What is a laminated guitar?
What exactly is laminated, or layered wood? It's plywood -plain and simple. A thin hardwood veneer on top of layers of lesser quality wood, all pressed together with chemical cement.
A lot of guitar makers use confusing or misleading terms, probably to avoid using the word "plywood". A perfect example is the adjective "laminated" often used for back and sides. - i.e. "laminated Mahogany" of "laminated Rosewood". Other makers use terms like "layered". Why don't they just come out and call it what it is?
Plywood has its pros and cons:
A plywood guitar doesn't require the same care as a real, or solid, wood guitar. It's much less subject to environmental factors like humidity variations.
A plywood guitar is less fragile than a solid wood guitar. Plywood guitars are great for campfires where they can be passed around and banged up and no one really cares about the quality of the sound.
In most cases plywood guitars cost less than solid wood guitars. The exception is the brand MacKenzie & Marr which only makes solid wood models but sells them at prices comparable to other brands plywood models.
Plywood guitars don't have the same sonic properties as solid wood guitars. This is their biggest drawback.They're often described as sounding "dead" or "flat".
Plywood is not a particularly appealing material from a visual perspective. This is doubly so when used for guitar bodies. Bookmatched solid wood gives each guitar an individual character, something that is lost when bodies are cut from sheets of manufactured plywood.
There is growing concern about potential adverse effects of chemical off-gassing from industrial manufactured products such as plywood.