Re: Custom paint..will it impact tone
There are countless pages in the forums devoted to discussing this topic. The logic behind the "thin skin" nitro finish on new Fenders is to let the wood breathe (tonally) and minimize the effect of paint on the sound. On the other side are many folks who say that's crap and the finish has minimal effect to begin with -- or else, it may have some effect, but it's merely different, not necessarily bad. The same can be said about bridge saddles, nut material, string coatings, a few extra windings on the pickups, 250K vs 500K pots, relative humidity ... (list goes on forever...)
I've repainted, or had repainted, many guitars and have yet to detect any significant tonal degradation. But, of course, it's very, very hard to tell the difference without being able to A/B the guitars before/after. I'd say make your guitar look just how you want it -- you'll be more inspired and it will reflect more of who you are once you're done. That's what Joe did with Black Dog and the various other guitars he personally decorated -- he didn't seem overly concerned with wrecking the intrinsic tone of the instrument.
Edit: Just for clarification, my overall philosophy on this kind of thing is that it's fun to personalize your instruments. If you get too obsessed with nuances and the ever present possibility that each little thing might affect your tone, you become stricken with paranoid inertia and the fun goes away.
Last edited by stratoskier; 01-23-2009 at 09:07 AM.