|My current Signature Model guitar has a beautiful sound, it's strong and well balanced, and has a rich tone palette, easy to control, easy to explore. At least that's how I feel about it - I absolutely love it.
It was Fritz Mueller who first told me he was working with a double top. He said it had reinvigorated him and renewed his passion for guitar making. Fritz is a very gentle soul, so if the double top had made him that excited, I wanted to try it.
I constructed the soundboard using two thin layers of wood separated by a layer of a honeycomb material called Nomex, but then I used a pretty conservative bracing system. What the heck, maybe I could get the best of both worlds. But then we come to the first question. When you go to a restaurant, the first question is, "Do you want ice water?" With classical guitars, the first question is, "Spruce or cedar?" Well, it's both. That's a cool thing with the laminated soundboard: finally I could use both spruce and cedar so I didn't have to ask that question anymore. But of course now I have to ask "Is the spruce on the outside or the inside?"
And you know what? It does make a difference. I know it's crazy, but it's different. If you put the spruce on the outside you get more of a spruce-sounding mixture, and if you put the cedar on the outside you get more of a cedar-sounding mixture. I don't get it. I just know what happens.
With this laminated construction with the hollow core I figured it wouldn't matter what woods you used, partly because you are using a lot less wood. Not so. The wood selection makes a big difference. And it does a quicker and more radical aging and breaking-in process than a solid piece of spruce or cedar would. It gets used to itself, like any guitar, only sooner. I don't know why, it just does. Actually, I couldn't give you a final answer on why any guitar gets better with time and playing.
The inner and outer wooden skins are each about .6MM, and between them is a layer of honeycomb. First you make the outer skin, then glue on the honeycomb and the other interior structural pieces. The honeycomb is a product called Nomex which I buy from a company in Texas called Texas Almet. It comes in sheets of 4' x 8' size sheets. There's a variety of cell size, wall thickness and material thickness that you can get, the specs are kind of dizzying. You cut it with scissors. Glue it with Gorilla Glue in a vacuum press. You glue on the honeycomb at it's full dimension which is about 1/8", then sand that down and glue on the inner skin.