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#1
As the title suggests,
I am getting a USA Fender standard Telecaster but notice the differences in finish.
The USA one is Polyurethane while the mexican one (the one I have) is polyester.

How does one vs the other handle in terms of wear and tear? scratching, dents or dings? My mexi is pretty beat up atm.
#2
They are, for all practical purposes, the same thing. They are both thermoplastic polyurethane finishes; the "polyester" one is derived from an adipic acid base and is cheaper. You also run into problems with such finishes in California (home of Fender) with its ridiculously restrictive environmental laws. The polyether-based polyurethane finish is better in some ways, but unless you are going to go swimming with your guitar, you probably will never know the difference.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#3
Polyurethane will wear out quicker and better, a bit like nitro.
Polyester is like a layer of plastic on your guitar, it won't wear out for many many years, and if it will it won't wear out like nitro, not giving you the "relic/vintage" look.

For me, it's more about the feeling, I don't like polyester at all and I avoid it.
#4
Quote by AmirT
Polyurethane will wear out quicker and better, a bit like nitro.
Polyester is like a layer of plastic on your guitar, it won't wear out for many many years, and if it will it won't wear out like nitro, not giving you the "relic/vintage" look.

For me, it's more about the feeling, I don't like polyester at all and I avoid it.


Just for the record, nitrocellulose, polyurethane and polyester are all plastics (nitrocellulose is one of the first around the turn of the last century and was used for a lot of things, including some Gibson pickguards). ALL are a layer of plastic on your guitar.

"Polyurethane" is not a single thing -- it's an extremely wide range of polymers based on a similar chemical reaction type. Same deal with Polyesters, and this includes both natural and synthetic-based polyesters.

Condemning all polyesters ("I don't like polyester at all and I avoid it") is something like saying "I don't like fabric at all..."

Fender has variously used nitrocellulose, acrylics, polyurethanes, polyesters in air-dry, catalyzed and UV-catalyzed finishes, and a number of formulations of each. Gibson has also used, in addition to nitrocellulose, some acrylics (Firebirds) and UV-catalyzed paints (including for their Smartwood series).
#5
So basically an American standard's finish is weaker than a mexican...?

Why bother getting an American then? I thought they were better.

I dont wanna get a guitar where if I bump my keys into it, itll scrape the paint off.
Last edited by xbouncer927 at Feb 19, 2014,
#6
Quote by xbouncer927
So basically an American standard's finish is weaker than a mexican...?

Why bother getting an American then? I thought they were better.

I dont wanna get a guitar where if I bump my keys into it, it'll scrape the paint off.


The polyurethane finish of the American version is not weak at all. The polyester finish of the Mexican version is more abrasion resistant, but they are both very tough finishes. The polyester finish is less water and moisture resistant, and has been stated, it will not appear to "age" over time. Both are pretty tough, solid finishes for guitars.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#7
Quote by FatalGear41
The polyurethane finish of the American version is not weak at all. The polyester finish of the Mexican version is more abrasion resistant, but they are both very tough finishes. The polyester finish is less water and moisture resistant, and has been stated, it will not appear to "age" over time. Both are pretty tough, solid finishes for guitars.



"both very tough" and "polyester is more abrasion resistant" are two different things.
So then the polyester is better?
#8
Quote by xbouncer927
"both very tough" and "polyester is more abrasion resistant" are two different things.
So then the polyester is better?


No. You're missing the point. Both will keep your guitar in great shape for years to come. I have non-nitro guitars from the '70's that are almost like new. Obviously if you abuse anything, including a piece of granite, you'll get scratches and dings in it, and the stuff is covering wood, after all. In short, if you've got a choice between polyurethane or polyester, don't let it become part of the buying decision.
#9
Quote by dspellman
No. You're missing the point. Both will keep your guitar in great shape for years to come. I have non-nitro guitars from the '70's that are almost like new. Obviously if you abuse anything, including a piece of granite, you'll get scratches and dings in it, and the stuff is covering wood, after all. In short, if you've got a choice between polyurethane or polyester, don't let it become part of the buying decision.


^This. Exactly. 'Nuff said.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#11
Quote by xbouncer927
"both very tough" and "polyester is more abrasion resistant" are two different things.
So then the polyester is better?

