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Maple Top


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I don't think mahogany is muddy, just not as bright as rock maple.

I read an article about Paul Reed Smith many years ago, where he said his all mahogany guitars sound better than the maple topped ones.

But the maple topped design is kind of "wrong" when you think about older traditional stringed instrument building. On a violin or acoustic (including many hollow-body guitars, but not all), it's supposed to be that the top of the body is a lighter, more resonant wood than the rest of the guitar. This design causes the denser wood of the neck, back and sides to make the string vibration "end up" in the lighter wood of the top.

That's my understanding of it, anyway.

But I guess that goes out the window quite a lot when pickups and amplification are involved. But then it's been said (by a few, anyway) that the better an *electric* guitar sounds unplugged, the better it sounds through pickups. I don't know if that's true or not.

I guess the best example of a Les Paul type guitar built much along the traditional lines of 'light top wood, heavier back/sides wood' design, would be the Guild Nightingale (assuming I spelled that correctly).

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