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Poly or Nitro


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From Stike:

A catalyzed urethane clear was used.  It was made by Lawrence McFadden who referred to it as “Urethane Guitar Lacquer” because it was a “urethane with lacquer like drying times”. Hamer called it Urelac. It’s acrylic urethane. 

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I have enough trouble figuring out the difference between "polyurethane" and "acrylic urethane".  There's a whole bunch of wood finishes out there involving urethane, and some even come in water and oil based varieties.

A lot of companies have gone to UV cured polyester, as it seems to have much less in the way of VOCs.

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19 hours ago, tbonesullivan said:

I have enough trouble figuring out the difference between "polyurethane" and "acrylic urethane".  There's a whole bunch of wood finishes out there involving urethane, and some even come in water and oil based varieties.

A lot of companies have gone to UV cured polyester, as it seems to have much less in the way of VOCs.

Funny thing to me; while I know these different types of products can make a difference, I tend to think that while in your hands and strapped on against your body with your arm laying across the top, it is mostly a moot point of discussion. When you wrap your hand around the neck and grip it, you’re doing more to dampen or deaden resonance much more than any clear coat. Then add to that the damping effect that your body against the back and arm on the top has. To hear what I’m describing, just strap on your favorite acoustic guitar and strum it, then place the palm of your hand on it’s top. You’ll hear the difference. It’s not subtle. While the braced top of an acoustic is wildly different than a solid body or neck, the damping result of your body, arm and hands is the same.

Three of my three favorite guitars are not nitro. One is my spruce top Monaco finished with Urelac, and two are PRS models, a DGT and McCarty SC 594 finished in PRS V12, which like Hamer’s Urelac is a PRS-developed hybrid.

I don’t pay attention to what clearcoats are used (unless the job was done shitty and it is glopped on!). If you like how a guitar plays and sounds go with it. No clear coat will make or break it.

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The differences between finishes is mostly dealer hype.

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I was curious. While talking guitars with people and I tell them about USA Hamers there is the inevitable question about finishes.

Great information. Thanks one and all.

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17 hours ago, cmatthes said:

The differences between finishes is mostly dealer hype.

Yeah... it's like how people need to realize that their Vintate 60's Fenders all had their bodies sealed with FULLERPLAST, then probably were dipped in yellow.  As much as they are hyped, they were factory made, and the processes used were to increase time.  Nitro was used because it required very little drying time between coats.

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