No they are both decent finishes. The finish on the USA Fenders is better

The price difference is because the American is a better guitar. Better wood, better hardware, better electronics and Better quality control
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Last edited by Robbgnarly at Feb 19, 2014,
#12
Quote by Robbgnarly
The price difference is because the American is a better guitar. Better wood, better hardware, better electronics and Better quality control


Not to mention cheaper labor costs.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#13
Quote by xbouncer927
then why is there a 500-800 price difference?

Shockingly enough, they didn't spend all of it on paint.
#17
gotta point out that even in the old days that fender used a poly undercoat for their nitro finished guitars. the MIM made guitars use polyester because it has a quicker dry time and is a little easier to apply thus keeping costs down. I read a great article a while back from one of Fender's chief master builders in the custom shop that he felt the finish used on modern fenders was way better than the nitro and that is what he recommends. either works and if properly applied works just fine.
#19
Quote by xbouncer927
another random question but, whats the difference between the 2012 vs earlier american standard tele's? aside from the strat-like bevel..


Prior to that, both the American Standard Stratocaster and Telecaster used different bridge saddles. Strat players liked the old-style bent sheet-metal bridge saddles, so Fender went back to using them. Strangely, they also put them on the American Standard Telecaster, even though no Telecaster had used such Strat bridge saddles before.

Old "modern" American Standard Telecaster bridge and saddles:



"New" American Standard Telecaster bridge and saddles:



Those Strat bridge saddles just look rather strange on a Telecaster.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#21
Quote by xbouncer927
Ive noticed the standard has gone UP $250+ in the last 3 months..wtf..almost $1300 for a barebones guitar??!?!?


hardly a bare bones guitar this is what a strat or tele should be. many features have been improved but they are still what they are. dude if fancy features are what you wqant then fender isn't for you
#22
Quote by monwobobbo
hardly a bare bones guitar this is what a strat or tele should be. many features have been improved but they are still what they are. dude if fancy features are what you wqant then fender isn't for you



uhh.. that's great but tele's and strats, (just the standards) should be no more than $1000 because they were introduced as the first "affordable mass produced guitar"

Theyre almost the price of a gibson sg or les paul which isnt a "bare bones" guitar
#23
Quote by xbouncer927
uhh.. that's great but tele's and strats, (just the standards) should be no more than $1000 because they were introduced as the first "affordable mass produced guitar"

Theyre almost the price of a gibson sg or les paul which isnt a "bare bones" guitar

Don't buy one then

Back when they were introduced Fender was only a USA company so the usa fenders were the only fenders, all amps were hand wired point to point and the tubes were made in all the best places. Times change and inflation happens and for a USA made guitar the Fender standards are still a good deal.
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#24
Check out how much the first Fender electrics cost, adjusted for inflation. It's way more than $1000. You're blowing smoke here, you just don't like that the price increased.

1960 Fender Catalog:


Saying a guitar should cost less than some arbitrary price (that happens to be convenient to you) is such a tired, pointless argument. You have tons of options, don't waste everyone's time by making poorly informed decrees about prices.
#25
Quote by Roc8995
Check out how much the first Fender electrics cost, adjusted for inflation. It's way more than $1000. You're blowing smoke here, you just don't like that the price increased.

1960 Fender Catalog:


Saying a guitar should cost less than some arbitrary price (that happens to be convenient to you) is such a tired, pointless argument. You have tons of options, don't waste everyone's time by making poorly informed decrees about prices.


Oh ok.
#26
Quote by xbouncer927
uhh.. that's great but tele's and strats, (just the standards) should be no more than $1000 because they were introduced as the first "affordable mass produced guitar"

Theyre almost the price of a gibson sg or les paul which isnt a "bare bones" guitar


aside from the incorrect assumption on price or affordable what exactly is your idea of "bare bones" both the SG and LP have the same features they always had (much like a strat or tele). just because they are different guitars doesn't make them any different from any other electric guitar. youwanna bitch about price look at the price of a LP or SG Standard not the cheaper models and then compare.
#27
Quote by monwobobbo
aside from the incorrect assumption on price or affordable what exactly is your idea of "bare bones" both the SG and LP have the same features they always had (much like a strat or tele). just because they are different guitars doesn't make them any different from any other electric guitar. youwanna bitch about price look at the price of a LP or SG Standard not the cheaper models and then compare.


