Am I the only one that hates that this Poplar Burl Burst trend is getting more prevalent?

CapinCripes

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Poplar burl is the 2020s version of the mid 2000s spalt maple top/ abalone binding trend to put "upscale features" to otherwise entirely midrange guitars that don't really add that much to unit cost but can be used to increase profit margins by charging premiums for a paper thin slice of otherwise undesirable wood. In 10 years it will look as dated as hell.
 

gunshow86de

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Usually hate burls, but this is kind of working for me. :shrug:
qeh7kbalckd8trhtl9i4.jpg
 

Wiltonauer

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I especially like the ones that look like somebody picked up the crumbly rotting wood left lying around after a dead tree is cut down and the decent firewood is taken away, cut it up, and set it under epoxy to make an ugly coffee table for a Tik-Tok video to show off their sick woodworking skillz, brah!
 

KentBrockman

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Poplar burl looks like what happens when a guitar with a plain or burst finish gets a horrifying skin disease.

But they do look nice with certain colours though
 

Neon_Knight_

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Yep, tree cancer

To me, it's mostly poplar and buckeye burl that I find as eyesores. I think maple burl and walnut burl can look bloody amazing
I find that some poplar burl tops look really good, if the combination of figuring + finish + guitar style work well together. Ultimately though, if you were to show me 10 of the same guitar model (e.g. RG1070PBZ), I would probably hate about 5, really like 1 or 2, and think the others look mediocre.

I love the "swirled" ebony burl top on my S2170SE. I'm not really a fan of the poplar burl S2170FW(?) though - some of them look almost like they're covered in moles (the skin growth not the cute animal haha!).
 

Sermo Lupi

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regarding the topic; can't add much more. Jason Richardson JPSomething with the Buckeye Top still looks incredible to me, and I really like most Premiums with poplar tops, but the shit I been seeing from low/mid quality instruments has been terrible
Usually hate burls, but this is kind of working for me. :shrug:

I mentioned it earlier in the thread, but Buckeye Burl isn't a true burl. Or, more precisely, "burls" describe a variety of different growths on a tree, not all of which produce the same patterns that we describe as "burl" in woodworking. Buckeye burl is cut from the base of the tree where the trunk meets the roots, most of which is located underground. That's what gives it its unique colouration, grain pattern, and voids (left by dirt, rocks, etc.).

The Strandberg depicted above uses maple burl, which is considerably more attractive than poplar. That specific piece is light on knots and heavy on chaotic flame/quilt.

What people are despising in this thread is the tendency of poplar burl to feature tiny knots caused by dormant buds. Not all burls have these, depending where on the tree they're located and what species of tree the burl is harvested from.

When searching for a source for that Strandberg image, I also found dozens of guitars from Suhr being sold as "waterfall burl". That'd just be a marketing term. What you're actually looking at is a piece of wood with very few knots that has attractive flame and grain figuring. It probably still is burl, but isn't the knotty type that most people see as being characteristic of burl wood. I don't think its fair to compare these sorts of burls with the knotty poplar burls everyone else is complaining about.

In my opinion, the ugly burl trend is 99% poplar burls with brightly-coloured reverse bursts.

Suhr-Standard-Waterfall.jpg
 

Hoss632

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Some Poplar burl tops I don't mind, but it's definitely not my favorite. I do REALLY like Italian Poplar though which you see a lot on STK guitars.
 

guitar_santa

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I had an Ibanez S Series that was poplar burl a few years ago, but I ended up selling it. I really liked the finish when I bought it, but by the time I sold it, i kinda wished the whole thing had the natural mahogany look.

(I sold it because I was tired of fighting with the Edge Zero)
There is something about it that looks so cheesy to me after a while. There are very few I think I’d enjoy looking at every day. Disappointing that they’re becoming the only options for certain models in some cases.
 


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