I hate Fender's new Flash Coat finishes!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Rocky, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. Rocky

    Rocky Inactive

    Jul 21, 2000
    Los Angeles
    Okay this is a rant so forgive me, but I need to vent. I have a 58 AV P bass that seems to chip or dent at the slightest bump. The GD thing just got a nick from the cord plug hitting the edge of the neck while I was rolling it up.. Doh! Really?? This pisses me off.. I guess Fender feels everyone that buys a vintage era bass wants a relic? I love the bass, but I really hate this finish! It actually has a small chip from the gig bag when it hit the zipper going back in awhile back. I can see this thing looking like crap in no time. Talk about fragile.. I have had other nitro finished instruments in the past, and none were as sensative as this one. IMHO the new flash finish is pure crap. I know there are those that claim this type of finish allows the wood to "breath", and for the instrument to resonate more, but I think thats all a bunch of marketing crap. Unless I buy an actual vintage bass in the future this will be my last nitro finished instrument. I'll take a poly finish over this crap anyday, and I would bet my last buck that nobody would be able to tell the difference in tone between the two types of finish anyhow.
    Plucky The Bassist likes this.
  2. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    poly sucks worse! :spit:
    GreaserMatt and bluesdogblues like this.
  3. Rocky

    Rocky Inactive

    Jul 21, 2000
    Los Angeles
    Poly is way more resiliant, and looks better if you like a newer looking instrument..
    TN WOODMAN likes this.
  4. Johnny Alien

    Johnny Alien Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2003
    Harrisburg, PA, USA
    I am of the rare group that could really care less. I like either finish and don't think there is any tonal benefit to nitro. If the bass plays great and sounds great I will take whatever finish comes with it.
    Mr. Sound, grrg63, 408shaw and 7 others like this.
  5. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    People seem to love that chipped relic look, you can sell your bass for big money. :)
    GreaserMatt, KaseOfBass and TonyP- like this.
  6. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Imagine how not having a finish at all is worse. The natural wood finish much like those you see on Warwicks are very susceptible to getting marred.
    tobias3469 likes this.
  7. lowfreqgeek


    Mar 15, 2010
    Tijeras, NM
    Nitro is absolutely fine if you're careful with it and don't bang it around. Even my poly-coated basses get dinged up when I'm not careful.
    hdracer likes this.
  8. Everything you just describe is why I want a nitro finish. lol I want to road wear a bass. :D
  9. I'm ambivalent at best about nitro. The back of the necks are always sticky, and my hands never sweat. All my Gibbies are nitro and I'm never really happy taking them anywhere on a hot or humid day. The L-4CES is the worst for it. My chest will always make the back sticky not to mention the lower bass bout.

    Thumbs up for a nice poly finish. If tonewoods on a solid body make any difference at all to the instrument's sound, then a poly finish can only make it better. A good, solid medium should produce better sustain. The string vibration, along with the pickups and other electrical bits and pieces in the chain all the way up to the speaker, will do the rest.
    Some will say that nitro is thinner and produces a better sound. Others say they can't wait until it's all worn off. If this is true, why apply a finish at all? To protect the wood? If that's the case then a tough thick finish is just what's needed.

    Acoustics (of any sort) notwithstanding, as the top and back vibration is what actually produces the sound at an audible level.
    I've a Larrivee with rosewood back and sides that sounds loud and rich and it has one of those new uv cured finishes. Never sticky, but tough and stable regardless of humidity and temperature.

    It's all subjective anyway.
    wisconsindead, Rocky and sleepyEDB like this.
  10. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    This is a subject that's going to get near to my heart eventually, when I get to the paint stage on my Rick 4001 Clone build. I want a tough finish that won't easily chip, not into relic'd finishes at all. I see a lot of people using Stewmac and
    Re-ranch rattle can Nitro, and it's absurdly expensive. From everything I've read about nitro, toxicity, long cure time, tendency to easily chip or crack, Poly is starting to sound like the way to go. Are any of the major guitar makers using nitro finishes any more? If so, what's the advantage?
    Rocky likes this.
  11. Fender has the Classic Lacquer series, and the AVRI are all nitro.
    Gibsons are almost always Nitro finish, too.
  12. bass71


    Nov 18, 2007
    After years of thinking nitro sounds better I think I have finally concluded that it dont matter what its covered with, it makes no difference. As Ive said in another thread my new VM P sings, rings, rattles and has sustain to die for under a thick layer of poly...go figure! But my 71P in comparison isnt very resonant and has little sustain.