He makes a good point. Here an LPJ is about £500 and an American Standard Strat is about £1090.

Being serious both lack the bells and whistles so to speak but and LJP is actually going to be harder to make.

Recessed Cavities
Set neck
Angled Neck Pocket
Inlays that aren't just dots
Maple top
The maple top is carved
Truss rod cover


These are all things a Strat doesn't have and in theory it's lack of them should lower the price, both are American made so the money doesn't go on more expensive labour.
#28
Quote by MegadethFan18
He makes a good point. Here an LPJ is about £500 and an American Standard Strat is about £1090.

Being serious both lack the bells and whistles so to speak but and LJP is actually going to be harder to make.

Recessed Cavities
Set neck
Angled Neck Pocket
Inlays that aren't just dots
Maple top
The maple top is carved
Truss rod cover


These are all things a Strat doesn't have and in theory it's lack of them should lower the price, both are American made so the money doesn't go on more expensive labour.


Thank you. This was EXACTLY my point. A tele and a strat neck are just a piece o' maple with some dots. Theres no rosewood being glued onto them (except for those models obviously) and there's no expensive fancy inlays for the standard series.

The bodies themselves are usually 1-3 pieces of alder glued together, whereas a les paul or SG usually have a top.
And a les paul or sg standard is roughly ONLY $200 more than an American standard tele or strat...

bare.
bones.
#29
Quote by xbouncer927
Thank you. This was EXACTLY my point. A tele and a strat neck are just a piece o' alder, usually, sometimes ash, even pine or basswood depending on the model with some dots. Theres no rosewood being glued onto them (except for those models obviously) and there's no expensive fancy inlays for the standard series.

The bodies themselves are usually 1-3 pieces of alder glued together, whereas a les paul or SG usually have a top.
And a les paul or sg standard is roughly ONLY $200 more than an American standard tele or strat...

bare.
bones.



FTFY.

The majority of features you describe as making the Fender "bare bones" actually save very little in production costs.

US std. strats use better cuts of wood than LPJs, and the wood under the paint is every bit as good as the stuff Gibson use on LP and SG standards, which in the case of LPs aren't solid pieces of wood anyway.

SGs are thinner than strats and don't have an arched top. They're, as you put it, just a piece 'o mahogany. Neither guitar has expensive aftermarket pickups, complicated floyd roses - y'know, the kind of stuff that people pay extra for.

The fact is, comparing Fender and Gibson prices is silly. There are too many variables you don't understand, and if you want a Strat, even an LP standard that you perceive to be better value won't do the job.
#30
Quote by MegadethFan18
He makes a good point. Here an LPJ is about £500 and an American Standard Strat is about £1090.

Being serious both lack the bells and whistles so to speak but and LJP is actually going to be harder to make.

Recessed Cavities
Set neck
Angled Neck Pocket
Inlays that aren't just dots
Maple top
The maple top is carved
Truss rod cover


These are all things a Strat doesn't have and in theory it's lack of them should lower the price, both are American made so the money doesn't go on more expensive labour.


yeah and that guitar lacks a real finish for starters. it is low budget in every way have you actually played one I have. set necks can be had for $200 see agile or even epiphone so not really a big deal. inlays again can be found just like that on far cheaper guitars. a LP Standard cost 4x more than the model you mentioned and has no more features (except a real finish) so what's up with that must be a reason right? truss rod cover? really. sorry but the Strat uses high quality parts etc. not saying they aren't a bit pricey but you aren't comparing apples and apples either. you choose a bottom of the barrel Gibson instead of it's "standard" model which cost twice as much as the fender.
#31
Quote by xbouncer927
Thank you. This was EXACTLY my point. A tele and a strat neck are just a piece o' maple with some dots. Theres no rosewood being glued onto them (except for those models obviously) and there's no expensive fancy inlays for the standard series.

The bodies themselves are usually 1-3 pieces of alder glued together, whereas a les paul or SG usually have a top.
And a les paul or sg standard is roughly ONLY $200 more than an American standard tele or strat...

bare.
bones.


um a LP studio is not a standard which goes for $2000 and up. as already pointed out an SG has no top. also the lower end LP are more than 1 piece of wood.
#32
Quote by ProgFolk12
FTFY.

