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Polyester finish? Kind of Funny....

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Eilif, Oct 26, 2005.

  1. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
  2. KayCee


    Oct 4, 2004
    Shawnee, KS
    I don't think this is a typo. Isn't Polyester a finish used by many companies?

  3. BassFelt


    Mar 26, 2002
    It's on most guitars and basses, except a few brands like Gibson, and those luthiers that want to take the trouble of using old-fashioned nitro.
  4. Groover


    Jun 28, 2005
    Ohio, USA
    LOL, Polyester finish give basses that 70's sound, especially on Jazzes.

    Don't let the pickups or pickup location fool you. It's all in the finish.
  5. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    Look at a Music Man bass, they have the poly finish. Just be careful, they stick to your thighs on a hot day.
  6. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    Lots of basses use a polyester finish. My Dingwall has this and it is gorgeous.

    In conclusion, it is no typo.
  7. bassmonkeee


    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    You shouldn't have to wonder what a poly finish is like since your Carvin, your Fender, and your Peavey all have poly finishes....
  8. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Don't confuse polyester which is used on the lower end Fenders and polyurethane which is on the higher end Fenders. Fender switched from nitro to polyurethane in the 70's to save money and have a more durable finish. Polyurethane is just one step farther, cheaper material and much more durable.
  9. Give me nitrocellulose anyday!
  10. Eilif

    Eilif Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    Some folks are saying that "polyester" is a cheaper alternative to polyeurethane,


    some are saying that it is a high quality finish used by gibson, and dingwall?

    So which is it?
  11. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I believe you're mistaken. Gibsons are nitrocellulose. There are three primary finishes out there. Two begin with poly and the third is commonly called nitro.
  12. Gard


    Mar 31, 2000
    WInter Garden, FL
    We use (a very high-grade) polyester finish, and it looks great. I believe that Alembic uses a very similar finish.

    Polyester finishes as clear as a good nitro, doesn't yellow as badly over time, and is more durable in the "real world".

    It is definitely not a "cheaper alternative" to anything.
  13. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Plus one.
  14. Pete skjold

    Pete skjold

    May 29, 2004
    Warsaw Ohio
    I agree , I also am now using polyester and it is far better than just about anything else I have tried .

    Pete Skjold
  15. a word about nitro...

    don't spill your bourbon on it... :eek:

    polyester and polyurethane are much more impervious to this sort of thing...
  16. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    Polyurethane is softer than polyester.
    Remember when polyurethane wheels for skateboards first came out?
  17. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    Nitro cellulose was one of the earliest polymeric finishes discovered before modern polymer technology took off. It is basically a modification of the lacquer used on 19th century furniture polishes. Modern polymer technology really took off in the thirties with the discovery of various catalytic process involving some very reactive chemistry. Polyester is one of the many modern materials that comes from such chemistry. The leisure suits of the 70's were made with polyester fibers. The fibers were less expensive than cotton, but that doesn't mean the material is cheap. It's not. Polyester has excellent properties and makes durable and stable coatings. The musical performance aspects are not as well worked out. I also prefer nitro, but that's actually because it is less of a moisture barrier, and allows the water to get OUT of the wood. But, that's a whole 'nother thread.
  18. bovinehost

    bovinehost Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: Ernie Ball Music Man/Sterling By Music Man
    Music Man uses high gloss polyester too.
  19. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    This was meant to be a general statement, as we all probably know that both can be made at differing levels of hardness. But I still believe that, for the most part and in general, polyester is considered to be harder than polyurethane.
  20. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    That's generally correct.

    You can really hear the difference when comparing them on fretless boards. The polyurethane also tends to be tougher. I like it on the fretless board because it sounds darker and warmer, and almost doesn't wear at all (abrasion resistance and toughness being somewhat related).