Nitro vs Poly, Is It Relevant Any More?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Shades of Blue, Mar 19, 2020.

  1. Violeiro

    Violeiro Strat-Talker Strat-Talk Supporter

    Messages:
    422
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2019
    Location:
    USA
    BTW, I am NOT saying that Poly is bad by any means, I DOUBT anyone will notice a tone difference from two identical electric guitars plugged in where the difference is only Poly and Nitro ...

    I AM SAYING that you can skin this cat any way you want to fit your agenda, it will NOT change the fact they are different and in some situations nitro will offer better tone (as it is thinner) and will age differently.
     
  2. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Most Honored Senior Member

    Age:
    73
    Messages:
    5,916
    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    this is no different than any other conversation in any other venue... some one "leads" with some topic.. it makes it way around, then someone mentions a tangental subject... and tone IS tangental to any Nitro discussion by virtue of the previous 25 years of Nitro conversations .. then the conversation takes off in another direction for a few... It can, and often does, "circle" around to the original topic.. but it can take off in another direction quite easily.

    However there ARE new guys joining every day, coming in, out of the cold, looking for information, ladened with the bunk that is pervasive in other media... they have no idea about any of this, but see a "hot button" word in a title, and drop in...

    You recognize it with your comment "Others are making this about tone and sound" I simply try to offer my "expertise".. That's not "hijacking the conversation, it's participating in the conversation...

    However you're correct, I know Fender has been working with Sherwin Williams to develop new formulations, It'll be interesting to see what kind of creative dialogue they use to convince us it's the same as that used in the 60's.. If their prior forays into the world of openness is any example, look forward to a new avalanche of BS.. However it would be refreshing to see something to the effect. .

    "We at Fender, in an attempt to deliver the qualities of the original Fenders have been working with Sherwin Williams to develop a new chemistry for Nitro Lacquers, a Catalytically (it WILL be a catalytically hardened formula) hardened Lacquer, etc, etc... Blaa Blaa Blaaa "

    r
     
  3. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Most Honored Senior Member

    Age:
    73
    Messages:
    5,916
    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Nice pair of Dreadnaughts.. I'm a Martin guy too.. but to the point, those are Acoustics, where the body IS the amplifier, They are designed to do one thing, move air... thus the entire assemblage is engineered to that task..

    We're talking about electrics, designed to do one thing, move electrons.... where nothing meaningful, acoustically, happens until those scurrying electrons are interpreted into sound by an amplifier, where the only thing making sound is the cone in the speaker driver...

    The involvement of the body and anything relative to it are purely secondary to the fact that an electric guitar is nothing more than a tone generator.....

    r
     
    Nick Evans and Violeiro like this.
  4. Violeiro

    Violeiro Strat-Talker Strat-Talk Supporter

    Messages:
    422
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2019
    Location:
    USA
    Thanks for the compliment,

    I do understand they are completely different instruments (acoustic vs electric) - my argument and example is that nitro plays an important part on the tone of the guitar, and they will age differently. These same acoustic guitars with poly finishes would not sound nearly as good.

    As I said, I doubt anyone will notice the difference between two identical electric guitars plugged in with the only difference been one is nitro and other is poly - however; as the two electrics age they will age differently on their looks (which is a personal preference).

    The point is yes - there is a HUGE difference of nitro and poly finishes...on electric guitars the biggest is the looks on how it ages (again, preferences).
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2020
  5. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Most Honored Senior Member

    Age:
    73
    Messages:
    5,916
    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    True.,. and As I have urged guys to consider, one need no other rationalization to choose anything relative to their guitars other than, "I just plain wanted it that way.."

    r
     
  6. Shades of Blue

    Shades of Blue Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,630
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Thanks for clarifying. If Fender really is putting Poly over the Nitro, then it makes it no different than any other Poly Fender in their line, and I'd be better served to same my cash and buy a Fender Player for $600 vs the Original at $1800. I like the case and the specs of the Original, but I can't see it being worth the premium quite honestly.
     
  7. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Most Honored Senior Member

    Age:
    73
    Messages:
    5,916
    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    actually Fender, in the 60's applied Fullerplast.. it is a conversion varnish. That's the "official" name. It is in reality a poly.. FullerPlast was the pre-cursor to modern Polyurethanes.. it is catalytically cured and damn near impossible to get off with conventional methods...

    Point being, Nitro over Poly is absolutely true to the original Fenders as far as the EPA allows the finish's chemistry to duplicate what was used back then, IF the company spraying it WANTS to...

    Tangental thought... This is why it's kinda ridiculous to remove an existing Poly finish to spray Nitro.. as long as the original Poly is structurally sound.. the original poly makes a perfect sealer, filler, primer, all in one...

    r
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2020
  8. Jason D

    Jason D Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    44
    Messages:
    1,864
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2016
    Location:
    Fulton MO
    I supposed the folks who quoted my post are correct. I wasn’t taking into account that there are people who’ve never known of the topic, and these new threads are educational, especially to younger players. That being said, as far as tone is concerned, the difference is so minuscule that it’s not relevant to 99.99999999% of players. Also, the only way anyone will ever be able to surmise that a guitar’s finish is the reason for a certain tonal attribute is to sand down a guitar you are VERY familiar with, coat it in the other finish medium and then listen to the beat undetectable difference.

