Flame Maple Cap - veneer vs full thickness

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jaymenonjaymenon Frets: 870
Ironically, a veneer is likely to be more consistently spectacular, since wood is specially selected for the specific purpose of imparting a good flame finish.

So you can pretty much buy one of the Internet unseen, confident that the flame will be spectacular.

Full thickness cap - more variable end you have to see the instrument and select it yourself :)
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Comments

  • WhitecatWhitecat Frets: 5546
    Full-thickness tops have more chatoyancy than veneers and that’s the main appeal to me. You need to see it from as many angles as possible, as it will look way more “3D”. 
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  • RaymondLinRaymondLin Frets: 12132
    Full thickness for bragging rights. 
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  • OffsetOffset Frets: 12742
    Whitecat said:
    Full-thickness tops have more chatoyancy than veneers and that’s the main appeal to me. You need to see it from as many angles as possible, as it will look way more “3D”. 
    Well I've learned a new word today, but I can't foresee a time when I'll have a reason to use it :-)
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  • SteveRobinsonSteveRobinson Frets: 7205
    tFB Trader
    Whitecat said:
    Full-thickness tops have more chatoyancy than veneers and that’s the main appeal to me. You need to see it from as many angles as possible, as it will look way more “3D”. 
    Really? We don't have X-ray vision and only ever see the surface.
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  • jaymenonjaymenon Frets: 870
    Whitecat said:
    Full-thickness tops have more chatoyancy than veneers and that’s the main appeal to me. You need to see it from as many angles as possible, as it will look way more “3D”. 
    Really? We don't have X-ray vision and only ever see the surface.
    I was thinking the same thing, Wood is opaque…
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  • WhitecatWhitecat Frets: 5546
    edited July 10
    Whitecat said:
    Full-thickness tops have more chatoyancy than veneers and that’s the main appeal to me. You need to see it from as many angles as possible, as it will look way more “3D”. 
    Really? We don't have X-ray vision and only ever see the surface.
    You’re not seeing anything under the surface. It’s a trick of the light on the wood grain. 

    You’ve never taken a guitar with a full-thickness figured top and moved it around/rotated the axis while looking at it? It’s absolutely, blisteringly obvious. With some tops the figure will almost disappear at some viewing angles. It can sometimes appear to “shimmer” while you’re moving it - find this happens more with quilt than with flame, but flame will appear to “roll”. 

    There are YouTube videos that can demonstrate the phenomenon if you haven’t got a guitar handy to try out. Google “wood chatoyancy”. 
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  • KittyfriskKittyfrisk Frets: 19718
    Offset said:
    Whitecat said:
    Full-thickness tops have more chatoyancy than veneers and that’s the main appeal to me. You need to see it from as many angles as possible, as it will look way more “3D”. 
    Well I've learned a new word today, but I can't foresee a time when I'll have a reason to use it :-)
    Usually applied to minerals such as Cats Eye or Tigers Eye.
    As the term comes from the French for cats eye, it's hardly surprising...  B)
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  • WezVWezV Frets: 17144
    edited July 10
    Whitecat said:
    Whitecat said:
    Full-thickness tops have more chatoyancy than veneers and that’s the main appeal to me. You need to see it from as many angles as possible, as it will look way more “3D”. 
    Really? We don't have X-ray vision and only ever see the surface.
    You’ve never taken a guitar with a full-thickness figured top and moved it around/rotated the axis while looking at it? It’s absolutely, blisteringly obvious. With some tops the figure will almost disappear at some viewing angles. It can sometimes appear to “shimmer” while you’re moving it - find this happens more with quilt than with flame, but flame will appear to “roll”. 

    There are YouTube videos that can demonstrate the phenomenon if you haven’t got a guitar handy to try out. Google “wood chatoyancy”. 
    I'm in the middle ground here. 

    Veneers have just as much chatoyancy as a solid wood top - we do only see the surface.  On a flat top guitar you would see no difference at all with  a veneer or solid top

    But things do start to change when you start to carve a top through the figure.  Veneers can start to look a bit too consistent in the figure when applied over a curved surface, even with a high level of chatoyancy.  Things get more inconsistent with a carved top as you carve away from its ideal flat face, which we perceive as more chatoyancy. 

