Plain Top vs Flame top - any difference?

Dalko

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I am not a luthier, so a have a question for specialistes:

Plain Top or Flame Top, for the sound, is the same thing?

From the same kind of wood, dried same way, normally it's the same sound ... Or maybe not?

If there is no any difference, why guitars with a Flame Top are more expensives? Or It's just a question of look ...
 

Freddy G

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Every piece of wood will have it's own characteristics...you could find two plain maple tops that sound different....on the other hand you could have a plain and a figured piece that sound very similar.

Flame tops are more expensive because there is selection time and effort, figured woods are more visually appealing and so people will pay more for it.

So yes, it's mainly an aesthetic thing.
 

Dalko

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Just aesthetic? It was also my opinion, it seems so logic.

The people pay for aesthetic reasons, though aesthetic filing is unique for everyone ...
 

Freddy G

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If you go to a site that sells figured maple such as this one http://www.thewoodwell.com/electrictops you'll see that the pricing varies widely for low grade to premium grade maple. The grading is done purely on visual aesthetic.
 

Dalko

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Thanks for your answer.

The people spends money for nothing. :)
 

Freddy G

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You're welcome. But I will disagree with you. It's not for nothing. Some people value the look.
 

Skyjerk

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Thanks for your answer.

The people spends money for nothing. :)

If the way something looks matters to you, then it's not for nothing.

If you don't care about the appearance, then there's no reason to spend the extra money :)
 

cmjohnson

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Figured woods are comparatively rare. The more intense the figure, the rarer, and that rare beauty commands a premium price.

The figure by itself does not affect tone. The sonic characteristics of the wood do that, but it's not related to the presence or absence of figuring.
 

Open_Book

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With straight grain the tone travels straight through with no obstructions. With Flame maple the sound is obstructed so it goes up and down the flame.... like a sine-wave. Quilt maple takes ages and weakens the sound as the notes goes around and around the quilt bubbles and can't decide where to exit - like a roundabout. When you get to spalt the sound wave commits suicide before it even starts, its so hard to travel through, because of its softness. Burl maple makes the sound wave say I'm not even going to bother. Thats it in a nutshell.
 

Dalko

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Generally, plain tops are as beatifuls as flame tops for me.

In some cases it's even more beatiful. And vice versa.
 

Dalko

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With straight grain the tone travels straight through with no obstructions. With Flame maple the sound is obstructed so it goes up and down the flame.... like a sine-wave. Quilt maple takes ages and weakens the sound as the notes goes around and around the quilt bubbles and can't decide where to exit - like a roundabout. When you get to spalt the sound wave commits suicide before it even starts, its so hard to travel through, because of its softness. Burl maple makes the sound wave say I'm not even going to bother. Thats it in a nutshell.


Some luthiers said a thing, you said something else. Where is the truth?

There is no something accepted as the truth in the matter of the "lutherie"?
 

timgman

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Ah it's a rabbit hole, does glue matter? Does the binding matter?...
Yes, but not as much as your hands, amp, pickups and talent.
Imho the dirt and latitude the trees grow in matter. Wood is an organic thing like you are.
 

Open_Book

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Some luthiers said a thing, you said something else. Where is the truth?

There is no something accepted as the truth in the matter of the "lutherie"?

Luthier-y has a lot of mojo, story telling and well, confusion. If everybody had the same pair of ears we'd all be on an equal footing.

Now if you want to get scientific about it I guess you could buy a Lucci Meter. It'll tell you something, but it might not be what you want to hear.

http://www.lucchimeter.com/what-they-say-about-us/
 

Bill Hicklin

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The rule is, the more expensive a piece of wood is, the greater quantity of Good Tone it contains. Just ask any tonewood dealer. :fingersx:
 

Skyjerk

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The rule is, the more expensive a piece of wood is, the greater quantity of Good Tone it contains. Just ask any tonewood dealer. :fingersx:

Indeed. Its a gift to builders that its so visually obvious when a piece of wood contains lots of good tone. All that tapping and listening crap is for the birds :)
 

valvetoneman

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Funny i just tapped on about 4 or 5 caps today who knows what's best because as soon as I carve it'll change again

I'll put specific non desirable tops on goldtops that's about it

Same with mahogany imo, I find its more to do with weight than anything else

I don't buy the honduran thing is best either, I just compared a real 58 to 2 replics both made with old African mahogany, it was so close in tone and splitting hairs that I'm not sure I'd buy the burst, the 54 he had though would come home with me if i had the money
 

Dalko

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If the way something looks matters to you, then it's not for nothing.

If you don't care about the appearance, then there's no reason to spend the extra money :)

Sorry, are you a luthier?

I was kindly asking only professional opinion from the people and specialistes who make the guitars every day.

Thanks.
 

valvetoneman

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Sorry, are you a luthier?

I was kindly asking only professional opinion from the people and specialistes who make the guitars every day.

Thanks.

Are you going to make a guitar yourself, it's the only way you'll ever know who's telling the truth

I built quite a few guitars just to find out for myself and haven't found the maple cap to be that important tonally, alot of them sound very similar to me
Whereas you can tap a rosewood board and hear differences, even then I put a Brazilian board on a guitar that I was making for someone, they supplied it and I tapped on it went oh it's only ok compared to my stuff, put it together and the guitar is right up there very close to a real 58 we played so obviously it all worked

I honestly think it's mostly just good wood and the way it's put together
 

Dalko

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Are you going to make a guitar yourself, it's the only way you'll ever know who's telling the truth

I built quite a few guitars just to find out for myself and haven't found the maple cap to be that important tonally, alot of them sound very similar to me
Whereas you can tap a rosewood board and hear differences, even then I put a Brazilian board on a guitar that I was making for someone, they supplied it and I tapped on it went oh it's only ok compared to my stuff, put it together and the guitar is right up there very close to a real 58 we played so obviously it all worked

I honestly think it's mostly just good wood and the way it's put together

Your opinion is interesting. It's a confirmation. Some other luthiers already said the same thing.
 

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