Got my body, but the flamed top has no movement. Is that normal?

TheOtherEric

Active member
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I just received my Soloist body with Unique Choice flamed maple top (tigers eye finish), and I’m really surprised and saddened to see absolutely no “movement” of the flame, so it has no 3D effect. Is that typical of Warmoth tops? Other than that, the body is outstanding in every way. If this is typical, it’s weird I haven’t seen folks complaining.

I’d post a pic except thats not something you can see in pics.
 

ValeBliz

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120
As far as I know, the more you apply finish to flamed woods, especially dark finishes, the less they retain chatoyance.
 

stratamania

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It will depend on the grain structure and the finish. It is possible to have good figuring but some have more or less chatoyance.

Generally most people are more than satisfied with the tops they get. A couple of years ago the user Cactus Jack helped someone get a good bargain from the showcase. It was a very good looking body.

https://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=31308.0

Also @TheOtherEric post some pics...
 

TheOtherEric

Active member
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63
stratamania said:
It will depend on the grain structure and the finish. It is possible to have good figuring but some have more or less chatoyance.

Generally most people are more than satisfied with the tops they get. A couple of years ago the user Cactus Jack helped someone get a good bargain from the showcase. It was a very good looking body.

https://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=31308.0

Also @TheOtherEric post some pics...
Thanks for the link; he basically wrote out my exact thoughts.  Except I paid $1,000 for this Unique Choice body, so I think my expectations are reasonable.  It looks to me like a photo-flame that you'd find on a $150 import guitar.  This body will have to go back; you cannot simply convince yourself to like a guitar that doesn't please you. And sure, you can say I'm overly picky. But again, on a $1,000 body, you SHOULD be. Probably it's just one strange piece of wood, because Warmoth has a great reputation for tops, and they wouldn't have it if all the tops were like this.

Here's a pic next to guitar builder pic.  The color and pattern differences don't bother me, but the lack of chatoyance does.
 

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ValeBliz

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Hard to tell from the pic but it looks weird and really washed out. Reminds me of the flame veneer on ash grey Yamaha Revstars...
 

TBurst Std

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2,668
TheOtherEric said:
stratamania said:
It will depend on the grain structure and the finish. It is possible to have good figuring but some have more or less chatoyance.

Generally most people are more than satisfied with the tops they get. A couple of years ago the user Cactus Jack helped someone get a good bargain from the showcase. It was a very good looking body.

https://www.unofficialwarmoth.com/index.php?topic=31308.0

Also @TheOtherEric post some pics...
Thanks for the link; he basically wrote out my exact thoughts.  Except I paid $1,000 for this Unique Choice body, so I think my expectations are reasonable.  It looks to me like a photo-flame that you'd find on a $150 import guitar.  This body will have to go back; you cannot simply convince yourself to like a guitar that doesn't please you. And sure, you can say I'm overly picky. But again, on a $1,000 body, you SHOULD be. Probably it's just one strange piece of wood, because Warmoth has a great reputation for tops, and they wouldn't have it if all the tops were like this.

Here's a pic next to guitar builder pic.  The color and pattern differences don't bother me, but the lack of chatoyance does.
Very confusing post. Which is yours vs builder?
Keep in mind, chatoyance decreases normally as grain (in this case flame) becomes more prominent. Chatoyance is seen as the revealing of underlying patterns that are not prominent. 
 

TheOtherEric

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TBurst Std said:
Very confusing post. Which is yours vs builder?
Keep in mind, chatoyance decreases normally as grain (in this case flame) becomes more prominent. Chatoyance is seen as the revealing of underlying patterns that are not prominent.
Sorry if that was confusing.  I saved the pic on the right from the web site when I was ordering this guitar, so that's actually the correct UC top.  I only posted that because, as a side note, it's kind of funny how my actual guitar looks nothing like what the site showed. Something to consider when you drop $200 on a UC top. But again, I have no quarrel with that, because this top is nice and flamey with a good pattern.  The problem is that it looks like a photo-flame in person.

I'm deeply crushed this one didn't work out.  But on the positive side, I'll get to spec out and order another body.  Definitely won't be a flame or quilted top.
 

TheOtherEric

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Also, here's a pic of the Soloist on the right, next to my Suhr Modern Plus.  Funny that the Suhr looks a lot better in person; the flames really come and go depending on the viewing angle. (Whereas the Warmoth always looks exactly like this, from any angle).  You can also see the Tigers Eye finish actually has very little red to it; it's very brown despite the web site showing lots of red. 
 

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ValeBliz

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Well I’d say at least in the last pic the comparison with the suhr isn’t bad. Movement aside, the warmoth body as deeper and more defined flaming.
 

Lbpesq

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270
Looking carefully at the grain patterns in the pics in Reply #4 above, they look like two different bodies to me.

Bill, tgo
 

TBurst Std

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2,668
Thanks for the clarification.  Looking at your second set of pics, I have to agree that the W’s flame is much more prominent and like I noted, chatoyance is non prominent revealing a from angles.

Regarding color, I’ve never regarded Tigers Eye as having red tints.
 

ChrisMC

Senior member
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150
I have a flame maple top Soloist body (and a neck) on the way. I only hope mine is as figured as that; that’s a great looking top!
 

BroccoliRob

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914
it's a beauty. if u dont want it i'll give you $250 cash, unmarked bills in a nice leather briefcase and we'll meet in a dimly lot public spot wearing trench coats to make the swap while its raining.

it'll be so dope.
 

Cagey

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24,425
You can never see chatoyance in a standard photograph because they're 2 dimensional. You have to view the piece with two eyes and a single light source so your eyes see two different light reflections. That'll add the depth (3rd dimension) your brain supplies and doesn't exist in a photograph.
 

TheOtherEric

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Cagey said:
You can never see chatoyance in a standard photograph because they're 2 dimensional. You have to view the piece with two eyes and a single light source so your eyes see two different light reflections. That'll add the depth (3rd dimension) your brain supplies and doesn't exist in a photograph.
Indeed, and that’s why I was reluctant to post pics in the first place. In pics, it looks great but in person it’s worse than about any photo-flame I’ve ever seen. It’s surprising they even allowed it to ship, given their reputation. Makes me really wonder if they deserve that reputation for tops, so I was hoping to hear a consensus that indeed their flames almost always have chatoyance. But folks aren’t saying that, so ...
 

Cagey

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I'm not sure why there's been no big reply here, as I know the vast majority of the Warmoth body/finish parts show up exceeding expectations. I know I've seen a number of them that just defy description and you wonder how such a thing could occur naturally. But, it's not guaranteed, wood being what it is. Mother nature's kids all look different.
 
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