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Tele with lacquer, but no thick poly underneath?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by klobasa, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. klobasa

    klobasa Tele-Holic

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    Hi,

    I am thinking to get a nitro lacquered 60s style Telecaster with rosewood fretboard. Max. in the AVRI / American Original price range. I am open to all brands, as long as the headstock is Fender style. I used to own 52 RI tele, 2008-2009. I hated that "nitro". It was sticky and soft, and underneath was a very thick layer of poly. I disliked the finish so much that I stripped and refinished the whole guitar with real nitro lacquer. After one week of drying, the nitro was already harder than the Fender used nitro after 10 years of drying.

    Do the 60s style AVRI / American Originals have similar sticky nitro over a thick poly? I do not want to do a refin again. I would rather build a parts tele from Warmoth, Allparts etc. parts.

    Any ideas which models to look for?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I suggest take your time and wait and find a used American Vintage 64 Tele. 2012 to 2016, I think. Thin flash nitro. It is so thin it wears easily. So it is hard to find one in very good condition. If that’s what you want.

    Also consider - commission a thin nitro spray body from one of a number of small finishing companies. And build your own. I am in the Uk and I do this.
     
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  3. fender4life

    fender4life Friend of Leo's

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    Look up "thin skin" telecaster. I think they are/were only sold by wildwood but not sure. Either way they are a thin coat of nitro like the AV 64. Just be aware the finish will wear/chip away/check quickly from everything i've seen..
     
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  4. Andoris

    Andoris Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Here's the correct answer/info to your inquiry:

    The Fender American Vintage (Or Pure Vintage) guitars from 2012-2017 have nitro sealer, and thin nitro topcoat. The marketing term Fender used for this type of finish was called "Flash Coat".

    The Fender American Originals use a poly sealer and nitro on top. The poly is thinner, but it's still there. All the special editions as of late have this, i.e. the Jimmy Page models, the 75th Anniversary Broadcaster, the special edition AO in white blonde with gold hardware, etc.

    Fender does not make a pure nitro guitar atm outside of custom shop.

    The Wildwood company as well as Dave's Guitar shop have continued making guitars in the nitro/nitro fashion. Dave's has special runs from time to time. Right now they have 62's, but that line has been out for a while and slim pickings left
    https://davesguitar.com/products/fender/condition/new/type/electric/series/62LTD/

    Wildwood always has their version which is called Wildwood American Vintage Thin Skin Nitro. I've called them and they have told me that the finish is the same as the 2012-2017 American Vintage but the coat was probably slightly thicker. Here are the current offerings, the 52's with humbuckers being newest.
    https://wildwoodguitars.com/product-category/electrics/fender-usa/american-vintage-thin-skin-nitro/

    I've personally had a new 2016 Fender American Vintage 52 Telecaster and a new 2013 Fender American Vintage 64 Telecaster. The finish on the 2013 was thinner than the 2016 and would chip very easily. The 2016 didn't chip once. I've spoken to Wildwood on the phone and they've told me that their Thin Skin finish is sightly thicker than the Flash Coat lacquer, so I'm thinking it's more of the later years American Vintage where its a bit thicker-this is a good thing trust me.

    Either way, if you want a fully nitro Fender atm, it's either Custom Shop, Dave's or Wildwood.
    Watch out for the 52 Wildwoods, they roll the fingerboards very aggressively, and there's E string slippage. I sold my 52 because of the edges and 64 because I didn't like the neck. I'm in the same boat as you and have been/am waiting for a non Custom Shop nitro/nitro Tele that won't break the bank. But it might be a while. Dave's may have something after the 62 run is over, but WW just got in new 52's with humbuckers and they are not getting any other models soon (I called them recently). They still have a some 55's in white blonde. and 64's in Inca Silver.

    Hop this helps.
     
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  5. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    The new (as in post-2017) reissue lacquer finishes have gone back to lacquer over urethane. But in all the ones I have seen, the urethane and lacquer layers are MUCH thinner than in the pre-AV-Series days (pre-late-2012).

