Help on Question about “modern”(2015-Present) Gibson Nitro Finish Aging and Wear

FuriousMopar1968

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Hello all, I recently got an R7 Gold Top from 2021 and love the way Gibsons (Supposedly) wear out, finish check, and in a GTs case oxidize green. So the question is do they still finish check like they used to or even rub through anymore?

I hear a lot of talk about plasticizer and thicker finishes so they don’t age naturally and what not, but does anyone have a “modern” Gibson that’s showing its age from heavy playing wear, checking, yellowing, or sweat erosion?

Also do the Gibson USA and Custom Shop finishes differ or play a role in these factors as well?

The main contributor to the this question is the fact that, if possible, I want to age it myself the old fashion way by playing the frets off of it, but I want to make sure my years of investment and effort aren’t in vain because I’m being sabotaged from the start due to a “fountain of youth” nitro haha. I greatly appreciate any and all input on this, thanks!
 

DanD

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Leave it out of the case. Allow the nitro to breath and off gas the plasticizers.

It’ll age (tho not green) like the older guitars.

I hear lots of people complain about the think finish and plasticizers. But I’ve left mine out of the case and the finish has thinned down far more quickly.

Exposure to the elements is key. Mine are all in Fender case stands and exposed to open air.

The necks lose that sticky feeling much quicker this way.

There are plenty here with modern Gibson’s that have aged naturally. Good luck!
 

FuriousMopar1968

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Leave it out of the case. Allow the nitro to breath and off gas the plasticizers.

It’ll age (tho not green) like the older guitars.

I hear lots of people complain about the think finish and plasticizers. But I’ve left mine out of the case and the finish has thinned down far more quickly.

Exposure to the elements is key. Mine are all in Fender case stands and exposed to open air.

The necks lose that sticky feeling much quicker this way.

There are plenty here with modern Gibson’s that have aged naturally. Good luck!
Thanks for the reply! Some great advice here!

However that’s a crying shame about the greening. I was told by the Gibson guys that they reintroduced the copper/bronze power to make the gold tops green/oxidize in the recent Historic's.

Thanks for the heads up on that, that would have driven me insane and was kinda the reason I chose to get the Custom Shop R7. May have trade for a 70’s one one of these days then.
 

DanD

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If Gibson went back to using bronze powder that’d be huge.

Problem with the bronze powder is it ruins spray guns and contaminates the spray booth with bronze flakes.

I’d think a company the size of Gibson could have a separate booth for spraying GTs.

But to my knowledge they have not done so.
 

FuriousMopar1968

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If Gibson went back to using bronze powder that’d be huge.

Problem with the bronze powder is it ruins spray guns and contaminates the spray booth with bronze flakes.

I’d think a company the size of Gibson could have a separate booth for spraying GTs.

But to my knowledge they have not done so.
That definitely takes a whole heap of wind out my sails with the R7. I’ll make a separate thread on this discussion and see if anyone has had any insider insight on this one in recent years or what was the last years for that bronze flaked nitro would have possibly been. Thanks, I greatly appreciate your input on this topic and the Advice for the checking!
 

ARandall

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If Gibson went back to using bronze powder that’d be huge.

Problem with the bronze powder is it ruins spray guns and contaminates the spray booth with bronze flakes.

I’d think a company the size of Gibson could have a separate booth for spraying GTs.

But to my knowledge they have not done so.
If you don't have a separate booth for any type of metallic then you'll have metallic particles in every other guitar you spray. So it doesn't matter if its real bronze or any other type of metallic.
 

CB91710

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Brand new R4... don't know if you can tell anything about the type of gold used or not.
Last year, Wildwood had a batch of GTs that were very green out of the box, perhaps that's what was being referred to when someone said that they would green up?

20220425_111337.jpg
 

FuriousMopar1968

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Brand new R4... don't know if you can tell anything about the type of gold used or not.
Last year, Wildwood had a batch of GTs that were very green out of the box, perhaps that's what was being referred to when someone said that they would green up?

View attachment 614720
I posted this on another thread I started but it definitely applies here too. Finally got some decent solid intel on the nitro wearing and gold top finishes directly from the source and figured its definitely worth sharing here too.

