Q: PRS SE Angelus body construction materials

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by HANGAR18, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. HANGAR18

    HANGAR18 What Would Evel Knievel Do?

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    I'm considering the purchase of a PRS SE Angelus model acoustic guitar but I am not clear on whether the back and sides are made using 100% of the wood each version is listed to contain or if the wood listed is simply a veneer top layer with a different kind of wood in a layer or two beneath the top layer. For example, the PRS web site states in many cases "solid top" and "solid back" (either Mahogany or Rosewood) but the description of sides (either Mahogany or Rosewood) does not include the word "solid".

    Does this mean that the sides are made up of multiple layers of either Mahogany or Rosewood or does it mean that the sides are made up of only Mahogany or Rosewood on the outer layer you can see while there is a different type of wood underneath?

    I'm also interested in receiving confirmation that the "solid Mahogany (or Rosewood) back" means exactly what it says, especially meaning without the presence of any other type of wood in the forming of the entire back piece.

    Ultimately, if any of the parts on the SE series of PRS acoustic guitars has laminated, consisting of different types of wood, I really want to know that before I buy one.

    Thanks.
     
  2. ADP

    ADP New Member

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    The top and back are indeed solid woods. The sides are laminates. Now, that might sound like a bad thing, but a number of really high end classical guitars use laminate sides for strength. It doesn't hurt that it's also a cheaper method of construction, but I wouldn't necessarily let it put me off buying a guitar.
     
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  3. HANGAR18

    HANGAR18 What Would Evel Knievel Do?

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    So, do the side laminates use the same type of wood or mixed types of wood?
     
  4. Saruman

    Saruman New Member

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    For the Angelus SE Custom, PRS site states "rosewood" for the sides. That it's laminated can be seen from the absence of the word "solid". That the sides are not mixed is seen from the absence of the mentioning of such wood. If it were spruce with rosewood veneer, it would most certainly state "spruce" somewhere in the description. (and same for the Standard that has mahogany non-solid sides).
    Remember, this is PRS, not some corner cutting <censored>-company.
    I've got an Angelus SE Custom :angelus:, and it plays and sounds wonderfully. (Unfortunately for you I'm not inclined to drill a hole in the side of my Angelus to determine the make-up of the laminate :)).
     
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  5. ADP

    ADP New Member

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    Even extremely expensive classical guitars with laminated sides don't necessarily use only rosewood in the laminate. Often it's spruce or maple with a rosewood veneer. I've never seen an Angelus SE, but if you were to look inside the guitar at the ribs, you would probably see what kind of wood it is. Again, it wouldn't bother me anyway if it isn't rosewood for the reasons I mentioned above. When we hear "laminate" we normally think of plywood, but this isn't plywood.
     
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  6. Hopeful Sinner

    Hopeful Sinner Angry Southern Gentleman

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    Looking inside my SE Angelus Custom, the sides appear to be rosewood inside and out. So if different wood is used, it's layered between the rosewood. IMHO it's all rosewood or mahogany depending on model just not solid on the sides...
     
  7. alantig

    alantig SSBMA

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    Couldn't you take the strap pin out and check there to see if it's layered? Or is there a block there?
     
  8. blaren

    blaren New Member

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    As was said, sides are lam...of all one species...AND...laminated sides are not a bad thing and don't make tone.
     
  9. ADP

    ADP New Member

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    Indeed. Stiffer sides mean that the top and back get a greater share of the string vibrations. And it's extremely unlikely that there are more than two layers in the laminate. Looking inside the strap button hole should show this.
     
  10. Edm

    Edm Guitars are my souls outlet

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    I am looking to buy the new 2018 model Angelus A40E so I emailed PRS customer service and asked them directly what the back and sides are made of. Solid or laminated Ovankol.

    I really like the bracing design. A large main X brace with the classical guitar design fan bracing on the lower bout. The back is braced so it doesn't move creating a solid surface to bounce the volume out and create better projection.

    I will post their answer when I get one.


