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Author Topic: Do most people really like bear claw and quilted ?  (Read 13066 times)
lw216316
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« on: April 21, 2009, 03:07:03 PM »

Here is an honest story.

A year ago I knew almost nothing about the construction and quality of guitars.
A friend took me to visit a guitar builder friend of his.

While there, the builder was showing us various tops he had that would one day be used to build guitars.

He pulled out one  with   (  what I now know to be  )  bear claw patterns on it.
At the time, I had never seen or heard of BEAR CLAW.

My first reaction (which I kept to myself) was , 
Man, that piece looks damaged. He's not going to build a guitar with that is he ?

Then my friend spoke his delight in it and the builder enjoyed drooling over it.
So I figured out -  BEAR CLAW - was considered a GOOD thing.

Maybe its an acquired taste. I still have not acquired it.

I had a similar experience with the QUILTED pattern that I first encountered in a guitar store.
My first thought was not positive.

My favorite is straight. I've seen some other patterns that were pretty but
BEAR CLAW and QUILTED do not appeal to me.

Am I in the minority in my preference ?

What's your preference ?

- Larry
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Queequeg
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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2009, 03:21:20 PM »

I like this a lot:
did you say bearclaw




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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2009, 03:25:23 PM »

With the risk of offending some people, I do not like a top covered in bear claw.  I like a little character, but some bits look like the whole top is 3D, and I find it strange looking.  Another issue, however, is that it is very difficult to get the true look of it in a photo, so it may look nicer in real life.  

My forum III has a little bear claw on it, and that is enough for me.

Since I typed this, Queequeg posted a pic of Walkermans L-?? - that amount of bear claw is not for me at all (personal opinion)

Interesting that it is one of the few things on guitars that is truly personal taste, because (to the best of my knowledge) there is no impact on tone.  It is also my understanding that that applies to quilted vs flamed maple (same wood, cut in a different direction).  Personally I think flamed maple looks fantastic, but quilted looks plain weird.
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lw216316
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2009, 03:53:22 PM »

Thanks for posting the picture of the BEAR CLAW   - some people may be like I was earlier and not know what we are talking about.

Wow - now that's a bear claw - the most I've seen.
Mother bear AND CUBS got in on that one !
 

I really do want to know how the majority of people feel about these patters.
So let me hear from you !
(please avoid finding fault with someone else's personal preference in your response)


CAN SOMEONE POST A PICTURE OF A QUILTED for us ?

- thanks
Larry

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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2009, 03:57:45 PM »

Larry, watch this youtube - fascinating stuff.  This is what i referred to earlier about flamed vs quilted being the same, just cut differently.

http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&oi=video_result&ct=res&cd=4&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DjJMLE7G2IIk&ei=neztSbT5N4TMjAfVkIkW&usg=AFQjCNFz3KPaJXsVjPvAfbdXupt0u0QH6Q

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jeremy3220
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« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2009, 03:59:28 PM »

I guess I like variety cause I like both but if I had to pick a preference it would be for no bear claw.



CAN SOMEONE POST A PICTURE OF A QUILTED for us ?


Of quilted what? Maple?
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« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2009, 04:01:08 PM »

I like them both.Very pretty stuff.
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2009, 04:04:29 PM »

Do most people really like bear claw and quilted ?

Today they do. (bear claw)      I kinda think of bear claw and quilted as different though.
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« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2009, 04:08:42 PM »

To me they're like an ugly baby (only a mother could love). If you take price out of the equation it's just a bad looking piece of wood (to my opinionated self). Put a BIG price on it and to some people it gets pretty real fast. I hope the emperor likes his new clothes.

Only an opinion, not fact.

fred

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« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2009, 04:27:30 PM »

Bear claw in moderation yes. Quilting on an acoustic, not really...looks far better on electrics.
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« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2009, 04:27:59 PM »


CAN SOMEONE POST A PICTURE OF A QUILTED for us ?

- thanks
Larry



here's an example of quilted sapele
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« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2009, 04:44:10 PM »

I believe all aesthetics, even taste in women (men for you ladies present) and cars, is a purely subjective matter. I LOVE bear claw. I also love quilted. And, straight grain, and silking, and flamed. I think some guitars look better than others with any given wood and/or finish treatment. But, I am not opposed to any.

I think it all depends on the package. A mini-van with ground effects and large wing looks out of place. But, so does a Cadillac with 22 inch rims and off road tires. My wife is a gorgeous brunette, but I'm not saying that blonds or red heads are less appreciated.

