All of our items are graded according to a 5 star rating
criterion, where the 5A grade is close to “perfect”.
Whenever we apply this criterion to acoustic tops, the 5A grade will be the stiffest sets, perfectly quartersawn, with the tightest grains all throughout
the top (more than 20 grains per inch), beautiful uniform color and a nice silking effect.
4A grade will be nearly as nice as the 5A grade, with the only exception being that it may contain
some light color banding, and/or grain variation; the grain count may be smaller as well (although the count will be
at or above 14 grains per inch).
sets are nice sets as well, with great tonal
qualities; they will be stiff and fairly pleasing to the eye. This grade does allow for some more obvious “defects”
such as color banding, hard (more defined) grains, minor grain waves and a more open grain (down to about 10 GPI).
The 2A and 1A grades are of lesser quality, mostly used in inexpensive
guitars by our mainstream clientele. That being said, these lower grade tops can - at times - be a tremendous bargain for
the luthiers who prefer to add a certain “character” to their instrument and put more value in the tonal quality
of the set, rather than its looks. Whenever we list these lower grade sets (2A / 1A) on our website, we’ll make
sure to select only those for which the grading criterion does not do justice (for example where a high grade stiff top will
be downgraded to a lesser grade due to a minor cosmetic defect).
We will describe the stiffness
of all our listed sets, which should be a good indication as to how good of a tonewood they are. They are usually classified
as follows (from best to worst): very stiff, stiff, fairly stiff, not stiff.
Furthermore, here’s a bit of explanation about our figured
5A will have superb figure, covering about 100% of the set. They are usually described
as “Premium, Beautiful, or Superb figure”.
4A will have
excellent figure, covering about 65% to 80% of the set. “Excellent and Great figure” are used to describe these.
3A will have great figure, covering about 45% to 60% of the set. They’re
usually described as “Good figure”.
These grades are not normally listed in our website, since they are of the lowest quality (figure-wise):
2A will have good figure, covering about 30% of the set.
1A will have some figure, covering about 10 to 25% of the set.