    [​IMG]
     
    #10 Edm, Oct 16, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
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  11. Edm

    Edm Guitars are my souls outlet

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    PRS customer service just answered me and told me that I am correct the back and sides are made of Ovangkol laminate on the SE Angelus A40E.

    The only solid wood is the Spruce on top.
     
  12. Guitpicky

    Guitpicky New Member

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    Price of the guitar is a good indication. The better laminates are just two slices of the same wood glued together, i.e rosewood or mahogany. Japanese companies like Takamine and Morris use laminated sides in some pretty high end guitars due to local humidity. A lot of woods are also much harder to bend without breaking than others and using laminates means they don't lose 20% of a dwindling resource to breakage.

    I own both an all solid maddie rosewood and a mahogany with laminated sides. The issue never really crosses my mind when playing them. The reason all solid guitars are so expensive is in part due to breakage while bending. What makes rosewood sound so good is its brittleness, but that same factor also means a much higher tendency to break or split when bending. With an all solid wood guitar you're not just paying for the wood in your guitar, but all the sets that got broken in trying to make it.

    Acoustically speaking the top is the most important, then the back and then the sides. The top is your resonating surface, the back a reflecting surface and the sides just keep it contained in the body of the guitar. I doubt very much that anyone has the ear to tell the difference between a quality laminate and all solid sides in a blind listening test.

    Solid and laminate also don't mean much in and of themselves, you have to look at the whole package. If it's a quality instrument from a quality manufacturer whatever method used is probably the best they could get away with at any given price point. Profit may be the bottom line but making guitars people actually want to buy is a primary function of profit.

    In the end it's whether or not you like it, the rest is just the devil in the details :)
     
    #12 Guitpicky, Oct 17, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018
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  13. Edm

    Edm Guitars are my souls outlet

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    You are exactly correct about everything that you just stated. I have built many guitars in my life. Some of the very finest classical guitars are all laminate. You're right about the construction and that the top is the most crucial part of the tone of the instrument.

    I was merely stating the fact that PRS didn't exactly explain what the back and sides were made of in detail and thought I should post the truth right from the manufacturer about this particular Model Guitar. I have a 40 year old Yamaha all laminate F406 that sounds fabulous to this day. I used to be hung up on me having to have an all Wood Construction acoustic which I have many of but I don't have any doubt that Paul Smith would put something out on the market that wasn't of a really good decent quality.

    In fact I purchased one today the A40E Angelus
     
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  14. Guitpicky

    Guitpicky New Member

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    I was just tossing in my two cents for what anyone thinks it's worth :)

    How do you like it?

    Oh... and pics :)
     
    #14 Guitpicky, Oct 17, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018
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  15. Edm

    Edm Guitars are my souls outlet

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    First of all I'm really glad that you put your two cents in because that's what this forum is about informative and intelligent information shared amongst other lovers of guitars. And it was a very intelligent and informative two cents. I haven't received mine yet I'll know on Friday. I'm hoping that it will be a very nice guitar I know my PRS 24 custom is a very nice guitar. I will post some pictures when I actually receive it and a quick review of my impressions
     
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  16. Edm

    Edm Guitars are my souls outlet

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    For what its worth PRS customer service just told me the layers that make up the laminate back and sides are

    Ovangkol /Mahogany /Ovangkol

    So .mystrey solved.
     
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  17. Glide-bpm

    Glide-bpm We were small but we were slow...

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    $weeeet!!!
     
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  18. Edm

    Edm Guitars are my souls outlet

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    pics of my new PRS Angelus A40E

    [​IMG]




    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Glide-bpm

    Glide-bpm We were small but we were slow...

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    $weeet!!!
     
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  20. Edm

    Edm Guitars are my souls outlet

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    It is more of a Grand Concert body style than a 000. The Classical guitar fan bracing gives it a lot of projection and volume.

    After some minor adjustments which are common it plays and sounds great.

    Amazing actually for a guitar with laminated back and sides. The top is a AA grade spruce with no run-out and a very tight grain pattern.

    Came with a very nice hard case. real nice sort of gold abalone purfling and rosette trim. Ebony fretboard is also very nice. Fit and finish was excellent.
     
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