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Old 08-09-2008, 12:05 AM   #1
VieNam
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does guitar finish affect tone?

I'm gonna make me a maple neck-thru guitar with walnut wings

I saw a post that said it won't affect it that much if you do thin coats, but what if I do several layers of white on it...

so my finish looks kinda like guitar (with a few extra coats):
http://www.ironmaiden.com/index.php...2_articleid=978

will this effect my tone that much??
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:13 AM   #2
forsaknazrael
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...layers of white?

Sounds to me like you need to look up how finishing works. Generally, there's a layer of color, followed by several layers of clear coat, which may be acrylic lacquer, nitrocellulose lacquer, or polyurethane....
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:14 AM   #3
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Yeah, it'll affect the tone. More so with repainting vintage guitars. I had a 1985 Kramer that I repainted (no choice) and it lost all of its '80s hard-rock tone. I was pretty pissed...

az: I think TS meant coats of paint.
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:17 AM   #4
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...

How can a coat of paint affect how the pickup picks up the string vibrations?

I highly highly doubt that paint finish affects tone.

I'll go as far to say body wood affects tone, there's no denying maple produces a brighter sound than mahogany, but paint affecting tone? C'mon now.
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:17 AM   #5
VieNam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forsaknazrael
...layers of white?

Sounds to me like you need to look up how finishing works.


lol, thats true
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:18 AM   #6
VieNam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Invader Jim
Yeah, it'll affect the tone. More so with repainting vintage guitars. I had a 1985 Kramer that I repainted (no choice) and it lost all of its '80s hard-rock tone. I was pretty pissed...

az: I think TS meant coats of paint.



ohh i know how you feel man... I hope my finishing goes out alright
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:19 AM   #7
forsaknazrael
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iamonfire
...

How can a coat of paint affect how the pickup picks up the string vibrations?

I highly highly doubt that paint finish affects tone.

I'll go as far to say body wood affects tone, there's no denying maple produces a brighter sound than mahogany, but paint affecting tone? C'mon now.

Actually, it can. Excessively thick layers of polyurethane finish is one of the reasons post-CBS Fenders are not sought after.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VieNam
lol, thats true

Read up threads here in the GBC by Ippon. Ask questions in the refinishing sticky. Visit projectguitar.com's forums.

Last edited by forsaknazrael : 08-09-2008 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Invader Jim
Yeah, it'll affect the tone. More so with repainting vintage guitars. I had a 1985 Kramer that I repainted (no choice) and it lost all of its '80s hard-rock tone. I was pretty pissed...

az: I think TS meant coats of paint.



That's completely preposterous.

I am positive that a guitar could be green or blue and it would not affect how it sounded.

EDIT: I guess I'll read up on those sites, but it still is very hard to believe.
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:25 AM   #9
forsaknazrael
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Oh, that arrow wasn't meant for you. It's been corrected now.

It's not about color, dude. It's the type of lacquer used, and the thickness of the finish that affects it.
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:26 AM   #10
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Iamonfire: I'm not talking about the colors. I'm talking about the thinkness of the total finish (primer+paint+lacquer) and it's age.

Another little story: My friend's dad had a hundred-year-old mandolin that he refinished and it changed the tone completely. It no longer sounded 'old', but it sounded just like the other mandolin he has, some kit he bought a couple of years before he got the old one.
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Old 08-10-2008, 05:17 AM   #11
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i once had a guy telling me that the chemical ingredients in white nitro/2 part/acryllic changed the properties of the body wood therfore rendering the guitar "toneless"

i think this is idiotic pure and simple because the wood would most likely have been sealed with sanding sealer anyway.

pish posh i say to that.

but excessive coats of nitro, that's another story.
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Old 08-10-2008, 06:00 AM   #12
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Don't thick finishes dampen some of the body's vibrations or something? That's why some peole say how oil finishes sound better...
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Old 08-10-2008, 06:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supergerbil
Don't thick finishes dampen some of the body's vibrations or something? That's why some peole say how oil finishes sound better...


+1

Painted guitars supposedly don't resonate quite as well, because the layers of paint act as dampers. Imagine wrapping your guitar with padded foam, then playing it - the vibrations would dissipate through the foam, stopping them from resonating inside the wood body. It's the same principle, but I've always assumed that you'd have to lay the paint on pretty thick to get any negative effects. Nitrocellulose paints and lacquers are supposed to be the worst for this.
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Old 08-10-2008, 07:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VieNam
I'm gonna make me a maple neck-thru guitar with walnut wings

I saw a post that said it won't affect it that much if you do thin coats, but what if I do several layers of white on it...

so my finish looks kinda like guitar (with a few extra coats):
http://www.ironmaiden.com/index.php...2_articleid=978

will this effect my tone that much??


if i was building a neckthru with maple and walnut wings i wouldn't dare think of painting it.

tung oil maybe. paint? no way.
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Old 08-10-2008, 09:45 AM   #15
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Listen to forsaknazrael.
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Old 08-10-2008, 10:06 AM   #16
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The exception to the 'thick paint = no tone' rule would surely be Gibson LP Customs... thickest paint & lacquer coated guitar ever?
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Old 08-10-2008, 10:50 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cultlife
The exception to the 'thick paint = no tone' rule would surely be Gibson LP Customs... thickest paint & lacquer coated guitar ever?

not even close. Do you know how thick the paint on a squier is? it's like 1/4 or so of an inch thick!
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Old 08-10-2008, 05:21 PM   #18
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Seriously. Especially the Affinity series. They have the thickest coats I've ever seen.

Some guy on here once said that he covered his guitar in duct tape and it made it bassier...
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Old 08-10-2008, 05:48 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Invader Jim
Seriously. Especially the Affinity series. They have the thickest coats I've ever seen.

Some guy on here once said that he covered his guitar in duct tape and it made it bassier...

that's exactly what I meant.
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Old 08-10-2008, 06:23 PM   #20
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a friend of mine had an ibanez that came factory covered in squares of silver duct tape.
it doesn't sound too bad. not my favourite finish ever.
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