is this "half and half" look enough to return Les Paul over?

BDW60

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you're completely right I picked "not a flamethrower" I wanted a subtle flame, a little flecks - like the dealer pic. I just got a little bit surprised how one side of it shaded and blanked out (while the other side is popping more than I really signed up for). The feedback here is really helpful. I happen to like the paint a lot, and it plays and sounds great (nut slots a little high but easily remedied). I feel 95% to keep it - I don't want to keep sending guitars back and forth from CA to Indiana only to wish in the end htat I kept the first one). thanks
I think it’s cool just the way it is. My things are stuff like: does it have any really obvious dead spots? Does it ring and sustain well? Does the neck angle look Ok? Does the board or binding have file marks? Does it have a rich tone acoustically or does it sound thin?

If it it passes those questions, I figure I‘ve won a mini lottery and accept the natural wood variations with no qualms. If you decide to keep it, those good qualities will win out and the top becomes a character maker.
 

jeffy

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It's called chatoyancy or cat's eye, flame, tiger stripes, etc... It's a fancy word for the 3D appearance of the wood grain. My 2012 flip-flops pretty drastically under certain lights. Under normal light, it's somewhere in between.

AM-JKLUDfLb6z9Up_xfgbnVMQv5ITBdbnF1qIK_wNdI0ujpfFvX6fHWNdp782_uC7TT-YHl1p-k6RHwhrvLYFLWgBnZZpzD1Bu7z6lKFnqmdBTsr0LKrUGMK8aNqlIh4xCHlF3PaE6sK8rssh5JS8WSx92Zg-A=w1055-h707-no

AM-JKLV_MtuRBeh-L729IyokYSIUbcbWRhOqUSFrpadSFKX9gU0IqnKJHlt7kUxGZCBIWqUNJcJBbV56mSrUndErIn9iCVyiqXLu2qNEmCdQ4-sOf9oPINwXCOqMQ0xvMo4Gf2ZMPnt6MOGaV2vE9eJvcM8iLg=w1055-h707-no
 
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Mismatched tops like that bug me. I really wish they didn't. I bought this on line several years ago and it was a really nice guitar but whenever I looked at it all I saw was the mismatch, so back it went. Still makes me sad.

8Je7W3z.jpg
 

AJK1

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Return it and get a Custom
They don’t have these issues lol
 

Peter M

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Is this "half and half" look enough to return Les Paul over?

If I loved its feel and tone, nope. As others have said, the best part of flame tops are their uniqueness. Also, the "peekaboo" characteristic, a.k.a chatoyancy, just adds to the guitar's personality.
 
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01GT Eibach

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The variance of the "flame" based on viewing angle, to me, is a cool thing. How a Les Paul can go from plain top to flame is an almost magical thing, reminding me of those old 3-D sports trading cards of long ago. HOWEVER, what I personally don't like is a prominent matching seam. It is clear that many people here value "the amount of flame" over "seam matching". Personally, I do not, as it make a highly flamed Les Paul even more "distracting to the eye". That is just my personal opinion, though. I have two Les Pauls, both of which have seams that are very well matched with one of them, in particular, looking almost like a one-piece top where you have to look very hard to even see a seam. I also have a '79 Kalamazoo-made SG Std purchased 40 years ago that is a true one-piece, and looks SO much better than the other multi-piece SGs of the day (I lucked into that one, though, as I knew nothing about Kalamazoo vs Nashville, top seams, etc. when I bought it). I learned to be "seam conscious" because of that SG, and I (thank God) still have it to this day.
 

coyote95667

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The variance of the "flame" based on viewing angle, to me, is a cool thing. How a Les Paul can go from plain top to flame is an almost magical thing, reminding me of those old 3-D sports trading cards of long ago. HOWEVER, what I personally don't like is a prominent matching seam. It is clear that many people here value "the amount of flame" over "seam matching". Personally, I do not, as it make a highly flamed Les Paul even more "distracting to the eye". That is just my personal opinion, though. I have two Les Pauls, both of which have seams that are very well matched with one of them, in particular, looking almost like a one-piece top where you have to look very hard to even see a seam. I also have a '79 Kalamazoo-made SG Std purchased 40 years ago that is a true one-piece, and looks SO much better than the other multi-piece SGs of the day (I lucked into that one, though, as I knew nothing about Kalamazoo vs Nashville, top seams, etc. when I bought it). I learned to be "seam conscious" because of that SG, and I (thank God) still have it to this day.
exactly yes - the way the seam draws the eye is sort of the issue, not the disappearing flame. But it has been an interesting 24 hours because when I first saw it I was instantly dismayed by the "two-face look", but I'm coming to see it as a cool thing since I've been playing it and looking at it a lot - just basically an attitude adjustment. The way the tone just bounces off it at every spot on the fretboard makes me embrace the way it looks I guess. Maybe I'll just raise the hanger on my wall by 2' and fix it that way
 
