#1
Hey guys. I've been interested in getting a Telecaster for a while. I went to a local shop a while ago and played a few, and when I sat down with a nice looking Squier the shop owner commented on the neck. Said it had a polyester finish on it. It felt absolutely fantastic, I didn't know a Squier could feel so good. The shop owner also told me that polyester played smoother than polyurethane, which he said sticks to your fingers more.

So I decided that I'd buy a Fender Tele eventually with a maple neck and polyester finish on it. I've got my eyes set on this one specifically: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/fender-standard-telecaster-fsr-ashwith-vintage-noiseless-pickups-electric-guitar

But my problem is that one comes with a tinted satin urethane finish. By urethane, do they mean polyurethane?

The standard Teles are cheaper: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/fender-standard-telecaster-electric-guitar and they have polyester finishes. But I'd rather get the FSR, for the color and pickups.

So my questions,

Is the "urethane" finish on the FSR Tele actually just short for "polyurethane?"

What are the differences between polyester and polyurethane finishes?

Was the shop owner correct in saying that polyester feels better to play on than polyurethane?

Which finish ages better and is easier to maintain?
#2
I'd go with the Butterscotch Blonde Ash. So sexy! I believe the Urethane is Poly but Google should sort that out.

The eventual dings and dents would probably look better on the FSR unless you're one of those who baby their gear and keep them minty/flawless.

Have you checked out the Squier Classic Vibes? Pretty nice Bang for the $$$, too.

#3
Quote by Ippon
I'd go with the Butterscotch Blonde Ash. So sexy! I believe the Urethane is Poly but Google should sort that out.

The eventual dings and dents would probably look better on the FSR unless you're one of those who baby their gear and keep them minty/flawless.

Have you checked out the Squier Classic Vibes? Pretty nice Bang for the $$$, too.


Thanks. Yeah, I've looked at the Classic Vibe ones, those are pretty nice as well. I was surprised at the quality of some of the Squiers.

I'm guessing that polyurethane is better because they use it on the more expensive guitars, right? So it should play smoother?
#4
I believe Nitrocellulose is used on the higher end models ... thinner finish, snob appeal, etc. Through an awesome amp, the finish probably becomes less critical.

I'd go for the one that feels the best to you. Audition all of them through an amp like yours or one you plan to acquire.

Good Luck!

#6
Quote by Ippon
I believe Nitrocellulose is used on the higher end models ... thinner finish, snob appeal, etc. Through an awesome amp, the finish probably becomes less critical.

I'd go for the one that feels the best to you. Audition all of them through an amp like yours or one you plan to acquire.

Good Luck!


I doubt I'll be able to afford any nitro-finished guitars any time soon

Thanks, though. I'm gonna test a few out soon.
Quote by supersac
isnt polyester what shirts are made out of?

and i thougth polyurethane had polymers or plastcs added to urethane

I guess so. I don't really know.

Just remembered, the FSR Tele has a satin-tinted urethane finish, I believe. Can anyone tell me anything about that?
#7
Polyester is the plastic looking finish. I think urethane will be a little sticky but as the guitar ages will become less so.
Got it:
Pacifica 604w, Hohner G3T, PRS SE Soapbar I, Schecter Ultra I
Fender 'evil' Twin, Marshall 2554 combo
#8
Quote by jetfuel495
I doubt I'll be able to afford any nitro-finished guitars any time soon

Thanks, though. I'm gonna test a few out soon.
I guess so. I don't really know.

Just remembered, the FSR Tele has a satin-tinted urethane finish, I believe. Can anyone tell me anything about that?
From a woodworking forum:
Most people, when finishing guitars, want the look of glass. The best way to achieve this is by using polyester. A polyester has very high solids (generally 85% plus). It also has very high filling properties as well as great resistance to sagging. But the reason for using it is it gives the look of plastic. The transparency is superior to anything else. Polyester is a sanding sealer, and is used as only part of the overall finish system. The system as it is would consist of a polyurethane insulator (1 coat), a polyester sanding sealer (2 coats), and finally a polyurethane topcoat (1-2 coats).

#9
I believe Polyester is thicker than Polyeurathane, but I'm not certain of that. I wasn't aware that they still made polyester finished guitars, I thought was an 70-80s thing. I listened to a sound byte once that compared a Polyester finish strat to a nitro finish, the poly finish sounded kinda muffled with less highs. There may have been other factors at work though.

I'm pretty sure Fender used Polester a cheaper and more durable alternative to Nitro, but they switched it to the thinner Polyeurathane, possibly because it was cheaper, but maybe because they got complaints about Polyester finished guitars.

As far as the stickiness goes, if you're comfortable using steel wool on the neck, it will not be sticky, regardless of the finish. I'm certain a steel wool buffed polyeurathane neck will be smoother and less sticky than a shiny Polyester or Nitro neck.
#10
Quote by W4RP1G
I believe Polyester is thicker than Polyeurathane, but I'm not certain of that. I wasn't aware that they still made polyester finished guitars, I thought was an 70-80s thing. I listened to a sound byte once that compared a Polyester finish strat to a nitro finish, the poly finish sounded kinda muffled with less highs. There may have been other factors at work though.

I'm pretty sure Fender used Polester a cheaper and more durable alternative to Nitro, but they switched it to the thinner Polyeurathane, possibly because it was cheaper, but maybe because they got complaints about Polyester finished guitars.

As far as the stickiness goes, if you're comfortable using steel wool on the neck, it will not be sticky, regardless of the finish. I'm certain a steel wool buffed polyeurathane neck will be smoother and less sticky than a shiny Polyester or Nitro neck.
The finishing choices are based on Economics (cost), Marketing (appeal), looks, feel, etc. I believe that from a sonic perspective, only a very small % of the population will probably be able to differentiate a Nitro-finished from a Poly-finished guitar. The amp, speaker cab, speakers, type of floor your cab sits, and type of walls would affect the sound more than the finish.

#11
Quote by Ippon
The finishing choices are based on Economics (cost), Marketing (appeal), looks, feel, etc. I believe that from a sonic perspective, only a very small % of the population will probably be able to differentiate a Nitro-finished from a Poly-finished guitar. The amp, speaker cab, speakers, type of floor your cab sits, and type of walls would affect the sound more than the finish.


I agree. My strat with a polyeurathane finish sounds amazing. I've heard the argument from a few people that part of the better sound you get from vintage strats and Les Pauls is because of the worn nitro finish. Supposedly the finish getting worn thinner over the years brings out the sound of the wood more. I've also heard that the nitro allows the wood to breath better, but I don't know if that's at all accurate. I'd imagine that if any of that is true, an oil finish would be the best way to go.
#12
hmm reading tht little quoet up there about giving it a look of plastic i assume my start is also a polyester finished... quite happy with it so far!!! also it fell on my RP355's expression pedal's edge from my hands (shoulder strap.. i hate it and got it replaced now!!! ) and it only left few marks, nothing big really!! so woawh i was expecting soem bigger damage!

anyways the point im trying to make is polyester rocks!!!