Grading of figured wood...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by beas, May 11, 2017.

  1. beas

    beas I Don't Re-Member

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    In a recent article in Premier Guitar (https://www.premierguitar.com/artic...ca-electrica-the-knotty-world-of-figured-wood) there is a discussion of figured woods and grading criteria. It also suggests that manufacturers may create their own vernacular to distinguish themselves from the standard grading of A, AA, AAA, and AAAA. Clearly, PRS has devised a way of conveying the quality and pricing of its wood collection from 10-top, to Artist grade, to Private Stock. Is there any known correlation between the standard grading system and the PRS system? Or, is it merely subjective?
     
    #1 beas, May 11, 2017
    Last edited: May 11, 2017
  2. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A Soldier 25, DFZ
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    A, AA, AAA and AAAA are by no means a 'standard'. Just because Gibson uses that nomenclature does not make it a standard.

    If you read the linked article carefully, it states that there are NO standards for the amount of figuring wood has. The same is true concerning the spacing or shape of that figuring.

    Figuring for woods is highly subjective. The most that can be said is that within a company, so long as the same person or small group is doing the grading, the ratings for the figuring of a piece of wood will be fairly consistent. But only for as long as that grading person or team stays at the company. New eyes will see things differently.

    It would be a huge mistake to compare the figure grading system of PRS to Gibson or Fender and try to draw correlations. None exist.

    It would be a similar mistake to compare a 10 top from today to a 10 top from 20 years ago, or an AAA top Gibson from today to an AAA from 20 years ago. I'm not saying one is better or worse, just that they are different.

    The best you can say is that the wood graders within a company are fairly consistent in their grading for their respective product lines. I say "fairly" because there are always borderline cases that could go either way.
     
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  3. beas

    beas I Don't Re-Member

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    You are so right. My mistake. The article does suggest that there is no true standard, just that letters have been used rather typically in the grading process. It appears that grading of woods is a highly subjective matter as with nearly any aesthetic consideration.
     
  4. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    A modest proposal:

    OMFG!!!
    OMG!!
    Wow!
    Nice.
    OK
     
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  5. owickerman

    owickerman New Member

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    I would like to order a OMFG!!! burled maple top with a Nice rosewood back, an OMG!! rosewood neck and a WOW! ebony fretboard.
     
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  6. Whitecat

    Whitecat Goes home to Starla

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    Yup - @rugerpc's got it - there is no common/international/absolutely accepted standard for visually grading wood. AAAAAAAAA can mean whatever you want it to mean.
     
  7. Alan Manning

    Alan Manning Well Love a Duck Mary Poppins.!!!

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    An OMFG Would do quite nicely thank you.!!!
    I like me whistles and bells.!!!
     
  8. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Be sure to take pictures when you do that.
     

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