    I would imagine the best finish is a very thin layer of poly..which Im sure they can do.
    BioWeapon and Rocky like this.
  13. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    Fender wasn't using nitro in 1971. They stopped mid or latter 68 and not all finishes before that date are nitro. Also the 68 where polyester not polyurathane. Fender started dipping all bodies in Fullerplast sometime in 1963, with the finish nitro or otherwise, sprayed over that, Lacquer was put on top of the poly.
    D.M.N. and Down_Low like this.
  14. Johnny Alien

    Johnny Alien Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2003
    Harrisburg, PA, USA
    I believe they were using Fullerplast prior to 1963. Fender has basically been painting nitro over a plastic sealer for quite a long time. No "breathing" would be going on with that.
  15. Johnny Alien

    Johnny Alien Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2003
    Harrisburg, PA, USA
    The thickness of the finish is the single reason that poly got such a bad stigma. People hated the frailty of the nitro finishes back in the day so when Fender (and other companies) started using poly they were putting on very thick coats of it. This was actually a desired feature back then and promoted as such. It was only years later that the whole "let the wood breath" thing came around and people equated all poly finishes to those awful thick finishes found on all of the 70's stuff. Theoretically there should be no difference between a thin nitro and a thin poly from a tonal perspective and the poly would have the benefit of being tougher. If the finish gets damaged though the nitro is way easier to spot repair.
  16. Rocky

    Rocky Inactive

    Jul 21, 2000
    Los Angeles
    To each their own. If you want the road worn look then this finish on the new AV Fenders is for you. I had a 62 vintage reissue (93) that had a much thicker finish than this one. Maybe it was the fullerplast that made it tougher as nitro to my understanding is a very thin finish by its very nature. Whatever the reason this bass will chip way to easily IMHO. I suppose I'll have a road worn look regardless of if I want one or not.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014
  17. Baird6869

    Baird6869 Supporting Member

    Same here. I have and like both nitro and poly. I don't even remember which is which half the time.
    Jay Mastro likes this.
  18. bass71


    Nov 18, 2007
    I know, and this is probabaly another thread, but..

    My 71 has its original finish but a previous owner hacked under the pickguard to badly fit another pickup so its lost its collectors thing anyway. The bass is heavy and never sounded great but does feel great!...Luckily I have the skills to do this. I have stripped the finish off the back keeping the front intact to see if I could maybe get the body wood to breath out, maybe even thin the thickness of the wood, whatever...But here's the thing. The sander took off the old poly finish relatively easy and then I hit Fullerplast....Jeez that stuff is evil. Its thick, and rock hard and tough, almost like a fitted plastic jacket...it took me ages with an electric sander to get to bare wood. So you see if they are using nitro today with a wink to the past but the past was full of Fullerplast under the nitro then the whole nitro thing as it stands is total..... B***s**t!

    Anyway I have definitely noticed an improvement in the overall tone and sustain of the bass since removing one side of fullerplast...very pleased.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014
  19. 2cooltoolz

    2cooltoolz Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2009
    Lake Conroe, TX
    It's a "Vintage Reissue" right? Why not just get a American Standard or deluxe. They have nice Poly finishes that should survive the apocalypse.
  20. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    IMO, the finishes Fender are putting out are nothing more than marketed ways to save money. The uber thin nitro finishes save money cause they only spray about 1/2 the coats they should be spraying. Imagine how much labor and material cost that saves you if you're putting out the number of instruments ea year Fender does? The satin finishes are another joke. Even less time and material involved into getting a bass body finished.

    When I worked for American Airlines, there was a story about a flight attendant who noticed nobody ate the olives on their salad (back when they actually served food in coach class). AA stopped the catering company from putting the olive in the salad. It prob saved them .05 per salad. But compounded with the number of salads AA served in their flights, it saved them $100's of thousands of dollars per year. Same principal applies here. Fender is simply reducing costs by applying fewer costs of finish per guitar.
    SirMjac28 and Rocky like this.