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Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by mattwallace, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. mattwallace


    Nov 20, 2007
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz, NS Design, D'addario, Peterson Tuners
    Does anyone have an opinions or theories on whether a bass's Lacquer/Finish/Color affects the sound of a bass?
  2. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    I believe that the expert luthiers around here will confirm that different types of finishes certainly can affect the sound. I'm not aware that color, per se, does and I can't imagine how it could. Now, if it were the case that certain colors correspond closely to and/or dictate the use of specific materials that, themselves, have differential sonic consequences, then color would be related to sound but I don't think that's the case.
  3. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    Well the darker finishes typically have a higher iron content. depending on the conditions at the shop they were applied in, and the kind of brush used, the iron ions can take on a non-random orientation. This would have the effect of creating a small but definite magnetic field within and immediately around the bass, particularly in areas where the finish tends to be a bit thicker such as where the ribs meet the top or back. If played under conditions where strong magnetic fields are present, near power amps, large PA speakers, under florescent lights or at the magnetic north pole, the magnetic fields could interact such as to magnify or depress some vibrations creating the magnetic equivalent of wolf and sheep tones.

  4. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    Not likely in any way that any normal human could distinguish in my opinion.

    Measure it, and show me the data.
  5. mirwa


    Aug 4, 2012
    Australia - Perth
    Color - Yes, if you paint it red it will play faster

    Regarding the other two.

    You must consider a few things.

    Some finishes allow the wood to breathe, some finishes seal the wood.

    If you allow the wood to breathe then it ages, if it ages you will get a different sound (mature) out of it than compared to a wood that has been sealed.

    Some sealers / laquers / finishes are heavier than others and applied on at different thicknesses

    So common sense tells me that the weight of the finish will make a difference, but how one could test this I do not know.

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