    All I am saying is that it’s not something worthy of too much focus UNLESS, someone has a preference for the feel of a certain finish or the way each will relic over time.
     
    Dr Improbable likes this.
  9. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    39
    Messages:
    7,138
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2016
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    I know which one. But the other one sounds pretty good too. :)

    Funny enough, both of their signature guitars from the Custom Shop come in poly... ;)
     
    Nick Evans likes this.
  10. fezz parka

    fezz parka Duke of DILLIGAF Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    61
    Messages:
    26,107
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Location:
    ** **** ****** ***
    Yeah. It's a bonding thing with me. That black one is a part of me.
     
    Nate D likes this.
  11. Bettyfender

    Bettyfender Strat-Talk Member

    Messages:
    25
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2018
    Location:
    Canada
    I would say buy what you like and what feels right to you. It sounds like you already know the answer. You want a nitro finished guitar from what I read. But you dont want to pay 1400+ for a new American made nitro fender. Why not explore used options.... I have 2 electric guitars both purchased used both nitro finished first purchase was a 09 strat hwy1 got it for 450 Canadian .. the second was a 2014 sgj got that for 525 Canadian. Both were in pretty good shape. Neither needed anything but strings and a setup. The finish is good on both of them and wearing well both clean up real nice but if you look in the right places are starting to wear in. I was not looking for any particular finish when I got them i buy my instruments by feel and sound. In my mind most guitars you buy new in store hanging on the wall have been played by someone other than you so their all used! Why not let someone else pay the depreciation and breaking the instrument for you.
     
  12. Dreamdancer

    Dreamdancer Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    971
    Joined:
    May 1, 2014
    Location:
    Greece
    Any finish is ok for me...unless i have to do it then all of them suck:D cause its needs so much attention to detail.....i legit just wanna cover the body in z-poxy, sand it flat and call it a day....
     
  13. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    55
    Messages:
    1,047
    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2016
    Location:
    meridianam altum centralis
    I prefer poly on a solid body. It just wears like iron. I'm a little more concerned with finishes on flattops and quality archtops.
     
  14. Nate D

    Nate D Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    39
    Messages:
    7,138
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2016
    Location:
    Philly, PA
    My old D-28 Shenandoah isn’t as “nice” of a guitar as my OM-28, but it plays and sounds like home. And I don’t know if I have another guitar that brings me as much joy as that old starter D-28- it too is a part of me.
     
  15. smithstrato

    smithstrato Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,648
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2013
    Location:
    Para Para
    "Nitro" is just a cooler word.
     
    Lone Woof likes this.
  16. Lone Woof

    Lone Woof Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    3,167
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2014
    Location:
    WI
    Well, a nitro finish smells better when you open the case, so that settles it.
     
    Dr Improbable and Nate D like this.
  17. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Most Honored Senior Member

    Age:
    73
    Messages:
    5,916
    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    Nitro is a less "intense" coating to spray.. I hate Poly because it simply smells like it wants to kill ya.. not so with Nitro... while not particularly good for ya, it's not as "nasty" as Polys.. It is also MUUUUUUCH easier to repair...

    However, Guys will still "hang onto" the notion that Nitro somehow gives ya better tone in an electric guitar...

    Well I don't know who first said, “Ya can't fix stupid" but sometimes I wonder if it's not applicable... Specially after listening to someone on the phone, or read someone's rationalization in a forum about how Nitro has all these magical mysterious abilities to elevate the mundane into a sonic marvel… specially when coupled with the other big (blanking) lies, Light weight and Resonance….

    If Thin was good why in Hell do ya not see the Rock Stars and other “high end” guitarists playing guitars with no finish at all…. So the guitar would get dirty. . . big fu**ing deal… they can just go get another one… It’s not like a few thousand bux is gonna kill a Clapton, Beck, Knopfler, Ritenour, Klugue, Benson, whomever..

    But no. . . you see one “A” lister after another playing any and every finish available across the spectrum and NO ONE ever criticizes the choice… ever….

    I just don’t get it..

    The reason for all these things guys wanna “add” to their guitars to ”improve tone”. Is for what??? Only to impress the impressionable…

    Well I guarantee ya.. pick a guitar that ticks every one of the “must have” features infecting guitar conversations, then stand in front of a group.. tell ‘em all what you have then proceed to play at whatever level such guys typically play .. and the crowd’s gone dissipate. But pickup some skank, and rock the house, and no one’s gonna ask ya about the paint… And many are gonna want a skank just like the one you’re playing..

    It’s not the gear… never gonna be the gear… if ya think it is the gear, you’re probably NEVER gonna be anything other than a mediocre guitarist.. and never a musician..
     
    Nick Evans, Nate D and BigNorm like this.
  18. Bluestrat83

    Bluestrat83 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    37
    Messages:
    1,132
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2016
    Location:
    Ecuador
    I genuinely like when this discussion pops up from time to time.
     
    Violeiro, Reno and Nate D like this.
  19. Stratoman10

    Stratoman10 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Messages:
    11,874
    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2015
    Location:
    Va. Beach, Va
    No
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2020
  20. Nick Evans

    Nick Evans Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,969
    Joined:
    May 8, 2016
    Location:
    Another Dimension In Space
    Nitro Vs. Poly...is it relevant any more?
    Short answer NO
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2020