Reseller Top Grading or Gibson Factory Grading

ARandall

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Wood is so individual that you can only make general grading standards. Trying to narrow down a very specific definition for grading flame is both pointless and impossible.
Wood I think is graded before carving too. So anything is possible once the top is done.

Plus the way logging has changed in the last few decades makes the availability of more figured wood greater......so middling flame gets a different rating to what it got quite a while back.
 

dspelman

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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?
Yes.
 

moreles

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I think the Gibson and dealers should rate the musical skill of the prospective buyer, so that you need AAA musical proficiency to purchacse a AAA top.
 

Jabberwocky

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Talk to a wood grader and you will find out that the top grade is 3A. 4A, 5A, Mastergrade are confections of the guitar industry. In 2013, there was a little scandal when a Gibson dealer, on his own volition, graded the Historic Grade 7A! 7A is pure confection, of course. Do a search for 7A Gibson R9 Caspian Tiger.

There is no wood grade better than 3A used by the wood industry. Anything more is pure confection in a bid to separate us from our money. Another guitar maker uses 10 Top, Artist, Private Reserve. Pure confection. I know one luthier who grades his wood 3A or 2A according to wood industry standards, nothing inflated.

Judge each top on its own merits, not by what is written on the blurb. The wood grade is meaningless. One man's 5A top is another man's BBQ top. The wood grade is all about degree of figure. It has nothing to do with how it sounds as a guitar.
 

BoogyWithStu

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My '19 Unburst. Considered AA by Gibson. What do you think? LOL




Seems to lose a little of the figuring to the left side, but otherwise this would be AAA grade. Because it loses some figuring that would make it a AA+ . But yes seen some tops that make you wonder how the heck they got that rating.

 


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