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Testimonials

"I’m about 10 tops into a stack of 40 cedar tops I got from you, and whenever I want to start a new guitar, I just walk over and pick a top off the stack, and start building.
They are all that great! I don’t have to dink around with the pattern, or select the “best" one: I just start building. I love that!  I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your high standards, and what a pleasure it is to do business with you!"

Ben

Tops - Tonewood

There are a myriad of factors that determine the final tone of an instrument but the top is where most of a luthier’s effort is focused. Many people point to Antonio de Torres’ experiment of building a guitar with a paper mache back and sides to show how important the soundboard is in tone production. We have hundreds (if not thousands) of soundboards of varying grades in our warehouses with most of our stock being in the AA and AAA range.

Top Dimensions      Wood Grading article      Soundboard quality terms



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A word on grading: With only one in a hundred (or more) tops receiving a Master grade, they are very rarely in stock. We consider our AAA grade stock as our best and we always have good stocks. AAA’s are chosen for stiffness across the top, straight grain, quartersawn, even color and good annular ring spacing. Some of the factors moving a top into AA are slightly wider ring spacing, mild color variation, or lack of silk or medullary rays. These AA tops are great tops and are easily the best bargain in each of our top species. In A grade there may be a bit of runout, lack of stiffness across the grain, or some visible cosmetic flaw.