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Kalo

 

Posts: 400
Joined: Jan. 25 2011
 

Color of Guitar 

Hi All,

I hope I am posting this question in the right section.

I am getting a guitar built in a couple of months!

I hope this isn't a stupid questions...

But...

Can someone tell me why some guitars look more orangy, or yellowish, and or white?

What makes them different colors...

Thanks,

Kalo
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 23 2012 18:03:47
 
Elie

Posts: 1837
Joined: Apr. 10 2010
 

RE: Color of Guitar (in reply to Kalo

im not pretty sure but isn't it the type of wood ? spruce or cedar etc ...

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 23 2012 19:52:21
 
El Kiko

Posts: 2697
Joined: Jun. 7 2010
From: The South Ireland

RE: Color of Guitar (in reply to Kalo

1...type of wood
2....type of finish on the wood , french polish , and how much of it etc...
3... the age of the wood ....
4...where the wood is from , differences between spuce eg from different countries due to climate ..


to say but a few things ,,also guitars can change colour gradually with age ......

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 23 2012 21:29:28
 
Sean

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

RE: Color of Guitar (in reply to Kalo

Some Spruce is very white when new but it can have red or pink streaks in it aging to a slight golden patina. Cedar can range from almost passing for Spruce to chocolate brown with pink and red in between. Since you mentioned orangy and yellowish I believe you're referring to tinted lacquer some makers spray on like Conde. If you're getting a french polished guitar those orange, reds and yellows that I think you're asking about don't apply, they're nitro lacquer colours only.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 23 2012 21:41:03

C. Vega

 

Posts: 379
Joined: Jan. 16 2004
 

RE: Color of Guitar (in reply to Kalo

I beg to differ.
The shellac used in French polishing can be, and often is, colored or tinted just like the lacquers, polyesters, polyurethanes, etc. used in guitar finishing. Shellac can be made to look very red, orange or whatever.
And shellac comes in a range of colors without the addition of tints, etc. depending on how much bleaching and other processing is done to it.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 23 2012 22:56:01
 
keith

Posts: 1108
Joined: Sep. 29 2009
From: Land of Daniel Boone

RE: Color of Guitar (in reply to Kalo

some companies use certain tints/colors as their personal stamp. the best example is conde and their traffic safety cone orange tint. manuel rodriquez makes a factory guitar to look like it was dragged through the dirt. charles vega is correct about shellac tints.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 23 2012 23:23:00
 
Kalo

 

Posts: 400
Joined: Jan. 25 2011
 

RE: Color of Guitar (in reply to Kalo

Thanks for everyone that has replied to my post...

I know this doesn't matter, but, I do not like the orange color on some flamenco guitar...

So, I was very curious as to why some looked more dark, orange, yellow, etc.

I should post another topic, but, does french polish effect the sound of the guitar?

Does anyone have a flamenco guitar in "matte" finish?

Thanks,

Kalo
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 24 2012 0:15:54
 
Shawn Brock

 

Posts: 271
Joined: Sep. 19 2011
From: Louisville KY

RE: Color of Guitar (in reply to Kalo

If French Polish affects the sound is somewhat a matter of opinion. Most, (or at least lots of us) will say yes. This is not to say that I haven't played great guitars which were lacquer finished, or would tell you to not get your guitar lacquer finished... There are some people like the renowned luthier Lester DeVoe who think that lacquer finishes don't have a negative affect on sound. I for one can't argue with Lester. Myself, I'll go with French polish any day though.

Lots of times the orange (Conde and others) guitars you see are lacquer finished. One of our great luthiers can step up and correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it would be hard to replicate that Conde orange look with French polish. It seems that with French polish you would end up with a more natural or "burnt" orange than that bright Conde look, but I'm by no means an expert on the subject.

As has been pointed out, you can get French polish which will come out with an orange, yellow, red or natural tint to it. It depends on the luthier's opinions on how many coats to use and so on. Also as has been pointed out, it also depends on the tint of the wood. My Castillo blanca is French polished, and its got a lot of red tinting in the finish. My Castillo negra has no color added to the French polish.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 24 2012 3:11:18
 
Shawn Brock

 

Posts: 271
Joined: Sep. 19 2011
From: Louisville KY

RE: Color of Guitar (in reply to Kalo

Oh, and yes, I have played flamencos which have a matte finish. Surely you don't want that do you? Sorry... LOL I don't know why I dislike matte finishes so much on acoustic guitars... If you want to know how a matte finish would look on a flamenco, just check out the new Yamahas. To me matte finishes look and feel kind of cheap, but that's just me. If you don't want a glossy look, I would say go with French polish, and tell the maker not to worry about buffing his or her arm off in the end. Lots of makers buff their guitars to hell and back because customers want a French polished guitar, but want to get a lot of the shininess of a lacquer guitar. There probably isn't a luthier in the world who wouldn't love to forgo a lot of that end buffing to try to make the guitar look like glass...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 24 2012 3:19:09
 
keith

Posts: 1108
Joined: Sep. 29 2009
From: Land of Daniel Boone

RE: Color of Guitar (in reply to Kalo

i second that on the matte finish but my experience is only with three guitars; one being a hoffner (the same company that gave us the famous bass guitar) which had some environmental poo slant, the yamaha (why they went matte i do not know) and a manuel rodriguez 3f that is made to look like it is 100 years old. all three are factory guitars and the rodriguez had the sound quality of a 100 year old school desk.

shawn, it would be easy to get a conde color with french polish. go to the home depot paint department.....just kidding.

the french polish vs lacquer has been discussed quite a bit at many forums. ramirez 3 was a big proponent of lacquer, other luthiers for french polish. some luthiers go for lacquer everywhere but the top. lots of pros and cons for both camps--assuming the lacquer is thin and not thick.

as for the application, lacquer is the hands down favorite for those who want liver cancer, respiratory aliments, neurological deficits, etc. it is nasty stuff and requires a lot of equipment to do the job correctly and without killing the sprayer.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 24 2012 7:48:12
 
machopicasso

 

Posts: 899
Joined: Nov. 27 2010
 

RE: Color of Guitar (in reply to keith

quote:

as for the application, lacquer is the hands down favorite for those who want liver cancer, respiratory aliments, neurological deficits, etc. it is nasty stuff and requires a lot of equipment to do the job correctly and without killing the sprayer.


