Laminate Tops (or Lam Tops) are thin sheets of highly figured or exotic wood that allow you to enhance the look of your instrument while preserving the tone of the underlying core wood.
Most Lam Tops are created in "bookmatch" fashion. This is accomplished by first sawing a plank lengthwise. The resulting halves are opened like a book and glued in the center. This yields a symmetrical pattern along the body centerline. Occasionally laminate tops are created with a single piece of wood, but it is rare.
Opened like a book
Pattern is symmetrical
The Lam Top is then affixed to the body core wood. Because the Lam Top is only 1/8" thick the body will retain the tone signature of the core wood. The neck and the bridge will still be anchored to the core wood.
Two-piece body - glue joints aligned
Three-piece body - glue joints staggered
A Drop Top is a 1/8" Lam Top that has been formed to follow the downward curve of a bass body's Forearm Contour. This process, developed by Warmoth, yields beautiful, symmetrical laminate tops with forearm contours identical to the original shape.
Drop-Tops follow forearm contours
A Laminate Accent is a very thin line around the perimiter of a Laminate Top bass body that creates a pleasing, bordered look. It is created by sandwiching a thin (0.030") layer of contrasting wood between the body core and Laminate Top. Once the body is shaped and sanded this thin layer forms a perfect line around the perimeter of the Laminate Top.
Light Wood Laminate Accent
Dark Wood Laminate Accent