Any difference between regular S and S with flamed maple? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 217
Any difference between regular S and S with flamed maple?

I've been wanting a late 80's/early 90's S series for years now - in particular, the flamed maple models caught my eye. I'm finally in a position to buy one at the right price, but I've never had the opportunity to play the FM models. I understand they're slightly thicker due to the maple on the top and back, but is there any audible difference? Will an S540 and S540FMTT with identical electronics sound more or less the same? Is all I'm paying for with the FM cosmetics?

To me, tone and playability are King and Queen. I'm very particular about getting rich, warm, but articulate tone with the ease of playability a thin Fender/PRS/Ibanez neck and body have to offer. If, say, I find a solid color S540 in very good condition for $600 and a comparable S540FM for $700-800, should I just go with the S540?
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 04:16 PM
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 1,205
Reviews: 12
Re: Any difference between regular S and S with flamed maple?

my guess... you're paying more for the FM + gold hardware... how can one resist the oval abalone inlays and flame maple? :P
the FM's have very thin veneers on the front and back, so not quite sure if that really adds tone to the guitar; but makes the guitar a tad bit lighter...
$700 - $800 is kinda on the steep side for an FM; unless it's never been played/out of the case for the past 10 - 15 years

For reference, i got my FMTK at the 'bay for $500 shipped w/o a case @year ago. Last week, came across a solid black '95 540 at a pawn shop for roughly the same price... but i'm sure that can be haggled

To answer your question, if there's any difference in tone from the FM to non-FM models, i guess it boils down to the pickups used... so QM's vs IBZ/USA...


Last edited by reguv760; 11-09-2010 at 05:19 PM.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 04:21 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 217
Re: Any difference between regular S and S with flamed maple?

Thanks, reguv, I figured that was the case. I used to be a regular here and was therefore more up on my knowledge of S's than I am now. Those prices I ballpark'd reflect the current going rates on the bay...surprising considering the state of the economy! But I'll keep looking
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s540 , s540fm , s540fmtt

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