Three Piece Guitar Blanks
I get some questions occasionally why I use a 3-piece construction for painting bodies.
The idea is that the centerpiece covers all of the main electronics of the guitar. It covers the neck pocket, pickups, and probably most importantly the trem cavities. In an early guitar that I built using a two piece construction, the seam was in a very awkward spot, basically right through one of the trem post insert holes. A friend of mine looked at it and commented how it would be better to have the entire center section of the guitar as one piece.
So that's how it started. The more I thought about it, the more that made sense. I asked a few people about it early on. They seem to think that the guitars built this way had better sustain overall. This makes sense, since the entire piece resonates through the electronics, trem, and neck. It is questionable how much of a difference this really makes, since Ibanez style bodies use a bolt on neck. Even so, the structure seems much more solid. It is more work to do it this way.
I understand how Ibanez uses a 2-piece construction, and most aftermarket bodies use a two piece construction. This is likely to just avoid the extra work of a 3-piece construction.
There is no real downside, other than one more glue seam. I'd rather have the seam in a place that is only cometic. Even though it is more work to build them this way, I consider it a superior construction.