One of the most frequently-asked questions I hear from people looking to buy their first guitar is the differentiation between solid guitars (SG) and laminate guitars. Instead of just giving you my suggestion here, I’m going to first give you some valuable guitar facts that may help guide you to make your own decision.
Laminate guitar is manufactured, not milled like traditional solid wood guitar. What this means is that everything, from the manufacturing plant to the glue and especially to the type of hardwood base, affects the quality of the guitar.
Solid-wood guitars are more susceptible to changes in humidity than laminate-wood guitars. And the results are often devastating – terrible, terrible cracks.
Solid wood is stronger than laminate and resist better to the tension of the strings (this may not be true for good laminates so better check twice). Also with a solid top the tone will improve over time and the instrument will respond more to ambient variations (which is not necessarily a good thing).
The biggest sonic difference between a laminate and a solid is that laminates tend not to resonate sound as nicely as a solid wood guitar.
So in your seearch for a new guitar, consider the best sg body you can find. I highly recommend you allot a budget enough to get atleast a solid-top acoustic guitar. You may not be able to hear a difference right now, but as long as it’s a well-built guitar, you’ll thank yourself a year or two down the road. #jnv