#1
How come you see quite a few guitars with lovely flamed maple back and sides, but a plain spruce (or whatever) top? What is it that makes the maple unsuitable for the top? It is much better looking, so to me would it make sense to put it where it would be seen most!
#2
ProTone Pedals: Attack Overdrive
Fractal Audio: AxeFX 2
Engl: Fireball 60
Zilla: Fatboy 2x12
Carvin: DC700
Carvin: Vader 7
Schecter: KM-7 MKii
Schecter: Banshee 8 Passive
Jackson: DK2M
Last edited by pigeonmafia at Oct 29, 2009,
#3
man wood is so much better looking then just it painted. and yeah maple is used....used quite alot actually
Very Orange CARVIN DC 700
PRS SE Custom - crunch lab&PAF pro
Ibanez GRX40 - modified
Peavey Valveking 112 w/ 2x12 cab

Originally Posted by Shirate
The guitar, the only beautiful female that looks better with the top ON haha

Transformice
Last edited by Rocketface2112 at Oct 29, 2009,
#4
^ Uhh... not for acoustic guitars.

The reason maple isn't used is because it won't vibrate properly. In acoustic guitars, you want the top to be strong and light, which is why the most common top woods are spruce and cedar. They're very strong, but allow lots of vibration. Maple, on the other hand, is a very dense and heavy wood. You can't get it to vibrate as freely as spruce or cedar.

The way a guitar produces sound is by transferring the kinetic energy of the vibrating strings into sound energy from the vibrating guitar body. The transfer point for this energy change is the top wood. If the top wood doesn't vibrate so well, all you end up with is a muddy sound.

As well, putting lots of gloss and paint on a guitar just makes the guitar sound like crap.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#5


so that's where the guitards went.

and +1 to Cap, I played a cheap maple top acoustic electric bass covered in polyurethane and it was barely making any noise at all until I REALLY started hitting the strings.
Quote by FatalGear41
I wouldn't call what we have here on the Bass Forum a mentality. It's more like the sharing part of an AA meeting.

Quote by Jason Jillard
HUMANITY WHATS WRONG WITH YOU.


Warwick Fortress>>Acoustic AB50

http://www.myspace.com/rustingbloom
#6
il post it again, for the people who didnt see

http://images.google.co.uk/images?hl=en&um=1&ei=rdvpSpjAMozWmwOj9amaDw&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result&cd=1&q=quilted+maple+acoustic+guitar&spell=1&start=0

accoustic guitars with maple tops.

Didnt say they sounded great, just proved quite a few are made
ProTone Pedals: Attack Overdrive
Fractal Audio: AxeFX 2
Engl: Fireball 60
Zilla: Fatboy 2x12
Carvin: DC700
Carvin: Vader 7
Schecter: KM-7 MKii
Schecter: Banshee 8 Passive
Jackson: DK2M
#7
True, I guess. Although the TS' question was with regards to it's suitability as a top(which it really isn't).
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#8
When you see an acoustic guitar with a quilted maple top, it's probably going to be a piece of veneer or a decal. Maple needs to be flatsawn to get the quilted figure and is great for electric guitar drop tops or carved tops, but not suitable for acoustic guitar tops.
#9
i don't think maple is strong enough in most cases, although you could do it as a double top, not that i've ever seen a factory double top. i notice that on luthier supply sites, they don't usually sell maple tops (soundboards).

http://www.lmii.com/CartTwo/Secondproducthead.asp?CategoryName=++Tops+-+Tonewood

http://www.alliedlutherie.com/soundboards.htm

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Bodies,_necks,_wood/Acoustic_guitar:_Soundboards,_tops.html
#10
Quote by pigeonmafia
il post it again, for the people who didnt see

http://images.google.co.uk/images?hl=en&um=1&ei=rdvpSpjAMozWmwOj9amaDw&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result&cd=1&q=quilted+maple+acoustic+guitar&spell=1&start=0

accoustic guitars with maple tops.

