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Old May 19th, 2008, 02:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Butterscotch vs. Butterscotch Blonde

How much difference is there between these two colors? It is hard to tell form the small color samples on the order area (guitar reranch.com). I am trying to stay away from blonde and TV yellow, I have other guitars those colors. Any ideas, opinions, suggestions? Thanks. BTW, this is for a tele project, my first one! Anyone know where I can see picsof butterscotch and a butterscotch blonde tele?

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Old May 19th, 2008, 02:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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There are no fixed boundaries, and different folks, different manufacturers use the same term for totally different finishes depending on circumstance.

There's no substitute for hours of surfing, checking different large and small builders.

I'd call this butterscotch:



because it has no ivory or beige or cream in it, but others call this honey.

I think most agree av AV 52 is butterscotch.

Then, what is this?



But then is this butterscotch blonde, or yellow blonde?



Terms aren't all that useful if no-one agrees what they mean.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 02:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I honestly don't think that ReRanch does a good job with either of these colors. I used butterscotch blonde on my first project and found it to be way too yellow and to me the butterscotch is too dark

If you are going to order from them I'd do it soon, while the site is open. It seems like he has it locked most of the time.

I would really like to do a "Nocaster blonde" finish, but I don't think anyone has that in a pre-mix.

Butterscotch:



"Nocaster" blonde:

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Old May 19th, 2008, 02:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have no idea about the Reranch colors, but the original Fender color was simply called "Blonde", which meant the color was transparent.

The color itself was similar to the TDPRI yellow background color, but over the years this colour darkened more or less depending on various circumstances (sunlight, smoke etc.)

This new, darker color was baptized "Butterscotch Blonde" or simply "Butterscotch" after the color of the candy. There's no "Butterscotch" that isn't "Blonde", meaning transparent.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 02:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Is that "Butterscotch Blonde" close to what Fender's using for the Baja? "Desert Sand" or something?
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Old May 19th, 2008, 02:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Is that "Butterscotch Blonde" close to what Fender's using for the Baja? "Desert Sand" or something?
There are two different Baja colors - blonde:



and desert sand:



The blonde is obviously what you are referring to and ReRanch doesn't have anything like it - as far as I know.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 03:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The Baja comes in two colours; blond, which is "semi-transparent" in that you can detect some grain in the wood, and desert sand, which is an opaque (a solid colour with no grain showing) beigey-grey.

Even Fender examples are all over the place with some butterscotch blonds having a lot of orange in thme.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 03:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Even Fender examples are all over the place with some butterscotch blonds having a lot of orange in thme.
The term butterscotch is a flavor when referring to hard candy, and gets its color from a mixture of Brown Sugar and Butter.



As you can see, orange is definately a component in the color, only how much? A lot of the deepening of the color may have to do with aging.

The blond [me-thinks] comes from bleach blonding - but of course bleach is not used. It is a coat or coats of transparent white under and before the butter color. The white subdues the grain pattern and the color of the original wood, so that the top coat color is working with more of a uniform pallette, much like foundation on a 45 year old super model.

Here is the Affinity Butterscotch Blond finish:



Very orange.

Yet, on the Fender color wheel, this is the Butterscotch Blond finish on a P Bass:



Anything is this range is logical, and some would say beautiful.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 05:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think I did this before, but I’ll give ‘er another shot… Butterscotch is (for me anyway) a transparent finish, Like you were looking at the wood through a class of beer. Also called Amber.

Butterscotch Blonde, is a semi transparent finish, like if you spilled coffee on a wooden table. You could still see the wood, but it would be through the spilled coffee. Butterscotch Blonde is also what some call a vintage Mary Kaye that has aged.

Blonde is like you spilled the coffee on the wood, but it was loaded with cream, just a very slight coffee tint.

Also note, the underlying wood has a great effect on the apparent final color, like trying to do a light Amber finish on Dark Red Oak, ain’t gonna work. I had one that wanted a Transparent Blonde finish on a Mahogany body. It would have to be bleached… so a Bleached Blond???

There is no definitive shade for any of these colors. That’s because they are all supposed to be reproductions of the old nitrocellulose lacquer finishes that have turned Amberish over time. This shift happens due to the effects of UV light on the Lacquer, on the Wood underneath the lacquer and sweat, smoke, and other crud that comes in contact with the finish over time.

Therefore there is no “correct: color, for instance, I have seen White Strats and Teles that were just plain Orange everywhere but under the pick guard, Neck plate etc…

So pick ya a color and squirt it… If some one gives ya some crap, grab their waistband, yank, and poor a beer down their pants. That’ll shut ‘em up real fast.

