How does guitar finishes affect the tone of a guitar? I heard poly coats choke the "voice of the guitar" and that nitro coats allow guitars to "breathe." I want to get the ibanez rg321mh in mahogany oil. would this finish allow the wood to "breathe" better than most low end guitars? (the mahogany oil coat is quite thin)

Also what happens if i scratch the finish off? Would the guitar become less durable because isn't the coat there to protect the guitar?

thnx for answering
I honestly doubt it would do much.

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The type of wood has more to do with the tone than the finish. Check out Warmoth's web site. They give a great description of all wood tones.
yea, the finish really doesn't affect the tone that much, only someone with an extremely refined ear would hear any difference. the main thing to do with tone is the wood and the pickups
This is the wrong forum try gear building and customising. The guys in their have stickys on pros and cons of finishes. I dont think the finish is going to make as big of a deal as you think. Your pickups, amp, cables and the guitar(wood type/mass neck type bridge and nut and saddle type etc..) will have a much bigger factor than the finish obviously. And of course most improtantly you. You can pick up a gyuys signature guitar at guitar center does that make you sound anything like them unless you already know how to make that stlye? I would do a finsih that you like and looks like your guitar how you see it and not worry aobut getting tone from that part of the equipment.
Last edited by /-\liceNChains at Oct 28, 2008,
thnx for answering but what happens if the finish of a guitar wears off quite badly? Would that make the guitar less durable?
Well the finish is to protect the body and of course to look good. If the finish wears off instead of scratching the paint or finish your scratching or denting the wood. This is not a big deal if you dont beat up your gutiar and leave it leaning on your amp with a puppy running around your house and then it gets kncoked over and cracks at the headstock ahhh!!! Sorry bad memories. But yea its not going to do much to durability of the instrument it just means you will be sracthing or denting the wood not the finish if it happens. So be carefull with it. I now always put it on a stand even if im just going to the fridge because I have a wild 1 year old dog that runs wild throught the house.

The mahogony oil finsih your talking about is fine if your dont abuse the instrument. And scratches and dents can always be filled sanded and refinished. I fixed my broken neck and lots of scrathces and dings and it is like new. No biggie. Dont worry about it if you want that look just go for it and take care of it.