Most attractive top woods

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by fretnot, Jul 13, 2005.


Most Attractive Electric Guitar Top Woods

Poll closed Dec 31, 1969.
  1. Flamed Maple

    52 vote(s)
    28.3%
  2. Quilted Maple

    50 vote(s)
    27.2%
  3. Plain Maple

    7 vote(s)
    3.8%
  4. Spalted Maple

    23 vote(s)
    12.5%
  5. Birdseye Maple

    6 vote(s)
    3.3%
  6. Koa

    37 vote(s)
    20.1%
  7. Lacewood

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. Cocobolo

    5 vote(s)
    2.7%
  9. Bubinga

    4 vote(s)
    2.2%
  10. Other...

    27 vote(s)
    14.7%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. fretnot

    fretnot Gold Supporting Member

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    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?
     
  2. DerekMinnich

    DerekMinnich Member

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    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.
     
  3. decay-o-caster

    decay-o-caster Member

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    Birch. Oh my - just breathtaking in a warm translucent finish.
     
  4. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    You didn't mention ... Acoustic or Electric so here are some pics of tops of two guitars in the making for me.

    [​IMG]
    Spalted Flamed Maple

    [​IMG]
    Can you say bookmatched Bearclaw!
    [​IMG]
     
  5. realmpel

    realmpel Supporting Member

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    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
     
  6. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    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.

    [​IMG]

    Bryan
     
  7. afterosmosis

    afterosmosis Member

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    I really like the looks of Zebrawood.
     
  8. DamianP

    DamianP Member

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    The type that has paint on it.:eek:
     
  9. oscar100

    oscar100 Supporting Member

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    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

    [​IMG]
     
  10. MOJO

    MOJO Member

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    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
     
  11. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    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...
     
  12. onehandfretting

    onehandfretting Member

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    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.
     
  13. jamess

    jamess Silver Supporting Member

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    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.
     
  14. onehandfretting

    onehandfretting Member

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    Hey oscar100,

    This is gorgeous!

    [​IMG]


    (edit) Figured out what it is: Brazilian Rosewood. Awesome!:dude

    -Bobby
     
  15. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    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.

    [​IMG]

    Bryan
     
  16. Jim Soloway

    Jim Soloway Supporting Member

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    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.
     
  17. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    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

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  18. pesocaster

    pesocaster Member

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    something about Koa......

    Hamer Mirage 1

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

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    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
     
  20. edgarallanpoe

    edgarallanpoe Member

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    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.

    [​IMG]
     

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