finishes

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Stratatattat, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. Stratatattat

    Stratatattat Strat-Talk Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Location:
    US
    i've been reading these ads that say "finished in thin nitrocellulose so the tone can really shine thru!" um...does the finish really affect the tone? i mean, fender used to use car paint for their finishes. it just seems like a buncha hooey. what's your view?
     
  2. tubetone1956

    tubetone1956 Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    657
    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Location:
    north carolina
    Hang on, I'm gettin' beer and popcorn for this one...
     
  3. Stratatattat

    Stratatattat Strat-Talk Member

    Messages:
    33
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Location:
    US
    uh-oh...did i open up a can of worms?
     
  4. peskypesky

    peskypesky -------

    Messages:
    7,354
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    Location:
    NYC
    i think i've read on other threads that these guitars are first finished with polyester, and then nitro on top of it. which, if true, means that it is a buncha hooey.
     
  5. Ray-Boy

    Ray-Boy Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,261
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles California
    Sounds like wordage from an ad man instead of a guitar man.
     
  6. tubetone1956

    tubetone1956 Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    657
    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Location:
    north carolina
    No, just two different camps, alot of myth and misinformation.

    No can o'worms at all, this should be fun!
     
  7. Goodkat

    Goodkat The One

    Age:
    39
    Messages:
    19,870
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    Location:
    Belgrade, Serbia
    Yup ... I'm already hearing that intro riff from 'The End' in my head.

    Just kidding. As others have said ... lots of different opinions. I don't mind the poly finish on my guitar but I wouldn't mind having a guitar with a nitro finish either. To me it always seemed that the biggest problem with poly finishes is the thickness, nothing else.
     
  8. Ray-Boy

    Ray-Boy Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,261
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles California
    Lemme see.... Eddie Van Halen has played a beat-to-s**t guitar with a finish he made with rattle cans and stripes of masking tape all over it. Mr. Gilmour (I wish he was a woman, I'd marry him) plays a Strat older than most of us and I don't know if it's ever been refinished or how many times or by whom. Joe Strummer's Tele had everything from mildew to Magic Marker for a finish. B.B. King's guitars always look like they were finished the same day as the show he's playing. Beck's old white Strat gives him the sound he wants because of or in spite of or with no influence from the finish.

    Call me crazy but I think the sound is changed very, very, very, freakin' little by the thinness of the nitro or whatever.
     
  9. Goodkat

    Goodkat The One

    Age:
    39
    Messages:
    19,870
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    Location:
    Belgrade, Serbia
    [​IMG]

    Seriously speaking ... those people you mentioned could play on just about anything and still sound good.
     
  10. Ray-Boy

    Ray-Boy Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,261
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles California
    You nailed it, Goodkat. String 6 strands of electrified barbed wire across a hawg's patootie and they could make music on it.
     
  11. peskypesky

    peskypesky -------

    Messages:
    7,354
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2009
    Location:
    NYC
    i can't say i've done any testing of this hypothesis, but i'm inclined to agree with you.
     
  12. Falstaff48

    Falstaff48 Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    2,121
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Location:
    East Valley, AZ
    If memory serves, a hogs patootie does breathe...at least out that is....;>) But I tend to agree that finish has a minimal impact on tone.
     
  13. Goodkat

    Goodkat The One

    Age:
    39
    Messages:
    19,870
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    Location:
    Belgrade, Serbia
    I was about nineteen when I went to a local club to hear a Jazz band playing. The guy who played the guitar was a killer!!! Well ... he was kinda cool and reserved in his demeanor so I probably should have said 'hitman'. Anyway ... he sounded really, really good and his tone was excellent. To cut a really long story long, when I went to see his amp and the pedalboard ... there was no 'amp and the pedalboard' ... there was a simple Zoom 505 pedal. That's when I realized that gear isn't everything.

    BTW, my list of people who could 'play just about anything and still sound good' would definitely start with Stevie Ray Vaughan.
     
  14. Ray-Boy

    Ray-Boy Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,261
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles California
    I hear you, m'man. I'd listen to SRV beat on a lard bucket.
     
  15. Goodkat

    Goodkat The One

    Age:
    39
    Messages:
    19,870
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    Location:
    Belgrade, Serbia
    I wish I could see him do anything. :cry:
     
  16. j2b4osan

    j2b4osan Strat-Talker

    Age:
    39
    Messages:
    104
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Location:
    NY
    the only thing thats different is how it feels in your hands, how it looks and how fast it wears.
    The sonic ability of finish is greatly exaggerated IMO.
     
  17. tubetone1956

    tubetone1956 Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    657
    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Location:
    north carolina
    I agree with the previous posts, if film type finishes such as poly or nitro had a great affect on tone we would have switched to natural oils or nothing at all long before now. The greatest tone suckers found in the construction phase (imho)would be any glue that cured softer than insturment grade hide glue.
     
  18. rp1138

    rp1138 Strat-Talk Member

    Messages:
    65
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Don't forget, Nitro doesn't actually let the wood "breathe" either. Nitro was designed as an auto finish, and was made to keep the air (and water) out. A car with a finish that "breathes" quickly becomes a big pile of rust.

    Plus, wood doesn't breathe. It's dead. That's why we call it 'wood' and not 'tree'. :)
     
  19. Oldboy

    Oldboy Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    72
    Messages:
    1,218
    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Location:
    Land Of 1000 Dances
    Right,and no matter what type of paint the top finish is, underneath that is most usually grain filler, sealer coats and primer. The wood is quite sealed up even before the final finish goes on.
     
  20. Grounded

    Grounded Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    68
    Messages:
    1,095
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Location:
    Seattle, USA
    Breathe? The wood was dead before the nitro even got there.