My Larrivee has heavy bear claw, my Gibson has wonderful natural straight grain, and my Epiphone is flamed maple with a sunburst finish. They all look good to me. Better yet, they all play and sound terrific.

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« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2009, 05:49:41 PM »

thanks for the picture of the QUILTED !

So far, it seems BEAR CLAW and QUILTED  "  ARE "  enjoyed by the majority

I had no idea they were that popular.

(puts me in the minority - that's ok)

If you have a picture of your BEAR CLAW or QUILTED or some other UNUSUAL pattern
that you like and would like to post it -  then PLEASE DO !
I'm sure the others would enoy seeing it.

- Larry
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« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2009, 06:06:39 PM »

Micheletti Guitar
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« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2009, 06:21:47 PM »

I prefer a nice straight grained top with nice silking. My OM-18V has a real nice straight grained sitka top with just one little bearclaw swirl. To me it looks like it's winking at me.

Say hello to "Tillie" the little guitar that could.



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« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2009, 06:40:53 PM »

hey Q, nice pic, that one looks like sunlight reflecting in a pool of wavey water.

Quote
  I prefer a nice straight grained top with nice silking

SILKING - that's another pattern that was new to me.
Is silking the cross-pattern that runs 90 degrees to the grain and looks kind of wavey ?

My SD-50 has a pattern like that -
I asked one person about it and he said it is an indication of ' tight ' grain and is a good thing as far as tone.

Anybody know anything about that ?

- Larry
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« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2009, 06:48:27 PM »

hey Q, nice pic, that one looks like sunlight reflecting in a pool of wavey water.

SILKING - that's another pattern that was new to me.
Is silking the cross-pattern that runs 90 degrees to the grain and looks kind of wavey ?

My SD-50 has a pattern like that -
I asked one person about it and he said it is an indication of ' tight ' grain and is a good thing as far as tone.

Anybody know anything about that ?

- Larry

yeh it runs perpendicular to the annular rings. It's not an indication of tight grain(tight grain is an indication of tight grain) but it is an indication of the wood being well quartered since it really only shows on that face.
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« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2009, 07:04:45 PM »

siliking, and bear claw are what is known as Medullary rays.

Wood is at regular distances interspersed with radially orientated parenchyma cells and often also with tracheids. They spring from the ray initials of the cambium. The medullary rays of conifer wood are normally only one cell layer thick, but they can be as high as 1-20 (sometimes even up to 50) layers of cells. Ray tracheids and axially orientated tracheids are connected via pits. Medullary rays with resin ducts seem spindly in tangential sections. Resin ducts can be either axially or radially orientated. There is actually hardly any difference between them and intercellular spaces that have been enlarged by the splaying of parenchyma cells. Consequently, resin ducts are always lined with parenchyma cells. Their existence has different reasons: injuries by frost or winter damages are some factors that stimulate their formation. The respective gymnosperm families react differently to these disturbances.
I believe I copied this from wikipedia a couple of years ago, but I didn't note the source at that time; sorry.
-Q.
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« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2009, 07:25:58 PM »

I'm not a huge fan of bearclaw, but i do enjoy the "figured" "flamed" and "quilted" pieces of wood.  I think it adds to the look of the wood.  It gives the wood a more 3D look.  Some of it can look a little odd at times. If the sapele picture above didn't say what it was, then I would still be here guessing what it was.     

Quilted hog is probally my favorite of them all. I don't think I've ever seen it on a Larrivee. I know Martin has used it on their Andy Griffiths D-18.  Koa and walnut also have a great look to them when the figuring is right on the wood.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Similar arguments come up in the furniture/fashion world too. (I delivered furniture for a year a few years back)  Leather is a natural product that isn't always perfect. There are many different marks that come on the hide (you can't expect a cow to haver perfect skin) and some people really like the look of those natural marks, whereas some people will send something like a couch back to trade it for one that doesn't have these natural marks in it. 
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« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2009, 07:35:09 PM »

my girlfriend's daughter & son-in-law had a hardwood floor professionally installed a year ago and had the installer come back and exchange a couple of planks because they weren't all alike. A few of the planks had some nice figuring. You know, it's real wood and they're not all alike, but they thought the company had cheated them with inferior product. (?)
"You know, if you wanted them all just alike, why didnt you just get a synthetic?" (no, I didn't say that to them, but I recall thinking it)
Goes to show, as has been pointed out a couple of times in this thread already, it's a matter of taste and individual preference.
Something for everyone.
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