Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Why am I obsessed with nitro? Is it a huge difference?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by GaryOsborne, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Aug 3, 2010
    Loganville, Ga.
    It's the smell. Nothing emotes that new guitar chill down the spine like the smell of lacquer thinner wafting out from a partially-opened guitar case, and when it blooms into the full aroma AND vision of the shiny object. . . .

  2. MrAstro

    MrAstro Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 11, 2011
    Sydney NSW
    My Les Paul, ES-175 and Fender Nitro Tele hardly get played because I hate their sticky nitro necks. You wipe them down and it's a little better for about 10 minutes (if that...).

    I know I can sand the things with something fine but I can't bring myself to do it to the finish - so they sit there like expensive ornaments.

    Poly is a lot more practical.

    No I'm not trolling.

  3. Peltogyne

    Peltogyne Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 29, 2012
    Northern California
    A well hydrated guitar sounds more fluid.

  4. Diamond Dave

    Diamond Dave Tele-Meister

    Aug 5, 2014
    Roanoke, VA
    I have a luthier-built tenor uke with a cedar top and walnut back/sides, finished in Tru-Oil. It's a beautiful finish.


  5. therealfindo

    therealfindo Tele-Holic

    Jun 26, 2012

  6. Rano Bass

    Rano Bass Tele-Holic

    Mar 26, 2014
    Tijuana/San Diego
    With all due respect I don't know where you get the idea that the "poly" used on guitars is cheaper than nitro...... Automotive 2k urethane is a lot more expensive than lacquer.
    And it is not easier, it is faster but not easier.

  7. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    Dats a fact Jack... where Poly drops black numbers to the bottom line is in Man-Hours saved... and that's what a corporation is all about... doesn't matter what they package and ship out the back side of the building.. if it ain't making bux... nothing's much gonna be happening..


  8. Rano Bass

    Rano Bass Tele-Holic

    Mar 26, 2014
    Tijuana/San Diego
    I know Ron no argument there, lacquer is cheaper but takes a lot more spraying sessions to build a nice finish. I'm talking about cost to us as mostly hobbyists.
    I like and use both BTW, lacquer for vintage style instruments and polyurethane for moderns and metalflake jobs ;)

  9. brenn

    brenn Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 8, 2013
    I don't care - if it looks good, it's fine with me. As for "sticky" - I don't disagree that there is a difference, but I have never had a problem with my hand sticking to guitar finish. Maybe the way I play is just different ro something.

  10. GaryOsborne

    GaryOsborne RIP

    Jun 7, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Here's some ad lingo on the nitro vs poly from the horses mouth (get ready to hear the word "breathes" like 10 times, lol):

    And here's a comparison between two similar teles. One poly and one nitro.
    First is a MIM Fender Road Worn 72' Tele with the road worn nitro,
    Second is a regular MIM 72' Tele Deluxe with poly.

    I hear NOOOOO difference, lol. But I admittedly don't have the most perceptible ears.The comments under the videos are full of the ad lingo as well.
    This is the clean test. There's another video by the same guy doing the same test with a dirty amp.

    Here's the clean video:

    Am I nuts? I think I'm finally getting over my snubbing of poly. I'm such a doosch.

  11. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    Well.. the first video.. I made it until the first mention of the word breathes... until someone can 'splain which cycle in the act of breathing, inhaling or exhaling, produces the "best" tone, Or if the guitar has to be played while the wood is holding it's breath... I will entertain no discussion that suggest breathing has any function in any component of "tone"..

    The second video.. Really!!!??? BLANKING REALLY???!!! two different guitars to demonstrate the difference sonically in two different painting technologies... That guy should be arrested for being criminally irresponsible...

    there are no two guitars on the planet that sound exactly alike.. None... thus if you take two seemingly identical guitars, paint 'em with two different types of paint... 1, How do you know simply taking 'em apart and putting them back together, doing nothing, hasn't altered the voice of the guitar,, and Voice IS what were talking about here. 2, that the inherent differences that are NORMAL in any two guitars isn't the cause of any supposed difference..

