Tube Amps / Music Electronics
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|6/9/2000 6:19 PM|
|JaySG||Anyone built an unfinished Strat?|
I'm wondering whether anyone here has built up a parts Strat or Tele without finishing it, or only doing minor sealing. My interest comes from a couple places:
1) the Lennon/MaCartney story about the Epiphone and 4001 -- Paul claims to this day that both sounded much better after scrapping the finishes off
2) the simplicity it provides for building a less expensive, and perhaps better sounding guitar.
As an aside, many guitar gods and goddesses have played Strats that were beat down to the wood. They seem to prefer these guitars for more reasons than emotional attachment. My guess is that they think the guitars sound better.
|6/9/2000 7:26 PM|
Built a tele from warmoth parts neck is tung oiled. Body (thinline no f hole maple cap and S ash Back) two layers of tung oil 2 wipe on layers of minwax poly.
|6/10/2000 12:39 AM|
yea i did a strat and a tele, the strat has 2-3 layers of laquer, the tele is bone dry it screams, yes its true guitars sound better without any finish
|6/10/2000 1:25 AM|
Thanks guys. I'm going to do this.
|6/10/2000 2:58 AM|
I just finished an ash-bodied Warmouth Strat with Fralins. I played it before finishing the guitar - absolutely could not believe what I was hearing. Amazing! Every note popped with a deep, acoustic, woody snap. Total funk and twang. Put on a relatively thin nitro finish. All the magic is gone. Now the guitar sounds hard, stiff and lifeless, like all I'm hearing is the string speaking into the pickup with no body or air.
You know what? If I could do it over, I would have put that ash body in the oven and baked it for a few hours to dry the wood out some. Just stands to reason it would mimic the effects of aging on a nice piece of wood.
|6/12/2000 4:35 PM|
I built a short scale Warmoth Strat, one piece mahogany body. I finished it first in clear lacquer after filling the pores. The guitar sounded horrible, no life at all. I then stripped and refinished it in black lacquer to make it look better, still sounded bad. Just for grins I stripped it to the bare wood and then tried it- absolute night and day difference. More highs, clearer sound, the guitar became alive. If you can stand it, unfinished seems the way to go.
I wonder if a very thin coat of nitro lacquer and then baking in an oven would help dry out the wood and finish? A fifties Gibson or Fender sounds fantastic and they are lacquered. Is this due to finish type? Wood age? Finish age? The lure of vintage? Fairy dust?
|6/12/2000 10:13 PM|
I started as a classical guitar major in college many moons ago. Before that I was mainly a steel string acoustic player. I don't know what the buzz phrases are now, but back then you had to wait for the guitar to "open up" when you bought one new. All this means is that laquer takes a long time to dry. It makes the guitar sound dead for a long time after the finish is applied. We noticed the first big improvement in sound after six months, and then after two years. I think after a year, most of the improvement is a combination of how much the guitar has been played, drying of the wood and drying of the laquer. I'm building both a swamp ash tele and a solid piece alder hard tail strat right now. I think I'm going to just fill the pores in the swamp ash and put a thin tung oil type finish on both. Just my $.02
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