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Thread: Book-matched maple tops

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    Tone Member L.W. Badger's Avatar
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    Default Book-matched maple tops

    How important is this asthetic to you? I was looking at Jesse's Epi, then, mine.....then all the other flame-maple tops. They're all off by about 1/4 to a whole inch.....from close matching...to "not even".......It seems to me that there's a price-point to getting a perfectly matched top.......what's that price-point? Is it $1000.......$1500......$2000? If I was shelling out over two grand for a guitar......I'd want a perfectly matched top.

    Yet I look at my '96 MIK Epi, and the top-match is only off by a couple of millimeters.....It has nothing to do with the sound.....I know it's veneer......it's just part of that "craftsmanship" thing......

    What say you?

  2. #2
    Jessie Sammler
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    Default Re: Book-matched maple tops

    It used to bug me, but now I don't really care. I'd prefer them not to be perfectly matched. For some reason, I don't like guitars that are too showy of the woods and assembly skill. I like them to be guitars first, and furniture second.

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    Tone Member L.W. Badger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book-matched maple tops

    Quote Originally Posted by Jessie Sammler View Post
    I like them to be guitars first, and furniture second.
    Amen........but this is only about "looks" for now.

  4. #4
    Jessie Sammler
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    Default Re: Book-matched maple tops

    Quote Originally Posted by L.W. Badger View Post
    Amen........but this is only about "looks" for now.
    I can appreciate that, but for some reason it actually bothers me when the bookmatch is perfect. I guess it's because it creates the illusion that it's one piece of wood, and that natural woodgrain produces patterns like that. I don't know; maybe I'm just crazy.

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    MoneyForNothingologist PoorMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book-matched maple tops

    Quote Originally Posted by L.W. Badger View Post
    How important is this asthetic to you? I was looking at Jesse's Epi, then, mine.....then all the other flame-maple tops. They're all off by about 1/4 to a whole inch.....from close matching...to "not even".......It seems to me that there's a price-point to getting a perfectly matched top.......what's that price-point? Is it $1000.......$1500......$2000? If I was shelling out over two grand for a guitar......I'd want a perfectly matched top.

    Yet I look at my '96 MIK Epi, and the top-match is only off by a couple of millimeters.....It has nothing to do with the sound.....I know it's veneer......it's just part of that "craftsmanship" thing......

    What say you?
    Many prefer a non-bookmatched or "flitch matched" top (I know plenty of vintage LP guys who do). I don't consider it an issue unless the top is poorly executed.

    Depending on the flame pattern (IMO) a perfect bookmatch can sometimes be uninteresting to look at. But it's a matter of personal opinion.
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  6. #6
    Jessie Sammler
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    Default Re: Book-matched maple tops

    I'm starting to like the look of plain maple tops -- less showy, but still very pleasing. Without losing sight that it's a question of looks, I think it looks less like furniture and more like a guitar. If that makes sense.

    I agree with what PoorMan said; the perfectly matched tops look a little too tidy and "buttoned-up".

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    Tone Member L.W. Badger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book-matched maple tops

    Matt: Like quilted maple? Or one-piece in general?

    Jessie: don't get me wrong......a good solid top is priceless.......but if there's figuring...it should match..no? This is why we don't see guitars with 90 degree book matching.......that would be a first........why is it the grain is set the way it is? Perpandicular to the strings.......
    Last edited by L.W. Badger; 12-27-2009 at 01:23 PM.

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    Default Re: Book-matched maple tops

    This thread demand pics

  9. #9
    Jessie Sammler
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    Default Re: Book-matched maple tops

    Okay, I'll throw in a pic of the aforementioned non-matched flame top on my MIK, stripped-down Epi LP Custom. Be advised that it was a factory second; I never found out why:


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    Tone Member L.W. Badger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book-matched maple tops

    Quote Originally Posted by Rod Turtle View Post
    This thread demand pics
    Mine's not as distinct......

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    Default Re: Book-matched maple tops

    The top is interesting to say the least. If the guitar plays well then it's a prime candidate for a king toby's basement renewal project. If its standard Epi wiring and pups then a transplant is in order. Could do the standard LP of separate volume, stacked tone and a varitone switch into 57's or PGs or burstbuckers split and phased or even a Peter Green reverse wired pup. A Bigsby tail could cover the uneven bookmatch. The striping is distinctive and the customary TP6 in place of the stoptail may accentuate the stripes. Inlay barrel knobs and inlay cavity covers would be a nice touch.

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    Ultimate Tone Member JB6464's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book-matched maple tops

    I think for the money Gibson,PRS and top name guitar comany's charge today for fancy tops they should be book matched. I have a 2005 Gibson LP Custom that cost over $4,000 new and the top is'nt book matched,WTF. On the other hand i built a Warmoth Tele with a quilted top and it came book matched and flawless. If they can do it for a fraction of the big boy's cost,why can't Gibson for the prices their charging.
    Book matched should be the standard for fancy tops.
    Last edited by JB6464; 12-27-2009 at 03:29 PM.

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    Mojo's Minions Lazarus1140's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book-matched maple tops

    Quote Originally Posted by JB6464 View Post
    I think for the money Gibson,PRS and top name guitar comany's charge today for fancy tops they should be book matched. I have a 2005 Gibson LP Custom that cost over $4,000 new and the top is'nt book matched,WTF. On the other hand i built a Warmoth Tele with a quilted top and it came book matched and flawless. If they can do it for a fraction of the big boy's cost,why can't Gibson for the prices their charging.
    Book matched should be the standard for fancy tops.

    This is exactly the way I feel about it!

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    Mojo's Minions GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book-matched maple tops

    +1. Absolutely!!

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    Mojo's Minions blueman335's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book-matched maple tops

    Perfectly matched is nice, but my biggest priority is nice, bold flame. There's a lot of bland flame out there, on some high-end guitars too, and if the flame is poor, I don't care how well it's matched up.

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    Ultimate Tone Member JB6464's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book-matched maple tops

    ^+1 on that too. If i can't get a book matched top then at least give me a nice bold fat flame. But not at crazy prices their charging for whatever flame Gibson is putting out and bending people over with.

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    Tommyologist
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    Default Re: Book-matched maple tops

    i like fancy maples a lot... my parts guitar has a flame maple top and i don't mind the fact that the flame does not bookmatch well... it was an expensive guitar to build and that minor detail does not bug me one bit...

    i have seen some god awful flame tops come from Gibson themselfs so price point has nothing to do with getting a quality book match... the funniest was the Pete Townshend Signature Les Paul from the Custom Shop... the red sunburst Number 9 was limited to 75 and many of them had 3-4 piece maple tops just like the 70's LP Deluxe's Pete used... and lots of them had Flame piece mixed in with Plain pieces... what the F!!!! they should of used Plain maple for that model!!!!

    i also saw 3 Amber Les Paul Standards in a store in the late 90's that had 3 piece flame maple tops and they sure looked funny!!!!

    Another example of price point meaning nothing is i've seen some MIM Standard Strats come my way with nice figured necks... i missed buying an 04 with a nice figured maple neck... but i did buy an 06 with an intense flame maple neck... and this is a cheap model that is not sopposed to have a figured neck... once in a while or blue moon the local store unpacks a shipment of MIM Standards with figured woods that are quite nice...

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