Ibanez JEM Forum banner

21 - 40 of 48 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,467 Posts
Tell me, you seem to think its soooo great, maybe you could enlighten me. What is it that you think is soooo much better about lacquer than urethane that it is only used on, as you say it, the "ultra high end limited edition guitar".......
It's not ONLY used on ultra high end guitars, just like I never said ONLY cheap guitars get poly. Lacquer is more labour intensive (more coats) and it takes more time. Time is money.
Listen everyone knows everything you posted about Urethane vs Laquer. It is harder, it doesn't fade. Yes everyone knows that.
I personaly think that when it comes to guitar finishes Lacquer looks better, feels better and sounds better. Thats it. I like the way it fades, I like checking on a guitar that is 30 years old. As for it being so fragile thats BS. It's not has hard as Urethane but it's more than durable enough for a musical intrument.
As for cars, well yes they are cars not musical intruments so paint them with whatever you want.
I wonder about other high end musical instruments. Have they started painting good violins with poly yet? Cello's? Pianos? I think a french polish job on a violin or piano would be at least as delicate as lacquer. Is that garbage too? The guy who spent 100s of hours on the finish probably thinks it's worth it.
 
Joined
·
1,164 Posts
Ki swordsman said:
dude.. i love it, great info ..great points

but pleease don't type more than 2 billion words and also keep it all to one post, you dont have to reply to every single comment.

otherwise keep it up mate! :)
Sorry, but I just feel like I have to be VERY clear, and back up everything I say with an explantion, otherwise its just a loop whole for mis-informed people to try and pick apart looking for errors, or comebacks. I am very through in everything I do, from painting, to explaining things. I want to make myself perfectly clear so that people will understand what I'm saying, b/c if it just put blunt answers down it causes alot of confusion and misunderstandings. I want people to learn from understanding why things are the way they are, not just b/c I said thats how they are. When people understand it clicks with them, b/c it makes sence. If you respond to people in 1-2 lines or even a paragraph its just not enough to give them the information or explantion that they need to understand something that took me years of work, schools, and training to totally learn and figure out. I hate that I have to type all that crap too, but I can't stand someone trying to tell me I don't know what I'm talking about when it comes to paint when I know they are 100% wrong without a shadow of a doubt and can clearly explain to them why.
 
Joined
·
1,164 Posts
Rotti said:
I wonder about other high end musical instruments. Have they started painting good violins with poly yet? Cello's? Pianos? I think a french polish job on a violin or piano would be at least as delicate as lacquer. Is that garbage too? The guy who spent 100s of hours on the finish probably thinks it's worth it.
Yes, alot of pianos are done in Urethane clear.....wonder why, b/c its thick, covers in 2-3 coats, and doesn't soak in, dye back, and bleed thorugh like lacquer does. It would probably take 5 gallons and 100 coats of lacquer to get a piano slick with lacquer, in comparsion to Urethane which would only need about 3 coats and around 3-4 quarts of clear. I don't know anything about violins or cellos, so I can't say for those. I know of Quite a few BIG name piano manufactures that use Polyester, and quite a few that that use Urethane, and I don't care what you prefer, or what "Feels good" to you, I will stand to what I said earlier, ANY CLEAR in my book that cracks and fades IS CRAP, and I believe the majority of the population would agree that a clear that DOES NOT CRACK & FADE is BETTER than one that DOES.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,467 Posts
Yes, alot of pianos are done in Urethane clear.....wonder why, b/c its thick, covers in 2-3 coats
Yes, quick and cheap.

I don't know anything about violins or cellos, so I can't say for those.
You know they are all about sound quality and would never put a thick coat of poly on one unless it was a cheapo.

I don't care what you prefer, or what "Feels good" to you,
It's a guitar. How it feels is very important. I think this is where you have a problem. Your more about the chemicals than the instument. I'm guitar player, a guitar lover, a guitar fanatic. I like vintage guitars, I appreciate new ones too. It wouldn't kill me to have a new Ibanez with a coat of poly on it. But I don't want my Strat covered in it.

ANY CLEAR in my book that cracks and fades IS CRAP, and I believe the majority of the population would agree that a clear that DOES NOT is BETTER than one that DOES.
This is why you don't have any friends.
Relax we are talking about guitars here. There are certain properties of a finish that make it suitable for guitars, and some finishes are better for cars. Some maybe better for boats, and others for spaceships. There does not have to be one all mighty finish. Maybe you would like one of those solid lucite guitars. They are very durable, they don't ever fade. They are not effected by moisture or heat or cold. They would last forever and probably withstand a nuclear blast. "I believe the majority of the population would agree that a guitar building material that can withstand a NUCLEAR BLAST is better than one that CANNOT!!!!"

