Does a goldtop sound different than an IDENTICAL LP with regular nitro?

bum

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Regular finish meaning a cherry burst or sunburst. The reason I ask is that I think that the goldtop is paint or some kind of colored lacquer different than the plain nitro finish of the 'regular' guitars. And I think this might sound different.

I know (or am convinced) that nitro finish guitars sound warmer than poly- finish guitars. I would really like to know if anyone has an opinion on goldtops (or black ones too, since that is paint also).
 

martin H

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I've read all of the responses in this thread. My conclusion is that there's a ton of moronic shitheads who own guitars out there.
or at least way too many people who spend way too much time reading about "tone" and constructing theories, instead of practicing and growing as musicians.
 

01GT Eibach

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or at least way too many people who spend way too much time reading about "tone" and constructing theories, instead of practicing and growing as musicians.
The whole purpose of this thread is to have an answer to the wife when she says, "You already have a nice Les Paul Standard sunburst. Why do you need a Gold Top too??".
 

cmjohnson

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A traditional ("Real") goldtop finish actually uses finely divided bronze metal powder as the gold colored layer. When it gets old enough, the finish cracks or wears away, and exposes the bronze to air and moisture, the bronze starts to corrode and turn green. Even if the finish is intact, eventually it starts to lose some of its original brilliant gold looks and tarnish, making it trend toward brown.

The goldtop finish is literally a layer of coarse bronze dust (or fine bronze powder, your choice) under a clear coat.

It's a layer of metal.

Definitely it's not like other finishes AT ALL due to that essential difference.
 

thewizardofaz

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I think you're right. And paint affects the vibration of the wood differently than nitro does. Or else it changes the way the vibrations are able to escape the wood into the air and go to your ear.

Thank you.
I have painted a goldtop guitar., actually two.. On one a powdered bronze in a can, then a clear coat. Second one was bronze already mixed. Bronze will change the sound the body has., regardless of pickups. Further shielding inside the cavities will too. Metal, powdered. sheets, all will change the sound.
 

mgenet

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I heard rumors this was a thread. But, like Cake, I figured
it was more like the Yeti appearing in the LA Hollywood hills.
 

rjwilson37

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I remember reading about this on a Google Search one time, that paint altered the tone a bit. I found it on the World Wide Web, so it must be true.

 
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ehb

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Ten Lesters made the same day by the same folks with identical models and identical paint....not a damn one of em will be exactly like another in tone content....

No two chunks of wood from the same tree are even identical... Just is...

Paint is just part of the deal... No possibility of attributing a damn thing solely to the paint, pickguard, bridge, gears, pickups, strap buttons, binding, cover plates, poker chip, inlays, board, nut, top cap sections, hog slab sections, neck sections, scarf joint or no, etc. etc. etc........
 

kevinabb

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>> Lacquer IS a porous finish, and a lot softer than poly, therefore is less constricting. Thus allowing the guitar to vibrate more freely, which affects it's overall tone. <<

One reason why older guitars sound even better is that they develop checking. This reduces the constriction of the vibrating wood in the same way that loosening your belt halfway through Thanksgiving dinner reduces the constriction of your breathing.

This is why it's advisable to have an experienced Luthier relic your Les Pauls. While artificial checking clearly won't be as advantageous as natural checking (for obvious reasons) any kind of checking provides some deconstriction, thus freeing the wood to vibrate more naturally.

Checking is more beneficial to goldtops than to sunbursts (again, common knowledge) because it allows the bronze ("gold") particles to vibrate out through the cracks, gradually removing the constricting weight of all that metal. This is similar to how the human body loses a tiny amount of weight at the moment of death, as the soul is released.
 

efstop

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IMO a finish does not have enough mass to restrict the vibrations of a 7 pound slab of wood.

Constricting weight of all that metal? How much leaks out of a crack? :laugh2: Have you logged the weight loss of something so... unmeasurable?

When you die, you release a final breath, which may contain moisture. It is certainly a tiny weight loss.
Note that "souls" are quite possibly covered under religion, which is a banned topic ;)
Checking is more beneficial to goldtops than to sunbursts (again, common knowledge) because it allows the bronze ("gold") particles to vibrate out through the cracks, gradually removing the constricting weight of all that metal. This is similar to how the human body loses a tiny amount of weight at the moment of death, as the soul is released.
 

kevinabb

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Note that "souls" are quite possibly covered under religion, which is a banned topic ;)
That's a good point. I suppose I should have used a more secular example, maybe like how the wood in an old television vibrates so freely when it hits the ground after being lobbed from the third-floor balcony of a Holiday Inn, thus developing finish cracks that are similar to checking.
 

benderb9

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for a zombie thread this is REALLY amusing. Love my LP Bullion but, never mind. The ressurector of this thread needed an excuse for his wife to be able to buy a gold top. I thought that was pretty funny, sorry OP no offense meant. Carry on.
 

Brazilnut

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I think there's a big difference. This post was to see if anyone else noticed it. A "luthier" once told me that there is a big difference between the sound of nitro and poly finish. He said it is one of the major differences between the tones of Epiphones and Gibsons.

Apparently covering your guitar with plastic makes it sound brighter than covering it with some coating that can "breathe" which sounds warmer, woodier, fuller, more open.
Painted a lot of guitars. Used urethane for a few, but mostly nitro. Biggest difference I noticed in the two coatings was, I got paid more for the nitro guitars.

Oh, and one of the two best-sounding SGs I ever owned was an Epiphone Elitist SG Standard. It was painted in poly. The other is a SG '61, and it's coated in nitro.
 

mudface

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IMO a finish does not have enough mass to restrict the vibrations of a 7 pound slab of wood.

Constricting weight of all that metal? How much leaks out of a crack? :laugh2: Have you logged the weight loss of something so... unmeasurable?

When you die, you release a final breath, which may contain moisture. It is certainly a tiny weight loss.
Note that "souls" are quite possibly covered under religion, which is a banned topic ;)
Because of this policy my "soul" is banned...... so don't blame me for being a asshole,...it's required.

:eek:
 

mudface

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That's a good point. I suppose I should have used a more secular example, maybe like how the wood in an old television vibrates so freely when it hits the ground after being lobbed from the third-floor balcony of a Holiday Inn, thus developing finish cracks that are similar to checking.

If you find a TV with a wood cabinet in your Hotel room,.... you are in room they rent by the Quarter Hour.
 

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