    Ironically, the highest grades of consistently quartersawn  tightly flamed maple make it impossible to distinguish between veneer or carved 
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  • daisie_guitardaisie_guitar Frets: 145
    Not a fan of veneers, feels like cheating. If it's not the real thing, I'd prefer a plain top.

    I'm a huge fan of faux binding on a figured top (think PRS Custom, Suhr Modern), looks like shit with a veneer.  :s
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  • CirrusCirrus Frets: 8517
    I like my Gretsch's full thickness carved top, made of wood from the green sparkle tree.
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  • elstoofelstoof Frets: 2628
    On a carvetop with bookmatched veneers, they’re too perfectly mirrored to the point of being uncanny, full thickness carves look much more organic and desirable imo. Nothing in it between flat tops though
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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 24078
    Offset said:
    Whitecat said:
    Full-thickness tops have more chatoyancy than veneers and that’s the main appeal to me. You need to see it from as many angles as possible, as it will look way more “3D”. 
    Well I've learned a new word today, but I can't foresee a time when I'll have a reason to use it :-)
    I really, really hate that word (no offence, Whitecat).   Trogly uses it quite a lot in his videos.  It makes me want to stab him in the eyes.
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  • KittyfriskKittyfrisk Frets: 19718
    Philly_Q said:
    Offset said:
    Whitecat said:
    Full-thickness tops have more chatoyancy than veneers and that’s the main appeal to me. You need to see it from as many angles as possible, as it will look way more “3D”. 
    Well I've learned a new word today, but I can't foresee a time when I'll have a reason to use it :-)
    I really, really hate that word (no offence, Whitecat).   Trogly uses it quite a lot in his videos.  It makes me want to stab him in the eyes.
    Having discovered your kryptonite word, I really must attempt to shoehorn it into future dialogues here :-D
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  • Dr_NecessiterDr_Necessiter Frets: 352
    How does chatoyancy affect tone though? ;) Sorry, can't find the "can of worms" emoji. :)
    "I've got the moobs like Jabba".
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  • rlwrlw Frets: 4801
    How does chatoyancy affect tone though? ;) Sorry, can't find the "can of worms" emoji. :)

    Tone is obviously in the eye of the beholder.
    Save a cow.  Eat a vegetarian.
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  • LongtallronnieLongtallronnie Frets: 1219
    edited July 10
    rlw said:
    How does chatoyancy affect tone though? Sorry, can't find the "can of worms" emoji.

    Tone is obviously in the cateye of the beholder.
    FTFY

    I always assumed a veneer wouldn't be at all chatoyant(?) and generally associate flamed maple caps with Les Pauls and other carved topped guitars, so my preference would be for the real thing. 
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  • jaymenonjaymenon Frets: 870
    edited July 10
    I'm guessing the full thickness maple cap contributes to tone
    The flame provides the appearance

    Veneer: 1/20" thick (or even thinner)
    Les Paul Maple cap: 5/8" 

    I suppose it is wiser / more economical to get the maximum beauty from a given piece of flame maple by using it on 10 - 15 instruments rather than wasting the whole piece on one guitar - with little tonal benefit...
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  • Bennyboy-UKBennyboy-UK Frets: 1757
    "Benefit" is subjective.
    I'm always looking for interesting USA Hamers for sale.

    At the moment I'm looking for:
    * Hamer Watson, SS2, Vintage S, T62.
    * Music Man Luke 1, Luke II

    Please drop me a message.
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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 24078
    Philly_Q said:
    Offset said:
    Whitecat said:
    Full-thickness tops have more chatoyancy than veneers and that’s the main appeal to me. You need to see it from as many angles as possible, as it will look way more “3D”. 
    Well I've learned a new word today, but I can't foresee a time when I'll have a reason to use it :-)
    I really, really hate that word (no offence, Whitecat).   Trogly uses it quite a lot in his videos.  It makes me want to stab him in the eyes.
    Having discovered your kryptonite word, I really must attempt to shoehorn it into future dialogues here :-D
    It's much worse heard than read, but I hate it either way.  It just seems needlessly flowery, a word Gyles Brandreth or Stephen Fry might use.
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  • elstoofelstoof Frets: 2628
    That’s like saying it’s wiser / more economical to buy Ikea chipboard furniture rather than wasting whole pieces of wood on a mahogany dining table
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