I'm just saying that I think lacquer is a better guitar finish than poly, and we are talking about guitars right? Lacquer looks WAY better. It doesn't feel sticky on the back of a guitar neck like poly does and sounds better. Sound is a somewhat important factor right?
No matter how much detail SCS goes into about how urethane is harder and wont fade it's still a thick coat of plactic to me, and a cost cutting measure by guitar builders. I don't want it on my guitars. Maybe tomorrow they will come out with a new finish that is hard as titanium and goes on 4 inches thick in one coat. It doesn't mean I want it on my guitars either.
And the truth is you are exagerating the fading and checking characteristics way out of proportion.
Anyway if you are the kind of guy who prefers Poly on your guitars (lol) then good for you. Enjoy.

Okay Ozzdoc I'll chill. :) I'm more than done with this thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,612 Posts
Jeez..... It's just finishing. I have two old Les Pauls, both spent time (years) on the road and survived looking 9.8 on a scale of 10 today. Bottom line is I maintained them (along with a guitar tech). I will say this, with today's finishes (poly) I can take a guitar out in the cold and not worry about finish checking. Either way though.... finish aside, the wood still reacts. Yep, lacquer breaths. Find any quality classical guitar, violin, cello, Viola, lute, etc. and it will not be finished in urethane. There is a reason. Note: both finishes have their place. So both of you are right and wrong. By the way, SCS I've never seen a Steinway with a poly finish. Whether it was made here in the good old US or in Germany. Reason??? TONE! Back to guitars.... I like the fact I can beat the sh_t out of my poly coated guitars and they don't show much.... until finish is chipped. Then it requires a total refinish. No repairing that! Even on $4000.00 instruments it's all got to do with what you're looking to achieve. So which is it, sales numbers, tone quality, durability, repair-ability? Take you pick. Rotti & SCS.... choose your weapons! We're watching.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,467 Posts
You are exactly right Jemplayer55. I can't argue about anything you said. And you've said a lot of what I was trying to say. I'm just not really good at getting my point accross.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,612 Posts
I'm still trying to figure out what piano manufacturer he's referring to. All the good ones use Lacquer! Stienway, Baldwin, Bechstein, ect..... Lacquer!
 
Joined
·
1,164 Posts
jemplayer55 said:
I'm still trying to figure out what piano manufacturer he's referring to. All the good ones use Lacquer! Stienway, Baldwin, Bechstein, ect..... Lacquer!
Lets see, heres a list of PIANO companies that use Polyester and Urethane clears, and none of these are by NO MEANS low quality, or lower end pianos. Some of the piano manufactures below have pianos upwards of $50,000 so don't pull any crap and say "Their not one of the good ones" I actually believe that ALOT of times some of the smaller guitar and piano companies do a BETTER job as far as quality, fit & finish goes than some of the big ones. I thought this would be plenty enough to prove my stand that there are high end piano manufacturers who use catalised clears rather than lacquer showing that lacquer does not effect the sound, or if it does slightly its not enough to even probably hear therefore making it insignificant. If you don't think this is enough let me know, there are plenty of others......

Fandrich & Sons - http://www.fandrich.com/

Ravenscroft Piano- http://www.spreemanpianoinnovations.com/Ravenscroft.htm

ESTONIA Pianos- http://www.estoniapiano.com/

A quote from the ESTONIA site........

"Our finishes have ten thick layers of polyester from Germany, providing spectacular and durable results. The finishes are deep, rich, and stunning looking. The ebony polished finish has the magnificently luxurious European shine, Please compare it to the lacquer finishes of other pianos and & you will see the difference."

^^^^ Couldn't have said it better myself!! ^^^^

FEURICH- http://www.warfieldpianos.com/gallery.html

Kemble Piano- http://www.uk-piano.org/kemble/

A quote from the Kemble site......

"Our pianos are carefully finished in satin, lustre or high gloss polyester. We are also famous for the quality of our hand selected wood veneers. The beauty of our cabinets speaks for itself"

Young Chang- http://www.youngchang.com/

A quote from the Young Chang site.......

