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Nitrocellulose-finishes?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Juniorkimbrough, May 1, 2006.


  1. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    How do I find out if any of my basses have a nitrocellulose finish?

    I'm about to order a bunch of guitar stands and I want to make sure none of my have this finish.

    Here are my basses........
    -Fender Deluxe QMT
    -Fender Hwy. 1 Jazz
    -Fender MIJ mid 80's P-bass
    -Ibanez TR600
     
  2. purfektstranger

    purfektstranger

    Apr 10, 2003
    Canada
    Pretty sure the Highway 1 has it or something similar.....
    Finish looks flat ( mat ) and has no or very little shine to it.
     
  3. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    On the Fender website it says....."a light satin laquer finish".....I assume this is different?
     
  4. knarleybass

    knarleybass Commercial User

    Apr 6, 2005
    Tustin, CA
    Owner of Ulyate Instruments
    I have been told basses with nitro turn greenish yellow under black light.
     
  5. kobass

    kobass Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Outside Boston
    FWIW, you can order guitar stand covers from Sadowsky that will protect your nitro-cellulose finishes. Very reasonably priced!

    www.sadowsky.com
     
  6. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    I think you're pretty safe.

    The only one in question is the Highway 1, and I'm pretty sure that if it was nitro, the Fender propaganda machine would be screaming from the mountaintops that it had a nitro finish.

    All the others you list are poly.
     
  7. Trevorus

    Trevorus

    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Highway 1's are thin laquer, IIRC.
     
  8. savit260

    savit260

    Mar 6, 2006
    Boston
    Non of those are nitro.
     
  9. Hyde

    Hyde

    Mar 30, 2006
    I'm probably wrong, since I'm about to disagree with everyone else, but I thought that the Highway 1 guitars and basses did have a nitro finish. Fender calling it "laquer" certainly doesn't rule it out, nitro is short for nitrocellulose laquer.
     
  10. Moo

    Moo Banned

    Dec 14, 2002
    Oakland, CA
    Fender also calls a vibrato a tremelo. Nitro is pretty much extinct except where it is prominently advertised.
     
  11. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    HI

    No nitro

    Rob
     
  12. Fender32

    Fender32

    Jun 23, 2005
    Kent, England
    Well, you could post it to me, let me play it for 15 minutes and if the neck feels gritty, I can definitely say that it's nitro! :smug:

    Seriously, I don't know if others here have this problem, but my skin doesn't like nitro cellulose lacquer at all (makes playing my beloved US vintage reissue Precision a real labour of love).

    Polyester rules, in my opinion (Alembic use it too, so it isn't always the cheapo option).
     
  13. Hyde

    Hyde

    Mar 30, 2006
    I think Alembic uses polyurethane, not polyester.
     
  14. momo

    momo

    Oct 22, 2005
    Huntington Beach, CA
    I remember the fender propaganda machine did scream about those finishes for the longest time. I don't think the hw1 is nitro, but it is definately laquer based, and that is what I think reacts with the stands.

    Not sure, but i wouldn't worry about the stand. I have a hw1 telecaster, and it is missing some serious finish after a little light home recording. I don't mind, but if you want durable finish, that bass wont give it.
     
  15. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    I've been using stands with the foam supports already, I assume these are the stands that have the nitro warning on them?
     
  16. savit260

    savit260

    Mar 6, 2006
    Boston
    From what I've read, the use of Nitrocellulose is highly regulated by the EPA, therefore making it more expensive to use. Just because Alembic uses it doesn't mean poly is not cheaper to use. Nitro is derived from either wood or in some cases cotton. Poly is a synthetic derived product. Nitro let's the wood resonate more naturaly due to the fact that it's derived from wood. Poly does not resonate at the same frequency as wood, therefore making a less resonant instrument. This makes much more of a difference in a pure accoustic instrument(violin, cello, guitar etc.) , but it still plays a part in the way an electric bass will sound.

    Poly's pro's are that it's a tougher more durable finish and cheaper due to EPA regs. Nitro finishes are kind of fragile by comparison and fairly toxic.

    As to the Nitro feeling gritty?? That's wierd. I feel the same way about Satin finished necks until they're good and broken in. They fell like 600grit sandpaper when there new to me. Nitro... nice and smooth.
     
  17. BassBuzzRS

    BassBuzzRS

    Oct 18, 2005
    Norway
    This is interesting. I might be wrong but I am inclined to believe that moving your picking hand as little as 1/4" in either direction would have a larger effect on the tone than some finish ever will. If anyone has soundclips to prove me wrong, I will be very interested :)
     
  18. Subculture13

    Subculture13 Jamming Econo

    Apr 9, 2003
    Toronto, Ont. Canada
    There is probably a whole lot of truth to this statement.... but there is no taking away from a players natural positioning... putting your hands where they naturally want to go, and not moving them around to compensate for the paint job of your instrument.
     
  19. savit260

    savit260

    Mar 6, 2006
    Boston
    You are correct that moving your picking hand will dramaticly alter the "tone" of the instrument.

    The finish more accurately effects the timbre of the instrument.

    Strip and refinish a Stradivarius violin with poly, and it's not going to sound like Stradivarius anymore.
     
  20. savit260

    savit260

    Mar 6, 2006
    Boston
    Take a good listen to the Valenti vs. Fender sound clips. Now my best guess is that "IF" the Valenti has a poly finish, it's very thin and not plastered on like on the new Fenders. The Valenti sounds more like what you would expect a Nitro finished instrument to sound like. It's clearly more resonant than the Fender. There are also differenced in electronics as well, but the timbre of the Valenti is "more like " what you expect from a Nitro finished instrument. Remeber we're talking "Timbre not Tone" The Fender sounds muffled by comparison. Now like I said, I don't know what the Valenti has for a finish on it, It's more than likely poly, but that's the type of diffrence you'll hear in a Nitro vs poly side by side shootout. (or at least similar)

    Hope this helps
     

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