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question about lp finish


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imag0210aq.jpgJust wanted to see if someone could give me some feedback on what is the difference in plain top or plus top flame top is my LP standard plus a flame. Also how do you tell what grade top it is AAA .
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Plain top - no figuring.


Plus top - is figured flamed (curly) maple.


Gibson shies away from grading these days, and usually just uses the word "Plus" to indicate figuring, but sometimes you'll see a grade spec listed on a spec sheet. The problem is grading is subjective and when Gibson specs a grade, inevitably some people will feel their top doesn't have as much flame as was spec'ed.


Grading more or less - A: very little light figuring with run outs and bare spots, AA: some figuring with run outs and bare spots, AAA: well figured with hardly any run outs or bare spots, AAAA: well figured all the way to the edges no bare spots, AAAAA: extremely figured all the way to the edges no bare spots.


Your top is very nicely figured, IMO at least AAA and I would grade it AAAA. Since this is subjective, some people may have a different opinion of the grade of your top.

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Remove your bridge p-up and have a look. Sometimes there is a designation in the p-up cavity like this;




LPP = Les Paul, 'Plus' top. LPPP = Les Paul, 'Premium-Plus' top.


How was it described to you? If it was described as a Standard 'Plus' or 'Premium-Plus' then, according to Gibson, that's what it is!


As BigKahune says, Gibson doesn't often grade tops as AAAA or higher these days. As well as the difficulty in grading individual lumps of wood for 'complete-ness' of figure - edge-to-edge - there was also the apparent 'depth' of figure to consider. Some looked more '3D' than others and were thought to merit an AAAA grading but it was difficult to set out guidelines which would be 100% practicable with something as subjective as different lumps of wood.


Indeed, one of the most beautiful tops seen on this forum is a so-called 'Plain-top'....



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