No, the bodies are alder, sometimes ash, etc., but the necks on Strats and Teles are primarily made from maple.
Quote by xbouncer927
Thank you. This was EXACTLY my point. A tele and a strat neck are just a piece o' maple with some dots. Theres no rosewood being glued onto them (except for those models obviously) and there's no expensive fancy inlays for the standard series.

The bodies themselves are usually 1-3 pieces of alder glued together, whereas a les paul or SG usually have a top.
And a les paul or sg standard is roughly ONLY $200 more than an American standard tele or strat...

bare.
bones.

Gibson also makes a lot of guitars that are much more expensive than American made Fender products (including a full, expensive acoustic line that Fender doesn't really have). They make up for the lower cost of the LP Studio elsewhere.
Hi, I'm Peter
Last edited by Dirk Gently at Feb 21, 2014,
#33
Are people really getting offended by this? lol


Well in other news, I got my USA tele today. Its a 3 tone standard and I am impressed by the tone but the build feels very cheap.
My ebow slipped out of my hands and caused a nick to go to the bare wood.. lol.
The paint looks very thin, not as much coats as the mexi. Although I really LOVE the 3 tone sunburst.
'
Hardware seems okay, cant tell the difference yet between this and the mexi.
Theres a black "gunk" comin near the fretwork, Im assuming thats from filing the frets.

I gotta get used to these new strat-like bridges..this is a 2012 model.

The pickups are AWESOME!! doesnt sound as nasaly as the mexican. It sounds more breathable and killer tele twang.

Ive dropped a full set of keys on my mexi and she was fine. Im thinkin ill use the mexican for live shows and use the USA for recordings
Last edited by xbouncer927 at Feb 21, 2014,
#34
Quote by monwobobbo
yeah and that guitar lacks a real finish for starters. it is low budget in every way have you actually played one I have. set necks can be had for $200 see agile or even epiphone so not really a big deal. inlays again can be found just like that on far cheaper guitars. a LP Standard cost 4x more than the model you mentioned and has no more features (except a real finish) so what's up with that must be a reason right? truss rod cover? really. sorry but the Strat uses high quality parts etc. not saying they aren't a bit pricey but you aren't comparing apples and apples either. you choose a bottom of the barrel Gibson instead of it's "standard" model which cost twice as much as the fender.


None of it's a big deal it's all done on an automated machine. More "work" goes into a carved top, angled neck pocket and nice inlays but it's work done by a machine and it's not difficult for the machine.

If you were making guitars by hand (and I mean by hand) would you charge considerably less for a guitar that required more work on the Inlays, neck pocket, neck joint and a had a carved top simply because it used worse/more pieces of wood?

It's a real sweet spot for the manufacturers because people are happy to pay a lot more for better tonewood but not to the point where they want a specific grading and a specific number of pieces. No one say an American Standard Strat body is a AAAAA one piece Alder they simply say it's "better wood" and no one one says an LPJ is 4 pieces of Grade A Mahogany they simply say it's "worse wood".
Last edited by MegadethFan18 at Feb 21, 2014,
#35
I don't think some of you folks really understand how little it really costs to make either kind of guitar.
Tops, $100 for almost all the materials and labor on either guitar. This includes the $6K R9, etc.

Reflect, for a minute, that we have Asian guitars like the Agile AL-2000 that match a Gibson Standard in raw specs (give or take a few cents for some switches and pots) that are being sold *at a profit* for around $200. Strat-type guitars, same deal.

Even with imported guitars like Schecter, the importer (Schecter) selling the guitar (Guitar Center sale price) at 6-10 *times* what they pay for it (including shipping) and the manufacturer back in China or Korea is making a profit on what they sell it to Schecter for.

Gibson isn't paying more for wood or materials than anyone else, though they may be paying more for labor. Same with Fender. The joke is that MIA Fenders are assembled by Mexicans north of the border, MIM Fenders are assembled by Mexicans south of the border. 90% of what you pay for in a guitar is NOT labor or materials.
#36
Quote by dspellman
I don't think some of you folks really understand how little it really costs to make either kind of guitar.
Tops, $100 for almost all the materials and labor on either guitar. This includes the $6K R9, etc.

Reflect, for a minute, that we have Asian guitars like the Agile AL-2000 that match a Gibson Standard in raw specs (give or take a few cents for some switches and pots) that are being sold *at a profit* for around $200. Strat-type guitars, same deal.

