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I've had respiratory allergies all my life. I had asthma as a kid, though it went away, as I got bigger, probably cause my organs grew in size, so allergy wouldn't cause asthma anymore.

Pretty much every Ikea furniture I ever bought before, always triggered my allergy unless is made of glass lol I believe is the glues and varnish they use.

I don't have an issue with my current Japanese guitars, though the RG550 maple fretboard had some varnish smell for a while till it went away. The RG565 never did. I think they changed their formula.

One time, I bought a Cordoba c9 Spruce and it had a very strong chemical smell. I believe is the varnish they used to make the top of the guitar shiny and bright and of course, this g guitar is made in China. $900 for a guitar made in China? No way. I should've known better than buying a Chinese guitar, but I got it for $750 and thought it was a good deal. I had to return it lol

I also had an issue with the Spark amp, it smelled off glues, probably formaldehyde, and returned it, never liked the sound of it either. I didn't have an issue with THR but didn't like the thin bright tone either.

Now I'm hesitant about buying another acoustic guitar. It definitely has to be spruce, as cedar is a big no. I'm considering Yamaha, but anything made in Japan is over $2500 lol

My other option is to buy one made in China but used an older one, that has years to air out lol

I'm Aspergers and have very powerful senses, so people may mock me for always worrying about smells and think is ridiculous or trollish, but I'm very serious, it really bothers me, probably because of my autism, these things affect me more than regular people maybe
 

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Hey Larry, you don’t seem so “Fowl” now. I appreciate you discussing your Autism. I have it too, and have tactile disturbances such as seams in socks, tags in clothing, etc. I have other problems as well, but I don’t want to derail your thread, so we won’t discuss them.

It seems that anything affordable is made in China with noxious chemicals. It’s not the instruments themselves so much as the cases. I got a Gibson and the case took four months to stop off gassin. It smelled and left a film on the guitar.

You might try Alhambra. They are made in Spain. And they are sold by Strings by Mail, and Guitar Center I think. Lacquer finished I believe. There is also Ramirez, but they are generally more expensive. Iv’e never had a problem with Ramirez being stinky. Though their new cases might be. Point is, try to find a used guitar that has settled for a few years is probably your best bet.
 

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I've had respiratory allergies all my life. I had asthma as a kid, though it went away, as I got bigger, probably cause my organs grew in size, so allergy wouldn't cause asthma anymore.

Pretty much every Ikea furniture I ever bought before, always triggered my allergy unless is made of glass lol I believe is the glues and varnish they use.

I don't have an issue with my current Japanese guitars, though the RG550 maple fretboard had some varnish smell for a while till it went away. The RG565 never did. I think they changed their formula.

One time, I bought a Cordoba c9 Spruce and it had a very strong chemical smell. I believe is the varnish they used to make the top of the guitar shiny and bright and of course, this g guitar is made in China. $900 for a guitar made in China? No way. I should've known better than buying a Chinese guitar, but I got it for $750 and thought it was a good deal. I had to return it lol

I also had an issue with the Spark amp, it smelled off glues, probably formaldehyde, and returned it, never liked the sound of it either. I didn't have an issue with THR but didn't like the thin bright tone either.

Now I'm hesitant about buying another acoustic guitar. It definitely has to be spruce, as cedar is a big no. I'm considering Yamaha, but anything made in Japan is over $2500 lol

My other option is to buy one made in China but used an older one, that has years to air out lol

I'm Aspergers and have very powerful senses, so people may mock me for always worrying about smells and think is ridiculous or trollish, but I'm very serious, it really bothers me, probably because of my autism, these things affect me more than regular people maybe
Not formally diagnosed but always been told I had AS by most everyone, I TOTALLY get this question. I am actually selling a guitar for this reason, well, one of two reasons (the other being I have no space left). I bought an RG520QS-OL, which although has a factory oil finish (not a refinish or strip job like some of the natural 520's out there), but it has a very slight oil finish smell to it, even though it's 23 years old now. I think I really only smell it when I take it out of the case, but it bothers me, not enough that I don't play it, but enough that it bugs me, especially being that ALL my other guitars are gloss and do not have a smell to them, other than the new case smell, which is actually a lot more bothersome, since it smells like aromatic hydrocarbons (styrene/benzene/toluene), but you can't really get away from that :(

