"Select" is generally used in the industry to indicate "laminate." Some manufacturers drop the "select" and just say "spruce."
This is (understandably) confusing to a buyer, so we at Luna must break with convention, and tell it like it is.
Select = Laminate. Laminated wood is comprised of several thin layers of wood glued together.
However, the main issue is how it sounds. Not all solid-top instruments are better than all select (laminate) instruments.
There's so much variation in the quality of solid woods, laminates, and construction... in fact, there's an entire continuum of other factors that contribute to, or detract from a guitar's potential sound quality. Particularly at the entry level, these variations often overpower the pure difference between whether the guitar's top is made of laminate or solid wood.
Our best advice is to get your hands on some Lunas and judge for yourself. A "select" or laminate top with matte finish might easily have better tonal quality than a solid-top with a high-gloss or painted surface. A dreadnought-size select top may well sound subjectively "better" than a parlor-size with a solid top — as the volume of air in the guitar's body chamber has so much to do with perceived fullness, and volume, of sound.
You can hear Vicki Genfan playing a "select" top 12-string here. Taken with a simple video camera, it sounds simply amazing! This primitive recording certainly makes the point that "select" (laminate) is no sonic pushover!
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