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  #1  
Old 01-23-2021, 09:45 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Default Toning down of tops.

My last two purchases were new Eastmans. They are fine guitars but, I have a problem with the paleness of new spruce tops.

I am probably permanently scarred when proudly exhibiting my first Collings guitar in 1999 and when my mother-in-law came for dinner, she looked at my shiny new guitar and asked "Is it made of plastic?" - Ouch - an arrow in my heart!

So, I bought a new Eastman e20-P in November 2019, and immediately set to exposing it to winter sunlight (yes it does occur in the UK), and the adi top now has some definite colour to it.

My Eastman E40-00 arrived in October last year and has a wide grained adi to which was almost completely white so I'm doing the same thing and some colour is just starting to reveal itself.

Below are a couple of snaps showing these two guitars with my 2003 Collings 0002h and my 2007 Ds2h.

I've always thought that the 000 was the darkest but the dread looks maybe darker - possivbly because it has been played "out" more .

so, what thinkest thou? Do you like pale tops or "aged"ones.

and if you do prefer a tan, do you do anything to encourage it?
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File Type: jpg DSC_0388.jpg (28.3 KB, 397 views)
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  #2  
Old 01-23-2021, 11:05 AM
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KevinH KevinH is offline
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To each their own of course, but I prefer variety. When I bought my Larrivee 00 I specifically looked for the most pale top I could find, which I think goes nicely with the EIR back/sides. So I try to keep it out of the sun as much as possible. Its the one in the lower right of the photo.

I've read of people artificially aging wood with UV growers lamps. That might get you there quicker.
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  #3  
Old 01-23-2021, 12:05 PM
Racerbob Racerbob is offline
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Plastic indeed ! Barbarians

The lighter the better for me. I personally get tired of "yellowish/tan" guitars. They all look alike, kind of as much a uniform as a business suit and tie. The almost white adi on my h-12 is very attractive in my eyes. If I want a darker color then it's cedar or redwood.
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Old 01-23-2021, 12:09 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
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Plastic, ouch! Yea, that would hurt especially with a guitar as fine as a Collings.

I prefer an aged look, even aged toner.
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Old 01-23-2021, 12:11 PM
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JayBee1404 JayBee1404 is offline
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It was the pale, almost opposite white, European Spruce top of my Brook that attracted me to it. Itís darkened a little in the year Iíve owned it, but itís still very pale compared with the honey of my Martins and the naturally-darker Western Red Cedar of my Lowden. I love them all, irrespective of colour.

FD64A336-4AC7-4C8A-8CE1-0B2B41978C10.jpg
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Old 01-23-2021, 12:12 PM
RalphH RalphH is offline
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I like an aged top, but naturally aged, not the bright yellow that Martin sprays on some of their models
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  #7  
Old 01-23-2021, 12:49 PM
PeterM PeterM is offline
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I like the pale ones. Moon spruce can be really light.

I ordered a Martin CS with moon spruce...forgot to tell them to hold the aging toner. (darn)
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Old 01-23-2021, 01:46 PM
jricc jricc is offline
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I prefer the honey tone to a spruce top...not a fan of the pale tops...
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Old 01-23-2021, 02:07 PM
J Patrick J Patrick is offline
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In no way do I dislike a beautiful fresh creamy white top....but....the more they darken with age the more I like them...my oldest guitar...a Washburn from 1889 sports a very dark top with original French polish still intact...its a White Spruce top and was probably blindingly white when new....I would call it almost burnt umber now but you can still see the beautiful cross grain silking in it...
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Old 01-23-2021, 02:44 PM
EllenGtrGrl EllenGtrGrl is offline
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Aged vs no aged tops? I'm not fussy about that. As long as the guitar doesn't look hideous, sounds good, and plays good, I'm fine with it.
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Old 01-23-2021, 02:53 PM
Mark Stone Mark Stone is offline
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I've played plastic guitars, and they're not bad.

All seriousness aside, I prefer an aged look. But the guitar's sound and practicality are much more important.
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  #12  
Old 01-23-2021, 02:56 PM
LakewoodM32Fan LakewoodM32Fan is offline
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Pale tops have grown on me. I remember when I bought my first small builder guitar, my SCGC OM with one of the palest tops (Adirondack) I'd ever seen. I thought "well heck that looks...odd" not sure I equated it to plastic, but it looked, I don't know, "unbroken-in". But I had to buy it because at the time it was the guitar that sounded most like what I heard in my head when I played.

Now I think it's rather attractive. Most of my other guitars are considerably darker, which I think just makes it stand out of the pack.
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Old 01-23-2021, 03:32 PM
Emil Emil is offline
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I agree with you.
I like the honey toned tops. My OMH2 is 25 years old and got that varmer colour but compared to my D28 thats ”only” 20 years old it’s almost pale looking.
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  #14  
Old 01-23-2021, 04:13 PM
catdaddy catdaddy is offline
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Unlike my image in a mirror I enjoy seeing the changes that occur in a guitar top with age. I like 'em pristinely pale when they're young and subtly shaded as they grow old.
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  #15  
Old 01-23-2021, 05:08 PM
Earl49 Earl49 is offline
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When my custom Martin J40 arrived in 1990 the top was the same shade as a Manila file folder. Over the years it acquired a nice golden honey tone, which I really like if it is naturally acquired. I loathe the fake spray-tan aging toner they use - way too yellow to look natural.
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