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Is this headstock a "Blem"? (P bass)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Playbyear, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. Playbyear


    Nov 20, 2019
    IMG_3714.jpg I might go look at an American std P.
    It's at the fair market used price... not a special deal.

    The headstock wood grain looks different than most. I'm wondering if this would be considered a blem or b-stock grade. What do you folks think?
    Crunchy Growl and el jeffe bass like this.
  2. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    It seems within the realm of what one can expect in a piece of maple. Not the nicest look, but it wouldn't bother me.
    EmuBass, shodan and Mvilmany like this.
  3. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    I really don't think so.
  4. el jeffe bass

    el jeffe bass

    Nov 22, 2013
    New Mexico
    In the photo it appears to be just a wood grain variation. If that’s the case it adds character.
  5. vid1900


    Dec 12, 2019
    That is nice figuring in the wood.

    When someone steals it from you, it can be identified easily on CL
  6. eastcoasteddie

    eastcoasteddie Supporting Member

    Looks normal...
    Fresh Eddie, murphy and gebass6 like this.
  7. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    Personally, I'd care more about noticeable seams on the body (but that's just me). I just checked your listing, and while the pictures weren't of terribly high quality, the body does seem to be a pretty nice example. Not that even a few very noticeable seams would make it worthy of b-stock grade though; it's an American Standard - it is what it is! :p

    I picked up a 2014 last January (also a burst with maple), and it's become my #1 bass FWIW.
    murphy and el jeffe bass like this.
  8. It makes it more unique. The grain is what sometimes draws us to something. 66A376FE-C48A-4A0E-B131-D3CE51929322.jpeg 5DD99043-F5A2-45C8-8BCC-3B5EAFCAABC7.jpeg I don't see anything wrong.
    drumvsbass, DrMole and el jeffe bass like this.
  9. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    Wood is not a blank piece of white paper.
    Normal grain figuring.

    Angel step

    A staircase-like curly figure cause by cutting across the stump or butt sections of a tree; frequently found in Walnut but can also occur in Ash and Maple

    Bee’s wing

    A small-scale, very tight mottle figure, found in East Indian Satinwood Mahogany , Bubinga and some eucalypts. Block mottle is similar, but larger in scale.

    Bird’s eye

    A pattern of small, rounded, lustrous spots, found almost exclusively in hard Maple (Acer saccharum)


    A figure resembling billowing clouds, or on occasion bubble-like forms; the surface looks blistered, even when perfectly smooth. An uneven contour in the growth rings can create this effect when a log is rotary – or half-round-cut for veneer.

    Burr (burl)

    A wart like, deformed growth, normally on the root or trunk, but sometimes on the branches. These usually form as the result of some injury to or infection under the bank or an unformed but that does not grow properly. As the tree grows the burrs can grow with it, causing the surrounding growth wood to be twisted or wavy, which results in very beautiful figure. Burr figure is often found in European Elm, Ash, Poplar, California Redwood and Walnut amongst others.


    A wavy, rippled pattern caused by grain distortion where the root joins the stump. American Walnut can produce very interesting butt figure, which is exploited in stump-wood veneer.


    A pattern of buttons or flakes against a straight-grained background, revealed when wood with large medullary rays in quarter-sawn to expose the hard, shiny rays. Found particularly in American Sycamore, White Oak and Lacewood. See also flake.


    A series of stacked or inverted V-shapes; this can occur in plain-sliced veneer

    Cat’s paw

    A variety of pippy or burr wood which looks as though a cat has walked over it and left footprints; found particularly in Oak and Cherry.


    Any marking that goes across the grain in a rolling curl, such as in fiddleback and mottle. It can look spectacular.


    A typically Y-shaped pattern formed where a branch joins the trunk of a tree. Burning bush, feather, flame, plume and rooster-tail are all varieties of crotch figure. Mahogany and Walnut veneers are the best sources.


