Why We Use Only AAA Grade or Better Top Wood
It's more than cosmetic.
There's a convention for grading wood used in instruments such as guitars.
A lot of decisions are visual - how tight and how straight is the grain? Is there run-off? What about bear-claw, winter grain etc. But those visual clues are pointers to the potential sonic properties of the wood. In the right hands a highly graded wood is going to amplify the quality of the finished instrument. A lower grade will fail to live up to the maker's expectations.
The higher the grade, the straighter and tighter the grain. Straight grain transmits vibrations more crisply. Tight grain keeps frequencies from wandering off and getting lost in the weeds. Better grades are stiffer and stiffer tops can be made thinner, producing longer sustain and, in the right hands, overtones that simply amaze.
From day one we made the tough decision to select to use only AAA grade (or better) woods for our tops. The cost of upgrading from AA grade ( the standard of most large guitar makers) to AAA is significant. But so are the rewards. With no dealer markup, it breaks down to us paying more but you paying less. We'll continue to add value like high grade wood to every guitar we make.