Tone and paint removal(let it breath)

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by socalscott, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. socalscott

    socalscott Member

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    I wouldn't mind a naked body, but the Basswood I understand is soft. Also, the grain is bland and who knows how many pieces are used.

    So, how 'bout I just remove all the paint off the backside rather than under
    the Strat style pickguard and cavities? That's actually more surface area.

    BTW, it's about a $400 Strat copy, no value concerns here.

    Appreciate any comments on any removal results.
     
  2. David Collins

    David Collins Member

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    If it doesn't sound great now, it's not going to sound great stripped. I'm not going to say that paint has no effect, but some people give it way too much weight.

    Yes, a .020" finish may have slight but still distinctly measurable effect on tone compared to a .004" finish. The difference between a .007" and .003", well, there could be a slight slight difference on a really fine or sensitive instrument. Strip a $99 Squire, and it's still going to sound exactly like a $99 squire.

    I give these considerations a bit more credit in acoustic instruments, but a basswood Strat copy? No, you could probably strip it, give it an epoxy bath, cover it with a few rolls of duct tape, and I doubt you would hear any significant difference.
     
  3. socalscott

    socalscott Member

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    LOL

    Hey, it doesn't sound to bad unplugged.
    Is it correct that at one time some Teles and Strats utilized Bass, maybe in the 60's?
     
  4. in a little row

    in a little row Member

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    I know a lot of people associate the idea of stripping instruments for better tone with the Beatles, as they did this with some guitars in 1968...I dont really believe this would make any real tonal difference with a solid body guitar or bass...their casinos were hollowbodies, which would be much more likely to benefit from no finish...

    however from your original post, you didnt specify whether you were doing this for sound or aesthetics...if you want a natural look, by all means, strip it...i dont recommend sanding, chemical finish stripper is better, then a light sand...a clear coat or satin poly finish is better than naked wood...

    Bass was used in the past by fender, alder was also common...swamp ash now more so...
     
  5. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    Wood doesn't need to breathe. Remember it's dead. Wood acts like a sponge. When the humidity is high it absorbs moisture and swells accordingly. When the humidity is low it looses moisture and shrinks some. All of this swelling and shrinking can cause cracks and warps. This is something you don't want in a guitar. The finish on wood is used to create a barrier against among other things humidity. The finish limits the damp and dry variations that can harm guitars. Stripping the finish may even cause the guitar to sound worse. It may also cause the intonation to be very eratic.
     
  6. syxxstring

    syxxstring Member

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    I'm with the it doesn't make that much difference crowd. Unless its the horid super thick dipped finishes, but they go over plywood mostly anyways.
    This guitar:
    [​IMG]
    Sounds just like an rg.(It started as one) Added a Jem pickup set, guess what sounds like a Jem, and yes I got rid of the purple.

    I've gigged on it for years regularly, its no more beat up than most of my guitars. One big ding, but that's not too bad for unfinished basswood.
     
  7. rcl

    rcl Member

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    I had an oil finished flamed Koa guitar that I decided to get finished. It sounded much better unfinished. Warmouth body, still has an unfinished neck. Someday I'll get around to stripping it back down and just going with the oil again.
     

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