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The difference between quilt and photo quilt?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Kronos, Jan 30, 2006.


  1. Kronos

    Kronos

    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    I have a bass that I got for cheap brand new, and it's got a quilted maple top. I believed this to be true until I read about "photo flame". Now, I had been wondering how I could tell? When I look at it, and tilt it, each quilt on the top has it's own "shine" (?). I hope that makes sense...and I'm hoping that it is real quilt.
     
  2. tribal3140

    tribal3140 Banned

    Nov 9, 2004
    near detroit...uh
    what?
    I am prettly well versed in maple and I am not familiar with photo quilt?

    is it a .4mm veneer for show or?
    Todd
     
  3. Cerb

    Cerb

    Sep 27, 2004
    Indiana
    Photo quilt is a clear plastic laminate that has the quilt design on it. It is then applied to the wood and cleared over. If you can see the light distort and reflect in different directions when you move the bass, it is true quilt.
     
  4. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    This is the best way to tell. Real flame/quilt has a reflective quality to it, whereas the fotoflame does not.
     
  5. tribal3140

    tribal3140 Banned

    Nov 9, 2004
    near detroit...uh
    thats a new one to me!
    it blows me away that a company would do something like that when quilted maple veneer is $4 a sheet.
    I guess the bottom line is the bottom line to a big company.
     
  6. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    On a curve like on a neck, a veneer is not a good idea...
     
  7. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I own a photoflame bass. It is very close to the real thing. I have had people argue with me that it is real :scowl:

    I didn't know about the reflective test. Another test for the photoflame is that the pattern tends to repeat.

    For the '80s Fender basses they also tended to really lay the clear coat on thick. It then tends to crack quite badly. Also, the "Hamburgler" shows up on the neck. But that is very specific to the '80s MIJ basses.
     
  8. Kronos

    Kronos

    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    Hell yes! I got a real quilt top on a 6 stringer for less than $300. I've had the bass for about 3 years now, and I never once thought about it until I heard of the photo version. Here's a pic (but it doesn't show the different reflections, obviously, because the pic doesn't move)

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Cerb

    Cerb

    Sep 27, 2004
    Indiana
    That's a beautiful top. Who is the maker of the bass? I don't recognize the body style or the headstock.
     
  10. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    That could be a veneer top, which it likely is, but it does look good.
     
  11. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    That could be a veneer top, which it likely is, but it does look good.
     
  12. That's a Carlo Robelli. Cheap, decent basses. Sam Ash specials, house brand, right?
     
  13. Kronos

    Kronos

    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    Yep...it's a Carlo Robelli. I found the price online, so I went to my local one where they were trying to sell it for $350 IIRC, and they brought one out from the back that had string gouges in the pickups! None of that clear plastic covering over the cavities or anything. I had them bring out a new one. That's how I got this one.

    About it being a veneer, I'm not so sure. Trevorus said that it's not a good idea on a curve, and the side profile of the bass is like an archtop, so that would take some bending, I would think. Either way, it's still pretty darn nice for $299.
     
  14. Yeah I've got a MIJ '94 FotoFlame P bass. Plays real nice, but the finish is on there THICK and as a result has cracked pretty severely. Oh well, first bass, not selling it. It has the hamburgler on the back of the neck like 4 times. Pretty sweet.

    I too have had people argue with me that it's a real maple top. Heh.