Originally Posted by Thumpalumpacus
Why do that? They're in business to make money. So long as they keep consumers thinking things like "ebony is better than richlite" and use that to get an extra $300 for having spent $35 more, they're happy.
This is exactly why they're in business -- to make as much money as the market will allow -- and exactly why these sorts of discussions are sometimes frustrating for me, as a consumer. Of course I don't want a plywood guitar, for ęsthetic reasons, but prices remain high because people insist on shopping according to fatuous "differences" they read about online and often haven't even tested for themselves. Make it look decent and sound good, and spare me the $500 difference that cannot even be heard by the experts if they're wearing a blindfold.
Not only that, but some of the best loved hollow and semi-hollow guitars (ES335 and ES175 for example) were/are built and advertised as "laminated".
Laminated is a ply, as in PLYwood.
The push for solid and semi-hollow (and any LAMINATE hollows) was to help tame feedback. A lively resonant body will feedback like a bitch. Gibson, Gretsch, and others found out that with the right construction and bracing, a laminate top (plywood) actually worked and sounded better when plugged in.
Once you plug in, how "lively" it "feels" is a moot point and from a purely technical standpoint, doesn't mean much... unless you WANT uncontrollable feedback.