Spotting a Solid Top Acoustic Guitar from Well-made Ply
The secret is to look at the natural wood grain lines when as they run into the sound hole.
The wood grain lines at the guitar top must match the grains as they run in natural continuous lines into the sound hole - just like any wood that has been cut at mid-section. You must still be able to see the cut-off grain lines at the spound hole. The ply top guitar will not have wood grain lines running in continuous lines from the top into the sound hole.
Also if you train your eye to study the wood grain at the sound hole, you can spot, in a ply top guitar the thin compressed layers of the plywood (usually it is 5-ply for most guitars).
Another giveaway is when the solid top guitar has a crack or hairline fracture. That is where you can see the wood grain of the exposed bottom is the same as the wood grain at the top. But in a ply top guitar, you will be able to spot a different grain pattern of the next ply layer of wood.
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Thats all I have to say in a nutshell. If you've learned something or you have further clarifications, feel free to drop us an email. We'll love to hear from you! Till then, have a great day and keep on practicing!
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