ARX500: veneer or real maple cap? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-18-2010, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
 
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ARX500: veneer or real maple cap?

I'm curious about these guitars MIC AR guitars. They have a quilted maple top. Is that a:

- veneer over something besides maple (mahogany/alder/plywood)?

- veneer over an actual plain grain maple cap?

- not a veneer at all, an actual quilted 3/4 inch cap?

Chinese made suggests the first option. The price (as compared to an Agile Les Paul copy) suggests the other two. Can anyone confirm this? I've tried and there's just not a lot of info out there about these. And if you're wondering why I care about a maple cap, google it!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-19-2010, 08:26 AM
 
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Re: ARX500: veneer or real maple cap?

The website says that the current models use a quilted maple top over a mahogany body. It doesn't specify that it's a veneer, which I believe (though I am not 100 percent sure) they are obligated to do.

The last ART I played was a similar config, and it sounded as though it was encased in plastic. Can't speak to the Agiles as I haven't played one.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-19-2010, 08:46 AM
 
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Re: ARX500: veneer or real maple cap?

Considering it was described as either a quilted maple top or even a carved maple top (over mahognay) I presume the ARX500 had a proper maple top, perhaps not 3/4inch, but at least enough to allow the carve.

When Ibanez uses veneers they would specify those as such. I don't know what MIC has to do with it, there are plenty of MIC all maple/all flamed maple artcores. There are more maple trees in China than in Japan, you know

It's not in the 2010 catalogue though, so they're being discounted.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-19-2010, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: ARX500: veneer or real maple cap?

Quote:
Originally Posted by eviltwin View Post
Considering it was described as either a quilted maple top or even a carved maple top (over mahognay) I presume the ARX500 had a proper maple top, perhaps not 3/4inch, but at least enough to allow the carve.

When Ibanez uses veneers they would specify those as such. I don't know what MIC has to do with it, there are plenty of MIC all maple/all flamed maple artcores. There are more maple trees in China than in Japan, you know

It's not in the 2010 catalogue though, so they're being discounted.
I've been researching various Les Paul copies lately. I've come away with a better appreciation for why real ones and the higher-end copies are so much more expensive.

What does MIC have to do with it? MIC = budget model.

Let me put it this way. Actual maple caps that are figured in some way, where the flame or quilt actually goes through the whole cap are rarer than you'd think. The deeper you dig, the more you find that most of the copies out there are veneer. You also find a pretty noticible price increase once you get an actual cap. An Edwards LP-130 (Edwards is a sub-brand of ESP) has an actual thick flamed maple cap. The models below that are all plain maple caps with flame veneer. The price difference is around $500. Same thing with Tokai, not all of those have an actual figured cap.

Epiphone Les Pauls, which are currently MIC, don't really even have a cap. Its actually a piece of alder, some combination of alder and maple, or worse yet, ply wood! Any flame top is a veneer. I have a '94 Epi. This one is MIK. This was actually my first guitar. I took out the neck pickup and looked for myself. The "cap" is some sort of wood, but it ain't maple and its pretty obvious the light flame top is a veneer.

None of these are advertised as having veneer, so unless Ibanez is just exceptionally honest or plays by different rules, "maple top" is pretty meaningless. So is "carved" because you can carve plywood. If someone actually cared to have an actual thick cap, unfortunately they'd have to do their research. The only reason I know these have veneer is because I've lurked on forums where people have posted pictures with the neck pickup removed showing the veneer.

That, and you can usually spot veneers pretty easily vs. an actual maple tops.

Last edited by RedTiger; 03-19-2010 at 10:47 AM.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-22-2010, 02:52 PM
 
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Re: ARX500: veneer or real maple cap?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedTiger View Post
That, and you can usually spot veneers pretty easily vs. an actual maple tops.
If it were easy we wouldn't be in this thread discussing whether the ARX has a solid maple top or not. Plenty of people mistakenly assumed the RT's "gravure" tops were real...

Most ads for the ARX500/320 refer to the maple top as "carved" which leads me to believe that this was in the official marketing documentation sent by Ibanez. If they say it's a carved top there is no reason to believe otherwise. A thick maple cap would be visible in the pup cavity, but a maple cap with a quilt veneer not so easily.

Also note that the aforementioned artcore hollowbodies are laminated, as are their Gibson and other expensive counterparts, but that Ibanez has just introduced solid top versions: the SS500 and SJ500. Both are basically MIC GB alternatives, proving that it can be done (no flametop though).

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