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Old May 19th, 2008, 08:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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'Blonde' is simply what was known as the colour of 'Danish' or Scandinavian' furniture, popular in America after WWII. Leo just called it Blonde. In the pic of the original 1950 Broadcaster below you can see the colour as it was under the pickguard.




In 1954 (possibly because it looked nicer on TV, maybe because it was cheaper) they went to a limed (hand applied white finish) under lacquer which had the name changed to Blond, along with the change to a white pickguard. That is what the MIM 1950s classic tele is emulating. No 'e'. As on this 1962



Blonde and Blond were always applied over ash to show the grain. The reason the Scandinavians and Fender used a transluscent rather than a fully transparent paint is probably so you could fog it thicker on to hide nasty surface flaws or joins, which let you use wood which is otherwise questionable in appearance. Many people are convinced their Blond(e) Tele is one piece when it is often 2 or 3. This colour was offered right up until Fullerton was closed in 1983 and is today, always over ash.

What most people confuse with Butterscotch and Blond(e) is actually this:



That is aged Olympic White on alder. This guitar is not wearing it's pickguard, the white area is the original colour as applied to the body and headstock.

That is as someone noted, Oly White is opaque paint - no grain visible, because alder is not that attractive with more flaws and hence cheaper. It is why Leo went to it, along with a scarcity of the enough good, light swamp ash.

Where confusion also came in was when the Japanese and especially Hoshino (Ibanez), with their early Tele copies, who went on to make Japan Fenders coped early Oly white ones. They copied the 'aged' finish so new Fender Squires in the 1980s were 'butterscotch'. They also used sen (which is a yellowish Asian ash) with clear, and later on ambered ash to replicate age. There were natural finish ash Teles from Fender very early on. They have aged to orangey, but would have been quite pale to start with.

New early 50's Blonde would have been a similar colour to this webpage, with necks nearly as white as new Fenders. The lacquer has just aged to the darker finish you see today. From 1954 Blond (501) became a standard colour and survived the change to poly. Below is my 1978 Blond with the original colour under the pickguard. Even the neck on this guitar has gone quite orange, and it's poly.


This info is from this oft-quoted article:
Fender Custom Colours
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Old May 19th, 2008, 08:25 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Old May 19th, 2008, 08:26 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Ronkirn View Post
I think I did this before, but I’ll give ‘er another shot… Butterscotch is (for me anyway) a transparent finish, Like you were looking at the wood through a class of beer. Also called Amber.

Butterscotch Blonde, is a semi transparent finish, like if you spilled coffee on a wooden table. You could still see the wood, but it would be through the spilled coffee. Butterscotch Blonde is also what some call a vintage Mary Kaye that has aged.

Blonde is like you spilled the coffee on the wood, but it was loaded with cream, just a very slight coffee tint.
Ron,

I was under the impression that the cream was laid down and allowed to set before the color coat added, not mixed in.

But I am no expert.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 08:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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There's more, too. Olympic White, like most Custom colours (Lake Placid Blue, Sonic Blue, Candy Apple Red, anything metallc) is acrylic-based, not nitrocellulose. It hardly changes shade. After around 1960 Fender stopped coating solid colour acrylics with nitro (to save time/money) - so you get this:


1961 Strat, Olympic White, no topcoat.

It is the nitro clearcoat on top which ages and goes yellowish. Not the paint underneath in most instances.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 08:51 PM   #14 (permalink)
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in late '97, I ordered a maple-necked trans-finished ash American Tele from a dealer in Temecula who had (at the time) tight contacts w/ Fender and the Custom Shop . He charged me (we dickered) $650 (with a Fender case), and I told him I wanted a blackguard on it (to be my cheap '52 manque). It came in and was a lovely golden-blond w/ a very attractive (albeit not POPPING under the trans) grain (I don't know if someone cherry-picked for him or not---3 piece but VERY nicely matched to the degree that you couldn't tell w/ot looking @ the butt end). He put the guard on, then he tossed in a pair of (Fender) dome top knobs and mounted them... and

then we just looked at it leaning against a Clubman amp, and he said, "Man, That's real good lookin'. Looks almost like the real thing*! I wonder why they don't do this as a standard model?" A few years later, they did, they did.**

Looks to me like Butterscotch is Transparent finish over a nice piece of Ash shaken/stirred w/ the vagaries of time





* It did too, except for the tree, tuners, and saddles.

**and, friends, THAT'S why I'm hoping the Copper(caster) option will come back on/for standard American Teles.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 09:17 PM   #15 (permalink)
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My '70 is an opaque "yellowish" color, similar to the '62 example above. I didn't think this was Oly White when new, but its been so long, I can't remember what the original color name was. It's gotten more yellow over time, but it's always had a yellow-hue.

