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What the point of lacquer over poly finishes?!

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by sbpark, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. sbpark

    sbpark Friend of Leo's

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    I ask this question because I was holding my 52AVRI and noticed on the neck that my fingernail actually started to scrape away the lacquer finish. I know the necks on these are just lacquer, while the body is lacquer over poly. I understand that fender has been doing lacquer over poly for a VERY ling time (60's or earlier?) and also understand that the purpose of the poly coat initially is used as a grain filler to create a smooth surface, and keeps the lacquer coat from sinking into the guitar over time. So i checked the areas on the body the probably receive the most wear, in particular the spot where my forearm rests.Again, I could EASILY scrape away a thin layer of something with light pressure from my fingernail, then it wouldn't let me scrape anything else away. Did I scrape down to the poly coat, since this seems much harder and durable. Even though I was able to scrape off something, it made no impact or change to the finish as far as I can see.

    If this is true and that was the super thin coat of lacquer over the poly, my next question is, what the heck is the point of the lacquer coat?! It seems like it absolutely does nothing. Am I missing something here?!
     
  2. xtrajerry

    xtrajerry Doctor of Teleocity

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    The lacquer ages while the poly undercoat protects the guitar..
     
  3. xtrajerry

    xtrajerry Doctor of Teleocity

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    I imagine when they were moving back to nitro after decades of poly they were concerned that they would get ripped if the Nitro alone wore to quickly.. Instead they got ripped for the tone sucking poly under nitro..
     
  4. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

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    Tone sucking? You're kidding, right?

    Next you'll be telling me that solid bodied electric guitars breathe. :rolleyes:
     
  5. lineboat

    lineboat Friend of Leo's

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    I love the way nitro ages and wears. My last couple builds have been straight nitro finishes, and wearing perfectly.
     
  6. Beachbum

    Beachbum Friend of Leo's

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    It's done for the same reason as thin finishes, Anniversary Editions, signature models and all the other stuff that both Fender, Gibson, and many other guitar makers do when it comes to marketing hype. It serves the purpose of making you think you're getting something special that only they have to offer.
     
  7. teleamp

    teleamp Poster Extraordinaire

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    Feel and smell...
     
  8. sbpark

    sbpark Friend of Leo's

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    Still doesn't answer my question. It comes off super easy. Don't see the pin if its over a thick poly coat. Serves no purpose.
     
  9. xtrajerry

    xtrajerry Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yes I was kidding..
     
  10. lineboat

    lineboat Friend of Leo's

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    To give it the old look and feel. Increase sales.
     
  11. xtrajerry

    xtrajerry Doctor of Teleocity

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    People want Nitro because it ages until it ages to much.. The poly undercoat is a way for Fender to hedge against complaints about the finish.. Now that everyone on the Internet knows that poly sucks the tone Fender introduced the all non tone sucking Nitro AV line..
     
  12. TeleTown

    TeleTown Friend of Leo's

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    Nice one jerry!
     
  13. sbpark

    sbpark Friend of Leo's

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    but hasnt fender been doing lacquer OVER poly since the 60's?
     
  14. sbpark

    sbpark Friend of Leo's

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    Haha. Yeah, poly sucks tone. I'm sure that actually practicing for most of us here would improve out 'tone' a heck of a lot more than if we had a guitar that was just finished in nitro without the poly.
     
  15. Beachbum

    Beachbum Friend of Leo's

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    If you accept that poly sucks tone then by the same token you have to accept that massive amounts of tone have been sucked out of your guitar by shear virtue of it being a solid body. If that's the case then why doesn't everyone play semi and hollow body electrics? Uh. Oh, I remember. Because it's a silly rumor started by lacquer sniffers.
     
  16. blimpo

    blimpo Tele-Meister

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    Alright, the old poly vs nitro tone gaggle.

    I've been waiting for this to come up again for, uh, three minutes :)
     
  17. sbpark

    sbpark Friend of Leo's

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    this isnt about poly vs. nitro. my question was asking about the whole point of putting nitro OVER poly. And its not just in reference to 'newer' guitars, because Fender has apparently been doing it for a very long time. Even my '76 P bass is nitro over poly. why dont they just skip the nitro? people complain about finishes being too thick, so why would you want lacquer ON TOP OF your nitro and make the finish even thicker?
     
  18. Telepi

    Telepi Friend of Leo's

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    I like the way the nitro wears and feelson my 52ri. It may not do anything other than appearance. It definitely has a softer feel and tends to shows pick marks more easily than poly.

    I think I'm going to scratch through the surface to the poly and release some of that tone I've been missing.:lol:
     
  19. fenson

    fenson ---------------------------------

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    :lol: right on ya took the words right off my fingers.
    cheers
     
  20. fenson

    fenson ---------------------------------

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    `thats they way it was done so thats the way they do it.
    76 should be all polyester you sure about nitro.
    Thicker was better in its day !!
     
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