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does the LACQUER/finishing of the guitar body affects its sound?
julien24
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i have read a blog that discuss about the effect of lacquer in the sound of a guitar. i find it very interesting because almost every guitarist rely on the wood, shape, electronics and construction of the guitar for its sound. this is the first time i've heard that the LACQUER/finishing of the guitar body and parts can also affect its sound. please share your ideas and opinions about this whether you believe it or have tried it. thanks a lot. here's the link of the blog http://www.mother-of-tone.com/lacquer.htm for your reference.

Post Date: 6/6/2012 @ 7:49 am
RE: does the LACQUER/finishing of the guitar body affects its sound?
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Henry Mars
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This is a big debate question. My feeling is that on a solid body electric not so much. On an acoustical instrument it makes a big difference.

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Post Date: 6/6/2012 @ 8:34 am

RE: does the LACQUER/finishing of the guitar body affects its sound?
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Chuck King
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That question is easily in the Top 10 Most Contentious Questions in all of gear-geek-dom, at least as it applies to electrics. With acoustics, it definitely makes a big difference.

Since every guitar is different, nobody can really prove anything, and people tend to hear the guitar they think is "better" as sounding better, so whatever you think, that's probably what you will experience. Do you think that thin nitro finishes sound more "open" and "resonant" than thick poly finishes? Then that's probably how you'll hear it.

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Post Date: 6/6/2012 @ 9:30 am

RE: does the LACQUER/finishing of the guitar body affects its sound?
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Julia_343
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I like that you qualified THIN nitro and THICK poly. I can testify that the new Gibson acoustics have a thick nitro on them while the Takamines have a thin poly on them. Probably best if you can find a rubbed nitro finish, but hardly anyone does those these days -- way too hazardous.

On electrics? I don't notice a difference unless it's a hollowbody.

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Post Date: 6/6/2012 @ 11:41 am

RE: does the LACQUER/finishing of the guitar body affects its sound?
Atimeformetal
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It probably won't make a big difference on an electric guitar, on an acoustic guitar I'd imagine you make be able to hear a difference.

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Post Date: 6/6/2012 @ 3:57 pm

RE: does the LACQUER/finishing of the guitar body affects its sound?
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ax_murder
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go find a french polished classical and compare to a run of the mill dreadnought. Hint: finish isn't the only difference at play. Like many things, the "all else being equal" scenario simply doesn't exist - an acoustic that is built for nylon strings usually doesn't have a big ol' X-bracing under the top, for example.

If you can hear the difference between identical electric guitars (with differing finishes, of course) through the same amp with identical settings, then it's a psychological thing.

If a guitar sounds good it sounds good. What type of finish it has only matters as far as protecting the wood and cosmetics go.

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Post Date: 6/6/2012 @ 9:00 pm

RE: does the LACQUER/finishing of the guitar body affects its sound?
julien24
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so you mean that because it is almost neglible, hearing a difference between 2 different finish of the exactly same guitar will be a subjective point of view?

Post Date: 6/7/2012 @ 12:36 am

RE: does the LACQUER/finishing of the guitar body affects its sound?
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Chuck King
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I suspect that most people who claim to hear a difference in finishes are either (a) listening with their eyes, or (b) attributing other differences in guitars to the finish.

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Post Date: 6/7/2012 @ 9:36 am

RE: does the LACQUER/finishing of the guitar body affects its sound?
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sting729
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Chuck King said:

I suspect that most people who claim to hear a difference in finishes are either (a) listening with their eyes, or (b) attributing other differences in guitars to the finish.

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Post Date: 6/7/2012 @ 11:31 am

RE: does the LACQUER/finishing of the guitar body affects its sound?
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Julia_343
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Yeah, in reality it's probably the piece of wood. If a set neck, it's probably the quality of the neck joint. And with a bolt on it could be the neck isn't tight enough. I've played multiple instruments of the same model and same finish and they've sounded different.

My advice is not to get hung up on brand names and finishes. Just find something that sounds good, plays well, and is well made. New or used get a good luthier to give it a good look over.

With pianos it's the same thing. You can have two pianos of the same make and model made the same day and they'll sound completely different.

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--- Soudru�ka Julia of the Vocal Assassins
--- Disclaimer: pay no attention to tonal advice from this poster if you are under 30 and play thrash.

Post Date: 6/7/2012 @ 12:44 pm

RE: does the LACQUER/finishing of the guitar body affects its sound?
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bigdaddy76
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I have often wondered, isn't sound completely subjective anyway? I mean, what sounds good to one set of ears, doesn't always sound good to another. I have also always wondered why an acoustic sounds one way when you are playing it, and a lot different when you listen to someone else play it.

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Post Date: 6/7/2012 @ 4:42 pm

RE: does the LACQUER/finishing of the guitar body affects its sound?
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ax_murder
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Chuck King said:

I suspect that most people who claim to hear a difference in finishes are either (a) listening with their eyes, or (b) attributing other differences in guitars to the finish.

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That's what I was getting at. Particularly the bit about listening with your eyes.

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Post Date: 6/7/2012 @ 4:43 pm

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