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Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by twangster2, Jan 18, 2012.
I have nothing to add, except:
Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Conway Twitty!
In all honesty, I've always thought that the colour of the pickguard was far more important than the type of finish on the body.
And from the number of "What colour pickguard should I choose?" threads here on the TDPRI, I'd say I was far from alone.
I've been thinking - should I be wearing an ultra-thin teeshirt when I'm playing my Nitro finished Teles so that I'm more able to appreciate the significant improvements in the vibrations from the body over my Poly finished Teles? And, when I'm on stage, should I be standing on some sort of rubber mat that will eradicate any vibrations from the drums, amps and PA that might be transmitting through the stage to my body, interfering with the vibrations from my Tele's body?
Also, as it would appear that some folks swear that the feel of a Nitro body is so much better, can anyone recommend a good skin sensitiser that I can rub onto that small section of skin between my elbow and my wrist that actually makes contact with the body when I'm playing, so that I can really appreciate the improved feel over the poly bodies?
Ahhh..... but were those aluminium pickguards MIA? Or perhaps MIM? Or even MIC?
There is a HUGE variation in tone between pickguards manufactured in the various countries....
I doubt there is much different between nitro and poly when it comes to tone but from experience I have found that older knocked about nitro looks far nicer than my poly guitars that have taken a knock... which simply look tatty.
There's a bunch of chatter out there about when Fender stopped using Nitro and went to a poly undercoat with a nitro top coat.
Is this true?
That's an excellent point. When in doubt, buy one guitar of each type of finish.
Right now, I am enamored with old school shellac and a version of French polishing I am fooling around with on an affordable ESP/LTD electric guitar. The finish is in no way durable but I love the snappy sound it has unplugged and the depth of the look. Yes, plugged in, it sounds the same.
During gigs, especially if I am playing lead, I simplify it into two basic sounds (bright or warm). Gibsons with humbuckers/any guitar with humbuckers/guitars with hotter single coils will cover the warm aspects which is a good lead sound if the other guitarist is using a vintage style strat or tele. When I want a bright tone, especially good if other guitarist is using a humbucker or if there are horns or keyboards, the bright tone of staggered single coil pickups seems to work best for me. Things like guitar look, pickguards, finishes, hardware mean very little to me in live situations.
When I worry about amps live, I have two basic settings which is clean and distortion.
During a gig, it's more of a job to worry about lyrics, chords, and not screwing up. When I get home, I can GAS all I want about finishes, fine nuances of different (yet similar) pickups, aftermarket speakers, and neck radius.
It's true that the AVRI's have a poly undercoat and a "nitro" topcoat. The nitro today isn't anything like the real thing though.
This is what you should read to get a deeper understanding of these things:
Glad this is settled once and for all. So what was the verdict?
I love poly. Whether it's a guitar finish or a leisure suit.
Now, now boys and girls!!! We all know that the quality of the tonal characteristics of BOTH nitro and poly finished electric guitars is TOTALLY determined by which brand of CABLE we use!!!! Case closed!!!
But the cable's importance in the equation is diminished when the moon is in the 7th house and leap years.
Fender was using a poly/plastic type sealer back in the glory days of the 50s and 60s.
Nitrocellulose lacquer is an evaporative finish. It doesn't cure, the solvents simply dry. If you spray nitrocellulose lacquer directly on bare wood, the dried wood will absorb the solvents., especially softer and lighter woods like Ash and Pine. This causes the grain to swell slightly giving the finish a wavy appearence. A home builder, or small time builder is able to sand this type of finish flat again before final buffing, but it is a time consuming process. It is just too involved to use in a production setting. So in production settings they use heavy duty sealers that do cure chemically to "seal" off the grain.
Quote from "Mutiny On The Bounty":
(Old sailor) "Ah, there's nothing compares to a woman washed all over and smellin' like a Frenchman!!"
EDIT: The odds of ANY debate on ANYTHING being settled here approach zero!
That makes sense.
I have to admit that I kind of cheated on a French polish on my current project. First coats were stain/sealer, sanding, then some acrylics, then water based poly (but to fully dry/cure), sanding, oil based poly, sanding, and then when grain was somewhat tamed, then the many coats of shellac with very little sanding. I could have gone with no poly, but it saved a ton of time.
If I had to do this full time, I would either go poly all the way and do a few with poly with light topcoats of nitro.
I think in a production setting there is really only two good ways to go IMHO. Use vinyl sealer and nitro, or use automotive urethane. Just about anything else is way to involved or time consuming.
I wonder why it's so hard to accept that all Fenders always have had some sort of sealer coat - ash even has a pore filler. These have always been the poly/plastic type as you say. It's just wishful thinking that you can find a production Fender that is only finished in "nitro". It's always been this way.
Its about as hard to convince someone that vintage tuners will stay in tune when strung properly.
I did a gig recently and took two guitars which I reckoned would cover all bases.
An MIM Tele with a thick poly finish
And a Gibson LP Melody Maker with a thin nitro one
I did the first set with the Tele, then did the last number in the 1st set with my MM
A bra landed on the stage!
2nd set, started with the Tele again, then switched to the MM for "Superstition"
Two pairs of underpants, a pair of knickers and a camisole top came our way during that one song
I decided to use the Gibby for the rest of the set
By the end of the gig, we were all ankle deep in underwear, the crowd were in the palms of our hands.
The band turned round to me and demanded I use the Tele for the encores, such was the lack of room onstage due to the shed undergarments
Nitro vs. poly.
I rest my case