Anyway, I have found that roasted maple necks tend to smell less FWIW. Also, while very common these days, polyester finishes seem to have the least smell out of any finish out there. They are UV cured, instead of using pounds and pounds of high VOC solvents to cure them (like with most Urethane finishes). Also, buying guitars from countries that have more strict enviromental regs helps. I often find that Chinese and Indonesian guitars have more potent smells, Japanese and USA made guitars probably have the least. This is all pretty obvious stuff. Most of the time I find that guitar cases smell far worse than the guitars themselves. Buying used definitely helps in any case as outgassing is the worst the closer you are to the manufacturing date. I actually buy older cars for this same reason, I don't like the new car smell, I swear I can feel my liver getting damaged by having to deal with those plasticizers. Some people probably think I'm nuts, and that's totally fine, I'm the one that has to live with these things, not them :D

On a similar note, I am actually having a custom guitar built in Russia right now and am SUPER worried about what sort of chemicals/solvents they might use in finishing the guitar, or how bad the case might reek when I get it. You aren't the only one thinking about this sort of thing. Hopefully you find something that works for you :)

Reread your post, saw you had issues with glue on the Spark amp, particle board and vinyl tolex material are fairly pungent. Urea formeldehyde glues are super common in the composition of particle board and in the adhesives used to affix the vinyl, not to mention vinyl itself outgassing vinyl choride gas. There are amps that are less pungent, typically lunch box amps made of steel and plastic (like the Katana Air) and Blackstar Fly don't smell at all, though speaker cabinets are very likely to have that formaldehyde smell when new, best to get a used speaker cab in that case...for whatever reason that urea formaldehyde REALLY bothers me, more than any "new guitar smell", I totally get that. Thankfully, my Katana amps, even the new ones with wood cabinets haven't had a detectable smell once they've been outside the box a few days.
 

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Autism in not easy to deal with and I sympathize with your condition. My youngest has it and it is never easy raising a child with it either.

That being said, I will make sure I am more sensitive to your posts. Wishing you the best in your search for something that doesn't affect that sense as much. It's not going to be an easy find for you.
 

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Autism in not easy to deal with and I sympathize with your condition. My youngest has it and it is never easy raising a child with it either.

That being said, I will make sure I am more sensitive to your posts. Wishing you the best in your search for something that doesn't affect that sense as much. It's not going to be an easy find for you.
I got diagnosed unofficially at my Psychiatrists office. They looked at some of the diagnosis’ I had as a kid in the 70’s, and said yeah these are all the spectrum now. Well, that and my symptoms. As there is no real treatment for it, we just let that dog ly. I am on meds for Schizoaffective disorder, along with a host of physical ailments.

I had two sons. One with Asperger’s and one with a few things on the spectrum that has managed to have a successful career. Is your son high functioning? One of my son’s is, and so am I. I just reached the point where I got sick of masking, and the SAD didn’t help. I am now out of the game.
 

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I got diagnosed unofficially at my Psychiatrists office. They looked at some of the diagnosis’ I had as a kid in the 70’s, and said yeah these are all the spectrum now. Well, that and my symptoms. As there is no real treatment for it, we just let that dog ly. I am on meds for Schizoaffective disorder, along with a host of physical ailments.

I had two sons. One with Asperger’s and one with a few things on the spectrum that has managed to have a successful career. Is your son high functioning? One of my son’s is, and so am I. I just reached the point where I got sick of masking, and the SAD didn’t help. I am now out of the game.
Yup...my little guy is very high functioning! Wow! Amazing that you have it as well and managed to work through it. That sounds like it was quite a journey for you. I honestly think many of us have some traits of it as well. The spectrum is pretty wide now.
 

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Yup...my little guy is very high functioning! Wow! Amazing that you have it as well and managed to work through it. That sounds like it was quite a journey for you. I honestly think many of us have some traits of it as well. The spectrum is pretty wide now.
It sure is wide now. Yeah I managed to work as a Respiratory Therapist and a Nurse for over 20 years. It was the Schizo that I had the main problem with. I am treated and live a pretty uneventful life. But I have more symptoms when I am under stress.

I hung in there so long for so many years that I reached a point where I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I was worried about others reactions when I went on disability. The managers at the hospital I last worked were pissed off at me, and so was my own father, and my ex wife.

But I managed to get full custody of one of my sons, even though I was on the spectrum with a form of schizophrenia and BiPolar. My high functioning son seemed to grow up and out of his problems. He just moved to Germany for work.

Well, I wish you and yours the best.

Scott
 
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