How PRS Grades Their Maple Tops

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How PRS Grades Their Maple Tops

Postby Omsong » Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:04 pm


I wonder how their process compairs to Kiesel... Does Jeff do all the grading at Kiesel?
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Re: How PRS Grades Their Maple Tops

Postby Doctor Turn » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:19 pm

if he does then one would have to think that he buys top wood according to a different grading system, or if it is a dealer-determined grading system, and Jeff nonetheless grades them himself, he's regrading them based on his close look after maybe a light sanding, pouring some alcohol on them to see what would come out when a finish is applied.. which I guess could make sense. There are tops that I see called 2A that look more like a speckled plain top, there are 2A's that look more like 3A's, and on and on.

Naturally, operating within the bounds of fairness, an owner is going to want to get as much money as possible for whatever he's selling.. so that means perhaps at times bumping up what you bought as a 4a top as a 5a if you can make it work.

At the same time (and my guitar is living proof of the fact that the shop has been doing the exact opposite in favor of the musician for decades) it's an endless number of buyers that paid for something average and got a total jawdropper home run. Going way back to the old clear finish maple 150s a guy could pay for an expect a plain top and wind up with a solid flamed or quilted slab, or even wind up with something like this:

Same goes for today--there's a guy on FB this morning who unboxed a killer lizard burst Aries with a flamed maple top and got a 1 piece top without asking for or expecting one.

PLus nowadays they rarely (with maple anyway) mess around with the 1a-3a tops that places like Gibson, ESP, Schecter, Hagstrom, Hamer and all the rest do. About the worst Kiesel top you'll see is something where the 4A looks like a 3A (this looks a lot like the 3A's that went on all the Northen Super tops):

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