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How Thin is Your Poly?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tusec, Nov 12, 2010.


  1. Tusec

    Tusec

    Jan 10, 2010
    I was looking at an early 80s Tokai bass on eBay and was impressed with its thin finish -- so thin you can easily see the wood grain telegraphing through.

    Basscap.

    Basscap2.

    I had an 80s Tokai strat that was the same way. It was a poly finish but an extremely thin poly finish, totally different than the thick plastic entombment you might see on, say, a 70s Fender.

    So the question is, are there any TBers who have basses with poly thin enough that it telegraphs the wood grain through? If so, what brand of bass is it, and if you've got pics let's see them.
     
  2. Gord_oh

    Gord_oh Midtown Guitars Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2008
    Michigan
    looks similar to my 1989 squier ii.
    the only downside to mine is that its a plywood body.
     
  3. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Chicago
    poly on my 75 P is pretty thin...has a lot of wear and weather checking, don't have any good pictures of it though...these will have to do

    Full.

    Back2-1.

    Bottom.
     
  4. Tusec

    Tusec

    Jan 10, 2010
    Wow, I see you've got a nice forearm rub going. Very cool. Poly is almost bulletproof so that's a surefire sign of many hours of playing. Question: can you see the grain telegraphing through the finish?
     
  5. 5string5fingers

    5string5fingers Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2008
    Tifton,Georgia
    I remember the poly on my MIM jazz deluxe was really thin. That finish dented and chipped just by starting at it the wrong way. Drove me nuts!
     
  6. Tusec

    Tusec

    Jan 10, 2010
    So you like a thick poly finish then, for protection's sake.
     
  7. 5string5fingers

    5string5fingers Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2008
    Tifton,Georgia
    If I'm going to have poly yes. Because most poly just looks terrible when it gets worn and you're left with a bass with junks of finish just taken off all over the place. I like knowing a little bump on the edge of the bass isnt going to take finish off.
     
  8. Tusec

    Tusec

    Jan 10, 2010
    Yeah, I get your reasoning: if you're going to have poly, make it thick poly so it stays pristine. Nitro on the other hand wears gracefully and can be thin. Thin poly is the worst of both worlds -- it wears easily but ungracefully.

    I can totally buy this but I might cite Spinal Tapper's bass as a counterargument. His thin poly finish has aged pretty gracefully with a nitro-like forearm rub. It's not a cratered mess like the thick poly finishes can wind up as.
     
  9. KramerBassFan

    KramerBassFan

    Jan 3, 2009
    How well the bass is sanded BEFORE the poly is applied can affect how well the grain shows through it.
     
  10. Tusec

    Tusec

    Jan 10, 2010
    As the body dries the grain will become more prominent. A thin finish will show this, a thick finish will not. You can see this effect in vintage Fenders where the grain telegraphs through. They were mirror smooth when new, but over time the grain emerged and was visible thanks to the thin finish.
     
  11. My 1985 Tokai P-Bass is finished in thin Nitrocellulous lacquer, not polyurathane.
     
  12. Tusec

    Tusec

    Jan 10, 2010
    You sure about that?
     
  13. bassbully

    bassbully Endorsed by The PHALEX CORN BASS..mmm...corn!

    Sep 7, 2006
    Blimp City USA
    My 83 MIJ SQ Squier looks like that Tokai's finish. Its check cracked and grain is showing..thin poly ..sunburst. It has worn to a dull finish to the wood on the back in a patch from player wear. They were all made from what I found both early Squiers ,Tokai's at the same factory. My 78 P has way more clear over walnut stain but not like some I have seen.
     
  14. bassyRyan

    bassyRyan Banned

    Jul 11, 2010
    My 80's US Schecter jazz checks at the slightest ding. I can flake the fin off with my fingernails
     
  15. I prefer a thick finish.
     
  16. Fender32

    Fender32

    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    My Olympic White 1983 Tokai Jazz Sound has a very thin poly finish and a very light body. The complete bass weighs a whisker over 8lbs.

    The finish is sinking into the wood nicely, but it's hard to see on a white bass :meh: ...

    DSC_3160.

    I have an '85, black Jazz Sound as well, but that has a slightly thicker finish and no sign of grain ...

    Bodyfront-1.

    Finally, I had an '84 Candy Apple Red one as well, which was like new. No sign of grain here ...

    DSC_0893_799.

    DSC_0895_799.

    Some of the special edition Tokais did have nitro finish, mostly on the sunburst, '50s style Hard Punchers, but it's the exception and not the rule.

    Fantastic basses, these Tokais :hyper:!!!!
     
  17. Yes. Positive. I tested it under the neck notch on the body.
     

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