Flamed or Plain? Your wood grain figuring preference...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by p.mo, Dec 8, 2016.

Flamed or Plain? Your preference...

  1. Flamed Body and Neck

    14 vote(s)
    19.2%
  2. Plain Body and Neck

    37 vote(s)
    50.7%
  3. Flamed Body | Plain Neck

    17 vote(s)
    23.3%
  4. Flamed Neck | Plain Body

    5 vote(s)
    6.8%
  1. p.mo

    p.mo Supporting Member

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    I've always been curious about what people look for in wood figuring. It's always been shocking to me to see how much more flamed wood costs. So, if you're looking for a guitar where the wood grain is visible, would you want your wood flamed or plain?
     
  2. p.mo

    p.mo Supporting Member

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    barf...

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. JeffK

    JeffK Member

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    Loves me some natural-finish, plain-top LP Custom

    (edit: not mine; just for our viewing pleasure)

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. AParrotLooksAt4O

    AParrotLooksAt4O Member

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    Couldn't care less about the neck. I like a nice grainy plain top, if that makes sense. Ash would be a good example.
     
  5. buddyboy69

    buddyboy69 Member

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    i think highly flamed/figured tops look good in pictures, but horrible in action on stage. I see it the same as the custom chopper/motorcycle craze that blew through not too long ago. I thought they looked cool as hell standing there but as soon as someone took it for a ride it looked rediculous. I prefer plain body. necks can go either way.
     
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  6. cap10kirk

    cap10kirk Member

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    I'm not a fan of flame tops. I prefer plain, although if I'm going to have a figured piece of wood, I do like spalted maple for the top of a body.
    I don't care either way for the neck, don't really see the point in figured necks. Then again, I prefer rosewood boards and painted headstocks (unless it's roasted maple, I do like the look of unfinished roasted maple). I do like rosewood boards that have some streaking/visible grain though, just because to me, that looks more natural than something that is exactly the same all the way through.
     
  7. Callaway 1

    Callaway 1 Member

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    Mild flames on the top like the original bursts had some of the AAAAA stuff out now looks almost photo shopped. I've had enough of the plain tops through the years now just something with a bit of character even some mineral streaks are fine. Neck just straight grains as straight as can be had, boards can be rosewood or maple not really picky,
     
  8. Sean French

    Sean French Supporting Member

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    Plain or mild wide flame. Never cared for uber flame, BBQ or quilt.
     
  9. QuickDraw

    QuickDraw Member

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    i like flame on a les paul top other than that, flame on the neck and solid color painted body.
     
  10. Carbohydrates

    Carbohydrates Member

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    Generally plaintop. I do have a PRS now with some great flame, but it's the exception - my plain maple, mahogany, and ash topped guitars look great and more "real", like they're more guitar than showpiece.

    Mahogany with a contrasting grain fill, like in the style of Gibson's TV finishes or Collings's Reverse Doghair, is a current favorite.

    Edit: and no quilt tops. There have been two or three that I've ever liked in my life and that's it.
     
  11. broken_sound

    broken_sound Silver Supporting Member

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    Les Paul....always plain top, plain neck
    F style.....always plain top, flame neck

    Although I can appreciate a nice flame or quilt, it's just not my thing at all.
     
  12. Ugly Bunny

    Ugly Bunny Supporting Member

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    Sadly, a lot of them ARE. Rarely do you see a guitar in real life that has the chatoyancy (tiger's eye effect of flame/quilt maple) that they look like they have in photos. In photos, they look like they'd be super dimensional and just change dramatically with every degree you turn it in real life. Now, SOME are like this, but a majoriy, even the high-end PRS, Gibson, Kiesel, Music Man, etc are just "meh" in real life.

    There was a thread on SSO where someone got some 7-string Kiesel (think it was an Aries) and Kiesel's social media team made it look bright, brilliant, gorgeous, high contrast, etc but the pic the dude posted of it (ie what it looked like in real life) was night and day - and it wasn't just because it wasn't a super nice DSLR camera (I think we've all somewhat learned to adjust our eyes and expectation to photos to get an idea of how close to "real" the thing looks). I commented that I'd be pissed if I ordered the guitar in the first pic (Kiesel's photo) and received the guitar in the second pic (buyer's photo). I guess it seems now like it was kind of a d*** thing to say, but in context it wasn't; and I'm sure I was more diplomatic.

    Anyway, the point is, I don't really care about flame/quilt anymore. If it's there, cool. But it's always a LOT nicer when it just kinda shows up than when you specifically order a flame neck and set your expectations high and then are let down. I like it when I am not expecting it and I happen to turn the guitar a certain way and it blows me away. But never again will I pay extra for a fancy wood top.
     
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  13. Jahn

    Jahn Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver Supporting Member

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    Usually I like solid colors. In fact, plain old black.

    But if the thing is see-through, gimme some fun.
     
  14. bossaddict

    bossaddict Supporting Member

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    For body, it depends on the guitar. I like both plain and flame on a Les Paul, flame on a PRS, and plain or custom color on others.

    I do love neck flame, though...

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. axe4me

    axe4me Member

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  16. 27sauce

    27sauce Supporting Member

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    I like them all. Mild, over the top, "realistic", or completely plain.

    I don't like quilt so much.
     
  17. Alex Najarian

    Alex Najarian Member

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    I like quilted the best on some guitars but I don't like it at all on a Les Paul. Flamed maple looks the best on a Les Paul. That is why they are the most valuable of that model. On a Fender Strat, I like either quilt or flame tops and the bird's eye maple on the neck (custom shop guitars). I have a translucent teal green Strat with ash body and the wood grain shows nicely. I do like the gold top Les Pauls and Stratocasters, although I don't own any.

    I prefer latina women or caramel mixed black. I figured that question is coming later in this thread so I chose to answer it now, in order to keep my post count down.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
  18. old goat

    old goat Member

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    congratulations for using the correct term "figure" rather than "grain" to describe the --I don't know any other way to say this--figure of a piece of wood.
     
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  19. Bluesful

    Bluesful Supporting Member

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    I like both, but there are some flames that are over the top that I wouldn't go for. The one I'd never touch is quilted.
     

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