Even with imported guitars like Schecter, the importer (Schecter) selling the guitar (Guitar Center sale price) at 6-10 *times* what they pay for it (including shipping) and the manufacturer back in China or Korea is making a profit on what they sell it to Schecter for.

Gibson isn't paying more for wood or materials than anyone else, though they may be paying more for labor. Same with Fender. The joke is that MIA Fenders are assembled by Mexicans north of the border, MIM Fenders are assembled by Mexicans south of the border. 90% of what you pay for in a guitar is NOT labor or materials.


I had my idea as to how much it was, and I figured it wasn't much. What opened my eyes was seeing a man put a blank down, have the CNC machine do it's work and then picking up a ready to sand body. That and Fender can make a profit from a Guitar I can buy for £90.

As for wood I'd imagine Gibson for example buys X amount of mahogany, Y% percent of it is nice enough to be used on stuff like standards. Then rather than waste the other Z% (which they've already paid for) they use it on cheaper/solid finish models. In the volumes they buy wood I doubt someone is looking at every single piece. Meaning we pay more for a nicer piece of wood but they don't.
#37
Quote by dspellman
I don't think some of you folks really understand how little it really costs to make either kind of guitar.
Tops, $100 for almost all the materials and labor on either guitar. This includes the $6K R9, etc.

Reflect, for a minute, that we have Asian guitars like the Agile AL-2000 that match a Gibson Standard in raw specs (give or take a few cents for some switches and pots) that are being sold *at a profit* for around $200. Strat-type guitars, same deal.

Even with imported guitars like Schecter, the importer (Schecter) selling the guitar (Guitar Center sale price) at 6-10 *times* what they pay for it (including shipping) and the manufacturer back in China or Korea is making a profit on what they sell it to Schecter for.

Gibson isn't paying more for wood or materials than anyone else, though they may be paying more for labor. Same with Fender. The joke is that MIA Fenders are assembled by Mexicans north of the border, MIM Fenders are assembled by Mexicans south of the border. 90% of what you pay for in a guitar is NOT labor or materials.


I wish
#38
Quote by xbouncer927
Are people really getting offended by this? lol


Well in other news, I got my USA tele today. Its a 3 tone standard and I am impressed by the tone but the build feels very cheap.
My ebow slipped out of my hands and caused a nick to go to the bare wood.. lol.
The paint looks very thin, not as much coats as the mexi. Although I really LOVE the 3 tone sunburst.
'
Hardware seems okay, cant tell the difference yet between this and the mexi.
Theres a black "gunk" comin near the fretwork, Im assuming thats from filing the frets.

I gotta get used to these new strat-like bridges..this is a 2012 model.

The pickups are AWESOME!! doesnt sound as nasaly as the mexican. It sounds more breathable and killer tele twang.

Ive dropped a full set of keys on my mexi and she was fine. Im thinkin ill use the mexican for live shows and use the USA for recordings


HNGD! Now go play the hell out of it!
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#39
Quote by MegadethFan18
None of it's a big deal it's all done on an automated machine. More "work" goes into a carved top, angled neck pocket and nice inlays but it's work done by a machine and it's not difficult for the machine.

If you were making guitars by hand (and I mean by hand) would you charge considerably less for a guitar that required more work on the Inlays, neck pocket, neck joint and a had a carved top simply because it used worse/more pieces of wood?

It's a real sweet spot for the manufacturers because people are happy to pay a lot more for better tonewood but not to the point where they want a specific grading and a specific number of pieces. No one say an American Standard Strat body is a AAAAA one piece Alder they simply say it's "better wood" and no one one says an LPJ is 4 pieces of Grade A Mahogany they simply say it's "worse wood".


dude what makes you think that Gibson isn't using CNC for their guitars? they do. if for a minute you believe that they put a bunch of extra hand work into the lower end guitars then think again. the "carved top" is done by machine. sure they want to give the impression that they make all therir guitars the old way for advertising purposes but that is it it's an impression. there isn't some old "craftsman" doing it by hand on the production models. custom shop perhaps but even then more is done with machines than you think. as for the wood well both companies have wood buyers that do inspect loads of wood. they are then after drying etc they are then inspected again and labeled to be used for various levels of guitars. saw this in an article years ago in Guitar Player magazine.

OP enjoy your new axe
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