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Old May 19th, 2008, 10:11 PM   #16 (permalink)
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What about 'US Blonde' like alot of the MIJ guitars? I just bought a CIJ '72 Custom in US Blonde - is that the equivalent of the old Olympic white?
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Old May 19th, 2008, 10:32 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Olympic white is the only colour Fender ever used on opaque through the Leo and CBS years. In the eighties Fender had IIRC a colour called Arctic White, which was a stark opaque white.

The official Fender colour on grain-visible guitars is either Blonde (pre-1954) or Blond (post 1954-present). Any other permutation of colour, especially sold by anyone but Fender USA such as 'butterscotch', 'vintage white', 'cream', 'US Blond' or whatever is almost certainly something made up to attempt to describe their imitation of an aged Fender finish.

In Duchossoir's book there are b/w pictures of new Teles in the fifties, and although they don't contain much tonal information it is easy to see both the body and neck are very pale. Leo and co. didn't tint guitars to make them look 'vintage' because that is a modern concept.

When he came up with 'Blonde' he was literally coming up with a new finish concept for instruments, based on trendy, popular everyday things Americans used - i.e. tables and chairs. Back then, people were very conservative and especially in the cold war era. Guitars until the 40's were still made like violins or other orchestra instruments. You got black or sunburst with binding for expensive guitars like Epis and Gibsons, no binding and little brightware for cheaper stuff.

Leo not only developed a modularised, low-tech, semi-skilled gutiar manufacturing method using modern machines and assembly line processes which was revolutionary, but also worked out a way to use less paint while making use of attractive wood figuring, that in a couple of coats cost lots less than Gibson's probably very expensive multi-coat finishes. He bet right.

The times and the public were ripe for a new 'design classic' not only in it's functionality and simplicity, but also it's appearance with maple neck and semi-painted body. Ten years earlier, or if Leo had attempted a 'Gibson' look it might have died deader'n a dodo.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 10:44 PM   #18 (permalink)
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My '70 is an opaque "yellowish" color, similar to the '62 example above. I didn't think this was Oly White when new, but its been so long, I can't remember what the original color name was. It's gotten more yellow over time, but it's always had a yellow-hue.
Now, there's white, and there's white. The substrate will control the topcolour to some extent. White over grey looks different to white over white or yellow undercoat. White contaminated with any other colour doesn't look white. So there're many reasons why it may not look white, even though it is officially Olympic. Fender stained every alder body yellow, so those with sunburst finishes needed one less paint colour. No undercoat, stained body - bingo. Offwhite.

Pull the control plate off. What colour is underneath? Check out my '78 Custardcaster above, or in my avatar. That guitar is white under the pickguard or in the cavities. Looks like yours otherwise. People say poly finishes don't darken - that '78 gives the lie to that, as does my 2000-build MIM Thinline below. That pic was two years ago.

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Old May 19th, 2008, 11:05 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Dacious....if I recall, this color was called "White Blonde" but I could be wrong. It's very close to the same color under the guard and control plate. I've always remembered the color being this yellowish color. But, when it was new, there weren't many other Teles around to compare it to. I do recall most others I'd seen being whiter. But you might know what this color really is.

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Old May 19th, 2008, 11:53 PM   #20 (permalink)
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It's a little hard to make out with the lighting in that photo, but I'd say you have basically the same colour as mine under the pickguard - white.
As there appears to be no grain visible then it's alder. IMO it's Olympic White but without seeing the guitar personally in bright light it's hard to be sure. As a poly topcoat, it has no clear - mine doesn't either. Judging from mine at least, the paint seems very reactive to light, even though mine sat in it's case in storage for years.

That colour was originally a GM Cadillac acrylic lacquer (acetone thinner) from Du Pont but during the 60's fender changed it's paint formulations - a lot. By 1970 it would probably be some sort of polyurethane.

Quote:
Olympic White Lucite 2818-L 60-80 1958-62 Cadillac
Fender based colours on Du Ponts chips but bought paint from whoever had it in stock cheapest - there may be little consistency between two guitars supposedly the same.

Fender made bodies and other parts in batches - it is not impossible that body was around for a year or more before it was mated with a neck, and the paint seems quite photo-reactive. If it hung in a dealer's window for six months it might explain why it is not a straight white.

The Tele bible lists the official colours, and in the period between about 1960 and 1983 Olympic White and Sunburst were officially Custom colours but so many were made it appears they might be the most common after Blond and Black which were the standard listed options.
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