Rehashing one of the old Wood Library (and Private Stock), etc top discussions...

Glide-bpm

We were small but we were slow...
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Actually, some of them should have been. IIRC, Tosca was with Brian when he was picking the woods. Paul Miles walked by, stopped, and asked, "why aren't these tops in the Vault?" or something along those lines.
Rehashing an old thread while doing a search... To those who know, don't let the proverbial cat out of the bag...
Two of my guitars ... What would you personally rate the tops? One is satin, so of course it won't have the full gloss effect!
I'll throw in a 3rd guitar that is confirmed Private Stock for fun.

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Glide-bpm

We were small but we were slow...
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Yessir! I feel like you’re asking us who’s the best at a beauty pageant!
Mostly just emphasizing how I see so many guitars on here that I could seriously uprate their factory top designation.

I mean, that old thread had the comment about our Brian's 509 Artist WL run blanks belonging in The Vault by Paul Miles is a perfect point.

If my new "10 Top" WL Modern Eagle V quilt was gloss instead of satin, you'd be hard pressed to not think it came from the same block as my Artist WL 509...

Main point being, I don't give a damn about the ratings. I've owned some killer looking guitars, and seen tons here, that have exceeded their rating in beauty!!!
And compared to most other manufacturers' highest rated tops, it just be a combination of the wood quality and finishing processes/techniques that bring out the best for PRS guitars!

Won't even get into playability and such things!
 

21Hemispheres12

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I don’t really put much stock in their top rating system because I’ve seen so much variance. I’ve seen 10 tops I thought looked awful and regular figured tops that looked great. It seems to me that they are running out of really great figured maple as I’ve seen a lot of wood library runs with 10 tops that look pretty average to me.

To your original question, all three of those look amazing to me, no grade required!
 

WA Paul

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Many of those older WL runs were downgraded PS tops. I’d rate them somewhere between Artist and PS. In my experience, PS tops tend to have more depth to the figure. But those WL tops you have in quilt are definitely killer!
 

LSchefman

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Speaking only for myself, the top ratings are entirely irrelevant. There are beautiful examples in all categories.

What makes a PS great isn’t the wood grain, the trim or the phoofery of the inlays, it’s the craftsmanship of the PS team. The guitars have a different gestalt, and the feel is out of this world.

The WL runs often have features a little off the beaten path, such as different back and fretboard species, and that’s usually fun and inspiring.

The Artist pack offers the choice of ebony fretboards and the upgraded case. There are other little details that don’t amount to much, like inlays.

Some of my all time favorite PRS’ have been plainer versions that simply had the magic.
 

11top

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In order...
509 = Artist WL
MEV = 10 Top WL
408/Sig LTD 2012 Exp PRS = Private Stock

Remember, they rate it before they carve it. To me, the book matching is crucial.

And I agree with Les, the “rating system” is irrelevant (except for resell, unfortunately). I’ve seen wood in the PS vault which would not please me as a 10 top (subjective). My ratings were mine; not what I guessed from PRS.

All 3 of yours are very nice.
 

Glide-bpm

We were small but we were slow...
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Remember, they rate it before they carve it. To me, the book matching is crucial.

And I agree with Les, the “rating system” is irrelevant (except for resell, unfortunately). I’ve seen wood in the PS vault which would not please me as a 10 top (subjective). My ratings were mine; not what I guessed from PRS.

All 3 of yours are very nice.
Thanks! I've certainly enjoyed pics of your collection masterpieces as well!
 

docteurseb

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To me, the book matching is crucial.
To be fair, they all start book-matched
In the case of wide curly maple figuring or quilt figuring it would be insane luck for the figuring to remain 'book-matched' below the bridge area where most of the wood is carved. All bets are off at that point.


OP: both of your guitars look like what I'd expect from the middle/higher end of the 10 top quilt top ladder, and bottom end of the Artist grade ladder.

Here's an 'Artist' top that isn't bad at all, but I can't say I prefer it over either of your guitars:

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This Artist top though...I'd pick w/o any hesitation for a PS build:
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