Laminate or Solid Top on this Greco??

bierce85

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Picked up a really cool Greco from 1987. I was under the assumption that it's a solid top but I'm not 100% sure. It's pretty plain looking with a little bit of flame on the left side. Any insight would be appreciated!
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brokentoeswalker

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I'd guess solid top mainly due to it being a non-flame burst. It's kinda hard to tell with your pictures but it looks like the centre line follows goes down into the cavity on the 2 piece top. That tenon route really delves deeply into the cavity as well. Nice MC !!
 

El Greco

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100% solid. That looks identical to my '83 EG500! What's the weight, if you don't mind me asking? Mine is pretty heavy (around 4,7 kg)
 

bierce85

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I'd guess solid top mainly due to it being a non-flame burst. It's kinda hard to tell with your pictures but it looks like the centre line follows goes down into the cavity on the 2 piece top. That tenon route really delves deeply into the cavity as well. Nice MC !!
Yeah, it’s funny. The body has a big route for the tenon but there’s no actual tenon. My guess is they were transitioning out of the long tenon at that point in time and still had bodies routed for them
 

wulfman

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Nice guitar, it could be a Terada-made one because of the way the wiring channel is routed before the back and top are joined.
 

Udonitron

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Tough to say, I cannot see a transitional seam line down in that pup cavity.
I had an 80s 700 that had a super mild flame top and it was a veneer.
 

moreles

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It's possible that it's a veneered surface on a thick top -- the pictures are unclear because they do show a lip but it's likely just excess paint. You could easily scrape through and check. Too bad about the tenon. People talk all the time about the supposed superiority of build in Japanese copies, and a longer tenon would be desirable.
 

bierce85

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It's possible that it's a veneered surface on a thick top -- the pictures are unclear because they do show a lip but it's likely just excess paint. You could easily scrape through and check. Too bad about the tenon. People talk all the time about the supposed superiority of build in Japanese copies, and a longer tenon would be desirable.
My opinion is that the long tenon makes no difference in tone or resonance. However, I do view it as an indicator of quality construction/attention to detail and therefore desirability. I was aware of the neck join before buying this guitar and it did not deter me. I've owned long tenon historics that were total flops acoustically as well as several cheaper LPs with no tenon that were notably more resonant and louder acoustically. It really just seems like some pieces of wood are alive and others arent, and going high end is not necessarily going to get you a livelier slab of wood. That said, so far this is the 3rd lawsuit guitar I've owned and all three have been great.
 

Udonitron

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Totally agree about the tenon.
It is just a superior joint regarding surface to surface adhesion and strength but how many non tenon guitars have we seen come unglued?
Few if any.

Greco wasn't a lawsuit guitar BTW, just Ibanez but that lawsuit never even happened so more like a failed litigation lol.
 

Udonitron

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OK that's better!
Solid, nice.
 

bierce85

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Totally agree about the tenon.
It is just a superior joint regarding surface to surface adhesion and strength but how many non tenon guitars have we seen come unglued?
Few if any.

Greco wasn't a lawsuit guitar BTW, just Ibanez but that lawsuit never even happened so more like a failed litigation lol.
It sounds like Gibson is primed for a few more of those based on the new "we're watching you" video. I've never actually looked into the litigation, I just think of these as the years where Japanese manufacturers were getting so close to 50s Gibson specs Gibson must have been intimidated.

The tenon seems more important to me on 335's, as there's less much surface area at the neck joint. In any case, a long tenon with hyde glue isn't going to do shit for dead wood.
 

Udonitron

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Yep, and any type of glue just adheres 2 pieces of wood together.
A small amount penetrates the wood and sticks them together and the rest squeezes out so the layer of glue between those pieces of wood is next to nothing.
The mysticism with hide glue vs white glue is silly IMO.
Hide is very brittle when dried.
 

moreles

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Ah, the old tenon controversy returns. Like most features, the impact on an individual guitar is never assured or evident, but over large numbers, som features are better than others. A longer tenon is a better design acoustically and structurally, and the move to shorter tenons was made to make construction less expensive and to allow glue, not so much the good fit of a large surface area, to position the neck at the designed angle. It's a production convenience, and a (time) cost-cutter, not a design enhancement. You won't find many luthiers building their guitars with no, short, or rocker tenons, because they are not looking for shortcuts. That being said, even SGs -- which I prefer anyway -- with their minimal neck joints rarely fail at the neck, though the do have a different tonality and flex when played. My Fujigen Orville has a long tenon. Personally, though I think one build is better than the others, I would not base a buying decision on tenon length, and if it feels and sounds good, that's the point.
 




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