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PHOTO FLAME FINISH ?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by geezer316, Jun 17, 2003.


  1. geezer316

    geezer316

    Jan 26, 2003
    NEW HAVEN ,CT
    i want to know if anybody knows anything about what a photo flame finish is, besides the fact its a type of finish ? its some type of finish thats made with a photo or some type of trickery or such. its not part of the wood because of the fact its always cheaper than quilted wood or real flame wood. i think ?:confused: so if anyone knows anything (facts not opinions if you like it or not). what led me to believe its made with photography was in a fender japan auction there was a link to another site showing how the basses finish was made but i lost it somehow,so if you know PLEASE HELP ME AAAAAGGGHH !:confused:
     
  2. I thought it was an effect made digitally to a picture, but really, i HAVE NO IDEA.. so I would like to know also..
     
  3. xakman

    xakman Guest

    Sep 13, 2002
    Alabama USA
    i'm not shure but i think that, that is exactly what it is. a foto of flame maple(or some other wood)glued to the body then clear coated over.

    xakman
     
  4. Foto flame... think of it as expensive contact paper with a clear finish over it.

    It started with the piano business years ago. They'd take a cheap piano with a crappy MDF wood cabinet and put this contact paper on it and clear coat it. They figured most people were buying the piano for its looks anyway.. cause it sounded like crap.

    I've seen some pretty convincing foto flame on some Fender and Yamaha basses. If the basic body is a good tone wood like alder or ash, an foto flame finish is no disgrace.. and you can hardly tell it from the real thing.
     
  5. geezer316

    geezer316

    Jan 26, 2003
    NEW HAVEN ,CT
    thats pretty close to what i expected,thank god i never bought a bass with it. i would puke all over the computer then my dog(actual dog will not be harmed in the process)i will stay away from one now(bass not a dog)
     
  6. yes. in essence it is an image that is laminated to the wood, then laquered over.
     
  7. Samick even have an ad that says how the photo flame is more consistent looking and less expensive than real wood flame... :rolleyes:

    I know, the bass can sound great nonetheless, but I can't help thinking "Pamela Anderson". :meh:
     
  8. Johnny Alien

    Johnny Alien Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2003
    Harrisburg, PA, USA
    I was reading an older Frontline and I believe the process works like this.

    Foto-Flame bodies were alder with a very very thin basswood veneer on the top. In photo processing you dip the photo paper in a chemical and then when light is shown through a negative the image prints on the paper. Apparently the thin basswood veneer was dipped into the chemical and had the "flamed maple" image directly printed onto the wood.

    Now as far as the neck is concerned I think that was a very thin type of paper or something like that!!
     
  9. geezer316

    geezer316

    Jan 26, 2003
    NEW HAVEN ,CT
    is'nt Buddy Lembeck the dude from the movie CHRISTINE ? the greaser dude who takes a crap on ARNI'S possesed car and pays quite a hefty price .
     
  10. Johnny Alien

    Johnny Alien Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2003
    Harrisburg, PA, USA
    Buddy Lembeck is the dim-witted friend of Scott Baio on the almighty sitcom "Charles In Charge"

    If it was also the name of someone in Christine I do not remember.

    Wasn't the Christine kid also the kid in Back TO School??? What else has that guy done??
     
  11. uglybassplayer

    uglybassplayer

    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    :confused: Why? If it sounds good, plays well, looks good, and the price is right, why worry about it.

    Essex BGs and SJBs have flamed and quilted photoflame finishes, and they look pretty darn good.

    Just my 2 bits.

    - Frank.
     
  12. I'd be afraid to pay for a flamed or quilted top and then discover that it is phony...

    0.300" thick flamed maple top = +/-200$

    0.300" thick quilted maple top = +/-300$

    Photo flame = 30$ ????????

    Prices are not meant to be anywhere near exact, it's just to show you what I mean. Companies doing that should at least tell the customers about the phony top.
     
  13. uglybassplayer

    uglybassplayer

    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    No arguments there, but the situations where deceit (or at least lack of information) usually occur with companies giving the false impression that their "real wood" top is actually a carved cap. Real caps will have a thickness of at over 1/4" (usually 1/2" to 3/4") and can have quite an effect on the tone. In contrast a veneer (even if it's made from "real" wood) is paper thin, usually somewhere around 1/20th of an inch or less and have little impact on tone (actually, the glue would probably have more effect on the tone).

    - Frank.
     
  14. geezer316

    geezer316

    Jan 26, 2003
    NEW HAVEN ,CT
    i like the look of an old fender,all beat up with missing hunks of wood and worn down paint. so if i got a bass that some type of fake wood paper laminated over the body,it mite not give the look i desire down the road when it gets down to that "WORN" look. i'm not saying they dont look cool because they do,i'm not saying its mis-leading or false advertising, i just was curious of its making.i'm glad i looked into it i must admit because i have been on the prowl for a new p-bass,and a couple from fender japan were looking tasty i must say and a few did have that photo finish. glad i checked :D
     
  15. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    The Fender's I've seen stated on the back of the headstick "Foto Flame".

    Hey Geezer, I've played a more then a few of the Foto Flame Fender's & They are VERY nice basses. You do know they're made in Japan. :)
     
  16. I agree with you about the tone thing. About the thickness of the real wood veneer, I've seen 0.020" and 0.030", which, as you said, must have very little or no effect on tone.
     
  17. uglybassplayer

    uglybassplayer

    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    Personally, I feel there are so many other things that have an effect on your tone, from the woods to the pickups/preamp/amp, to the strings, to your technique, to the room acoustics... I should put on my flame retartant suit before saying this, but I look at comfort and playability first and foremost in a bass, with tone coming in a close second... Even though I might feel a bass sounds great, if I have to struggle to play it (Warwick Thumb comes to mind), forget it :spit: !

    EDIT: "Eye Candy" does play into the equation for me (I'd be lying if I said the quilted top of my redwood Cirrus wasn't a factor in my purchasing decision), but it's always been secondary to playability & tone.

    - Frank
     
  18. geezer316

    geezer316

    Jan 26, 2003
    NEW HAVEN ,CT
    it has nothing to do with picking a certain "look" over the actual quality,i only play fenders and i know what style's i want(jazz,p-bass)its a question of finish and the quality of. i would never buy a bass for its looks. i have a 87 P/L special thats a silver/kiwi color,so you know i'm not fashion conscience when it comes to public opinion. i personally prefer and old beat up fender,with paint missing and bucke rash that would bring a tear to your eye:bawl: .if that kind of finish(foto flame)was that important i would just spend the extra money for the real deal finish.if i have to wait a few x-tra months to buy the bass,so be it.my basses are important to me,and i will not spare any expense for quality,insted of buying american i buy JAPANESE,and take the left over money and get other acessories. PS :and yes NINO,i know they are japanese made.:D BUT THANKS FOR LOOKING OUT.:bassist: