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Author Topic: Do most people really like bear claw and quilted ?  (Read 12844 times)
Queequeg
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« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2009, 07:50:03 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

 bigrin
and here's another opinion...

"Bearclaw, like the curl in curly maple, is a rippling of the longitudinal fibers, which divides the surface of the wood into shimmering patterns. Unlike the even waves that usually occur in maple, bearclaw usually appears on asymmetrical or randomly broken patterns. This phenomenon almost always occurs in older trees that have dense, stiff grain structure and high sound velocity."
-Dana Bourgeois
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magictwanger
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« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2009, 08:00:53 PM »

Well,what is "not" a matter of taste actually?I hate anything "minty",and my wife just brought home a new ice cream flavor....Skinny Minty!...Yucch!!...but...she and my son & daughter love it....Go figure!

  This past year I bought a few new guitars.I'd sold off some audio equip,and an extensive LP collection to be able to afford them(very nice instruments).

  After getting two fairly standard models,which are just wonderful(Larri is one of them,btw)I ordered a custom Bourgeois Dread,which has highly figured,maple body binding....just gorgeous..."to me".

  Then,after really careful consideration,and playing a TON of Rosewood OM's(of which I wanted one)I came upon a custom Huss & Dalton "Bear Claw Sitka topped/Braz B&S model....OH,MY!!

   To my tastes it is "absolutely stunning"!!Sounds better than it looks too,so what's not to like?

  Yet,I love any well made and tasteful instrument,especially if it does what it is intended to do.Play and sound superb.

  Just this past Sunday,I played a particular Martin D-18 Authentic,which was about as "Plain Jane"  looking as it gets,but to me it was GORGEOUS!!.....Oh God,was that thing one of the finest playing/sounding guitars I'd ever touched....So my virdict is "it" is as "beautiful" as one could want in an instrument....I'd not change a thing about it.

  I don't own it,but kudos to whomever is lucky enough to own this model.The D-18A has been criticized by some as over-priced,but personally I feel it is worth it,and would give up asthetics in a heartbeat if it meant getting a better sounding instrument....Now if they could only put some "highly figured Hog on it".  

 Best to all
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lw216316
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« Reply #22 on: April 21, 2009, 08:10:30 PM »

Quote
   it is an indication of the wood being well quartered since it really only shows on that face.

This would seem to imply that silking is an idication of 'good quality ' - and thus could contribute to good tone as my friend suggested -


but someone mentioned 'frost' as a possible cause in reference to the various patterns -
does this 'frost' idea include silking or is that for quilting ?

Frost does not seem like it would be a good thing as far as quality ?

I'm unclear about this.

- Larry
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Queequeg
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« Reply #23 on: April 21, 2009, 08:39:05 PM »

This would seem to imply that silking is an idication of 'good quality ' - and thus could contribute to good tone as my friend suggested -


but someone mentioned 'frost' as a possible cause in reference to the various patterns -
does this 'frost' idea include silking or is that for quilting ?

Frost does not seem like it would be a good thing as far as quality ?

I'm unclear about this.

- Larry
quilting is genetic.
silking is thought to be the result of injuries by frost or winter damages  or related factors that stimulate their formation.
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BenF
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« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2009, 09:19:33 PM »

But I thought one of the benefits of alpine spruce was the extremes of cold winters and warm summers during its growth, which sets it apart from other spruces?  Maybe Jeremy will help out with this, if he has finished colonising Europe in his longship.
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Ben
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ronmac
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« Reply #25 on: April 21, 2009, 09:30:47 PM »

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silking is thought to be the result of injuries by frost or winter damages  or related factors that stimulate their formation.

I am having difficulty understanding this explanation. I am not sure how frost would cause damage deep within the tree, on a consistent basis.

Perhaps this description, taken from "The Luthier's Handbook" by Roger H. Siminoff more accurately describes what we see as "silk"...

Quote
Medullary rays are cells which grow across the tree to help as cross feeders supplying starch to all annual rings.These rays often appear as light wisps in Sitka and Englemann spruce soundboards and luthiers will often speak of them as the "silk" in the spruce. The acoustical properties of the medullary rays is minimal while the structural contribution to prevent checking is significant.
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Ron

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« Reply #26 on: April 21, 2009, 10:11:27 PM »

Its like women I like some redheads, some brunettes and some blondes....others not so much. A top will appeal to me based on its own merits and so I will judge them individualy.Some claw I like but that wide grained Adi thing has no appeal to me......dont care if the sound is "better". Give me german or a good stiff sitka anytime.

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jeremy3220
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« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2009, 10:17:08 PM »

But I thought one of the benefits of alpine spruce was the extremes of cold winters and warm summers during its growth, which sets it apart from other spruces?  Maybe Jeremy will help out with this, if he has finished colonising Europe in his longship.

I don't really know. I don't see how a tree like sitka that grows in that type of climate would be bothered much by frost.


This would seem to imply that silking is an idication of 'good quality ' - and thus could contribute to good tone as my friend suggested -

Well you want the top to be quartersawn, many beleive it is important in the top for sound transmission. I don't know if the silking does anything though.


"Bearclaw, like the curl in curly maple, is a rippling of the longitudinal fibers, which divides the surface of the wood into shimmering patterns. Unlike the even waves that usually occur in maple, bearclaw usually appears on asymmetrical or randomly broken patterns. This phenomenon almost always occurs in older trees that have dense, stiff grain structure and high sound velocity."
-Dana Bourgeois

You know, I've never heard any luthier back up that claim - that it always occurs in trees that are stiff. Most builders will say it doesn't mean much as far as stiffness or sound goes. But that one statement by Bourgeois gets repeated over and over.

