Question:
I just bought my dream acoustic - a new Martin D-35. After playing three or four, the ones I liked the best had I guess you would call bear-claw graining running pretty much throughout the top. Now I had always imagined my Martin would have a perfect straight grained top but I really kind of fell for this. I always figured the clearer the top the better. Is this so? Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,
George S.

Answer:
The bearclaw or bear claw pattern in a spruce top is caused by runout in the grain of the wood which is usually a bad thing if severe, however the bearclaw pattern is slight and sought after by some guitar builders as having superior tone. The wood to me looks like something has been scratching on it diagonally but actually there are no scratches.

Gman ( o )==#

 

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