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Old 03-25-2009, 10:29 PM
jillcarol jillcarol is offline
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Question walnut question

who knows the difference between claro walnut and ctotch walnut? figure,tone,quality or pice factor......thx
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jillcarol View Post
who knows the difference between claro walnut and ctotch walnut? figure,tone,quality or pice factor......thx
Loaded questionS. Let's take them one at a time.

Claro Walnut is a pedigree species from Northern California BUT, the species are often integrated for the 'Nut' industry by cross breeding with Top and Root grafts. Currently when buying Claro, anything bought from the west coast is called 'Claro' but is not necessarily a pedigree or even a mix with any real Claro in it. It is just grown in Calif.

Crotch Walnut is NOT a species. It is the Crotch area where two branches meet and put downward pressure during its growth often resulting in unusual figure from nature. In our Black Tiger series Basses, we take the Crotches from Black Walnut Logs. WE also see some Crotch figuring in Claro pieces if they are big enough and cut near a Crotch. To obtain the best figure patterns in Walnut, it must be cut from the log a certain way. This I am sorry to say I will not share with you but will say that commercial cutting styles do not yield the best or most possible figures from a particular log. It's a specialty kind of thing.

AS far as Black Walnut itself goes as a Species, it is mixed as well with English Walnut and other Species here in the Eastern States.

Figure and Tone are somewhat related. The Figure cause from the growth of the Tree results in more fibers or Molecules being pressed together resulting in wavy grain patterns, Flame figuring and various figures from the Crotch area regardless of the Species or hybrid species from the East or West Coast or anything in between. The more compressed the wood it, the heavier it is in weight. In Walnut, I see this as slightly brighter sounding. I am talking about Walnut topped models as we would never make a solid body in figured Walnut due to its rarity and expense.

Is there a difference in tone between west (Claros) or east (Blacks) walnuts? Maybe, but with all the other woods mixed to make a Bass, who is to say exactly which piece is changing the tone?

Cost wise of Walnut, the prettier the figure, the higher the value, period.

Quality is a difficult question because as long at the piece of wood is solid without any open knots, voids, defects or cracks, it is a quality piece of wood. Quality is also subjective as far as grading goes and everyone has their own grades. Mine are quite high.

One time at a Trade Show (NAMM), I saw a wood supplied with some pieces of quilted Maple for sale with the grade marked 5A. That was his high grade. My high grade is 5A as well BUT, not all 5As are created equal because 5A is just a label. His wood had knots and mineral stain as well as discoloration within the piece. I would have graded part of that piece as 2A at best and 'firewood' as a whole. Just too many defects for a musical instrument. Maybe it could be buried in the Core between laminates and use only the edges but for facings, it was a ripoff grade wise.
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