I found this quote from Bob Taylor "...Only bearclaw happens in soft spruce just the same as hard. I've seen it in REALLY soft wide-grained spruce lots of times."

Personally, I don't think a lot about it. If the top sounds good it is good.
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lw216316
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« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2009, 11:35:18 PM »

one quick question off the subject....
(since I began the subject ,  I give myself permission to do this   bigrin  )

How do you pronounce BOURGEOIS (as in Dana Bourgeois ) ?

You French guys help me out, please......

I've seen his guitars in some shops. Next time I would like to sound like I know what I'm doing
instead of pointing and saying,  " Can I try THAT ONE "    bigrin

The first time I saw one of his guitars in a shop it was a new classical / nylon over $10,000.
I was afraid to touch it.

- Larry
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magictwanger
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« Reply #29 on: April 21, 2009, 11:51:20 PM »

With a "W".....
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ronmac
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« Reply #30 on: April 21, 2009, 11:51:53 PM »

http://www.pantheonguitars.com/faq/pronounce%20Bourgeois.htm

Quote
Question:  How do you pronounce Bourgeois?
 Answer:  BUR-jwah.

We have to confess that we have all had trouble trying to pronounce the last name of our esteemed luthier, Dana Bourgeois.   We've been bugging Dana to come up with a simple phonetic pronunciation.  Dana asked if we would like the French, Acadian, Cajun or American version....we've decided to pass along the American version.  

This is what we came up with:  "BUR-jwah" with the accent on the first syllable.  Any linguists out there with a better idea, let us know!

We hope this will alleviate the problem of going in to your favorite shop, pointing to a rack of guitars and saying, "uh, I want that one."

Bourgeois (BUR-jwah)...Ask for it by Name.  

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Ron

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« Reply #31 on: April 22, 2009, 01:07:46 AM »

Am I in the minority in my preference ? What's your preference ?

Since you are looking for opinions...

I think its interesting because for years these kinds of woods were considered defective. Straight grained was preferred.

Regarding spruce...I like some mild bear claw...or unique patterns. I really like the top in the photo that Queenqueg showed...I think a lot of bear claw can look interesting...but a beautiful straight grained golden sitka with silking is the best. I was looking at my Forum I guitar today and admiring its pretty straight grained top.

Regarding quilted (maple koa etc)....I don't care for some of the more extreme patterns that some people ooohh and aahhh about. For example I don't care for the quilted sapele earlier in this thread. I certainly wouldn't pay an upcharge for it. Less is more in my book....Even though, as a rule I don't care for extremely figured woods, there are some examples of them that I like. I think its more they way they are executed overall.  Each guitar is evaluated individually. I have seen some quilted mahogany I have loved....I'll see if I can find an example to post...
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« Reply #32 on: April 22, 2009, 03:36:22 AM »

"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)

That's my philosophy regarding wood.

I enjoy all sorts of tops on a guitar. My adirondack topped guitar is very straight grained. Another sitka topped has one very small bit of bearclaw. My newest guitar (almost done being built) has a spruce top with bearclaw going from the soundhole to the side. Straight-grained, a little bear-claw, lots of bearclaw, it doesn't really matter to me.

Speaking of woods, my brother has almost completed my newest sycamore back/sides 000-size guitar. Any other folks love the looks of sycamore? It's a really groovy looking wood for back/sides.
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« Reply #33 on: April 22, 2009, 04:26:29 AM »

Thanks for those pics Queequeg, that was very interesting. Ben, that was so interesting, thanks for that.
cheers
fongie
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Zohn
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« Reply #34 on: April 22, 2009, 11:56:32 AM »

Wow, some pretty wild bear claw and quilts displayed here. I personally like it in moderation, and asymmetric. I love the top on Dale I's LV-10 Madi. Takamine's Nashville series tops are my favourites in Factory-made guitars. Personally don't like the quilted stuff as much as the flamed and Tiger-stripe figuring often found in Maple.
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lw216316
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« Reply #35 on: April 22, 2009, 12:29:37 PM »

Quote
Bourgeois (BUR-jwah)...Ask for it by Name.   

Thanks Ron, now I won't sound like a tourist in a guitar shop !  bigrin

- Larry
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BenF
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« Reply #36 on: April 22, 2009, 01:03:54 PM »

Thanks Ron, now I won't sound like a tourist in a guitar shop !  bigrin

- Larry

I think you have just spotted why martin sell so many guitars.  'Please can I try the larreee....larri....larey...oh ok, the burj......borg....oooh crap, just hand me the martin please'
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Ben
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« Reply #37 on: April 22, 2009, 03:28:35 PM »

Thanks Ron, now I won't sound like a tourist in a guitar shop !  bigrin

- Larry

...unless you were visiting a guitar shop in my part of the world, where the local Bourgeois families pronounce it "BORE shwa"   bigrin
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Ron

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« Reply #38 on: April 22, 2009, 03:53:42 PM »

I think you have just spotted why martin sell so many guitars.  'Please can I try the larreee....larri....larey...oh ok, the burj......borg....oooh crap, just hand me the martin please'

You Joke, but that may not be far from the truth.
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jeff

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« Reply #39 on: April 22, 2009, 09:26:19 PM »

I really like figured woods. Some I like lightly figured and others I like heavily figured. The very first time I saw a curly maple top I was mesmerized by the dimensional effect. My preference for bearclaw is light and sutble. What a boring world it would be if we all had the same taste. 
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