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Most attractive top woods

Most Attractive Electric Guitar Top Woods

  • Flamed Maple

    Votes: 52 28.3%
  • Quilted Maple

    Votes: 50 27.2%
  • Plain Maple

    Votes: 7 3.8%
  • Spalted Maple

    Votes: 23 12.5%
  • Birdseye Maple

    Votes: 6 3.3%
  • Koa

    Votes: 37 20.1%
  • Lacewood

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Cocobolo

    Votes: 5 2.7%
  • Bubinga

    Votes: 4 2.2%
  • Other...

    Votes: 27 14.7%

  • Total voters
    184
  • Poll closed .

fretnot

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,355
Being blessed with so many awesome builders that build such unique and awesome guitars, it seems like every day you see a new guitar that you want. My question is: What is the most aesthetically pleasing wood for an electric guitar top?
 

DerekMinnich

Member
Messages
2,182
Flamed maple is absolutely beautiful, but there is a lot of variation. Flamed red wood and quilted mahogony is also fabulous looking. Koa is nice. I hate quilted maple personally.
 

r9player

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,832
You didn't mention ... Acoustic or Electric so here are some pics of tops of two guitars in the making for me.


Spalted Flamed Maple


Can you say bookmatched Bearclaw!
 

realmpel

Member
Messages
65
I dig the koa. I especially like the variety of koa. Tight flames, wide quilty rolls, and every color under the sun. Good stuff.

~Kev
 

Bryan T

guitar owner
Double Platinum Member
Messages
19,984
If I can convince the builder to use it, I'm planning to custom order a guitar with a Macassar Ebony top. It can be absolutely breath-taking, but isn't used very often on electric guitar tops, though I've played a number of acoustics that use it for the backs and sides.



Bryan
 

oscar100

Member
Messages
1,292
koa

koa

koa

koa

you get the idea

and i also love flamed redwood.......and braz rosewood -

check em out -

they are all going to be thorns

burle maple too

 

MOJO

Member
Messages
3,354
i've never met a piece of figured wood i didn't like :D

impossible to answer for me with conviction.. but if i had to say something....Probably Koa..no 2 pieces ever look exactly the same and each piece seems to have it's own unique character
 

Dave Orban

Member
Messages
16,866
Personally, I prefer a *lightly* flamed maple... of course, the Baker I just bought is anything but lightly flamed... LOL!

I also like spruce, and lightly ribboned mahogany. They actually appeal to me more than any maple...
 
Messages
154
Originally posted by Bryan T
If I can convince the builder to use it, I'm planning to custom order a guitar with a Macassar Ebony top. It can be absolutely breath-taking, but isn't used very often on electric guitar tops, though I've played a number of acoustics that use it for the backs and sides.



Bryan
Hey Bryan,

I had the same idea you've got about an ebony top. Not to discourage you (hopefully you've already got the wood), but I gave up after running into one dead end after another, trying to source ebony big enough to work as a top. I tried countless supplier and lumber yards all over the US and got the same answer: "all we have is stock large enough for fretboards." I was told that the supply of ebony (especially gaboon) has dried up.

Hopefully you've had better luck than I had. I'd love to see it when you're done. Please post pics once it's complete.
 

jamess

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,492
R9Player, your bearclaw acoustic top is incredible. It's very rare to find a piece of spruce that figured. Who's building it?

Like some of the others posted here, I am mesmerized by too many beautiful woods to pick a solid favorite. I love cocobolo and macassar ebony is stunning. Katalox is another figured beauty and it is naturally purplish. A deep quilt maple always gets my attention too.

Ron Thorn is currently building me a masterpiece with a 1-pc quilted redwood top that is out of this world (IMO). Sorry, I don't have pics yet but will soon enough.

Mother Nature does it right in fine wood.
 

Bryan T

guitar owner
Double Platinum Member
Messages
19,984
Originally posted by onehandfretting
Not to discourage you (hopefully you've already got the wood), but I gave up after running into one dead end after another, trying to source ebony big enough to work as a top.
I've got a few sources for wood, but I did a quick check of Allied Lutherie's site and they have several sets of Macassar intended for acoustic guitar use. I'm not 100% sure it is in stock, but they do have specific pictures of sets of wood that I think are for sale.

This set is intended for thes sides of an acoustic, so it probably isn't wide enough to do a top, but they also have several sets for backs that would definitely be wide enough.



Bryan
 

Jim Soloway

Member
Messages
14,294
Originally posted by Bryan T
If I can convince the builder to use it, I'm planning to custom order a guitar with a Macassar Ebony top. It can be absolutely breath-taking, but isn't used very often on electric guitar tops, though I've played a number of acoustics that use it for the backs and sides.



Bryan
Gorgeous. I'm looking for a couple pieces for our fall batch. Given the success we've had with rosewood, cocobolo, and bubinga, I think macassar should make a great top for a Swan.
 

r9player

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,832
Hi Jamess the guitar is a Barbarossa 000 with cutaway uses some gorgeos Walnut on the back and has a special double medieval dragon inlay (more pics) and slotted headstock.
Luthier is Jim Blilie
Here is his site, he has some really great bear claw and walnut available still.
Barbarossa Guitars




 

Bryan T

guitar owner
Double Platinum Member
Messages
19,984
Originally posted by Jim Soloway
Gorgeous. I'm looking for a couple pieces for our fall batch. Given the success we've had with rosewood, cocobolo, and bubinga, I think macassar should make a great top for a Swan.
Glad to hear it, as you were the builder I was referring to. I'm looking forward to trying out your guitars at the Santa Monica show.

Bryan
 

edgarallanpoe

Member
Messages
1,453
Redwood...I love it. Big, wide, flame, and a sound that is every bit as beautiful as it looks...

Far right...my Nik Huber Redwood Dolphin II. One piece Redwood over Korina...yeah baby.

 




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