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ES-339 Figured... What is meant by "figured"?


Fadista
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Many times ia find the word "figure" applied to guitar models (like Gibson Es-339 Figured, Blueberry Burst) or even to materials (like Figured Maple, Figured Wallnut, etc.)

Since my mother tongue is the Portuguese, I should appreciate very much if someone could explain to me (in English) what is meant by "figured" in these contexts.

Kind regards,

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More specifically, it is not the wood grain, but the type of wood grain.  You can still see the wood grain in "plain" tops.  But "figured/flame" type have a distinctive  pattern in the wood generally running 90 deg in the direction of the regular wood grain.  More distinctive, generally more desirable, and more expensive.    It is a characteristic of wood, regardless if it laminate or solid.

The following is a pretty exact comparison.  Faded light burst, and Figured Faded light burst.

ESDP16FBNH1_MAIN_HERO_01.jpg

ES4564P16FBNH1_MAIN_HERO_01.jpg

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Great explanations! Thank you all for contributing with your know-how. I like the new Gibson ES-339 Figured, Bueberry Burst - 2020, but still not available in Portugal (expected in 5  - 6 months...).

Prices comparison:

Gibson ES339 Gloss Light Caramel Burst (2019) - 1969 EURO    AVAILABLE

Gibson ES-339 Figured, Bueberry Burst (2020) - 2575 EURO       5 -6 MONTHS 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Wmachine said:

More specifically, it is not the wood grain, but the type of wood grain.  You can still see the wood grain in "plain" tops.  But "figured/flame" type have a distinctive  pattern in the wood generally running 90 deg in the direction of the regular wood grain.  More distinctive, generally more desirable, and more expensive.    It is a characteristic of wood, regardless if it laminate or solid.

The following is a pretty exact comparison.  Faded light burst, and Figured Faded light burst.

ESDP16FBNH1_MAIN_HERO_01.jpg

ES4564P16FBNH1_MAIN_HERO_01.jpg

I meant to say that!  :rolleyes:

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On 6/5/2020 at 6:45 AM, Fadista said:

Great explanations! Thank you all for contributing with your know-how. I like the new Gibson ES-339 Figured, Bueberry Burst - 2020, but still not available in Portugal (expected in 5  - 6 months...).

Prices comparison:

Gibson ES339 Gloss Light Caramel Burst (2019) - 1969 EURO    AVAILABLE

Gibson ES-339 Figured, Bueberry Burst (2020) - 2575 EURO       5 -6 MONTHS 

 

 

 

Not sure how many Euro's to the buck but for 600 of them you'd have really dig that blue berry, eh?

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  • 2 years later...

I purchased a 60's Cherry "Figured" ES335, last year. I look at many 60's Cherry ES335 guitars in the shop, and on-line and they all look like my "figured" 60's Cherry ES335.

I paid $400.00 extra for the "Figured" finish. I feel somewhat ripped off in paying $400.00 extra for what is typically the standard finish on all 60's Cherry ES335 guitars.

Can someone explain this to me? --- thanks A.J.   

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Unless stated otherwise, the online pics may not be the actual guitar, just one like it. 

In a shop, you see just what you get. Figuring. like the grain itself is unique in any guitar. 

Makers select & grade the wood billet prior to manufacture. Often they number the grade but not always. However one batch of billets may have more figured wood than the next batch, so that affects the grading. They can only grade what they receive in any one batch. That affects what you actually get.

If you bought your guitar 'in the shop' as suggested by your post, why did you choose the figured if others looked similar?

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6 hours ago, merciful-evans said:

Unless stated otherwise, the online pics may not be the actual guitar, just one like it. 

In a shop, you see just what you get. Figuring. like the grain itself is unique in any guitar. 

Makers select & grade the wood billet prior to manufacture. Often they number the grade but not always. However one batch of billets may have more figured wood than the next batch, so that affects the grading. They can only grade what they receive in any one batch. That affects what you actually get.

If you bought your guitar 'in the shop' as suggested by your post, why did you choose the figured if others looked similar?

Some online stores take pics of the actual guitar your will be receiving. I know on Sweetwater's site the guitar you see is the one you get.

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Thanks for replying... I ordered the ES335 60's Cherry directly from Gibson.  My mentor guitarist had purchased a standard Cherry Red ES335 a few years earlier.

His guitar has a uniform red color throughout, so when I saw my new guitar, I thought nothing of it. It had a figured pattern, but NOT the 90-degree pattern that is

shown over and over as "figured." My dear friend at guitar center told me the patterns are all different. But it seems my guitar is a 60's Cherry standard.

I suspect it was designated "figured" to fill some assembly line quota.  Paying the extra $400.00 for nothing is really disappointing. This ES335 60's Cherry

was the ONLY thing in my bucket list.  I don't want or need anything else. -- again, thanks for replying.  -- A.J. -- now "practice, practice, practice."

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