Reseller Top Grading or Gibson Factory Grading

dimeified

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On sites like Wildwood Guitars or Zzounds (or any authorized Gibson dealers, I'm not singling out these folks), when they list a Les Paul Standard 60's or 50's guitar with a AAA top and upcharge it, is the top designation from Gibson with a note in the warranty card, or are these resellers cashing in and designating the grading themselves?
 

indeedido

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In my experience it is denoted from Gibson.
 

JohnnyPhatsaqs

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No idea what my 50s Standard would be designated as for the top
 

jstarr

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Wildwood picks their own tops, much like other dealers do with the Dealer Select Custom Shop Models. American Musical probably leaves it up to Gibson to pick the tops. I’ve never seen any specific designation on any Gibson paperwork for the regular (non custom shop) Standards. Sometimes you’ll see a model designation mark in the pickup cavities, but my last few new Standards didn’t have any markings in the cavities.
 

JohnnyPhatsaqs

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From Gibson, but those ratings are all over the place. I've seen "plain tops" with more flame than "AA" tops.
What would this be
940B9EBD-7557-498E-B4B1-ECBB182D5438.jpeg
 

Shadow Explorer

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They rate the tops before carving them, due to the nature of the wood itself, even if it was a possible to have a chard (I think they had circa 2014-2015) its impossible to get accurate rating.

1A structural sound piece with little or no flame
2A Uneven or not very deep flame
3A Very flamey, Might not be even and contain mineral spots
4A Clean even fiddleback flame (boring most of the times).
5A or master grade, clean and very exotic.

There is also B and C grading (knots - structural defects), but you shouldn't see such grades in a gibson.
 
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JohnnyPhatsaqs

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They rate the tops before carving them, due to the nature of the wood itself, even if it was a possible to have a chard (I think they had circa 2014-2015) its impossible to get accurate rating.

1A structural sound piece with little or no flame
2A Uneven or not very deep flame
3A Very flamey, Might not be even and contain mineral spots
4A Clean even fiddleback flame (boring most of the times).
5A or master grade, clean and very exotic.

There is also B and C grading (knots - structural defects), but you shouldn't see such grades in a gibson.
Using that, I'd probably call mine a AAA
 

Shadow Explorer

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Right on. I would rate it 3A as well. What really matters, is if you like it :)
All ratings are partially subjective, depending on the person, wood billet, wood species etc.

Gibson stating 2A for a standard is a very good way to include the less figured ones, when they occur.
Also works very well as a maketing strategy, better to overdeliver than dissapoint.
 

JohnnyPhatsaqs

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Right on. I would rate it 3A as well. What really matters, is if you like it :)
All ratings are partially subjective, depending on the person, wood billet, wood species etc.

Gibson stating 2A for a standard is a very good way to include the less figured ones, when they occur.
Also works very well as a maketing strategy, better to overdeliver than dissapoint.
Makes sense. I think they “overdelivered” on mine. I’m thrilled with it. And I’m still having “holy shit, I own a Gibson Les Paul Standard” moments. And she’s a looker.
 

dimeified

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Well my concern is buying from a place, say sweetwater, where the model is the same price regardless if a top is nicer, vs buying somewhere else where it says AAA top, and they upcharge. I was wondering if the AAA designation is factory, in the event of selling years down the road. It seems some upcharge, some don't, and some are legit upcharges due to Gibson designation.
 

Shadow Explorer

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Some charge for whatever reason they can, not sure if it's fair practice for retailers.
Many hear with their eyes after all.
 

afireinside

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I just grabbed a sweetwater with their exclusive dark cherry burst and 59s in it and they had no issues dealing the price down to the regular 50s. And i choose the best looker (have to say 3A) now i did buy a 19 modern standard (3A again) blueberry in summer that may have helped? Id say the upcharge is worth the pickups, guaranteed top and the color difference.
 

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Shadow Explorer

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HNGD!!! Nice guitar(s), My Les Paul came sight unseen from thomann, thankfully it has a tasteful top and plays well.
 

integra evan

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From Gibson, but those ratings are all over the place. I've seen "plain tops" with more flame than "AA" tops.

This is considered a "plain top":

1583269122914.png


1583269132954.png


This is at CME. I like this kind of top, because it has a lot more character and more defined figuring than a lot of AAA rated tops I've seen.
 

dimeified

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So now I'm trying to decide on something from the new lineup, I read theres no weight relief. The 50 or 60's standard in cherry or unburst, or the classic in honeyburst. The plaintop on the classic looks amazing but this is a once in a lifetime purchase for me so I feel obligated to aim for the flame. I like the classic features too...
 

BDW60

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