#1
What do AAAAA and the other ratings mean in a wood? How much difference is there between them? I'm looking at making my first guitar, and I'm wondering what type I should use. Could someone explain all this to me?

I'm looking here, by the way: http://www.craft-supplies.co.uk/pdf/craft-supplies_soundwood_catalogue.pdf

Thanks.
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#2
its a measure of how nice the grain of the wood is. the higher the A's the better it looks.
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#3
the higher the number of As, the higher the figuring. usually used with flamed or quilted woods.
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#4
So, if I went for a 4A, would that still look pretty darn good? I'm thinking either flamed or quilted maple.
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#6
Well, I probably won't be seeing the wood until it's delivered, since I'm buying it off the internet.
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#7
ask for a pic. if it won't give you one, you shouldn't buy it. a wood supplier should be happy to show you their product. one that doesn't is crooked.
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#8
The grades of figured tops are really subjective. If you look around here, someone doing a build will post pictures of 5A, and people will say that it's only 3A.

There's only really three grades you need to know. Nice, decent, and bad.
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#9
It is, as others have mentioned, highly subjective. One other thing to note, sometimes a beautiful billet will look terrible once carved. The orientation of the grain matters to begin with, and matters even more when you consider which direction to carve. For instance, flamed maple for a neck looks best flat sawn, and also the curvature of the neck carve should go 'against' the ring curvature in the flat piece of maple. True flat sawn is hard to find; you will almost always see a curvature of the rings on the end of the piece of wood.

Another thing to remember is that when showing figure on the net, companies will often wet the pice, making the figure much more visible (Warmoth does this with their bodies in the showcase). This is not a dishonest practice. When you finish the piece properly, it will look even better than wet, but I just want to mention the wet thing to keep you from being disappointed on opening a package of wood you have ordered.
#11
Ok, thanks. I've emailed the site and asked if they'll show be a picture before purchase/sending.
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#12
to be honest, a 5A piece may look good to some person, but crap to another

some quilted maple is UGLY. i like modest quilts
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#13
Well, I think I'm just gonna stick with 4A, it's expensive enough as it is.
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#14
how bad does 1A look anyway?
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#15
I've no idea, I'd like to see it

The lowest the site sells is 3A, if I get a 1" top instead of a 3/8" I may have to go for 3A.
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#16
i bought some from them. first time the wood didnt look very nice so i rang them and i posted it back nd they then sent me a much better looking piece, 5A quilted maple (only 3/8" version)
#18
I'm going to have a look sometime to see if there any places near me what sell good wood, if so, I'll go there rather than use the internet.

Nice build so far, by the way
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#20
Just as reference, most guitars that I've seen under the $1000US range use 3A (Schecter, Epiphone, ESP LTD, etc.) Basically if they don't specify what grade of top it is, then it is probably 3A. As you get more expensive you start seeing the higher grades of maple tops.
#21
Well, I've talked to my dad, and he's going to take me somewhere that sells wood (he's a carpenter), so I'll actually get to see the wood before I buy it. He's also offered to pay for it

Hopefully I'll have a build thread up in the summer if I decide to go ahead and build this.
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