The 4A grade I got is really nicely figured, and will enhance the lap steel I'm building! It's lage enough to cover the peghead too
I bought this for a instrument and when it arrived it had no flame and was very poor quality. StewMac gave me a refund, but I get my top wood from another source.
Good wood with decent flame - the categories were accurate. The wood, however, needed lots to be useable. Facing and but joining the pieces is a given in creating drop tops but the pieces we received (one 4A and one 3A) were of varying thicknesses - not near the 1/4" as advertised. Also, the pieces were significantly cupped. Thank god for a thickness sander, otherwise these would be very difficult to put together for useable tops.
I thought the quality of the grain was good but in my opinion the 2 pieces were way to bowed and had no square edge or strait edge. For a lot of people that are first time builders of making a guitar from scratch, it would be pretty hard to get the 2 pieces glued on to the bottom wood without showing a seam. I was able to do it but it was not easy. It would be better if you could ship them with some squared edges
I have used three of these tops in the past month. The first two I ordered before the grading was introduced, so I asked for good figure which I received. The grading (3A to 5A)was introduced while my third order was being processed, so I was sent a 3A set. I was a bit disappointed as I would have been prepared to upgrade to 5A if I had been advised.
The first two sets I assume are equivalent to 5A and are eye popping. The 3A set has partial figuring which is still beautiful but not eye popping. The machined faces were flawless, I assume these are drum sanded to thickness.
I have ordered figured tops from other suppliers where they have planed the maple tops which results in the wood gouging due to the irregular grain. My Stewmac tops did not have these problems.
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