    I didn't watch it far enough to find out who the guy is, I hope he's some famous "quasi expert" so, at least a few can realize, famous does NOT mean well informed. Those that hang onto every utterance of those perpetrating myths that have NO basis in even elementary physical science are analogous to all those "air heads" that hang onto the slurred utterances of the Pseudo intellectual regency such as the Kardasians, Brittany Spears, Paris Hilton, Snooky . . etc, etc...

    That video demonstrates more about the chronic level of intellectual famine pervasive in the world of guitars than anything about two different types of paint.

    Damn, just damn..

    Ron Kirn
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2015

  12. Tonemonkey

    Tonemonkey Poster Extraordinaire

    So you're in the Nitro sounds better camp then. In that case, I'm with you !

  13. denizdurdag

    denizdurdag TDPRI Member

    Jan 1, 2010
    The fact that everybody overlooks the huge vibration dampeners we firmly apply to the guitars while playing amazes me.

    I am talking about your left palm, right forearm and your tummy. Add your leg if you are playing seated.

    If the type of very very thin (compared to guitar's dimensions) coat of finish considerably affects a solid bodied guitar's tone, the very very thick (compared to guitars's dimensions) layers of fat and muscle attached to the guitar should affect it tenfold.

    Should we start a debate over the sound of fat versus muscular guitar players?

  14. Peltogyne

    Peltogyne Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 29, 2012
    Northern California
    In my 8th grade classical guitar class we learned about this in the first few days along with how tone changes with where on the string you pick and how you finger the fretboard.

    The overlooked thing that amazes me is the people who can hear nitro, the binder in the finish, yet cannot hear the pigments at all in even the slightest way yet they are made from vastly differing materials and can be a major part of the finish. So for me I don't trust anyone who can hear different finishes unless they can hear different colors and metal-flakes.

  15. Rano Bass

    Rano Bass Tele-Holic

    Mar 26, 2014
    Tijuana/San Diego
    Word haha!
    I just fear the day when some guys are able to tell the difference in sound between different primers!

  16. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan

    So here's my question: what is going on in this guy's head? Does he know he's spewing nonsense? Shouldn't he know? I kinda get the feeling that he knows...

  17. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    I appreciate it, but... I'm not in the "sounds better" camp so much as I'm in the "anything you do will sound different camp"... for "different" to creep over into the "better" column, ya gotta like whatever it did..

    Guys are still taking verbiage the infers "better" or more desirable, and making the assumption that it automatically translates into superior sound..

    the guitar, as an electro-mechanical signal generator, has no idea if whatever is done to it is improving anything.. it just works within the metrics and makes electrons scoot down a wire accordingly ... they actually are dead silent until another electro-mechanical device converts them into barometric variables in the air... that would be the speaker.. which has far more to do with the "tone" than the guitar ever thought about..

    example.. If you take something as elementary basic as pure compressed carbon and make saddles from it.. what would it do to the sound...

    If you take something as pure as diamond, and make saddles from it, how would it effect the tone..

    A diamond is pure compressed carbon... so is pencil lead...

    "Like" and "Better" are emotional components, guitars aren't capable of either..

    Last edited: May 11, 2015

  18. Peltogyne

    Peltogyne Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 29, 2012
    Northern California
    Probably not, he's just repeating things he's heard and people agree with.
    That would require the ability to challenge mainstream ideas and critical thinking, unfortunately not many people do this. Those that do challenge things are often met with hostility by the masses who don't want to bother, it's very difficult to do.

    Some do, I've worked trade shows in the tech world and have also been to 20 NAMM shows and talked with many builders as friends off the record. From that I've learned people selling things don't often care about science, they want you to like them and buy things. Even if they want to offer an opposing opinion most won't as customers won't buy from a builder that says wood & finish does not control tone.

    But I don't think most people even give it any thought. They know what they do and that's that.

  19. jay4321

    jay4321 Tele-Meister

    Apr 23, 2008
    I like the modern nitro without the super-polished gloss. I generally want the grain filled where applicable and some protection from the elements, but beyond that I like to feel as little of the finish as possible.

    I'm okay with other finish types too but gloss (especially on the back of the neck) is a deal-breaker for me now. As to the body I can live with whatever but there's a certain charm to the way nitro ages.

  20. Anode100

    Anode100 Friend of Leo's

    May 9, 2014
    Behind my beard.
    'Nitro' never wanted a cracker.

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