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RE: Is French Polish more fragile???   You are logged in as Guest
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Sean

Posts: 672
Joined: Jan. 20 2011
From: Canada

RE: Is French Polish more fragile??? (in reply to britguy

Ya I hear that gomalaca brand is impossible to find anymore Anders, you must have the last batch of it so you should charge double for those guitars

Naturalness may be overrated, a guitar in the white doesn't sound as good as a well finished one. A bad FP just doesn't look pretty, a bad Nitro sounds like someone stuffed their dirty laundry into the soundhole. The common mistake in FP is not usually a too thick finish but not getting layers down, half the time unintentionally removing finish. I would not worry about a nitro guitar sounding bad from a top notch maker like Devoe or John S it's more the overly cautious makers that leave it on too thick because they don't want to burn through sanding, buffing and have to refinish it. It may be the lazy or inexperienced applicators that give Nitro its bad wrap. I do prefer FP it's healthier for me and I like the process of adding layers, Nitro seems backwards to me but is more durable.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 22 2011 3:20:12
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: Is French Polish more fragile??? (in reply to Sean

I dont know if I can hear a difference between a good FP and Nitro finish.. But Nitro is very tough for the health and besides it´ll impossible to get at least here in Europe within a very short time because of health issues. Its already impossible to buy the brands from the USA.
So I guess we´ll have to stick with FP.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 22 2011 8:57:31
 
gbv1158

 

Posts: 409
Joined: May 29 2009
From: Italy

RE: Is French Polish more fragile??? (in reply to Patrick

quote:



quote:

in other words the sound loses its "naturalness"



How in the world can you prove that? You can't

Vicente and Paco don’t seem to mind when they play their lacquer DeVoe’s.


.....years ago when I planned a theater ...... the expert acoustic engineer showed me how even the air density changes the sound !....

….unfortunately Paco or Vicente can’t cange the laws of physics! :-)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 22 2011 17:41:43

lohan

Posts: 56
Joined: Nov. 29 2020
 

RE: Is French Polish more fragile??? (in reply to Sean

I am really confused..

A french polish guitar needs lots of cares and i prefer to have a lacquer guitar. but most people say that a french polish guitar has a better sound. Is it really a big advantage compare with lacquer?

what about if I have a guitar with back & side lacquer and top (soundboard) french polish!!?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 18 2021 18:19:54
 
Plazoleño

 

Posts: 22
Joined: Oct. 16 2017
 

RE: Is French Polish more fragile??? (in reply to Sean

Definitively laquer

French polish scratch just watching it, and laquer sound better
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 19 2021 8:43:22
 
Echi

 

Posts: 939
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Is French Polish more fragile??? (in reply to Sean

I think this has been discussed other times.
The point made by Anders is still valid here in Europe with regards of individual makers doing the all the building stages. To set a safe environment to spray nitro finish is often not worthy the effort. Also nitro is extremely unstable.
The reason why in Spain nitro is still an option is that many makers outsource the varnishing stage to someone else specialised and therefore you can get your guitar professionally polished.
Nitro finish is usually thinner than acrylic or polyurethane.

In terms of sound the general consent is that what matters the most is a thin protective layer. The thinner the better.
Shellac has many drawbacks but for sure is thin.Some advantages of shellac are the beauty, the historical value and the fact that it's an easy finish to retouch.
I had guitars originally finished with nitro and then re-finished with shellac and viceversa.
Differences are minimal but in my experience: shellac goes for a slightly more open sound, with more overtones, while nitro goes for a slightly more focused sound, particularly on the trebles. I for one prefer shellac.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 19 2021 12:20:47
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13003
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Is French Polish more fragile??? (in reply to lohan

quote:

ORIGINAL: lohan

I am really confused..

A french polish guitar needs lots of cares and i prefer to have a lacquer guitar. but most people say that a french polish guitar has a better sound. Is it really a big advantage compare with lacquer?

what about if I have a guitar with back & side lacquer and top (soundboard) french polish!!?


I believe French polish is a technique of putting on finish, so some people say that but they mean the type of material used as finish. The same material can also be sprayed on (shellac for example). So in the end any guitar will sound “better” if you strip all the finish off. What matters is how thickly it is applied. Obviously the French polish technique runs the risk of being too thin (as I usually see especially on the back of necks with otherwise beautiful guitars full of all these little scratches everywhere) and conversely the spray can be done too thick (as we often see these lovely shiny guitars that sound muted or muffled). THe goldilocks scenario is a thick shiny application of plastic to the back of the neck, a medium thick nitro on back and sides, and thin shellac French Polish for the soundboard. That is not very practical in reality but you get the idea. So I would not worry too much about it, even guitars with too thick finish can open up soundwise when played aggressively. I have seen it happen with the cheapest thick plastic finish guitars. Vice versa just because a guitar is French polished so thin if you sneeze it gets a scratch from dust moving, doesn’t guarantee the guitar is in it’s optimal finished state of existence.

As a personal example, my 1973 Sobrinos de Esteso I bought used came with a clear nitro sprayed over top of the old original finish to preserve whatever was left of it, for looks reasons. While it looks great and plays pretty good, I can tell the added finish is muting or covering the true voice the guitar once had. Whenever I play or make recordings with the guitar, everybody praises it’s “warmth” and tone.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 20 2021 18:53:43
 
Echi

 

Posts: 939
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Is French Polish more fragile??? (in reply to Sean

French polish is a technique of padding with a muneca but it’s generally used as synonym with shellac or a spirit based finish applied this way.
For what I have seen it’s extremely rare a nitro finish that thick to muddle the tone of an instrument. If this was the case (but I doubt) you may have it melted and done again properly.
I recently had one of mi guitar (varnished with nitro) professionally refinished with nitro. The job was done in Madrid by the varnisher who works for Conde. The job was just perfect and the guitar didn’t loose a bit of his tone or pulsacion.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 21 2021 17:27:08
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