    If you want no poly undercoat at all, you need to buy a Wildwood Thin-Skin, an AV Series guitar (late 2012 through 2017), or a Custom Shop model that has the ThinSkin finish. Get Wildwood ThinSkin if you want 9 1/2" radius and medium frets. Get AV if you want 7 1/4" radius and "vintage" frets. Custom Shop specs vary.
     
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  6. Fenderdad1950

    Fenderdad1950 Tele-Afflicted

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    Well there's your answer, there are so many knowledgeable people here:)
     
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  7. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I have a 2008 Wildwood "Thin Skin" 52 AVRI and I have three American Original 60's guitars. The nitro between the AVRI and the AO is completely different. The 52RI had that "sticky" feeling - and would get especially worse after the neck got warm and sweaty while being played for an extended period. I had to use a Scotch Brite pad to scuff the back of the neck just to make it tolerable. Despite being a "Thin Skin" I've experienced very little wear even after beating on the guitar for almost 10 years.

    The AO series lacquer couldn't be more different. First, from the few small chips I've seen it's FAR thinner than even my 52RI's thin skin finish. Second, it's WAY harder than the 52RI. The 52RI still has that sort of gummy feel - even after 12 years. The AO's don't feel like that at all. The necks don't have that gummy or tacky feel AT ALL. I have had zero desire to sand or scuff the backs of any of their necks. The finish is hard and smooth to the touch.

    Despite many of the assertions that because there's a poly undercoat the AO's are the same as the pre-2012 AVRI's, that's not the case. The finishes have a very different feel and are much thinner. I LOVE my AO guitars and the finishes are one of the reasons.
     
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  8. Andoris

    Andoris Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    This is correct, although comparing a 2008 and a more recent finish isn't really apples to apples comparison. Comparing a 2012-2017 to a AO is the more accurate comparison, and in that regard the American Vintages win. The AO's are excellent though, and their finish is way better than the poly/nitro finish of the pre 2012 AV's for sure.
     
  9. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    The 12-17 AV series was meant to be 100% vintage accurate (a huge upgrade over the former AVRI models). While the finishes really were brittle (just like the originals), there also seemed to be quite a few complaints about them from players who either didn't understand what they were meant to be or didn't appreciate having their new guitar's finish flaking and chipping off so quickly. PLUS, the AV series really seemed to encroach on the CS Closet Classic line (why buy a CC when an AV will get you exactly the same thing for $1000 less?).

    Since the AO's are not meant to be "vintage perfect", it makes sense for Fender to maybe try and improve the finish durability a bit. I don't think the AO's have the poly undercoat that the AVRI's did, rather they appear to have a poly sealer coat just to seal the wood prior to finishing. I also believe they are using the same improved nitro formula that they were using on the 12-17 AV series, however because of the new sealer coat it is adhering much better than before.

    Whatever the formula, the pre-2012 AVRI finish =/= the AO series finish. The AO is superior in quality and feel.
     
  10. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'm not sure what you meant by "as long as the headstock is Fender style." If that means it's gotta say Fender on the headstock, then ignore the rest of this post.

    But if it means that the shape of the headstock isn't some weird hockey stick looking variation, but looks like a tele headstock, then I would suggest looking into Logan Custom Guitars. Bob Logan has his own touch on the headstock shape, but at first glance, you probably wouldn't even notice the difference. So that you can picture what I'm talking about, here is a headstock shot of two of mine...

    upload_2021-1-14_11-24-49.png

    Okay, so if that headstock passes muster, then the matter of finish I think will also work for you. On his website, Bob says "My specialty is to expose the wood grain and texture and apply a nitrocellulose lacquer gloss finish to expose the beauty of the wood. No grain fillers are applied in this process. I do not do high gloss finishes."

    More specifically, in a couple of his FAQs, he addresses the issue.

    As for the price range, don't let the "custom" aspect of the name fool you. With Bob Logan, you could spec out a nice tele with Klein, Lindy Fralin or TV Jones pickups, binding on the body, the neck profile/radius/woods of your choosing, specialty hardware/appointments, etc., and still likely spend less than $1,700.
     
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