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Ask Bob: Three-Piece Backs

Wednesday, December 21, 2011
By: Bob Taylor

Question: I have an all-koa, custom GS 12-string that has a three-piece back with a flamed maple center wedge. It is gorgeous, of course, and the guitar sounds exceptional. I seem to remember reading once that three-piece backs mostly had to do with extending precious supplies of rare and expensive high-end tonewoods. Please help settle this.
Ed Mehollin

Answer: Ed, you're right, a three-piece back is typically made to use narrower back panels and make them wide enough. With our mini wedge, it's there only for cosmetic reasons, and often the wood used on a mini-wedged guitar was wide enough for a two-piece back. It's all cosmetics, or use of wood, and has nothing to do with tone.

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