#1
I have a Gretsch 6120DSV, which is a very well-made, beautiful sounding guitar, but for some reason, the powers that be at Gretsch decided it would be a good idea to finish all of their pro-line guitars with high gloss polyurethane. It's doubtful that this was purely a cost-cutting measure (my guitar lists for $3500), but then again, the Gretsch Custom Shop models all feature aged nitrocellulose lacquer finishes (which look great).

I don't have the time, energy, nerve or money to completely refinish my guitar from scratch so I was wondering if there was an easier way to dull of soften the polyurethane finish to make it look more vintage or aged. Is there a chemical you can wipe on the guitar that might tone it down at least a little bit? Anything would be better than the way it is now; it's like looking in a mirror! I added vintage hardware to try and mellow out the overall look of the guitar but it's still real shiny!

Thanks!

Compare my guitar (on the left) with a lacquer-finished Custom Shop model.
Attachments:
Compare.jpg
#2
I dulled the Poly on my bass by rubbing it down with T-cut, the stuff used to ease out scratches in car paint.
#4
Haha... good idea. Of course the shine on polyurethane holds up for a long, long time.

If you want to make a matte finish, then you could wetsand it with 1200 grit. It will take all of the gloss down and just make it look clean and smooth.

The matte finish will polish up in the areas where you rub on it while playing. (back of the neck, forearm, etc...) But you can always knock it down again every couple years.

This is pretty drastic, though, and I wouldn't do that to a $3500 guitar. I'd sell it and buy the one you really want. Messing with the finish devalues the guitar for life.

Also your comparison photo is like comparing apples to oranges. Their lighting and professional photography will obviously produce different results.

Lacquer finishes are still pretty shiny. Just not as shiny as polyurethane.
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#5
Nice guitar, I'm not to into vintage stuff thought, I would rather it shinny. Free Bump
#6
Quote by zeroyon

Also your comparison photo is like comparing apples to oranges. Their lighting and professional photography will obviously produce different results.

Lacquer finishes are still pretty shiny. Just not as shiny as polyurethane.



Yep, you can tell the one on the right is shiny as well. But as you stated, it was just shot in such a way as to play down the shine as much as possible so people could see the guitar better.
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#7
Quote by cedricsmods
Let me borrow it for a few years and I'll play it every day.

I already do that! I've come to the conclusion that no matter what I do (short of starting from scratch) will just make it look worse and it will never look like a vintage lacquer finish. It's probably just because it's new and all of my other guitars are lacquer-finished that I'm even bringing the subject up in the first place. I'm sure I won't even think about it after a while. Believe me, this IS the guitar I want, besides a $15,000 original, but there is no other current model that will do, so I guess I can live with the poly finish. It just boggles the mind why Gretsch would do this in the first place! I'm sure a lot of people would pay the extra couple of hundred dollars for a "lacquer option." The only current lacquer finish "western" Gretsch guitars are the Custom Shop WCST ($7000) and the WCSTR ($10,000). The funny thing is, they're also kind of shiny. The Reverend Horton Heat model is also an option, but I would have to swap out a lot of the components (which are already on my guitar) to make it right and I'd rather not have the "G" brand. That's always a possibility but I can't afford another guitar at this point.
Last edited by audiodrome at Sep 16, 2008,
#8
Quote by zeroyon
Haha... good idea. Of course the shine on polyurethane holds up for a long, long time.

If you want to make a matte finish, then you could wetsand it with 1200 grit. It will take all of the gloss down and just make it look clean and smooth.

The matte finish will polish up in the areas where you rub on it while playing. (back of the neck, forearm, etc...) But you can always knock it down again every couple years.

This is pretty drastic, though, and I wouldn't do that to a $3500 guitar. I'd sell it and buy the one you really want. Messing with the finish devalues the guitar for life.

Also your comparison photo is like comparing apples to oranges. Their lighting and professional photography will obviously produce different results.

Lacquer finishes are still pretty shiny. Just not as shiny as polyurethane.


+1

In the end you have to ask yourself why you got the guitar. Was it to play or because of how it looks. If you like the way it sounds then don't try to fix something that aint broken
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#9
Quote by CorduroyEW
+1

In the end you have to ask yourself why you got the guitar. Was it to play or because of how it looks. If you like the way it sounds then don't try to fix something that aint broken

Well, it's possible to like the style and look of a guitar and not like the finish, but that obviously wasn't my main reason for buying it. The sound, especially with the Seymour Duncan DynaSonics, is absolute Gretsch nirvana. It's all about compromise. Ideally, I would have liked to have a 1957 6120, but for financial reasons, I settled for a 6120DSV, which is certainly the next best thing for the money!
#10
Whatever you do with that guitar (and it's beautiful, my friend), as long as you don't mind losing its value, you can always completely refinish it if you mess up. Keep that in mind.
#11
is it really that risky to take off the finish?
I just got a sunburst squire bullet that I'm gonna fix up and its very glossy.
It would be tight if I could take some of it off but I dont wanna mess up the sunburst because I loove it.


let me know
#12
Typical construction methods of sunbursts consist of your primer, followed by the outside, darker part of the burst pattern, a coat or two of clear sealer, then the the inner parts (1-2 for 2-tone or 3-tone, respectively). Following that, a few coats of clear sealer. Dunno how squiers are typically constructed, but you may have some leeway as far as deglossing goes.
My advice is to just take it very, very slow, keep the dust out of your sanding so you can see how it's coming(which is just good practice anyways), and have epic patience.
#13
Quote by Bebopspike13
Whatever you do with that guitar (and it's beautiful, my friend), as long as you don't mind losing its value, you can always completely refinish it if you mess up. Keep that in mind.



Losing the value and the tone. Refinishing a guitar changes the way it sound. It's not as big a deal with a solid body guitar but on an electric archtop the change in tone is huge.

If you like the way your guitar sound then leave it the way it is.
Not taking any online orders.
#14
Quote by Bebopspike13
Typical construction methods of sunbursts consist of your primer, followed by the outside, darker part of the burst pattern, a coat or two of clear sealer, then the the inner parts (1-2 for 2-tone or 3-tone, respectively). Following that, a few coats of clear sealer. Dunno how squiers are typically constructed, but you may have some leeway as far as deglossing goes.
My advice is to just take it very, very slow, keep the dust out of your sanding so you can see how it's coming(which is just good practice anyways), and have epic patience.



thanks man
I think I might do it on the back first to see how it turns out

then maybe turn to the front
#15

Losing the value and the tone. Refinishing a guitar changes the way it sound. It's not as big a deal with a solid body guitar but on an electric archtop the change in tone is huge.

If you like the way your guitar sound then leave it the way it is.


That's true in general, but maybe not so for this guy, with his poly body and all. Poly is a huge drain on tone- if he went ahead and re-finished his guitar, he might hear a difference in tone... maybe a plus. I would think it'd depend on how much the earlier finish was sucking on the tone and how much less a nitro finish would.

However he may not hear any difference at all. I hear Nitro takes a long time to cure completely, and besides, finish doesn't have a huge effect on tone unless you're really slathering your material on there (which is a bad idea, unless you like dead and lifeless).

Good, sound advice though. If you like how your guitar sounds, don't mess with it too much. Although I think removing a few layers of Poly wouldn't hurt it too bad (I think it'd improve tone.). It depends on how Gretsch went about making his guitar, really.
Last edited by Bebopspike13 at Sep 16, 2008,
#16
get a car buffer, put jeans on it. my buddy used this method to relic his telecaster, and it looks really good. i assume if you don't do it as much, it will just dull the finish a bit.
Quote by patriotplayer90
Lolz that guy is a noob.

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