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I'm looking at picking one of these up as my next purchase so I was doing a bit of research. These guitars are absolutely beautiful and come in mahogany, flame maple and wild cherry. I have no interest in wild cherry but thought flame maple might be an interesting choice as I have a few solid mahogany guitars.

Below is the pricing info from Cosmo music - the flame maple is roughly $200 more. This is where things get strange. I couldn't find anywhere that it was solid back and sides so I emailed La Patrie and they confirmed:

"The Arena Flame Maple has laminated flame maple back and sides while the Arena Mahogany has solid mahogany back and sides." Who would pay more for laminate?

Mahogany - MSRP - $930
Guitar Classical La Patrie Arena Mahogany CW QIT - Classical Guitars - Right Handed - Classical Guitars - Guitars & Amps | Cosmo Music

Flame Maple - MSRP - $1,195
Guitar Classical La Patrie Arena Fl Mpl CW Crescent II - Classical Guitars - Right Handed - Classical Guitars - Guitars & Amps | Cosmo Music
 

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The laminate woods used in guitar design are not necessarily a bad thing. Laminated sides are used on many high-end classical guitars. Michael Greenfield also uses laminated sides on his guitars and they cost well over $ 12,000. If done right, the reason might be that they wanted a stiff guitar build in some areas and thus have a better resonance and a better control of the solid spruce top.
 

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My Seagull 25th Anni CW has flamed maple laminate on the sides and back as well as a flamed maple overlay on the headstock. It's really dressed up, I've always assumed that it was built to be a showy guitar for performance. Certainly, the looks don't make you sound good, but it's a fact that many people hear with their eyes & I need all the help I can get (with my playing and my looks). I'm sure that Godin's intention is the same with this La Patrie, a flashy guitar to take out when you are wearing a suit.
 

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These are thin body nylon string guitars with pickups. I do not think the composition of the back and sides really matter as these guitars are meant to be amplified.
 

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I see that the Flame Maple version comes with upgraded electronics and a Richlite fretboard which would have a bearing on the price.
 

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I'm looking at picking one of these up as my next purchase so I was doing a bit of research. These guitars are absolutely beautiful and come in mahogany, flame maple and wild cherry. I have no interest in wild cherry but thought flame maple might be an interesting choice as I have a few solid mahogany guitars.

Below is the pricing info from Cosmo music - the flame maple is roughly $200 more. This is where things get strange. I couldn't find anywhere that it was solid back and sides so I emailed La Patrie and they confirmed:

"The Arena Flame Maple has laminated flame maple back and sides while the Arena Mahogany has solid mahogany back and sides." Who would pay more for laminate?

Mahogany - MSRP - $930
Guitar Classical La Patrie Arena Mahogany CW QIT - Classical Guitars - Right Handed - Classical Guitars - Guitars & Amps | Cosmo Music

Flame Maple - MSRP - $1,195
Guitar Classical La Patrie Arena Fl Mpl CW Crescent II - Classical Guitars - Right Handed - Classical Guitars - Guitars & Amps | Cosmo Music
The laminate woods used in guitar design are not necessarily a bad thing. Laminated sides are used on many high-end classical guitars. Michael Greenfield also uses laminated sides on his guitars and they cost well over $ 12,000. If done right, the reason is that they wanted a stiff guitar build in some areas and thus have a better resonance and a better control of the solid spruce top. It's a nicer sounding guitar too. Choice maple is always good.
 

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Someone who loves the look of flame maple?
The look of beauty is not a bad thing. The laminate woods used in guitar design are not necessarily a bad thing. Laminated sides are used on many high-end classical guitars. Michael Greenfield also uses laminated sides on his guitars and they cost well over $ 12,000. If done right, the reason might be that they wanted a stiff guitar build in some areas and thus have a better resonance and a better control of the solid spruce top. Sometimes if it looks good, it is good.
 

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Personally I don't see richlite fretboards as anything to brag about. I won't buy a guitar with one.

Richlite is made from post-consumer recycled paper. Sheets of paper are stacked up and saturated with a phenolic resin, then heat and pressure are applied.

It's a fretboard made from recycled newspaper.
 

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Yeah, to hell with sustainability!...
 
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