1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
  2. We are aware of an issue affecting search results for classifieds searches and advanced search functions.  Actively working on a fix, thanks for your patience!

Is having a ton a very small scratches on a few week old bass normal? or

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by William81, Oct 29, 2020.


  1. William81

    William81

    Sep 23, 2020
    Im just noticing that my 3 week old rickenbacker 4003s bass has a million very very small scratches all over it... is this normal ?!?! I really hope i did not do something wrong, it stays in its case all most all the time and i did not even bring it out of the house i am very gental with it and always wipe it down with the cloth that was in the case. Is this what happens to the new finish on any bass? this is my first brand new bass ever, any help is greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    No, that’s not normal, even with a thin natural finish (let alone a hard poly one). Are you watching what you’re wearing when you play? Belt buckles, sleeve buttons, wrist watches, etc. can all scratch up your instrument if you’re not paying attention.
     
    TortoiseBass and eriky4003 like this.
  3. TrevorG

    TrevorG

    Nov 30, 2012
    U.K.
    Think we need photos. Not heard of abnormal amounts of scratches over short periods but they're going to come eventually. Can you be sure they weren't there to begin with and you have just noticed? Is the cloth you're using speck free? Is there something loose in the case? Do you have scratchy clothing. Bit pedantic I know but without photos....
     
    macmanlou, bassicg, Waltsdog and 3 others like this.
  4. William81

    William81

    Sep 23, 2020
    Im not really wearing anything that would scratch it, they are so very small and all going in the same direction all over the bass, i dont think anything is lose in the case. Im going to try and upoload a photo now, but it can be very hard to see in the pictures i took
     
  5. William81

    William81

    Sep 23, 2020
     

    Attached Files:

  6. William81

    William81

    Sep 23, 2020
    It they are so small it’s almost impossible for my camera to get it
     
    TortoiseBass likes this.
  7. luciens

    luciens

    Feb 9, 2020
    Those are "swirls", probably from wiping it down all the time. Don't do that. Even with a gentle cloth, it doesn't do any good unless the finish is dirty or oily etc., and in fact starts to wear the finish in the way you see here.

    Don't ask me why I know that.

    It's kind of like guys who wash their cars all the time - their paint jobs look like hell pretty quick. But guys who only do it very occasionally when the car really needs it, their paint jobs look great for years.

    You need to let a nice protective layer of dirt and grime build up on it anyway :). Then and only then go ahead and clean it...

    L
     
  8. William81

    William81

    Sep 23, 2020
    I did not know that I wipe the poopie out of it all the time! Should I be wiping the neck and cleaning the strings every time after I play? sorry i am a noob bassist lol Thank you for the help!
     
    TortoiseBass likes this.
  9. TrevorG

    TrevorG

    Nov 30, 2012
    U.K.
    Looks to me like just the way it's been polished. Are you SURE they weren't there when the bass arrived?
     
  10. luciens

    luciens

    Feb 9, 2020
    Nope, not necessary and in fact will put undue wear on the finish like the swirls you see. But it gets worse than that if you wipe it all the time. The only time you should do any wiping on the finish is if it's really dirty and needs cleaning. Same with strings; they only need a few passes with a cloth once you start getting the inevitable dirt build up on the bottom.

    I had an L2K for 20 years and I think I wiped it down twice in its entire lifetime. It was literally years, but when I did go over it, it shined like brand new...

    L
     
  11. William81

    William81

    Sep 23, 2020
    it was not like that when I got it. Its like a million little scratches all over the bass, I probably did wipe it down way to much. Ah i cant belive I did this, its not a huge deal but I wanted the finish to look perfect
     
  12. William81

    William81

    Sep 23, 2020
    I will refrain from wiping it! its not a huge deal but it is noticable and thats what is bugging me
     
  13. TrevorG

    TrevorG

    Nov 30, 2012
    U.K.
    Still doesn't sound like a natural result of something we all do. Interested in what everyone else thinks.
     
  14. bassman10096

    bassman10096 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    MKE
    Swirling is a natural occurrence in any finish-even a hard one. Rubbing with (even a soft) cloth can definitely speed this up. With the proper buffer a luthier can rub these out but doing that more than about once a year will thin the finish too. Resist the urge to wipe it down all the time! Normal handling wear is just...normal. Trying too hard to avoid it causes it’s own problems.
     
  15. micguy

    micguy

    May 17, 2011
    One of the reasons I put satin finishes on all my basses is that you don't see fingerprints, etc, so you don't stress about it, or feel the need to polish the thing every hour. I always wash my hands before playing, so my basses never really get very dirty - when I change strings, I look them over and wipe them down if needed; they never really look bad.

    A gloss surface is never really ever perfect, and what imperfections/fingerprints/grime are there are really obvious. You're seeing the downside to that.
     
  16. RattleSnack

    RattleSnack

    Sep 22, 2011
    Europe
    I will venture and say this is normal look for a bass guitar being used and handled in a normal way. Some finishes are softer than others, and some people are rougher than others, so it may be months or weeks to get there. Plastic, as in pickguard, is even softer.
    Luthier can buff it out so it looks like mirror again, but it will wear out again. Don't worry about it, play that guitar and enjoy it!
     
  17. telecopy

    telecopy

    Dec 6, 2009
    USA
    I've had a few basses over the years that had lots of tiny scratches after being on a work bench. So I can assume the scratches came from dusty work surfaces when the instruments were set up or worked on. Metal filings not vacuumed or swept off the bench, etc..
    It ain't gonna stay pristine unless you never play it. I really wouldn't sweat it unless you intend to put it in a glass wall case.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2020
    yodedude2 and William81 like this.
  18. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    When using a polishing cloth, it's essential that the cloth be absolutely clean. Cloth traps minute grit of all sorts.

    Even if you wash a cloth, it will not remove the very fine particles trapped in the fiber. So when you polish you're essentially using an abrasive on the finish, which causes scratches and swirling.

    I have basses that are 20 years old with absolutely mirror finishes and zero swirling. The trick is to periodically replace whatever cloth you use for a brand-new one. I personally use 100% cotton cloths.

    The scratches and swirling can be hand buffed out with an extremely fine rubbing compound.
     
  19. telecopy

    telecopy

    Dec 6, 2009
    USA
    I used to use cloth diapers. Very soft.
    Now I use white t-shirts and swap them out regularly.
     
  20. William81

    William81

    Sep 23, 2020
    Thanks!
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Apr 20, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.