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Testimonials

“I really appreciate the extra mile you guys are going to make sure your customers are satisfied. I have a degree in business and I've studied all that stuff about how companies are doing their best to keep their customer satisfied through marketing and incentives, but I can't think of another company (in any field) that makes me as satisfied as you guys do. I'm sure there are some places that sell materials here in Japan, but even with extra cost of shipping and customs fee, I prefer to buy from LMI, because I can trust LMI's service and quality of materials. No marketing and incentives can match the solid good service and I'm a very happy LMI customer.”

- I.T. Japan.

Tops - Tonewood

TOPScategoryPageWith the old-growth forests disappearing, wood of the highest quality is getting harder to find. Despite this we take care to obtain the best materials available. This is especially true of our topwoods.
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 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.
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.

Tops Dimensions
Wood Grading article
Soundboard quality terms