"A finely crafted piano reflects a high standard of refinement, from the luster of its finish to the glistening of its plate. To complete this work of art, Young Chang Platinum pianos come in a variety of durable polyester high gloss finishes"

I rest my case. Also, please quit saying that car paint has nothing to do with guitars. For your information, the Urethane, Polyester, or Polyurethane you use on a car is the EXACT same stuff these guitar and piano manufacturers are using. There is only one difference between painting wood, and painting metal, and thats how you seal it. The sealer you use on pianos and guitars is the ONLY thing different. And, the sealer you use I might add is ALSO Polyester. Once the wood is sealed then the guitar is painted in the same way you would paint a car, and painted with the EXACT SAME Paint. Stop saying that painting a guitar is not the same as painting a car. The lacquer you love SOO Much is also the SAME lacquer that was used on cars over 50 years ago. You prime a car typically before you paint it, and you seal a guitar. Thats the ONLY difference. Once the sealer is CURED the refinishing process on a guitar or piano is EXACTLY the same as the refinishing process of a car.
 
Joined
·
1,164 Posts
jemplayer55 said:
So which is it, sales numbers, tone quality, durability, repair-ability? Take you pick. Rotti & SCS.... choose your weapons! We're watching.
Heres my pick, and the answer to your question.....

Urethane Pro's-

Sales Numbers (due to faster turn around times and better looking finish)

Durability (Due to the clear being high solids and catalised)

Repairability (Read below to see why)

Ok, let me explain something to you guys that you probably don't know about or even heard about............

You DO NOT have to refinish an ENTIRE guitar to do a repair. There is a product out there that you guys obviously know nothing about. You can spot in nicks, dings etc with URETHANE or POLYESTER just like you can spot in Lacquer and "Burn it in". However you are WRONG when you say to repair in urethane requires an entire respray/refinish, Urethane and Polys do NOT require a TOTAL refinish when repairing a small area. You re-clear the area that was repaired with Urethane clear, but "Burn" or "Melt" the Urethane into the old clear with a product called a blender. Blenders are designed for the sole purpose of being able to paint a small area and melt the overspray edge into the existing clear so that you do not have to refinish the entire guitar, or panel. Bet you never heard of that neither huh?

So, taking into consideration that Urethane can be burned/melted in JUST LIKE lacquer can, there is ONE MAJOR benifit to choosing to do the spot repair with urethane, and thats once again drying time. Spot it and melt it with a blender and it will be dry in approx 1-2 hrs. On the other hand you can spot it in with lacquer and your looking at at least 24 hrs between EACH COAT of lacquer (Ideally), which I will add will take MANY more coats to build the lacquer up to a smooth slick surface than it will take the urethene due to the urethane being 50%-75% solids compared to the approx 15% solids of the lacquer. Basically the more film build you put on the longer the drying time. So, why use Lacquer to spot in an area when you can spot in the SAME area with A) Less Paint, B) Quicker painting time C) Faster drying time, and D) and harder paint?

Urethane Cons-

Onlike what Rotti says, I can tell NO difference in the sound of an electric guitar with Urethane compared to Lacquer. I have two RG 550s, one is BARE WOOD, and One has been painted Desert Neon Yellow with a Urethane clear that I put on it.......both giutars have the SAME PICKUPS and sound exactly the same, and I mean EXACTLY the same.

The only downside (Not really a downside to me) is Urethane IS more expensive, and rightfully so. Its more b/c its better. Thats why MANY of these BIG guitar companies like PRS are using it, as well as the SMALLER "Hand Made" guitar companies like Driskill. So you cannot argue that the ONLY reason the big guitar comanies use it is b/c they are High Production shops that are only concerned about turn around times, when you have many of the smaller guitar companies who build relatively few guitars using it too. The reason is PLAIN AND SIMPLE. The pros for Urethane ENORMOUSLY out weigh the pros for Lacquer.

The only thing lacquer has going for it is its CHEAP. And Personally I don't like using CHEAP stuff that don't last. As for the sound quality is better with Lacquer I respectfully disagree. On electrics, I ESPECIALLY disagree, but on acoustics I would have to say it would matter a little more since there is no pickup and ALL the sound comes from the wood. But still, I don't believe Lacquer sounds better b/c of the Chemical make up of it, I think the reason people use lacquer on acoustics is b/c its THIN, and the thinner the better so it wouldn't deaden any sound. HOWEVER, I believe its the thickness of the clear that effects sound, and NOT the chemicals in the clear that effect it. What I'm saying is, I believe if you put on the same exact amount with each you would get the same exact sound. For example, I don't think an acoustic with 2 mils of Lacquer would sound any different than an acoustic with 2 mils of urethane. I think the thickness is what kills the resonance of the wood on an acoustic, not the type of paint thats applied. So, heres what you do, keep the Urethane THIN on the acoustics and you are left with the same amount of film build (Mil's), a faster turnaround time, a shiner clear, a longer lasting and more durable clear, and a clear that will sound exactly the same if the mils are the same as its slower and weaker grand dad Lacquer.

