Santana tops - why not as nice as CU24s?

24Fretter

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Got a Santana a few months ago and I like it. All my others are CU or standard 24s and to me the Santana is like a modded CU24 - shorter scale, bigger frets, knobs out of the way.

Been looking to maybe get another, but the thing I'm noticing is that in the 10 top or artist level, the tops on any Santana I've seen aren't nearly as nice as the tops on CU24s (or McCartys for that matter). Is there a reason for that? Is there something about the Santana model where Carlos says keep the tops under-stated? I have non-10 top CU24s where the tops are nicer than any 10 top or artist Santana I've seen. Is there something going on here that's intentional that I don't know about?
 

24Fretter

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There are just more CU24s than Santana I think a folks keep the best ones and don't sell ofter there are PLENTY of sweet ones like this one I stupidly let go

DSC00426 by https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/


Not really that people just 'hold on to them'. I'm looking at new and used, in fact I usually buy new. They just aren't out there, but I've seen many new CU24s with jaw dropping tops, even artist Santanas aren't jaw dropping.

The one you posted is pretty, but it's nowhere near some of my 10 top CU24s, and about on par with my non-10 top CU24s.
 

veinbuster

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My 3 Santanas are every bit as nice as my CU24.
For example (not a 10 by the way)
CK_151BabyDragonDetail.JPG
 

24Fretter

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Theres been a real lack exquisite wood lately. Seems to be getting worse regardless of model. I’m finding even the private stocks are generally not as irresistible as those in the past.

Dunno, I got some insane CU24s in the last 6 months and I've seen a lot more insane ones I passed on due to "pattern thin".
 

JasonE

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There has been variation in how figured the 10 tops are for many years. It is all relevant to the wood they have in stock at the time it is graded. It is also something that can change after the top is carved. The figuring will move based on the angle you look at it from. I have seen many 10 tops that didn't look like 10 tops to me and I have seen non 10 tops that make me wonder how it didn't get graded as a 10. You may be seeing pictures from bad angles. I have seen some really good tops on Santana core guitars. I have seen some not so good 10 tops on CU24 guitars as well.
 

Coral Sky Music

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Tops are like a box of chocolates......
When it comes to core guitars the look of the tops are not model specific although if memory serves me correctly when the Paul's Guitar was first announced it came with a "Dirty" Flame Top...
It really comes down to when the guitar was made and what the factory had to work with as far as tops during that time and the finish color of the guitar. Some finishes require a specific style top as many of you out there probably already know by having to wait an exceptionally long time for your guitar to come in after ordering it, prior to 2020 BC (Before Covid) of course.
 

24Fretter

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There has been variation in how figured the 10 tops are for many years. It is all relevant to the wood they have in stock at the time it is graded. It is also something that can change after the top is carved. The figuring will move based on the angle you look at it from. I have seen many 10 tops that didn't look like 10 tops to me and I have seen non 10 tops that make me wonder how it didn't get graded as a 10. You may be seeing pictures from bad angles. I have seen some really good tops on Santana core guitars. I have seen some not so good 10 tops on CU24 guitars as well.

Tops are like a box of chocolates......
When it comes to core guitars the look of the tops are not model specific although if memory serves me correctly when the Paul's Guitar was first announced it came with a "Dirty" Flame Top...
It really comes down to when the guitar was made and what the factory had to work with as far as tops during that time and the finish color of the guitar. Some finishes require a specific style top as many of you out there probably already know by having to wait an exceptionally long time for your guitar to come in after ordering it, prior to 2020 BC (Before Covid) of course.

None of that explains why I'm still seeing amazing tops on new CU24s routinely, but don't see any on Santanas, new or used.
 
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