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Beautiful vs boring flamed maple

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by KingRazor, Jan 12, 2012.

  1. So I've noticed some basses with flamed maple tops can look absolutely stunning:



    While others look rather boring (in my opinion!):



    Now do you think this is due to the finish? Or the figuring of the particular piece of wood?
  2. Eye of the beholder.
  3. Of course, this is all just an opinion. I just wanted to know if anyone could figure out what I like about the first two and why I like them better than the second two.
  4. You don't like "too much" symmetry maybe. Your eye likes it when the left and right halves don't exactly mirror each other.

    * that's my guess.
  5. So you think it's probably the figuring of the individual pieces as opposed to the finishes?
  6. somegeezer


    Oct 1, 2009
    I think the shape of the bass. The last bass and the guitar are rather pointed, whilst the top 2 basses are smooth. That can have a big impact on what you see in the centre with the wood patterns.
  7. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    Personally, I think the Carvin's figuring is the nicest of what you showed.

    :: shrug ::
  8. babebambi


    Jan 7, 2008
    Me too
  9. Some how I doubt that, I'm looking dead center at the instruments. The shape doesn't really chance how it looks in the middle of the body.

    The Ibanez bass (not the guitar) is my favorite of the bunch, part of that is due to the finish (I love the color blue), but that guitar shows that just because the color is nice doesn't mean the flame will look great. I think the guitar has the most boring flame I've seen.

    The carvin one looks good, don't get me wrong, but it's lacking something that the first two basses have. Not sure what though. Maybe it's too dark for me? That might be the issue. The first two basses don't have that deep, dark flame so much. It's very light.
  10. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    The Bromberg and the guitar are both far and away better figuring, and finishes so I think you may have a bias going somewhere other than the tops, maybe you just prefer muted figure, maybe you prefer color over figuring all together. Those first two are very mediocre tops, and the soundgear is a horribly blotchy dye job or as Ibateur said maybe the symmetry doesn't suit your eye.
  11. GreenWithEnvy


    Dec 20, 2011
    The second two have very distinctive left and right pieces pieces and you can clearly see that they are two pieces of wood glued together. The first two don't give that effect. Maybe that's it.
  12. Okay yeah, I'm starting to see that.

    Two non-symmetrical pieces that are blended, rather than defined.
  13. GreenWithEnvy


    Dec 20, 2011
    I prefer a one piece of wood look, so that's why I only use flamed redwood for all my custom builds.
  14. GreenWithEnvy


    Dec 20, 2011
    Alright, I made that up.
  15. funkingroovin

    funkingroovin Conquering A-D-D,and all the other notes as well!

    Apr 19, 2009
    I come from a woodworking background,so for me it's always about matching the grains and symmetry. I like the first one,could go either way on the second,and you couldn't pay me to play the other two. The last two wouldn't be allowed to leave the shop looking like that..mis-matched grain,the "lines" in the flaming running at opposing angles..I'd be labeled a Hack..
  16. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.
    I like flamed maple ... But I prefer quilted maple.

  17. GreenWithEnvy


    Dec 20, 2011
  18. I like quilted maple well enough, but there's a special something about flamed maple.
  19. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    I like quilt, but not for colors (unless it's amber), I like curly for that.......

  20. That's cool! It's like looking at a tiger's skin.

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