The Beauty of Wood in Guitars

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Sigmania

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I thought I would start a thread on the beauty of different wood grains in guitars.

Caveat: Some of the best sounding guitars have pretty plain looking wood grain, but this isn't about that, this is just for the sake of appreciating the look of them.
 
Koa is one of my favorite woods.

Here is my 1981 Ibanez Musician MC550 WN.

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Here is a 1998 Fender Custom Shop set neck Strat.

I sold this guitar as I am more into vintage stuff, but man it looked good with a flash lighting up the grain... The guy that bought it was going to hang it on the wall in his office I guess as art. 8)

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A couple of solid flametop Love Rocks.

On the left a 1982 LS120, and on the right a 1983 LS80 (sold).

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It's interesting with the mineral streaking in my LS120. Ted MCCarty (Gibson) said that if there was any mineral streaking on the early Les Pauls that they would paint them and make them gold tops, no matter how much flame was under there. :eek:

I've seen some amazing gold tops that were stripped. Glad Tokai didn't do that with my LS120.
 
https://www.vermontfurnituremakers.com/2016/06/wood-figured.html

Oddly enough, the tiger-stripe-like figure in curly maple may still feature a straight-looking grain. The wood waves perpendicular to a quarter or rift-sawn cut ..., so the unusual figure also runs perpendicular to the grain, but only in those cuts, just like medullary rays (also described in the first blog). Because the ends of the cell walls that are waving absorb light differently from the middle portions of the cell wall, the curly figure can also create “chatoyancy.”

Chatoyancy, an effect seen in some kinds of gems as well, isn’t figure exactly, since it’s more of an optical illusion. But, when brought out in a piece of Vermont curly maple (or other woods), it can make the waves of the figure really “pop” and is highly sought after. Because of the “differential refraction” of light, the waves appear to change in color and intensity when you move or change the lighting conditions, and can appear to dance on their own...

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Seems this stuff has gone a bit out of fashion, back in the 80s the tiger stripes couldn't be flashy enough (they had to, in order to match the similarly printed spandex stage pants 🙃). I don't care that much for it anymore... so I thought until I bought this:

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Yes, Sir! 🙂 (Posted a loooong review over at the YamahaMusicians forum last night, in parts because I found the confusion about the figured sycamore maple used on the 2200 annoying, so that's what I made the pics for).
 
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Yes, a 2200, built in August 2022, bought it in January (because it was briefly available at that time, they are notoriously hard to obtain).
 
Very cool. So looks like the originals were laminated top, back, and sides? Is it 3 ply maple?

The only semi-hollow guitar I have really had was a 1980 Ibanez AS400. It was laminate top and I was never sure if that was a modern compromise. I guess not.

Looking at that cable in that pic makes me cringe. I later got right angle cables.

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Very cool. So looks like the originals were laminated top, back, and sides? Is it 3 ply maple?

The only semi-hollow guitar I have really had was a 1980 Ibanez AS400. It was laminate top and I was never sure if that was a modern compromise. I guess not.

Looking at that cable in that pic makes me cringe. I later got right angle cables.

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1959 ES-335 is 3ply maple top, back, and sides.
 
Ibanez really promoted the flamed tops as tiger striped around 1980 or so.

They don't mention that they are laminates.

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Very cool. So looks like the originals were laminated top, back, and sides? Is it 3 ply maple?

The only semi-hollow guitar I have really had was a 1980 Ibanez AS400. It was laminate top and I was never sure if that was a modern compromise. I guess not.

Looking at that cable in that pic makes me cringe. I later got right angle cables.

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Cool!!! I like flamed wood so much.
 

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