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AAA vs A Maple Flamed Top

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by pmaraziti, May 4, 2006.

  1. pmaraziti


    Feb 12, 2006
    Madrid, Spain
    Hi guys,

    Here a quick one. What's the difference between a AAA Maple flamed top and a simple A maple flamed top ?

    I surfed the internet and browsed the forum without any apparent luck, so I hoped you can help to clarify the doubt.

    If you're interested in the background of the question, I found significant price difference at an online german music store betwenn Warwick Streamer I , A flamed maple top, and same model but AAA maple flamed top...
    When I went to the warwick website actually there's no mention of Streamer top options... (A vs. AAA), I'm about to write them.... but before let me try my TB colleagues...

    Thanks a lot as always !

  2. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    The A type ratings have to do with the 'quality' of the wood... the AAA, AAAA, and AAAAA stuff has extreme variation and patterns in the wood. Basically, the more A's, the higher the figuring and the more the cost.

    Most of the basses listed in the 'show your quilted maple' thread are AAA are higher tops.

    I'm not sure how the wood is graded though, or what the exact technical difference is between a AAA and AAAA.. but the above at least describes it in general terms.
  3. high mileage

    high mileage

    Apr 17, 2006
    Rockford IL
    That'll do it - the more A's, the better. More A's can mean that the flame looks "deeper" too - although it will need a good finish to show this properly. Most of the builders that use high grade wood like this know what to do with it.
  4. mvw356


    Mar 2, 2006

    more A's don't mean better, what they really mean is that in the eye of most people more A's means better looking. i doubt that it has any effect on the sound though.

    go check and try to understand the reasoning of PRS. they have maple tops in three categories: 1. standard, 2. 10 top 3. artist grade. hm i don't quite understand the differnece between a 10 top and an artist grade top as the 10 is the highest number attainable on a scale from 1 to 10. guitarists logic would say you can always turn it up to 11. :p
  5. pmaraziti


    Feb 12, 2006
    Madrid, Spain
    Thanks guys, so you really think is only an aesthetics factor or it can have some effects on sound ?

  6. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    It has no effect on the sound though you'll find plenty of people who'll say they can hear the difference, as long as they can see it first. ;)

    Also there is no standard for this rating, it's whatever the seller decides it is so a AA from one maker may be much nicer than a AAAA from a seller more prone to hype. But yeah, what they said, more A's = more figuring.
  7. When it comes to a flamed top, much of the time an A or AA might not be completely covered in flame. If there is ANY flame on the wood they will call it flamed although there might be areas of the top that are plain and without flame.

    Another thing that can determine the A value is the uniformness of the flame. A piece with a lower A value might have some bands in the flame that are wider or narrower than others. A piece with an AAAAA value flame is going to be uniform from one end of the bass to the other. Each little stripe in the flame should be about the same width all the way down the bass.

    Lastly the higher the A value, the straighter the flame should be. There will be less curve in the bands of the flame.
  8. Pneuma


    Feb 14, 2004
    You might want to ask this in one of the wood broker forums.

  9. pmaraziti


    Feb 12, 2006
    Madrid, Spain
    I did... and they told me "you might want to ask this in one of the bass guitar forum... ;)

    Joke ! But would you miss the pleasure to speak with TBers ???


    Thank you all ! I think I have a pretty clear idea now... net...if you were blind , you'd not give A (or AAAAAA ) fu..... s..t about how many As a bass wood has....


    PS: sound is all it matters !
  10. I've found that I prefer the grain on quilted maple on the cheaper side of the spectrum. It depends on the specific piece of wood in question, but I've found many specimens of standard quilt tops that make the AAAAA equivalent look boring. Sometimes the grain can be more beutiful when it isn't as even or smooth looking. YMMV

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