Hold on. Can you elaborate? Is one of the differences between lacquer and French polish that the former, but not the latter, poses a substantial health threat?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 24 2012 10:22:18
 
keith

Posts: 1108
Joined: Sep. 29 2009
From: Land of Daniel Boone

RE: Color of Guitar (in reply to Kalo

Machopicasso:

from Chemistry Daily about nitrocellulose lacquer:

"Drawback of these lacquers include the hazardous nature of the solvent, which is flammable, volatile and toxic, and the hazards of nitrocellulose, which is also used to make explosives."

From Luthiers Mercantile:

"The main drawback of lacquer thinner solvent based finishing is the hazardous nature of the evaporating solvent itself. Intermittent exposure to the lacquer thinner vapors is a potential health risk, so it is necessary to wear a vapor mask, and to avoid skin and eye contact as well, when working with lacquer or lacquer thinner. Strong ventilation of the spray mist while spraying, and of the curing instrument after spraying, is a must. While most guitar builders prepare for, or accept, the space, equipment and safety requirements needed to spray lacquer effectively, there is a small but growing number of amateurs and professionals working to eliminate hazardous and toxic materials from their homes and shops. For these builders solvent-based lacquer is problematic."

also from Luthiers Mercantile

"The advantages of using French polish as a guitar finish are related to both the finish and the process. The beauty of the wood under this finish is undisputed, and it is generally regarded as the best finish for tone. Even with these accolades for the finish, the actual process, French polishing, has benefits for the maker. It is very “organic”, very personal and tactile. The finisher can watch the surface closely as he works and can minutely adjust material and method as the finish slowly builds and improves through multiple polishing sessions. This direct connection to and control of the results will certainly appeal to many craftsman. There is no equipment required, the materials are few and inexpensive, and the finishing can be done in a very limited space. The vapor and material are not hazardous or toxic, no need for air ventilation or face mask. This finish can easily be repaired or refreshed at any time. Additionally, shellac is used as a sealer or initial wash coat under any finish."
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 24 2012 12:28:41
 
Andy Culpepper

Posts: 2975
Joined: Mar. 30 2009
From: NY, USA

RE: Color of Guitar (in reply to Kalo

You can do a tinted finish with French polish. In my experience it's not super easy to get the color really even but I'm getting better at it. The guitar below is French polished. It also has a cedar top which is naturally darker.



Images are resized automatically to a maximum width of 800px

Attachment (1)

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 24 2012 12:36:52
 
Sean

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

RE: Color of Guitar (in reply to Kalo

Yes I'm aware shellac comes in different colours but they're hardly comparable to Conde orange or some of the arrest me reds on other brands like Sanchis.
Were talking about apples and oranges

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 24 2012 16:08:35
 
Kalo

 

Posts: 400
Joined: Jan. 25 2011
 

RE: Color of Guitar (in reply to Kalo

Hi All,

The information here is valuable....I enjoyed reading each and everyones response...

I still have LOTS to learn regarding flamenco guitars...

I am curious to this answer because in a couple of months will soon be having one built for me

I am thinking of going with a Cedar top blanca. I DID NOT want an ORANGE tint like a conde..

This is why I was curious as to different coloring...

Andy, that flamenco guitar you made is BEAUTIFUL and I am sure it plays and sounds AWESOME.

Thanks for all the responses!

Kalo
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 24 2012 16:23:25
 
Stephen Eden

 

Posts: 905
Joined: Apr. 12 2008
From: UK

RE: Color of Guitar (in reply to Kalo

You can colour french polish really easily with any alcohol soluable dye. So you can colour it anything you like I guess. Lot's of guitar makers colour there guitars usually a yellow colour though. Probably for that aged look. Reyes and Gerundino are two pretty famous guys who use french polish with dye's to get the desired colour.

If you are having a guitar built for you you should just ask the builder what/if any, colour is used at all. I prefer the natural colour and let time do its thing.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 25 2012 15:12:05
 
Kalo

 

Posts: 400
Joined: Jan. 25 2011
 

RE: Color of Guitar (in reply to Kalo

quote:

quote:

You can colour french polish really easily with any alcohol soluable dye. So you can colour it anything you like I guess. Lot's of guitar makers colour there guitars usually a yellow colour though. Probably for that aged look. Reyes and Gerundino are two pretty famous guys who use french polish with dye's to get the desired colour.

If you are having a guitar built for you you should just ask the builder what/if any, colour is used at all. I prefer the natural colour and let time do its thing.


Hi Seden,

I kind of like the yellowish look....However, natural would also be cool...In natural there is no color at all...

I am wondering how that would look via age...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 25 2012 16:21:46
 
Stephen Eden

 

Posts: 905
Joined: Apr. 12 2008
From: UK

RE: Color of Guitar (in reply to Kalo

That depends on how much sun light the guitar gets too. preferably indirect sunlight. I have a spruce cypress blanca that is really yellow that has gone that colour. I don't use cedar much so I can't remember if it gets darker or lighter.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date May 25 2012 16:55:08
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