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Discussion in 'Historics & Reissues' started by ONEHERO, Sep 15, 2017.
How to tell if it's eastern or western maple!? I have a Cherry and also a Dark Burst
If when you play it, it sounds a bit uppity and entitled, it's eastern; if on the other hand it sounds a bit loose and liberal, it's western.
For looks, I like the organic one as opposed to the symmetrical one....
Uppity and entitled.....LOL !!!
The eastern maple is more organic because of the varied growing seasons ....start and stop...or winter and summer....Western is going to be more consistent because the seasons don't have that big winter swing, like here in Michigan....That's one way to look at it....
But that's a generalized answer....
LOL!!! you might ask Gibson ??? both imo are E maple .... WBL looks different . As answered on the other forum ... Big Al gave a fine answer ...
How the wood is cut males a huge difference in what flame you see and get . The dark burst appears(without close up pics to see the grain) Quarter Sawn . The Cherry Burst appears to be a mix of cuts . In the very center it's Quarter Sawn then outwardly it turns into a flat or plain Sawn( I don't recall the differences of the names, so don't hold me the names)
IIRC there is a Sticky about grain posted on the top in this section ? .... Name the Grain ????
Nice guitars , btw ...
Frank Zappa says.....
The most help you'll get is - whichever it happens to be is irrelevant. The guitar looks and sounds like it does, and won't be changed based on whether the top wood is ID'd as one type or another.
Of course I know it won't change anything...but I simply am trying to learn about the subject as the descriptive wording were not clear to me
Here are more pics of the wood up close
Shut up and play yer guitar!
All Quilt is Western Big Leaf.
All Eastern used on Les Pauls covers both Eastern Hard Rock (Sugar) Maple & Soft Red Maple (which was used on many Bursts along with EHRM).
Apart form actually handling the Lumber & learning from a good Luthier who knows what he is doing, this is a great data base to use: -
I have had all Maple options & prefer Western Big Leaf & Soft Red Maples, EHRM has some cool vibe though.
Really depends on the specific piece of Maple, the Guitar & the builder. My Custom Singlecut has a Flamed Western Big Leaf Maple Top & IMHO it is way better than any Les Paul I have had..........but some Luthiers do not like Western Big Leaf. It really depends how you use it & how seasoned it is etc.
If you like to see what the specific cuts of Maple (& other Woods are) here is a good pic: -
Last but not least, from my own personal perspective, plant more Trees & treat each Log with respect. The amount of Trees we have removed off this Planet in the last 100 years is just mind blowing.
RAG, Thank you for sharing that diagram of those different ways to saw wood. It's the best demonstration I have seen explaining the differences. Cheers!
Welcome XW , anytime..............we all have to learn somewhere.
Seconded, that was a great read.
The Dark Burst is an all Quarter Sawn top ,imo . Nice .
Yes, but is it Eastern?
Look, I'm a Horticulturalist and even I am going to find hard to tell......and even harder to know why it matters. ID'ing a tree from wood is tough if you're picking close species in a Genus without anything to guide you. Especially when you are looking at a painted finish and can see no endgrain to look at grain/pore structure (a way for example of telling Braz vs other rosewoods)
Especially useless given that Eastern is not an individual tree but an amalgamation of a few species. I mean you're not really narrowing it down any. Nor are you gaining any actual knowledge......if its one of a few species then the individual attribute range of the wood is still just as unknown as before.
Thanks for your reply!
It's just that people were mocking me for not knowing how to differentiate between eastern or western and it seems it's one of those dilemmas many get stumped at
I believe your answer lies in the Mineralization of the grain.
Eastern Maple vs. Western Maple, probably not, but
slow growing Hard Maple vs. fast growing Soft Maple,
and there associated Species,
(which is really the distinction Gibson was making)
In slow growing Hard Maple the xylem and phloem that
make up the grain, are sapwood for a longer time, before
becoming Heartwood, and have more time to develop
Mineral Deposits leached from the soil the tree was growing
in. This transformation from Sapwood to Heartwood occurs
more quickly in the faster growing Soft Maple, and the
deposits have less time to form.
This is from the Link below…
"In many species, only the youngest wood carries water and
nutrients throughout the plant; this is called sapwood.
As the tree ages, the older inner portions of the sapwood
are infiltrated by oils, gums, resins, tannins, and other
chemical compounds. When the cells die, the sapwood
has been converted to heartwood, often darker in colour
than the sapwood. Heartwood, although dead, typically
persists for the life of the tree and affords structural strength
unless diseased and can serve as a reservoir of water for
For more information, please refer to the Link:
As the Sapwood transitions to Heartwood, it
becomes what we refer to as “Grain” and in
the grain is where we would look for the
Mineralization. Somewhat of a slippery slope.
If the soil that the tree was growing in was not
heavily Mineralized, then even a slow growing
Hard Maple would not show signs of Mineralization
in the grain.
I prefer N/W.
Not being an expert on wood types , I didn't opine ,,, but if you really need to know , then going by Gibson it's Eastern .... I'd agree with that, from the looks of the top . But my disclaimer should be considered for what it's worth ...
More of a point , is ., IMO, what difference does it make ? If you like the guitar and it checks all the boxes for you ... That's what's important ....
"It's just that people were mocking me for not knowing how to differentiate between eastern or western and it seems it's one of those dilemmas many get stumped at"
New people might be in order ??? I get the collecting "thing" side of having knowledge about what you have ,,, but ........Mocking those who don't know something , instead of teaching , should tell you something ...Small minds , tend to think alike ....Small.
Good thing ,,,, MLP doesn't have many Small minded people here
Mocking you without themselves being able to identify the wood as Eastern / Western?
What Jamman said.