Help me pick the top for my new guitar

Re: Help me pick the top for my new guitar

Postby playingdead » Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:05 pm

I've heard of cocobolo bodies on acoustic guitars, but not on electrics. What would it sound like?

I need to stop looking at this spalted top tonight. I traced Jerry's head on there, and seriously, anyone can see the side view of that dancing bear by the bridge.

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Re: Help me pick the top for my new guitar

Postby Chuckles » Thu Feb 04, 2010 9:17 pm

Though I love a deep quilt, the spalt's way too cool. Don't know if you get dosers at your shows, but if you do they'll thank you for it!
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Re: Help me pick the top for my new guitar

Postby jackr » Fri Feb 05, 2010 5:11 am

I vote for the quilted maple. Besides the fact I like it the best, when I wear my guitar salesman hat, I see that if you ever want to sell it you will have an easier time with the quilted maple. Even though you may say "I'll never sell this one" you never know.

If you want to see how nice redwood can look, here is a flamed redwood top guitar I sold yesterday for $4,000

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Re: Help me pick the top for my new guitar

Postby jester536 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:42 am

Not sure about the body...as for the top...I'm partial to the quilted...looks beautiful...I think the spalt is very interesting and you would certainly get a "unique factor" with that choice...but I just love that quilted maple....Your's are the types of problems I wish I had. You must really be enjoying all of this.
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Re: Help me pick the top for my new guitar

Postby Mick » Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:45 am

The redwood is OK, but just didn't blow my skirt up. The quilted maple is a very classic look, that I like very much, and that looks like a nice piece there too. However, that piece of spalted maple is one way cool piece of wood. I totally see the bear, even before you shaded it. Looks more Winnie-the-Pooh than the classic dancing bear IMO, not that there is anything wrong with that. I definitely see the face with a yawning or shouting mouth just below the bridge, and I agree that it looks like hands on the sides of the face, but sometimes when I look at it it almost looks like the palms are facing out.

I have divulged before that my "other" hobby is a classic Corvette I own, so I post on a Corvette forum too. The guys over there drive me flippin' batty getting all freaked out about the "resale value", and whether they will be "under water" on the car etc. AT THE TIME OF PURCHASE! Maybe it's just me, but unless I go into the car biz to try to make my living, I do not, will not, and have never made a purchase decision based what I think I can sell the car for later. I feel the same way about guitars. I know you are way further down the road than I am, but if the guitar isn't worth the money you're spending on it just to have it and play it, maybe your funds are better dispersed somewhere else. JMHO

That said, although I think the quilted maple will appeal to a wider audience, if it was going to be my guitar, I would go with the spalted maple in a heartbeat.
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Re: Help me pick the top for my new guitar

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:00 am

playingdead wrote:Now I really am starting to see Garcia's face in that spalt. His eyes are right about where the bridge is, and his chin is below the tailpiece. Looks like he's holding his hands up to his cheeks.


Now that you point it out .... it looks like Jerry doing his impression of the painting the Scream.
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Re: Help me pick the top for my new guitar

Postby playingdead » Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:05 am

Or Macauley Culkin in Home Alone...

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Re: Help me pick the top for my new guitar

Postby hogan » Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:07 am

playingdead wrote:Or Macauley Culkin in Home Alone...

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In order to get that shot of Mac, they gave him a glimpse of where his career would be 20 years down the road.
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Re: Help me pick the top for my new guitar

Postby jeffm725 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:42 am

If that spalted with the Jerry face is the piece you would get then you gotta do it, it is kismet!


otherwise, quilted has always been my favorite guitar top.

Can the body be sandwiched? If yes I would go with a thick main body of maple with a thin purpleheart layer on either side of it.

so it would be:
TOP= Spalted
Layer 1 = Purpleheart
main body= maple
layer 3 = Purpleheart
Back+ spalted (or quilted)

I would skip cocobolo here since you have the lefty tiger, you have got the premium cocobolo guitar already. This guy can be your Wolf ++ (++ meaning all the versatality you are going to get out of a Walker guitar with the different pickup settings and such)

That would be a bad ass guitar!
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Re: Help me pick the top for my new guitar

Postby jester536 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:09 am

I was thinking "The Scream" also...but now seeing the "Home Alone" factor...I might have a hard time shaking that image.
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Re: Help me pick the top for my new guitar

Postby 2252garcia » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:08 am

I believe the spalted maple looks the best,but as someone who has been building custom guitars for 26 years I have concerns related to the density and integrity of the spalted wood especially in the area where the tailpiece mounts. The spalting occurs as a consecquence of rot and bacterial decay,so these fissures will dampen resonance somewhat. Depending on what tonal character you are seeking,this may or may not be adventageous. Consideration to balance this potentially soft wood with a more dense wood for the core and neck/fretboard would be paramount,again based on your tonal aspirations. Also,make sure the area can support the string tension. If the spalted maple is a relatively thin laminate,these factors become less concerning.
When I build a guitar I reverse engineer it. I decide what tonal character I seek,then decide what wood combination would allow me to ascertain my tone goal.
All of your potential wood choices will lead you down different tonal corridors;step wisely.
I have had good luck using a Zebrawood core with either a Black Walnut,Cocobola,or Maple top and back.
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Re: Help me pick the top for my new guitar

Postby playingdead » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:25 am

Good points. Scott said this piece of spalted is particularly nice, and not punky at all. He's confident about it. He said it is nicely flamed all the way through the spalt, as well, although it doesn't show up in the photos, he thinks it will after it's finished.

Since I have the cocobolo over maple Tiger, and a maple over mahogany PRS, I'm looking for something a bit different than mahogany.
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Re: Help me pick the top for my new guitar

Postby Chuckles » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:34 am

You are clearly leaning spalted. Go with it, man. It'll be an awesome piece of work.
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Re: Help me pick the top for my new guitar

Postby KCJones » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:28 am

cocobola, slightly chambered for weight, no f hole.


Big Big mistake. Using Cocobola as a body wood would be similiar to makeing the entire guitar out of rock hard maple, which would give a brite clear tone but no warmth or depth; Unless thats what your after. Chambering the body also defeats the character and purpose of having a solid body guitar...sustain. Mahogony body with maple top is the tried and true combination for warmth, depth, clearity, sustain, weight, and budget.
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Re: Help me pick the top for my new guitar

Postby dleonard » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:40 am

I don't know anything about woods. But great sustain can clearly be attained on hollow and semi-hollows. Listen to Phish-You Enjoy Myself
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