Many carved maple tops have thin, dark (usually brownish) stripes, particularly in tops carved from eastern maple. This is a natural part of the wood and not a cosmetic flaw. However, if a piece of maple has too many flecks, it will be cut so that the flecks are out toward the edges of a book-matched or flitch-matched top, in which case a finish can be used that will mask them. PRS’s Blackburst finish is one of the best, while Gibson’s Antique Sunburst or Tri-Color Burst are also good choices. Many of the famous flame top Les Pauls from 1958 to 1960 have plenty of flecks and that hasn’t hurt their desirability.