I recently acquired an amazing new addition to complement my already amazing XXXV-GS-C. I came across a custom 12-fret Grand Concert from last year with V-Class bracing, slotted headstock, sinker redwood top, and “Queen’s” walnut back/sides, and I just could not resist! Thank you for these two incredible instruments, which I will cherish for years to come.
The story of the Queen’s walnut tree is fun and fascinating in itself, but I have never had a walnut guitar before, nor one with such figuring, and I noticed something that got me thinking. On the outer lower bout, there is small area where I can actually feel very subtle ridges that correlated to the figuring, almost like waves. To the naked eye, there is nothing to be felt and is smooth as can be with a satin finish. Then I noticed that for the most part the figuring occurs at 90 degrees to the grain. My thought is that at this location, with the side wood being shaped around the curve of the bout, I can feel the figuring because of different densities in the walnut. Is my hunch correct?
Also, I am sure you have addressed a similar question in the past, but can you dumb down the biology and physics of figuring in layman’s terms? How much is dependent on wood species and tree development? Or is it just how the wood is cut? Read Answer