Didnt say they sounded great, just proved quite a few are made

Don't fool yourself. Just because it looks like the top is maple doesn't mean that it actually is maple. Most of those images are just maple-laminated guitars. Finding an honest-to-goodness maple-topped flat-top acoustic is extremely rare because the nice figure doesn't always make for a particularly stable bit of wood and it weighs a whole lot.
Last edited by GC Shred Off at Oct 30, 2009,
#11
Quote by patticake
i don't think maple is strong enough in most cases, although you could do it as a double top, not that i've ever seen a factory double top. i notice that on luthier supply sites, they don't usually sell maple tops (soundboards).

http://www.lmii.com/CartTwo/Secondproducthead.asp?CategoryName=++Tops+-+Tonewood

http://www.alliedlutherie.com/soundboards.htm

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Bodies,_necks,_wood/Acoustic_guitar:_Soundboards,_tops.html


Maple should be more than strong enough. It's one of the harder side woods used in acoustic guitar building. And side woods are always harder than top woods.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#12
Quote by captivate
Maple should be more than strong enough. It's one of the harder side woods used in acoustic guitar building. And side woods are always harder than top woods.

It's plenty hard and strong, but it's also too heavy in most cases.
Last edited by GC Shred Off at Oct 30, 2009,
#13
Quote by patticake
i don't think maple is strong enough in most cases, although you could do it as a double top, not that i've ever seen a factory double top. i notice that on luthier supply sites, they don't usually sell maple tops (soundboards).

http://www.lmii.com/CartTwo/Secondproducthead.asp?CategoryName=++Tops+-+Tonewood

http://www.alliedlutherie.com/soundboards.htm

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Bodies,_necks,_wood/Acoustic_guitar:_Soundboards,_tops.html



OK!

First. Maple is not used in acoustic guitar soundboards (with ONE exception). When you see an acoustic guitar with a soundboard that looks flamed or quilted, It will more than likley be what we who can read call LAMINATE.
Now. For a soundboard or for simpletons "Face" of a guitar to transfer the vibrations of the strings from the neck, through the body and make it 'echo' around inside before coming out nice and loud, it must be 2 things. 1- Long grained. The grain of the wood must be long and continuous. strong and unbroken. which is why when guitar makers sell low class wood it has "runout" (badly sawn woods, or not properly split.)
and 2. For the soundboard to transmit the sound efficiently, it must be very low density. If the wood is too dense, the vibrations wont carry through the wood efficiently. If it had no density, spruce wouldnt be strong enough to make a top.

Take for instance a cedar top.
It is slightly denser than spruce, therefore it is stronger, But transmits less vibrations. ergo a skilled luthier will make the top thinner than a standard cedar top so that the vibrations are transmitted more efficiently. As current woods only convert 7-8% of vibration energy into sound, you can see why this is so important.

The higher the density of the wood, the more bass heavy the tones will be. but too thick, and the wood will drown out the sound of the guitar.
Spruce just happens to be nearly as good as you can get for a guitar top. Its light, low density, very workable, surprisingly strong and in high supply.

If you want an attractive top, i reccomend- Bearclaw Figured Spruce, AAA Adorionback spruce with heavy "ski" lines and maybe if you want to try it, you could try a Bigleaf Maple top. you will fork out alot of money for a quilted bigleaf sheet, but if you want it, its the only maple suitible to soundboard use.
Music is an art form that celebrates potential. So long as you're looking for it, you'll always find it.
#14
^ Isn't excessive bearclawing an indication of not so suitable wood? I remember hearing that to much bearclaw is bad.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#15
Quote by Mr.Pink101
Take for instance a cedar top.
It is slightly denser than spruce, therefore it is stronger.

Hate me for nitpicking, but that isn't entirely true. Strength and density have no direct correlation. It's a bad assumption to draw.

Spruce is light, stiff, stable, and perfect in every way, as you said.

Quote by captivate
^ Isn't excessive bearclawing an indication of not so suitable wood? I remember hearing that to much bearclaw is bad.

Too much figure of any kind compromises the wood's integrity to a degree. The wilder it gets, the less continuous the grains are and the less stable the wood becomes.
Last edited by GC Shred Off at Oct 30, 2009,
#16
^ I think maybe Mr.Pink101 means to say the stiffness to weight ratio? This is what makes spruce as close to ideal for guitar tops as you can get.
#17
Quote by captivate
The reason maple isn't used is because it won't vibrate properly. In acoustic guitars, you want the top to be strong and light, which is why the most common top woods are spruce and cedar. They're very strong, but allow lots of vibration. Maple, on the other hand, is a very dense and heavy wood. You can't get it to vibrate as freely as spruce or cedar.


Cheers, that's the answer I was after

Quote by obeythepenguin
The vibrations of the top are what actually produces an acoustic guitar's sound, so to me it would make sense to choose woods for their tonal qualities, not visual appearance.


Very true, I was just wondering why maple had bad tonal qualities as a top