Nitro top

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by 56_Special, Jun 18, 2006.


  1. 56_Special

    56_Special Member

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    Edwards guitars are finished with a nitro top. Any opinions on the extent to which the finish on the top is more important to the tone than the finish on the sides and back? For acoustic guitars, as most of you know, the top wood is most important for tone (although not 100% of course). Is the same true for the finish of an electric?

    Thanks!

    Martin
     
  2. 56_Special

    56_Special Member

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    Hmmm. The description doesn't say "top coat" it says "top finish". You can see it here:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Edwards-ESP-Les...422387543QQcategoryZ33038QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    You may still be right, but would the final coat being nitro be utterly pointless? It would also be quite misleading to say about a guitar, as they say about the standard Les Paul copies that they have a maple top, and a nitro top finish, while meaning the final coat of finish is nitro. Any other thoughts?
     
  3. pokey

    pokey Supporting Member

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    Maybe just bad translation.

    I'm with lightnin1, nitro over poly, ala the Fender 52RI.
     
  4. Amp Nut

    Amp Nut Member

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    It would be pointless and a waist of money to put a finishing nitro coat over poly.

    I don't think you can even mix the two.
     
  5. EunosFD

    EunosFD Member

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    I have one of the nitro finished Edwards LP's and if it is a nitro coat over a poly base then the poly is very thin as is the nitro. I've heard both versions though and I tend to think that it's just a straight nitro finish w/o the poly, but I could be wrong. The Edwards I have is also relic'd so it may differ from the other nitro finished Edwards guitars though.
     
  6. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    Sure you can, it's what Fender does with it's '52RI Tele.

    imo, a nitro finish on a solid guitar makes little to no difference to the tone.
     
  7. pfflam

    pfflam Silver Supporting Member

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    It fprobably simply means that the coat on the top, over all the colors (if any) and or sealer/primers, is Nitro. Meaning that it is Nitro finished.

    Nitro over Poly would be stupid - no benafit whatsoever to having it Nitro at all.
     
  8. daddyo

    daddyo Guest

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    The word nitro in the description is cash in the bank - chiching.
     
  9. 56_Special

    56_Special Member

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    Wow! There appears to be no consensus on this question. I wonder who I could write to in order to find out. I could write the seller, but I'm not sure how much I could trust his answer. I'll try writing ESP if I can find an email address, and report back.
     
  10. EunosFD

    EunosFD Member

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    I just now went back and looked at the guitar in question and since it has their "nitro" finish it'll be very thin. So, even if it does have a poly undercoat the overall finish will be so thin that it's negligible. When I was shopping for my Edwards I was looking at their Jr.'s as well (E-JR-95LTS/RE; relic'd version of the above) and inquired about the nitro finish with Ishibashi. If I recall correctly it's the same thin-skin as the LP I bought so it should be very thin indeed. And if it's anything like mine then it'll resonate like crazy. If you want more info you might be better off contacting a shop like Ishibashi as they have English speaking reps whereas ESP probably doesn't. I tried e-mailing ESP around that time as well, but never heard back from them.

    At any rate here are some pics of my Edwards with the nitro finish so you can get an idea what it looks like outside of the ads (pics of it on all 3 pages of the album):

    http://community.webshots.com/album/473711002WinYrl
     
  11. Mrgearguy

    Mrgearguy Member

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    Collings uses nitro over poly. Some of the best sounding acoustics ever. The poly is the foundation, and it fills the pores of the wood. Then the nitro can be very thin on top of that.

    Gearguy
     
  12. 56_Special

    56_Special Member

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    I got the following email from ESP this morning:

    Dear Martin,
    Thank you for your inquiry.

    Yes, you are guessing right. "Lacquer top" means that the final coat is nitro lacquer.
    The base coat inside is polyurethern. We do this way to get lacquer finsh taste and the strong possible finish same time.

    Best regards,
    Makoto Suzuki


    ESP Co., Ltd. Overseas Dept.
    2-10-11 Takada Toshima-ku, Tokyo
    171-0033 Japan
    Phone: +81-3-3982-1036
    Fax: +81-3-3982-3684
    Cell: +81-80-3177-7173
    e-mail: msuzuki@espguitars.co.jp
    www.espguitars.co.jp


     
  13. EunosFD

    EunosFD Member

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    Straight from the horse's mouth. :) Thanks for the update, Martin.
     
  14. Amp Nut

    Amp Nut Member

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    I stand corrected.

    EunosFD, you said you played both the nitro and the poly. Is there much difference in tone? Did the nitro resonate more?
     
  15. ethomas1013

    ethomas1013 Supporting Member

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    I have two Edwards relics (LP and LP Jr). This finish is very thin on both. Both are very resonant and great sounding guitars which is all really that matters to me.
     
  16. EunosFD

    EunosFD Member

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    No, I haven't played a poly one yet unfortunately. I'm curious how the two different finishes compare as well. I'm guessing they're all pretty much made the same other than the final finish. There are/were some pics of a poly finished Edwards LP over on the Tokai Forum (www.tokaiforum.com) not too long ago.
     
  17. Bruce O'D

    Bruce O'D Member

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    Both Gibson and Fender used acrylic lacquer for the color coats as far back as the late 1950's. The clearcoats were always nitro. The reason is simple: neither Fender nor Gibson made paints, and bought what was available, usually using automotive paints. DuPont and most of the other manufacturers were after durability and low cost, and for many colors acrylic lacquer had replaced nitro lacquer as early as 1956. Some colors remained available in nitro lacquer well into the 1970's. So alot of vintage guitars aren't 100% nitro.

    If you are interested in the facts, this link is the most comprehensive resource on Fender vintage guitar finishes and paint I've ever found.

    http://www.provide.net/~cfh/fenderc.html
     
  18. gkelm

    gkelm Supporting Member

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    That's the way I understood it. IMHO, at least with this guitar, it's more about look & feel than tone...and it works. The Edwards Page model I had looked and felt cool....very thin finish.
    Greg
     

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