Norlin era laquer vs 90’s vs current

Discussion in 'Norlin Years' started by Heppe, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. Heppe

    Heppe Senior Member

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    Hello,

    I have two Norlin era Gibsons, one from 95 and a few from the 2010’s

    Have Gibson changed the composition of the laquer over the years or have the formula been consistent?

    As an example my white 1976 Explorer has not yellowed as much as my white 1995 V hence the question.


    Regards
    Henrik


    64FC0C4E-91ED-4B0E-ADF7-DBBE7C351055.jpeg 11C044DD-CC4A-4FAF-8722-67B4C4C8EE4A.jpeg 1EFC6FCC-E7F1-45F1-A601-0FF67C47B3FA.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  2. jcm800

    jcm800 Member

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    My 82 and 90 are dark solid colors so I couldn't tell as far as the yellowing goes.

    My 90 is starting to check in the same areas as the 82.....headstock, base of neck, edge of body

    It's just not as pronounced, being 8 years newer. I'd say it's the same formula in that era.

    I
     
  3. 1981 LPC

    1981 LPC Senior Member

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    Norlin era ended in 1986...
     
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  4. dspelman

    dspelman Senior Member

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    There's a chance that the formulae have changed from year to year, but I haven't seen anything but random anecdotal evidence that would suggest anything definable going on. I have Gibsons from every 10-year period from 1949 up to 2009, and I really don't see a commonality that would make a difference.
     
  5. jcm800

    jcm800 Member

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    I was referring to the Norlin / 90's.....;)
     
  6. Heppe

    Heppe Senior Member

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    Thanks for the info

    There is actully no checking at all on any of my Gibsons even the two from 76 and 78

    Henrik
     
  7. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    The formula has probably changed so many times as to have lost count. I'm sure companies back in the day weren't so much of a slave to the current trend of consistent 'upgrades' to sell you the latest and greatest, but the changing environmental regulations over the period would have made for a great number of changes.....some that even Gibson would not have been aware of I'm sure.

    But all of this doesn't even begin to cover the most important effect in lacquer ageing......where the guitar was played, how much, smoke exposure....UV exposure.....temperature changes....humidity changes. These by far will have a greater affect than any nitro formulation.
     
  8. kakerlak

    kakerlak Senior Member

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    This is a good answer and, anecdotally, I've seen plenty of totally yellowed-out white '70s-'90s Gibsons and lots of newer ones that certainly seem to be headed in that direction. I think the tendency for clear lacquer to yellow is pretty near universal across any differences in formulations, regardless of resistance to checking, etc. Like ARandall said, differences in where/how the guitar was stored and played account for the variation from guitar-to-guitar. Your two examples look pretty darned close, color-wise, to me and both are fairly un-yellowed. However you've been keeping, using, cleaning, them, etc. is doing a good job of inhibiting the yellowing process.
     
  9. PierM

    PierM Certified Naysayer Premium Member

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    That ES custom I bought last year its yellowing at the speed of the light;

    [​IMG]
     
  10. davestp1

    davestp1 Senior Member

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    The binding on my 78 bb custom is a medium yellow while my 92 black standard looks the same as when it left the factory
     
  11. Progrocker111

    Progrocker111 Senior Member

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    I would say from my observations that there must have been a significant change in approx. 1971/1972, cause since 1972 the classical finish checking and "spider lines" from late 60s are much more scarce, nearly non-existent and the finishes have kinda more plastic feeling, so they perhaps changed the formula with added plasticizers. :hmm:
     
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  12. moreles

    moreles Senior Member

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    A lot of guitar historians make the blanket claim that the newer general formulations of nitro used on guitars have had increasing % of plasticizers in the formulation, relative to past mixes, in order to resist cracking and checking. The story goes that this reflects an effort to minimize warranty claims for checking. I hear this everywhere, repeated as truth. It is really is true, then more modern nitro would be somewhat less ideal acoustically, while having the crack-resistant quality that plasticizers provide.
     
  13. LPPILOT

    LPPILOT Senior Member

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    The formula seems more stable the past era from 71 or so on . i see less checking . Also , the thickness applied may have something to do with it or the type of paint underneath .
     
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  14. efstop

    efstop Gold Supporter

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    Wouldn't plasticizers in the lacquer be better acoustically (as long as the layer is still very thin) because the finish would rise and fall with the wood, instead of the wood being damped by a harder, dried finish? On the other hand, it might only matter on an acoustic. I don't believe the finish on a solid body make one whit of difference because IMO there isn't enough mass in the finish to affect overall tone. If you believe in tone woods, of course :D
     
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  15. ARandall

    ARandall Senior Member

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    The surface doesn't rise and fall. The whole vibrates as one. Anything that moves independently of the whole is a source of energy loss.
    Guitars are an energy system......they are not merely a 1 way loss of energy (as in once it exits the strings its gone) as many seem only to be able to conceive it as.
     
  16. danny

    danny Senior Member

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    I dont want to bring you down but !!!!!
    I think both the 95 and the 2000's are not norlins acording to this , I would say vintage but who knows !!!! read this and get you own answers I though tha the norlin era finish in 1985 !!!!

    http://www.mylespaul.com/threads/faq-norlin-history.38456/
     
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  17. Heppe

    Heppe Senior Member

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    Danny, sorry my post might have been a bit unclear

    What I meant was I have a variety of Gibsons from the different times mentioned

    Two of which are from the 70’s, LP from 78 and Explorer from 76

    The V is a 95 and the rest are from 2012-2016
     
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  18. tjdjr1

    tjdjr1 Member

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    My 2016 traditional seems to have more fine scratches already vs my 78 deluxe and 80 standard. For me it seems the newer finish is softer than the older one.. my 2 cents.. My 2017 SG still remains pretty clean haven't had it out to may gigs yet.
     
  19. mudface

    mudface Non-Deadbeat/Non-Prominent Double Platinum Supporter Premium Member

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    I don’t think that Gibson has a choice in what the formula is when they purchase the lacquer they use. Gibson does not warrant or guarantee the finish on their guitars. The manufacturer of the nitro changed their formula to fit a variety of uses besides a finish on guitars. I’m sure that Gibson is more concerned with quality and ease of application and the fastest drying and curing time. These are the specifications that Gibson may require from the lacquer they purchase. After all they’re about production. This is just my common sense opinion.:)
     
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  20. elephantrider

    elephantrider Senior Member

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    my 75 is very faded, but there is almost zero checking, fwiw...
     

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