Guitar finish impacts sound in the audible range

Guitar finish impacts sound in the audible range

  • Yes

    Votes: 53 24.4%
  • No

    Votes: 164 75.6%

  • Total voters
    217
Status
Not open for further replies.

Crashbelt

Tele-Holic
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
Posts
751
Location
Cambridge England
Mostly I'd say any audible difference between finishes is marginal at best. My lightweight 74 Strat doesn't sound appreciably worse than my 65 on account of the finishes or any other factors. Different of course but not worse.

20210411_101706.jpg


But I inherited a 61 Les Paul (SG) Standard that had been refinned in 2mm thick poly. I had it stripped and finished in nitro. It was like releasing a guitar that had been entombed in thick plastic to breathe again. The PAFs just sing now, where they sounded dead before. I can hear that massively and so did my tech who did the work.

20201113_081558 2.jpeg


So I'd conclude that the audible difference is generally slight, if apparent at all, but in extreme examples like the SG it can be massive.
 

mexicanyella

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jan 26, 2012
Posts
4,336
Location
Troy, MO
What the heck folks. Do you like your girlfriend? Yes. no, it depends, which one? This question doesn't need to be clarified to its smallest nuance.

The poll question is posed as though you’re seeking knowledge, and you’re getting carefully considered answers but you’re complaining about them. Have you considered revising the title, question or poll options in light of the initial answers you’re receiving?

I don’t know to what degree finish affects instrument sound, because the guitars I’ve had with different finishes and sounds also varied so much in other ways that I don’t know what to attribute it to. There’s no poll option for me, but there’s my guitar finish/sound input.
 

fleezinator

Tele-Meister
Joined
Apr 4, 2020
Posts
449
Location
Texas
The poll question is posed as though you’re seeking knowledge, and you’re getting carefully considered answers but you’re complaining about them. Have you considered revising the title, question or poll options in light of the initial answers you’re receiving?

I don't think enlightenment is the motive here.
 

SixStringSlinger

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
May 21, 2006
Posts
5,448
Location
Space
The poll question is posed as though you’re seeking knowledge, and you’re getting carefully considered answers but you’re complaining about them. Have you considered revising the title, question or poll options in light of the initial answers you’re receiving?

I don’t know to what degree finish affects instrument sound, because the guitars I’ve had with different finishes and sounds also varied so much in other ways that I don’t know what to attribute it to. There’s no poll option for me, but there’s my guitar finish/sound input.

I don't think enlightenment is the motive here.

*Poll results lean toward "Yes"*

"See?? I was right!"

*Poll results lean toward "no"*

"Look how many people are wrong!"
 

schmee

Doctor of Teleocity
Silver Supporter
Joined
Jun 2, 2003
Posts
19,646
Location
northwest
Acoustic guitar I say YES... at least at the extremes like a thick poly finish. (Think extremer: You have one covered with bed liner, would it effect the sound? :lol:)

Electric guitar I say NO, not with most finishes out there, not in the audible range normally. But with bedliner it might!
 

Sax-son

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Mar 20, 2019
Posts
1,935
Age
70
Location
Three Rivers, CA
Hard to know and hard to prove, that's for sure. However, thick coats of finish over any piece of wood is a turn off to me. Wood definitely has it's tonal properties. When you choke that all off with a thick candy shell of paint, it has to have and impact on the resonance.

I have many guitars and all those with a minimal finish all sound better than those that I have an overkill of finish on them. Less is more in my opinion. A solid body guitar is not the same as an acoustic or semi acoustic guitar. However, pickups will translate the vibration coming from the strings. Since strings resonate from the vibration of the wood, there has to be some impact albeit slightly.
 

mexicanyella

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jan 26, 2012
Posts
4,336
Location
Troy, MO
This thread is making me wonder about a guitar or bass body (and headstock face) finished in Duratex, like my bass cab.

Even I could apply a Duratex finish. And why worry about a case? Easy touch-ups!
 

Sconnie

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 1, 2017
Posts
2,135
Location
CO
:twisted: The obvious objective evidence is stacking up in favor of the no's, so it's time to figure out what really went wrong with that guitar he posted about yesterday! Careful what ya wish for lol
 

clingin_on

Tele-Meister
Joined
Jun 18, 2021
Posts
242
Location
Illinois
New strings + re-attachment of the neck = change of sound.
You have no way of knowing if removing the finish made any difference at all.

Ugh. I should have known better than to get involved in one of these threads.

Because, you know, I'd never changed the strings on my guitar before :rolleyes:

I bid you adieu.
 

naneek

Tele-Holic
Joined
Mar 19, 2010
Posts
641
Location
PNW
if it was finished properly, you could never hear the difference with any kind of finish.
so in answer to the question, no.

but human error can **** up a guitar in unpredictable ways which do make a difference. and if someone ****s up the finish badly enough, it will be detrimental to the playability and therefore the sound of the guitar in general.

But I inherited a 61 Les Paul (SG) Standard that had been refinned in 2mm thick poly. I had it stripped and finished in nitro. It was like releasing a guitar that had been entombed in thick plastic to breathe again. I can hear that massively and so did my tech who did the work.

View attachment 902233

So I'd conclude that the audible difference is generally slight, if apparent at all, but in extreme examples like the SG it can be massive.
This is pretty much what I was going to say, and I was also going to use an SG as the the example. In my case, a 1981 SG with a poly finish so thick, it looked like it had been dipped rather than sprayed. The finish was original, but it was not done correctly. Major orange peel, clouding, bubbles, and discoloration. There was something seriously wrong with the finish from day one.

the early 80s were not a high watermark for gibson's quality control.
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.




Top