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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
 
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Prestige RG question..

I've got a 1999 RG 3120. Mahogany body with a maple top. Here are my questions..

Is it a legit maple top?
Why do some have a vaneer?
What the heck is a veneer?
Is there a difference in tone, looks, quality, and feel between a veneer and true maple cap?

Thanks for any info. I've been looking for a sister to my 3120, something like an RG Premium, RG1420F, or maybe even a JPM. Something similar you know?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 04:29 PM
 
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Re: Prestige RG question..

A veneer top is usually only a few mm thick, maybe 2 or 3. A "legit" top might be 20 mm thick. The RGA420Z has a 17 mm top for example. You also pay top dollar for it. The nice thing about a veneer is you get the awesome looks without the high price. As far as tone is concerned, a veneer isn't going to affect it. A "legit" top generally makes the guitar sound a little brighter. Mahogany and maple are basically opposites on the tonal spectrum btw.

The new RG Premiums have a veneer top. If they had a solid maple top, they'd cost at least double if not triple. Rich should be posting his opinion on the Premiums soon, he just got a bunch of them.

EDIT:
Scroll down a few posts to Rich's.

Last edited by xXLinkageXx; 03-01-2011 at 06:56 PM.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Prestige RG question..

Yeah I've been following Richs posts on them. I'm torn between the premium and the 1420F. Main reason is the 1420 sports the Edge Pro which is my favorite trem and it's a Prestige, while the premium has the offset markers and slightly lower price tag. Both have veneers.

Dammit man..
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 05:00 PM
 
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Re: Prestige RG question..

Quote:
Originally Posted by xXLinkageXx View Post
A veneer top is usually only a few mm thick, maybe 2 or 3. A "legit" top might be 20 mm thick. The RGA420Z has a 17 mm top for example. You also pay top dollar for it. The nice thing about a veneer is you get the awesome looks without the high price. As far as tone is concerned, a veneer isn't going to affect it. A "legit" top generally makes the guitar sound a little brighter. Mahogany and maple are basically opposites on the tonal spectrum btw.

The new RG Premiums have a veneer top. If they had a solid maple top, they'd cost at least double if not triple. Rich should be posting his opinion on the Premiums soon, he just got a bunch of them.
Agreed!! the top on your 3120 is about 4mm thick. That USED to be considered a veneer, but now with the 1mm veneer's on guitars (like the 920) the 3120 is considered to have a "top".
IMO, you wouldn't want a full top (more than 7mm) on a basswood guitar. the tone could be very brittle and hard to control. Note: the 420z is a mahogany guitar with maple top just like your RG3120.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 05:02 PM
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Re: Prestige RG question..

Actually, a veneer is up to 1mm. Standard Ibanez maple "top" is 4mm, up to 7mm that were on a few of the older JC models, but not typical. The only reason you get a 17mm top on an RGA is because it's carved down to 4mm on the edges.

A "top" is supposed to be thick enough to affect tone. A veneer, if it affects tone or not would take Eric Johnson ears to detect, but is mainly there to be decorative.

3120 is 4mm.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Prestige RG question..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich View Post
Actually, a veneer is up to 1mm. Standard Ibanez maple "top" is 4mm, up to 7mm that were on a few of the older JC models, but not typical. The only reason you get a 17mm top on an RGA is because it's carved down to 4mm on the edges.

A "top" is supposed to be thick enough to affect tone. A veneer, if it affects tone or not would take Eric Johnson ears to detect, but is mainly there to be decorative.

3120 is 4mm.
Lol right, because supposedly he can tell the difference between batteries?
Anyways my concern was that a veneer was like a laminate floor, designed to look like nice wood but actually some cheesy imitation.

Rich, if you had a choice between the 1420 or a premium, and cost wasn't a factor, which would you choose?
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 05:11 PM
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Re: Prestige RG question..

Wow, that's a coin flip.

I like the quilt and colors of the Premium far better, but the Edge Pro over the EZ2, even though I think it's going to be "decent" trem. The 1400's are also multi piece bodies and the 920's are 2 piece.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Prestige RG question..

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Originally Posted by Rich View Post
Wow, that's a coin flip.

I like the quilt and colors of the Premium far better, but the Edge Pro over the EZ2, even though I think it's going to be "decent" trem. The 1400's are also multi piece bodies and the 920's are 2 piece.
Yeah I guess you're right!! Rich is your place open to the public as far as stopping by to play guitars? I'm going to be passing thru jersey soon..
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 06:01 PM
 
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Re: Prestige RG question..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich View Post
Actually, a veneer is up to 1mm. Standard Ibanez maple "top" is 4mm, up to 7mm that were on a few of the older JC models, but not typical. The only reason you get a 17mm top on an RGA is because it's carved down to 4mm on the edges.

A "top" is supposed to be thick enough to affect tone. A veneer, if it affects tone or not would take Eric Johnson ears to detect, but is mainly there to be decorative.

3120 is 4mm.
I've never been able to find a solid definition of a top vs. a veneer, so your definition is as good as gold. I've always thought the difference to be whether or not you can bend the "cap" material to a contour. If you can- it's a veneer. If you can't- its a top. My logic is obviously subjective knowing that, with the right equipment, any piece of wood can be bent to any contour... regardless of the thickness. My logic does seem to work well in terms of guitar building though............
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 07:50 PM
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Re: Prestige RG question..

Wiki says "less than 3mm", but if you look at anything that is veneered, mainly furniture, guitars, etc, the veneer is under up to 1mm. I remember going to a shop in NYC when I was a wee lad with my dad who was buying exotic veneers for some project he was working on [was always something] and it was a huge place with couple foot high stacks of 4'x8' sheets of 1mm [by my memory] everywhere they would fit, of just about any kind of exotic you could think of. [Mom used to do mosaics with wood chips and had boxes and boxes of all these exotic naturally colored woods she would use so I hd a pretty good knowledge of wierd woods even as a pip squeak].
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 08:04 PM
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Re: Prestige RG question..

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Originally Posted by metalguy View Post
Yeah I guess you're right!! Rich is your place open to the public as far as stopping by to play guitars? I'm going to be passing thru jersey soon..
By appointment, more warehouse than anything, it's not exactly comfortable for visitors [or even me sometimes]. And nothing is ever setup till it's going out the door so it's not like just pulling something off a rack ready to play, they're just inspected and sitting in boxes until sold.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Prestige RG question..

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By appointment, more warehouse than anything, it's not exactly comfortable for visitors [or even me sometimes]. And nothing is ever setup till it's going out the door so it's not like just pulling something off a rack ready to play, they're just inspected and sitting in boxes until sold.
Where in Jersey are you?
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 09:12 PM
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Re: Prestige RG question..

Generally, 10 miles SE from PHL. Specifically, email me
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2011, 09:30 PM
 
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Re: Prestige RG question..

A lot of good comments here. To answer specifically ... it is not a legit maple top - some have veneer to give enhance the appearance of the guitar to resemble appointments that would be found on more expensive guitars - veneer is, as other have explained, an ultra thin wood coat that covers the top of the existing body or wood - there is a difference in tone between veneer and a maple cap.

It is subjective as to how much of a difference a maple cap on Mahogany makes, however, it is clear that a maple veneer on a Mahogany body is attempting to draw guitarists interested in the Les Paul and or PRS styling and presenting the guitar as having a heavier tone. I think that the RG body mass in Mahogany could give a nice thick tone in combination with the ToneZone and PafPro that should be on board.
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