The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 05-11-2018, 08:16 AM
Gomers Gomers is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Cheshire, UK
Posts: 264
Default A question of Spruce

I was in a well stocked dealer yesterday having a browse, lots of lovely Martins, Gibson, Taylor, Santa Cruz and what struck me was the amazing looking spruce tops with infinite cross silking / feathering (add your own description here) and it got me thinking as to how this phenomenon occurs.

When I look at my own guitars, my '57 00-18 displays virtually none of this effect with the '65 D18 a little more but nothing like a lot of modern guitars and I started to wonder, Why ? Is there mileage in the notion, trees were really old when my two were made and that younger trees used to make present day instruments, naturally display more of this visual effect. Is it an indication of quality ?
__________________
2010 Martin 0-15 Westside Custom
2013 Bourgeois 00 Country Boy
2018 Gibson LG-2 AE
2016 Martin 0-18
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-11-2018, 08:42 AM
GGSanders GGSanders is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Southwest Florida
Posts: 179
Default

It's my understanding that silking is more evident in spruce tops that have been perfectly quarter sawn.
__________________
'10 Larrivee LSV-11
'76 Larrivee L-11
'03 Larrivee D-03
'86 Flatiron A5-JR
'15 Pono N-30DC
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-11-2018, 09:01 AM
Kerbie Kerbie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 20,396
Default

I love silking... and I also understand it's found in quality Spruce tops.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-11-2018, 09:07 AM
SlopeD SlopeD is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Ottawa Ontario
Posts: 942
Default

it probably fades out over time with the sunlight hitting it etc.

Once the top darkens you probably can't see it.

It is lovely to look at a nice fresh white spruce top with beautiful silking.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-11-2018, 09:21 AM
martingitdave's Avatar
martingitdave martingitdave is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Chicago
Posts: 8,708
Default

What you are seeing are the medullary rays in the wood. They tend to show up when the wood is perfectly quartersawn. Quatersawn wood will tend to have the greatest strength along the gain lines. They do not inherently make the wood sound better. But, the "silking" is a good visual indicator that the wood you are getting is going to be the highest quality cut that the specific, unfortunate, tree could donate to your fine instrument, and for your listening pleasure.

From Wiki:

In botany, medullary rays (pith rays or wood rays) are sheets or ribbons extending vertically through the tree perpendicular to the growth rings. The cells in each ray are elongated and horizontal. These are living cells, unlike the dead cells of the wood xylem. The rays allow the radial transmission of sap.
__________________
Martin D-28 Authentic
Martin D-28 Marquis
Guild F-512
K&K Pickups / ToneDexter / JBL & Bose Amplification
"Lift your head and smile at trouble. You'll find happiness someday."
Less clicking, more picking.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-11-2018, 09:22 AM
tomiv9 tomiv9 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: NJ
Posts: 986
Default

I suspect it is because modern tops are more accurately quarter sawn, so it shows more. It also probably does fade over a long period of time,
__________________
Tom
2016 Bourgeois OM SS (Addy/Maddy/Hide)
2014 Simon Fay Model One (German/Coco)
2010 Martin D-28
1968 Yamaha FG-180
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-11-2018, 10:01 AM
cheetah236 cheetah236 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 25
Default Happy spruce

Quote:
Originally Posted by martingitdave View Post
... the wood you are getting is going to be the highest quality cut that the specific, unfortunate, tree could donate to your fine instrument...
The spruce in my guitars is very happy to have been sawn and given eternal life in my appreciative hands and those of my successors rather than becoming worm poop after a few more years of life. At least it sounds very happy. (I might feel put upon if my body parts had been contributed to someone's hobby but I'm a quasi-sentient being so that's different.)
__________________
------------------
1986 Yairi/Alvarez FY65
2011 Taylor 914CE
2016 Taylor 712e 12-fret
2014 Taylor 512e 12-fret
2015 G&L Tribute
2014 Breedlove Parlor
Line 6 L2T
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-11-2018, 10:02 AM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Chugiak, Alaska
Posts: 26,344
Default

Now you all have me curious; Iím going to have to go check the silking on some of my older instruments. But my distinct impression is that silk in a guitar top doesnít fade or go away. I donít know of any process whereby it should.


whm
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-11-2018, 10:06 AM
Kerbie Kerbie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 20,396
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
But my distinct impression is that silk in a guitar top doesnít fade or go away.
That's my understanding too, Wade, although I'm not a luthier. I'd like to hear more about that.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-11-2018, 10:27 AM
tadol tadol is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 3,653
Default

I dont think it goes away, I think it gets more difficult to notice on darkened wood or aged finishes as its a pretty subtle feature -
__________________
More than a few Santa Cruzís, a few Sexauers, a Patterson, a Larrivee, a Lynch, a Cumpiano, and a Klepper!!

https://soundcloud.com/rnewman-1/san...chard-hoover-7
https://soundcloud.com/rnewman-1/san...richard-hoover
https://soundcloud.com/rnewman-1/lun...ith-rick-barto
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 05-11-2018, 10:33 AM
printer2 printer2 is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 3,898
Default

Some silking present,

1930 Harmony




1922 Martin



I think as the wood ages you will still see the silking but the color will be darker.
__________________
Fred
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 05-11-2018, 03:35 PM
redir redir is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Mountains of Virginia
Posts: 5,187
Default

It's a physical property of the wood like the annular rings so I don't think it will fade out in time. I think they are beautiful.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 05-11-2018, 04:42 PM
jaymarsch jaymarsch is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: North of the Golden Gate, South of the Redwoods, East of the Pacific and West of the Sierras
Posts: 6,970
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
Now you all have me curious; Iím going to have to go check the silking on some of my older instruments. But my distinct impression is that silk in a guitar top doesnít fade or go away. I donít know of any process whereby it should.


whm
I would tend to agree based on my experience. I have a German Spruce top with some silking that is 13 years old and has darkened but the silking is still evident and a 5 year old guitar with a red spruce top that has beautiful silking visible. I do store my guitars in cases so don't know if that adds to the preservation or not.

Best,
Jayne
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 05-11-2018, 08:48 PM
1neeto 1neeto is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,794
Default



Ok Iím learning something new today. What is this silking thing? This guitar is 40+ years old. Is that the silking I see at certain angles?
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 05-11-2018, 09:04 PM
DCCougar's Avatar
DCCougar DCCougar is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: The Wild West
Posts: 1,095
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerbie View Post
I love silking... and I also understand it's found in quality Spruce tops.
That's my understanding. This 2002 Guild JF30-12 has a AAA spruce top....

__________________

Cougar's Soundcloud page
2018 Guild F-512 Sunburst
2011 Guild F-50R Sunburst
2002 Guild JF30-12 Sunburst
2018 Gibson Songwriter Rosewood Burst Ltd. Ed. 12-string
2014 Martin GPC12PA4

1972 Epiphone FT-160 12-string
2012 Epiphone Dot CH

2010 Epiphone Les Paul Standard trans amber 

2013 Yamaha Motif XS7
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > General Acoustic Guitar Discussion

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:00 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=