    Contortions in grain direction give the appearance of undulating waves as they reflect light differently. Curly figure is particularly common in Maple and Birch. A staircase-like curl is often referred to as angel steps (see above), and a rolling curl as a form of crossfire.


    A form of curly figure exposed by quartersawing, giving very straight grain with almost perpendicular curls from edge to edge. The name derives from the use of this figure for the backs of violins, which are traditionally made of European Sycamore. It is not common but can be found in Maple, African Mahogany, Makore, Blackbean and Koa.

    Flake, fleck or ray fleck

    A lustrous effect found in Lacewood, Oak and Sycamore, when the wood is cut parallel or nearly parallel to the medullary rays, thus exposing some parts of the rays.


    See crotch

    Flower grain

    A diagonal ripple pattern, occurring in small, irregular patches, sometimes found in European Spruce


    Another type of cross-grain figure, where spiral interlocked grain combines with wavy grain to give a blotchy, wrinkled effect. The pattern can be random, or in something of a chessboard form (block mottle), and a finer, smaller form is known as bee’s wing (see above). Mottle figure can occur in Mahoganies, Sapele, Bubinga, and Koa, amongst others

    Peanut shell

    Some woods that are susceptible to quilted or blister figure can be rotary-cut to produce a peanut figure, which has some similarity to a quilted or pommele figure. The wood surface appears bumpy and pitted, even, when flate. Peanut-shell figure is found particularly in Japanese Ash, but can occur in other woods.


    A random scattering of numerous little spots; typical in Yew and sessile Oak


    A pattern of small circles or ovals that sometimes overlap each other; it has been likened to a puddle surface during light rain. Resembling a finer form of blister figure, it is common in some African woods such as Bubinga, African Mahogany and Sapele


    A pillow-like, three-dimensional effect caused when an uneven or wavy interlocking pattern, forming a bumpy surface on the log, is rotary- or half-round-cut. It is a larger, more emphatic form of pommele or blister figure.

    Ribbon stripe

    An effect resembling a slightly twisted ribbon, found in quartersawn Mahogany and Sapele


    Any figure with a ripple-like appearance, such as fiddleback (see above)

    Roe or roey figure

    Short, broken stripe or ribbon figure in certain quartersawn hardwoods, arising from interlocked grain.


    A pattern of large rolls or twists that can run diagonally; if bookmatched, the resulting pattern is known as herringbone

    Silver grain

    Another name for lustrous ray fleck on quartersawn timber, especially Oak


    A gentler type of crotch figure, where the grain swirls, meanders and sometimes appears to fold in on itself; common in Cherry, Mahogany, Maple and Walnut
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
  10. Very well done.
    gebass6 likes this.
  11. WillyWonka


    Dec 10, 2019
    Wack it on the crash or the china then it will be a blem.
  12. If you’re talking about the area north of the g string tuner, it’s completely fine. Just a random little bit of figuring going on. If you’re talking about the white spot south of the a string tuner I dunno. Probably just a light reflection. If not, that is not acceptable.
  13. Playbyear


    Nov 20, 2019
    The part north of the G. It just looked odd to me, like a groove or something.
  14. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey

    Did you wind up going to check it out?
  15. Playbyear


    Nov 20, 2019
    Not yet, it won't be until the weekend if it's still for sale.
  16. murphy


    May 5, 2004
    Toronto, Canada
    Looks fine to me
    Fresh Eddie likes this.
  17. Tim Skaggs

    Tim Skaggs

    Sep 28, 2002
    Looks fairly average to me, if not slightly more figured than average.
  18. Looks weird but is normal. Depends if cosmetics are (that) important to you.
  19. willsellout

    willsellout Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2002
    Fort Wayne, IN
    It’s not a blem.
    gebass6 likes this.
  20. jamro217

    jamro217 Supporting Member

    As others have stated, it's a figure in the maple. This one is kind of pronounced and looks odd, but isn't a defect. Many instruments have identifying marks in the grain pattern. Consider this a bonus.

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