NGD - To 10 top or not to 10 top


New Member
Sep 24, 2020
So, Happy Christmas NGD to me!!!

I’ve been thinking about buying a Special for a few months and I’ve finally decided to pull the trigger a few days ago. I was firm on it being finished in Faded Whale Blue, although I’ve seen guitars with this finish that I love and others that I really don’t like at all. Don’t know why but the result using this stain is IMO highly variable.

With this in mind, my observation were that the 10 tops usually were more of my liking, ensuring a tight and nice flame that really goes well with the colour. So, I ordered a 10 top sight unseen from a big retailer in Europe that also has a good return policy in case I wasn’t into the guitar.

And this is what arrived to my door. Not the 10 top I expected, and actually I’m not sure it complies with the 10 top definition I’ve seen about (no dead spot, clear figuring, etc). I was expecting a tight, pin stripy flame, that’s what the 10 tops I’ve seen. At first wasn’t sure what to think, but actually I love the character and figuring of this too, even if it’s not a standard 10 top.

Still have to test all the sounds and possibilities, but playability and basic sounds are amazing, as I’m used from my other PRS.

So, what do you think of this 10 top? Is this a 10 top for you?


Somebody decided, that this beauty is a 10 Top, trust this person's experience.
The grain is strong and evenly, that are, as far as I concern, factors for assessing something as 10 Top.
I'm curious how it will look after hours under UV radiation...
Last edited:
Looks like a 10 top to me. I see some figuring in the dark spots. With maple it is really hard to determine how it will take the stain until you put it on. I think the figuring is consistent enough to qualify as a 10 top.

Congrats on the new, beautiful, guitar!
Beautiful guitar. My SC594 has a similar pattern and was also designated a 10 top, so it seems consistent to me. Either way, your guitar is killer! Congrats.
That is awesome. I would have passed up more traditional 10 tops for that. Congrats!
Are you kidding me?
Go get a sharpie and put a little 10 on the back of the headstock.
They should have done that at the factory.
That guitar is absolutely stunning.
From what he said in the OP it is a 10 top but he wasn't sure it qualified as one.
This looks awesome and I definately think this is a 10.

But, i think the OP expected all 10s to be fiddleback (which is not the case), and got a "flamed" or otherwise figured 10 instead.

I honestly think this is a great example of a wilder 10 top and arguably (to me) a lot better looking with a faded blue colour than a "fiddleback" type of top. That colour asks for a little more character in the graining of the wood IMO
@jeffroel I can understand your concern as I had similar expectations when I purchased my first PRS. As others above said, there is a lot more variety in 10 Tops than the tight figured variety. For example, each of the guitars below are 10 Tops and both the Trampas Green SC594 and Purple Iris Tremonti have the "unconventional" figuring. To me, it gives the top a little more movement and personality. I would grab your guitar's top any day as it is another great example.

Hot as hell! Congrats!

I'm a Whale Blue fan myself and that's a great example. I understand your concern about 10 top. They don't always look as we expect, but as said they are graded before the stain. Not all wood takes stain the same. Sometimes they do get downgraded, and this one wasn't. I trust in the experts. Play the heck out of it and enjoy!
Looks like a 10.5 top to me!
Seriously the grain matching is superb, who cares if it's a tight grain or not...unless that is what you had set your heart on.
It's awesome!
Nice one.