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I personally don’t have to have perfectly matched sides or even grain patters. I actually like some unique patterns or marks in plain tops. But I wouldn’t like looking at a top where half was flamed and half was pretty subdued. Unless I got a good deal or it had something very special about it (super light weight, “that” sound I wanted, etc) I would probably exchange it. Looks are only a small part of the equation, but if I had other options, I’d likely go that direction .
 

ehb

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When the 'book' of two slices of the same slab is 'opened' and laid flat, even though those two sections are from the same slab, the BOTTOM edge of the two slabs are at the middle.

Soooooooo, if the guitar is laying flat on the kitchen table with head to left and ass to your right when you are sitting at table, you are looking at the half close to you from top to bottom but the other half, you are looking BOTTOM to top as the BOTTOM of that half is closest to you. The grain of the two halves which can be almost identical will NOT capture light the same. Rotate the guitar so head is to your right and ass to left and if your head is at the same exact spot, the lighter/darker characteristics will probably be about identical as before even though the OPPOSITE half is closest to you. If first position, closest was lighter, then in this position closest to you will probably also appear the lightest due to skull and light source position being same for both orientations of guitar.

"Book Matched" - think of a book upright on its BINDING at spine. Open the book and lay out flat. The margin of left edge of page and margin of right edge of opposite page that WERE touching each other are now farthest AWAY from each other.... Opposite Orientation.....just like the top on that guitar...
 

coyote95667

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I personally don’t have to have perfectly matched sides or even grain patters. I actually like some unique patterns or marks in plain tops. But I wouldn’t like looking at a top where half was flamed and half was pretty subdued. Unless I got a good deal or it had something very special about it (super light weight, “that” sound I wanted, etc) I would probably exchange it. Looks are only a small part of the equation, but if I had other options, I’d likely go that direction .
not a unicorn featherweight but also not very many at sweetwater, reverb, wildwood, or anywhere else that are sub 9lb with a top I think I would like better. Sweetwater has a 9lb 3oz teaburst with wilder top but I believe it will be more two-faced than this one, and I prefer a little more understated. this one is under 9lb and sounds super good. its a tough call
 

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rjwilson37

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Looks sweet in that picture, not too much flame, just enough and the lower weight at 8.1 lbs how did you get away with that. Mine is just over 10 lbs, ugh! Haha

edit: oops, yep... 8 lbs 13.6 oz
 
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coyote95667

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They are all like this....
I'm sort of coming to that conclusion as I look at a TON of pics from online shops and reverb. To one degree or another they seem to have an angle where one side goes a bit flat (except megaflame tops). Some exceptions but most of the Standard 60s seem to have it somewhat. I think I've learned something. I guess Historics have maybe "better" or thicker maple tops bc I don't see it so often in those guitars.
 

ARandall

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^ Yeah.
The more flat the maple is (without figure) the more you get the two face look.
Highly figured maple separates this out into stripes, so no matter where you look at it from you still see stripes. So R8's and 9's with decent figure don't get that, but plainer R8's will have that depending on the individual cut of the slab.
And of course you never know with a piece of wood just how it will turn out after the carve. So there is no 'better wood for this' that gets isolated to the USA line vs the RI line.
 

CB91710

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^ Yeah.
The more flat the maple is (without figure) the more you get the two face look.
Highly figured maple separates this out into stripes, so no matter where you look at it from you still see stripes. So R8's and 9's with decent figure don't get that, but plainer R8's will have that depending on the individual cut of the slab.
And of course you never know with a piece of wood just how it will turn out after the carve. So there is no 'better wood for this' that gets isolated to the USA line vs the RI line.
And it gets a little more obvious in understanding what's going on when you realize that the flame patterns on the bookmatch are alternating opposite sides... where you could make a "zebra" pattern by shifting one side down by 1/4" or so.
 

mgenet

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Nice top.

If it feels and sounds good, keep it and bond with it.
 

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