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Old 11-30-2012, 09:54 PM
Neal Pert Neal Pert is offline
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Default On the Importance of a Sweet Finish

So, OK-- how important is the finish of your guitar for you?

I have to admit-- i have got a HUGE soft spot for burst finishes. My hear melts when I see one. Maybe it's because the first guitar i ever played was a borrowed Alvarez with a sweet burst finish, but I've always just loved that look. I have never owned a burst finish.

If I'm completely honest, I have to say that the one thing I know about my next guitar is that it'll have a burst finish. If Jesus himself comes down from heaven and hands me a mangificent-sounding guitar with a natural finish, I'll probably find a way to trade it or get it refinished. It's sad, but that's how strong the emotional reaction is.

So, now the discussion question: What role does the finish of the guitar play in your decision-making?
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:58 PM
PastorSteve PastorSteve is offline
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I believe, more than I would openly admit. I have a couple of bursts and love them although I wouldn't have too many. I prefer gloss on the top but I'm flexible on the back/sides. The finish influences my appreciation of the overall appearance after my ears appreciate the tone.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:09 PM
GuitarLight GuitarLight is offline
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My favorite is a burst color guitar also. There is something warm and interesting about them. They are sort of like eye candy to me just looking at them, and on stage they are noticed very well. Even just playing by a camp fire, everyone comments MORE on my burst guitars, than my other plain guitars, which in many cases cost much more, and sound better! It often seems that when people like what they see, they are more prone to like what they hear! Hey, every little bit helps right?!
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:15 PM
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bozz_2006 bozz_2006 is offline
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I am not a fan of the standard "Martin-type" burst. Too much dark for me. But their Amberburst; mmmmmmmmmmm......
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:38 PM
Bax Burgess Bax Burgess is offline
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Passing through Mississippi one time, I stopped in a smallish town to do some laundry. Outside the laundromat was sitting a crusty old bird, playing some Blues licks, his beat up parlor sporting a mottled burst. More strange was that the skin of his arm was sticking to its body, as if its surface were tacky. While we chatted, he noticed my looking. 'See this beautiful amber coloring?', he asked. 'It's real honey. Makes me play better when I can actually taste my licks!' Folks look at me strange when I tell this story, but c'est la vie.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:42 PM
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bozz_2006 bozz_2006 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bax Burgess View Post
Passing through Mississippi one time, I stopped in a smallish town to do some laundry. Outside the laundromat was sitting a crusty old bird, playing some Blues licks, his beat up parlor sporting a mottled burst. More strange was that the skin of his arm was sticking to its body, as if its surface were tacky. While we chatted, he noticed my looking. 'See this beautiful amber coloring?', he asked. 'It's real honey. Makes me play better when I can actually taste my licks!' Folks look at me strange when I tell this story, but c'est la vie.
AWESOME story! A little creepy, but if we're gonna call a spade a spade, I think all of us here are probably at least one click off. Lol
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:51 PM
GB... GB... is offline
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Hello NP...please put me in your "burst lovers" group....wish they made more this way...
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:06 AM
DaveKell DaveKell is offline
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I recently acquired a luthier build cedar top/hog dread with a sound sent down for Heaven. The finish is natural wood and is actually a bit dull for my taste. I tracked down the luthier and learned he uses 'violin varnish" to finish his guitars and mandos. Just enough thin coats to have an overall even appearance. I started a thread about whether or not refinishing this guitar with a modern type gloss finish would possibly compromise its to die for tone qualities. Based on the responses I got, I'm learning to ascribe the dull patches of finish as being mojo and wouldn't dream of disturbing whatever it is that is working so fine with this guitar.
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:11 AM
HHP HHP is offline
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I like dark finishes. I have two very nice sunbursts but if I could pick one, I like a spruce top stained mahogany like the old D-19's.
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:33 AM
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I like burst, and even black finishes too, but I'm always a little suspicious that maybe that dark finish is there to hide something...especially those all black ones. Call me paranoid.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:09 AM
NoPicks NoPicks is offline
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Not a huge fan of bursts on acoustic guitars, but I do like the "Gibson style" tobacco sunbursts on certain instruments. Personally, I don't care for the bright yellow/red cherrybursts at all, but the yellow/brown aesthetic definitely works for me even if there's a little bit of red toner in there. Not a fan of the standard Martin burst pattern/color scheme. Hard to put my finger on exactly why, but it's probably the edges-only spray pattern more than the choice of colors

Here's an example of the burst top version of my #1 performance flat-top: an Epi Masterbilt EF-500RAV. I have the natural top version of this guitar but would trade for a RAVS like this one in a heartbeat as long as the tone was at least as good as the one I have now

Great guitars IME, and on this particular model the burst pattern and color scheme really looks good. The black outside edges really set off the abalone purfling in a way that a natural top can't quite match



Quote:
Originally Posted by GuitarLight View Post
Even just playing by a camp fire, everyone comments MORE on my burst guitars, than my other plain guitars, which in many cases cost much more, and sound better! It often seems that when people like what they see, they are more prone to like what they hear!
Yep. I've noticed this many times, myself. To many non-musicians, it seems like natural finishes are very ordinary and nothing to get excited about but sunbursts are "special" regardless of the tonal merits of the guitar itself
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:20 AM
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I have to admit the look of a guitar often is the first thing that attracts me to it. If I have an opportunity to play a number of the same model, obviously I'll buy the one that sounds and feels the best to me whether natural, painted or a burst. I currently have only one burst finish on a jumbo. Everything else is natural. It's just the way things worked out for what I currently have.

I also have to admit I'm not a fan of black guitars, though I have one.

Given a choice, I would only have sunburst finishes. My Gibson LP is honeyburst and I feel like that finish translates really well onto any guitar I could imagine.
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:33 AM
chadly chadly is offline
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To answer your question:
The finish of a guitar has no impact on my decision making. I think of all instruments as tools. The important aesthetics are aural. Decisions about a guitar are based on playability and sound.

Regards, Chad
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  #14  
Old 12-01-2012, 11:35 AM
Neal Pert Neal Pert is offline
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I wonder if it's because I've spent my life playing drums-- an instrument for which even the smallest companies have an impossible array of finishes.
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  #15  
Old 12-01-2012, 11:41 AM
ataylor ataylor is offline
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I'm partial to sunbursts and mahogany tops. I've got a beautiful sunburst on the way (Fairbanks F-35) and I really want a Martin -- either a D-18 in shaded/ambertone top or a 00/000 15 series.

Got the plain spruce top covered with my trusty Taylor 210 (the ones from 6-7 years ago when they were pretty much a DN3 with matte varnish finish!)
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