a body with 4/5/6/7 pieces of swamp ash, its considered crap, but if its walnut/maple/ebony/maple/cocobolo/maple/ebony/maple/walnut or something similar, its considered 'cool'. If those same timbers were glued on top of each other, rather than side by side, we'd call it plywood... and if someone posted on this forum they were looking for a reliable plywood supplier for body blanks, we'd all express concern. :D

Sure, its often more important to have the 'look'. Im not saying i havent, or wont do multi lam bodies or necks, i will (and have), but simply pointing out how people react to those bodies, purely based on the colours of the timbers used. Seven piece body from four different timbers = cool and boutique, seven pieces of timber all the same = 'crap'.

I know from my research, two pieces makes a difference, but it is only small. It is enough for me to search for single piece bodies for my customs, wherever possible (design permitting). Its not enough difference for me to use them on the Standard Series of guitars though. Three pieces is much larger difference in tone, four not so much, five smaller again, and six even smaller. I didnt test past six pieces. Difference = frequency response variation from the original piece, sustain of note, acoustic response, etc etc etc.

When we tested 1/2/3/4/5/etc piece necks (plus fretboard), we found totally different results. One piece was the base line, two piece were MUCH worse than 3/4/5 pieces, and after 5 pieces, it degraded quickly up to about eight pieces, then the results were virtually the same from there on. We tested up to fifteen piece necks (handmade ply!). I would use single, and either 3/5 piece necks, but not 2 or 4 piece (or more than 5).

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With the acoustic soundboards I have tested and worked with. A single piece of wood varies in stiffness across the board(mind you this is a fine cut of wood near perfectly quartersawn, next to no face runnout) more so than a bookmatched set. In terms of stiffness this is not what I want. It is much more managable to use a two piece bookmatched set that has much more similar stiffness from the center out to each side. It allows for more balanced bracing in terms of weight, and provides more balanced responce about the board.

I would not feel comfortable saying this is going to be the case at solid body thickness. First of all how many solid body builders split their wood for bodies? You have no reference to know what your runnout is like(it could quite likely be extream). In many cases curly woods are used that get that look as a product of extream runnout. grain orientation is not usually critiqued closely in terms of longtitudinal or quarter/flat sawn. Then there is the shape and carves of a solid body which will muck with the way the body vibrates. My point being. There is a wide variation from set to set of the finest cuts of some of the most homogenous wood you will find that is used for soundboards. Trying to predict with a high level of accuracy how wood that is wildly more variable will perform seems unrealistic(to be honest though I don't believe that level of accuracy is really needed on a solid body, as I believe the effects would not be as notable). The catch to this comparison is that usually two piece bodies are slip matched and not bookmatched. So the comparison is between wood that is likely more similar across the board(if well selected) in a single piece v.s. most likely less similar in a slip matched set. Now how much that will really effect the final product? That is going to depend on a lot of other variables least of which will be the actual joint itself. If you really want to refine a design to the level where you have fined tuned your components and are looking for the highest degree of predictability(that all means you have built that design many many many times). This may be an area to do some design testing, and figure out how to best control the variable, or at least figure out where to best make adjustments to adapt.

Peace,Rich

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I made a 24 piece body out of laminated pine/ spruce (the shop was selling it as spruce but I think it was pine), and it actually resonates more than any other guitar I have. (by that I mean that you can feel the vibrations in the body more strongly than with my other guitars.)

That may just be due to the wood being lighter, and easier for the strings to drive or something. It sounded pretty good too.

Thats all I can offer from experience.

I find it funny that when you look at a body with 4/5/6/7 pieces of swamp ash, its considered crap, but if its walnut/maple/ebony/maple/cocobolo/maple/ebony/maple/walnut or something similar, its considered 'cool'

Ive thought the same before.

I personally doubt it makes as much difference as some make out. That feeling doesnt come entirely from experience, but with all the variables that could affect a guitars sound, I'd imagine it is way down on the list in terms of importance, below pickup choice, strings, scale length... etc.

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"Really the only thing that counts is if you like the guitar, and it sounds good and you love playing it. " Peace Rich!

As Rich says, this is the whole point. If you make a guitar that sounds awesome and you enjoy the sounds that it can produce, success!!!! For someone to get out their "magnifying ear/glass/digital whatchyamacallit" and say that one does this over the other I think is stretching the bounds/sounds of perception!!!!!!!!!!!!! Experience or not. It's a bit like people saying you need to spend $20,000 on a home hi fi set up to get a good sound??? Hello? Wanna here my cash converter DENON???? I thought though that this forum was about educating the uneducated??? Not proving a 0.00000001% factor that one has cajoled themself into believing?

If there is a difference in sound between a 1 or 2 piece body then so be it, just tweak your amp/pedal and rock on :D:D

Until that moment, enjoy the lumber you've got, make a 1 or 2 piece, and craft a killer axe, this is NOT what you need to be worried about!

Edited by AprilEthereal666
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