Figured Maple and Quilted Maple Tops! - What is the differen - Jemsite
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-06-2001, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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Figured Maple and Quilted Maple Tops! - What is the differen

I have a 1996 USRG30. In the 1996 Ibanez catalog, it says that it has a AAA figured maple top. I always thought my USRG had a quilted maple top. What does a AAA figured maple top mean and how does it differ from a quilted top? Thanks, Zab.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-06-2001, 02:19 PM
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Figured Maple and Quilted Maple Tops!

I believe that "figured" maple is a term that encompasses both "flamed" and "quilted" maple.

It's probably there in the catalogue to cover Ibanez in case they made some flame tops as well as some quilt tops. the AAA is the grading system that is used to determine the extent and quality of the figuring, the more A's the better.

(Edited by jono at 8:20 am on April 6, 2001)
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-06-2001, 02:51 PM
 
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Figured Maple and Quilted Maple Tops!

I believe quilted has more of an egg shape to all the patterns, whereas the firgured is more of a hap-hazard pattern. *Some lines, some eggs, some random goofy-ness.

Just curious--What color is your USRG?
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-06-2001, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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Figured Maple and Quilted Maple Tops!

I have the butterscotch USRG. Also, the catalog says it has an alder body. But mine looks like it would be *mahogany back.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-06-2001, 03:03 PM
 
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Figured Maple and Quilted Maple Tops!

I always thought that "figured" was a general term for a maple top... and then it gets more descriptive as it's broken down into quilts, flames, burls, etc. *So the term "figured" just means that there is some sort of design or carving or whatever on the maple... and the terms "flame" or "quilt" or whatever, would be the type of figuring.

To compare that in the most basic of terms... it's like biology whereas we are all humans... and then we can be further categorized as men, women, Jemsiters, etc. *

Make sense?
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-06-2001, 07:37 PM
 
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Figured Maple and Quilted Maple Tops!

C'est possible!
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-09-2001, 04:28 PM
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Figured Maple and Quilted Maple Tops!

[rant] I'm really sick of the name game played by guitar companies. They would have you believe that A MAPLE TREE was grown in a laboratory and designated to be AAAA Quilt or AAAA Flame when in fact some lumber workers getting paid $10/hour cut this, loaded it to a truck by the TON, and eventually the tree filtered down to the guitar factories. Maybe some were even bought from paper companies or other tree harvesters. I know PRS does not own land in the rainforest and cannot outspend International PaperŪ for wood! But ultimately when these guitar mills get the final body, they still must sort and pick thru the raw lumber (how carefully is anyone's guess). From there there are many more steps.

Now does anyone still believe a AAAAA figured top is anything more than some BS marketing pitch to yuppies?

HINT - There is NO proof that a figured or "AAAA" top makes for a better guitar, in regard to sound or quality. In fact it might sound worse and look worse. Natural wood finishes, like any art is subjective and ultimately the quality is determined by the owner, NOT the seller. [/rant]
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-10-2001, 03:02 AM
 
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Figured Maple and Quilted Maple Tops!

Figured term is relative. All maple woods and their figures (flame, birdseye, burl, quilted, spalted, etc) come from Maple Suger Trees (Acer Saccharum). The figure depends on the section of the tree, age, climate or rot (and pure luck of the cut). I have pieces of highly figured spalted maple with a strain of quilted running through (that's my AAAAAAAA top!). I've seen quilted and flame running together and overlap. Depends on the cut. Figured is a term to cover maple with a pattern regardless of how little, but predominantly covers quilted and flame. The specific terms are there to cover the specific pattern. Such as, there are other woods other than maple than can be quilted, spalted or burled (i.e. spalted beech or burled walnut). Hope this helps!
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-10-2001, 03:22 AM
 
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Figured Maple and Quilted Maple Tops!

Stop.

This has pissed me off since I first saw it, now I'm at a boil.

There are 5 grades to figured woods. *(A, AA, AAA, AAAA, and AAAAA). *There is no such thing as a "10 A top" (Mr. Reed Smith) and there is no such thing as a "20 A top" (Mr. Reed Smith). *

Dirk's correct in the term "figured". *Ironicaly, the figured woods come from the f'ed up looking trees. *If you saw a "quilted maple tree" in the forrest, you'd say, "Dude! *How close *is* that nuclear power plant?!?!?". *Not pretty.

The woods used for our bodies/necks are the kind that Glen suggested- cut by a "sawyer" in some forrest in the Northwest (usually) and packed on a truck, cut at a plant, and shipped to companies (paper, guitar, furniture, etc.) *The sawyers don't sip cappafrappachino latte's and go, "Earl- that looks like it'd make a FINE maple top on something. *Let's go cut it down and send it to Ethan Allen so their shop can make it into a lovely coffee table!". *I'll pilot the Shuttle before that happens. *These guys are out to cut trees. *That's really all they do. *No discression.

Ibanez (and other companies) go to wood suppliers and pick out what they'd like. *They leave the crap behind for furniture or paper or whatever.

HOW TO DETERMINE THE ***REAL*** A-NUMBER ON YOUR PRS:
Take the number told to you by the dolt at GC/store.
Divide that number by 2.
Now you have your REAL A-number.

If PRS gets any "higher quality" tops, I'll have to change my shorts when I see them, and the number to divide by will grow (5....10...20...).
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-10-2001, 08:36 PM
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Figured Maple and Quilted Maple Tops!

Not all maple comes from the saccharum species, I believe things like "michigan big leaf" maple from PRS's stable are actually from Acer macrophyllum

Also I think I read somewhere that a 10 top doesn't refer to the number of "A"s but to wood from the most highly 10% of the stock that PRS has in. But thias could be total bull.

However, I do remember reading in "guitarist" magazine that a lot of pro guitarists reckon the more regular grain of a non-figured top gives a more resonant guitar!!!
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-10-2001, 09:40 PM
 
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Figured Maple and Quilted Maple Tops!

Who Cares?

They look peeerty :mc:
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-10-2001, 11:53 PM
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Figured Maple and Quilted Maple Tops!

buyer profile:
  • "10" top audience: fool with cash looking to impress non-guitarists
  • plain maple top: player looking for tone
sue me for generalizing ...glen
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-10-2001, 11:57 PM
 
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Figured Maple and Quilted Maple Tops!

Quote:
Quote: from jemsite on 10:53 pm on April 10, 2001
buyer profile:
  • "10" top audience: fool with cash looking to impress non-guitarists
  • plain maple top: player looking for tone
sue me for generalizing ...glen
I'm an RG7-CST owner. *I guess that makes me both. *:-)
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-11-2001, 12:09 AM
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Figured Maple and Quilted Maple Tops!

maybe it's my judgement, but those are no way near a AAAAA top of a boutique guitar. Not even close to my eye. That said it seems obvious that the manufacturers seems to believe the figured top is required to justify/assist sales. Bah... glen
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-11-2001, 02:52 AM
 
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Figured Maple and Quilted Maple Tops!

Kevan, you're right. Most woodsuppliers love to overrate their woods. My wood supplier doesn't have a rating system. As he said "if you love it, then it doesn't matter what rating it is".

Jono - Yeah, there are the other maple species, but I've mostly dealt with the common suger tree vareity with my shop. Though, I do have a few boards of western rock maple that are pretty nice. IMHO, maple is one of the most boring woods for tops when it comes to exotic tops. I favor Chok Te Cote, Lacewood, and Snakewood (though it's waaaaaaaaaaaay expensive) for interesting/unique tops.
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acoustic guitar , alder body , guitar body , guitar playing , ibanez catalog , les paul , locking nut , mahogany body , quilted maple , reed smith

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