Difference between "curved maple" and "flame maple"

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by yuyue, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. yuyue

    yuyue New Member

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    Hello.

    I'm hoping to buy my first PRS soon, a Custom 24 Chacoal Burst. My local stores don't have too many options, so I decided to import. So I can't "see" the guitar before the purchase.

    I was wondering what is the difference between "flame maple" and "figured maple".

    On my local store looks like that:
    http://i.imgur.com/9ttIYOm.jpg (described as flame maple)

    or like that
    http://www.sweetwater.com/images/guitars/CU24CBPTN/205221/205221-body-large.jpg (described as flame maple)

    The one I'm looking to buy looks like that:
    http://willcuttguitars.com/product images/090413/203279-1.jpg (described as figured maple)


    I was thinking that the visual difference was because of the picture quality, but I realized that the description on the "top material" was different and now I'm confused.

    I did some search but couldn't find anything useful.

    Thanks.
     
  2. 11top

    11top Cousin Eddie's cousin

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    "Figured maple" is a generic term that can stand for any number of aesthetic aspects of the wood. It can mean the wood can have many types of figure including terms such as "curly," "tiger," "fiddleback," "flamed," "quilted," "burled," "birdseye," etc. While some may claim they can hear differences in tone (which may have some validity since some types of maple are denser that others- eg. quilted west coast is softer that eastern fiddleback), I maintain that the tonal differences we can detect are slight. I would choose the type of maple based upon which is visually appealing to you and which guitar model you prefer.
     
  3. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A
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    +1

    Lots of people have trouble with these distinctions, mostly because lots of dealers have trouble with the distinctions and tend to use many of the terms interchangeably.

    As Steve points out above, "figured" is a generic term, while "flame" is a specific kind of figuring. (as is curly, quilted, spalted, etc... )

    The three guitars you posted links to are all three "figured" maple tops and the specific figuring for all three is "flamed". The differences between them are how dramatic the "flame" is and how symmetrical, even, narrow or wide the "flame" is.

    The first and last link you posted both have more distinct flames than the middle one. It all just boils down to which one you like the most visually.
     
  4. JMintzer

    JMintzer Bobble Head Moderator
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    Right. All flame maple is figured, but not all figured maple is flamed...
     
  5. blaren

    blaren New Member

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    Yeah I wouldn't listen to 11top when it comes to figuring. Oh wait...lmao
     
  6. yuyue

    yuyue New Member

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    Thanks for the reply guys.

    Well, so basically the weird look of the last link is most because of the picture quality... right?

    I think I'll grab this monster, I would love to buy locally but it's a shame that almost no one here offer the classic HFS/Vintage Bass pickups anymore...
     

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