Lacquer Pros-

Cheap in price

Lacquer Cons-

Slow drying times

Requires many coats to provide adequte gloss and smoothness

No UV protection so its susceptible to fading

Air dried with no hardner making it a very easy clear to chip or scratch

I think Urethane wins this round with a TKO, and the war with TOTAL ANNIHILATION, Lacquer is waving the white flag so hard that his arm is about to break off (Isn't that just typical behavior of lacquer to go off and crack on you when you turn the heat on!)
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
26,331 Posts
Maybe somebody should have specified good pianos. [Steinway and Baldwin will always be considered the class of the field]

Any clear will crack, even the polyester that's on Ibanez guitars. All the wood has to do is swell and shrink enough underneath it. And that's what it does, it is wood.
 
Joined
·
1,164 Posts
Rich said:
Maybe somebody should have specified good pianos. [Steinway and Baldwin will always be considered the class of the field]

Any clear will crack, even the polyester that's on Ibanez guitars. All the wood has to do is swell and shrink enough underneath it. And that's what it does, it is wood.
I honestly don't see how it would be possible for a guitar that has been sealed with a catalised sealer and clear could swell enough to crack not only the sealer, but the clear as well. I could see it happening if there was a chipped or damaged area with bare wood exposed and water getting on it, but if the guitar was sealed and cleared I don't see how the body could swell enough to actually bust or crack the clear. I understand that wood is going to swell and shrink basedon humidity and tempatures, but I think they only swell and shrink so much, and to crack lacquer it don't take much swelling and shrinking to do it, but I find it hard to believe that if a guitar was stored indoors and had no damage to the paint how it could swell enough to crack the urethane, I mean if you left it outside in the rain and crap I'm sure it would happen, but I don't really see it realistically happening if the guitar is kept indoors, and has been sealed correctly and has no visible wood showing for the moiture to soak into. The polyester sealer I use is I swear harder than a rock when it cures, its so hard that I can't even take the left overs in the bottom of my mixinig cup and break it with my bare hands once its cured, its the awesomest stuff I've ever seen. Anyways, I'm sure that its possible, anything is possible I suppose, but I see it as HIGHLY unlikely if the guitar didn't have any bare wood exposed that the wood could absorb that much moisture to actually swell and contract enough in an indoor enviroment to crack the clear. I've been using this system for a loooong time and I've yet to see it happen, and I've submerged guitars in 50 gals of water in my trash can and yet to have a problem with it swelling to the point that it caused a swell, a sunk in area, or even a crack. Not saying it couldn't happen, just saying that I haven't ever seen it happen. I have on the other hand seen it happen on Lacquer....and many times at that. At any rate, if it did happen, it would be far more likely in my opinion to happen sooner and easier with lacquer than urethane considering that lacquer has open pores allowing it to breathe, also allowing more moisture in than the catalised system would.

Just my two cents.
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
26,331 Posts
How? Temperature extremes, and I've seen it several times. The last on a JEM10 that had several long 4" + finish cracks in the top, that were purely, finish cracks.
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
26,331 Posts
Enough to swell [and or shrink] the wood enough to crack the clear. There wasn't a memory stick thermometer on the guitar to give the exact figures. And this is just one example,

Of course this is the same way lacquer checking happens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
858 Posts
Keep in mind the pickup cavities, trem cavity (if there is one) and any other routed out area is not clear coated, so those areas are exposed to the air/humidity so can expand/contract the wood around them and result in cracks. If your guitar stays in your home at a fairly constant temp, all should be ok. If you say, fly with it in checked baggage where it can get to a freezing temp and then take it to room temp, that's an extreme.
 
Joined
·
1,164 Posts
gu1tar said:
Keep in mind the pickup cavities, trem cavity (if there is one) and any other routed out area is not clear coated, so those areas are exposed to the air/humidity so can expand/contract the wood around them and result in cracks. If your guitar stays in your home at a fairly constant temp, all should be ok. If you say, fly with it in checked baggage where it can get to a freezing temp and then take it to room temp, that's an extreme.
Yea, true
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
517 Posts
It's a rapid temp drop from hot to very cold that will cause any paint to crack, MIJ guitars are exsposed to very exstream temp's & when pressureized in transit like a plane cargo cabin flying high ALT then decending into a country like the USA will crack paint on guitars & other things in some case's,
wood acts like a sponge because of the pores in the wood wich will cause it to swell or shrink depending on the extream temp & weather changes.

Good info from (SCS) & (Rich) well done!

thanks!- this info you posted is priceless!

Cheers.. Jake.
 
21 - 40 of 48 Posts
Top