“I got a hold of someone with the Custom Shop and it turns out the finish they use is “The Most Vintage Accurate to Date” with Bronze Flakes in the Nitro among other details since it’s designed by Tom Murphy for the Reissue models. I was also told whether you liked it or not it’s gonna get that “Statue of Liberty” type of patina through its wear as that’s the nature of the beast. Lastly I asked if the more “brittle” Murphy Clear Coat Finish was featured on the NOS models of the reissue or just the “Murphy Labs” ones, and got an answer of “The Reissue Models in VOS are the same guitars he runs through his “Secret Relic Process” but obviously before he takes the razor or cold can to it. These models are the same through 2020-2022 and no significant changes have been made in between as of yet. So any of those years will feature the above supplied information directly from the Gibson Custom Shop.”

This is the kind of Greening we discussed about and confirmed was in store for the current GTs in the future.
DACB02EE-0DF0-4742-BF8E-002F41852FE6.jpeg
 

CB91710

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I posted this on another thread I started but it definitely applies here too. Finally got some decent solid intel on the nitro wearing and gold top finishes directly from the source and figured its definitely worth sharing here too.

“I got a hold of someone with the Custom Shop and it turns out the finish they use is “The Most Vintage Accurate to Date” with Bronze Flakes in the Nitro among other details since it’s designed by Tom Murphy for the Reissue models. I was also told whether you liked it or not it’s gonna get that “Statue of Liberty” type of patina through its wear as that’s the nature of the beast. Lastly I asked if the more “brittle” Murphy Clear Coat Finish was featured on the NOS models of the reissue or just the “Murphy Labs” ones, and got an answer of “The Reissue Models in VOS are the same guitars he runs through his “Secret Relic Process” but obviously before he takes the razor or cold can to it. These models are the same through 2020-2022 and no significant changes have been made in between as of yet. So any of those years will feature the above supplied information directly from the Gibson Custom Shop.”

This is the kind of Greening we discussed about and confirmed was in store for the current GTs in the future.
View attachment 615344
Simply beautiful....
While I'm not a fan of intentional relicing (and totally understand that it is extremely polarizing on the forums), THAT is what I would love to see happen to my R4 naturally.
Natural wear and finish deterioration is the character that comes with years of being someone's #1 or #2.
 

ARandall

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^ Given the general state of live band music nowadays its unlikely ever to happen to brand new guitars anymore......unless you're going out of your way to mistreat your guitar in order for that sort of wear to happen quicker in the course of gigging life.
 

FuriousMopar1968

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^ Given the general state of live band music nowadays its unlikely ever to happen to brand new guitars anymore......unless you're going out of your way to mistreat your guitar in order for that sort of wear to happen quicker in the course of gigging life.
I guess the main take away it that all the required elements to get a Gold Top to age that way are in the current models but now it’s just down to a astronomically large amount of play time on then to make it happen. As with the USA models with the Modern nitro blends will most likely Never age like that no matter how many year/decades beat into it.
 

ARandall

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Yeah.
Sweaty bars with beer being thrown everywhere, cigarette smoke, dodgy transport all over the country in the back of U-hauls.....its harder to get that sort of thing going on with modern music.
So in short what the formulation is becomes less important generally speaking unless you're going to try and induce wear rather than simply taking care of the instrument.

I've got a mix of bronze flakes in nitro left over from my last goldtop finish. The clear is a solid green colour as it has been in contact with air in the jar. That will be the top coat of my next 57 goldtop before I do clear.
 

Gpass1

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Hello all, I recently got an R7 Gold Top from 2021 and love the way Gibsons (Supposedly) wear out, finish check, and in a GTs case oxidize green. So the question is do they still finish check like they used to or even rub through anymore?

I hear a lot of talk about plasticizer and thicker finishes so they don’t age naturally and what not, but does anyone have a “modern” Gibson that’s showing its age from heavy playing wear, checking, yellowing, or sweat erosion?

Also do the Gibson USA and Custom Shop finishes differ or play a role in these factors as well?

The main contributor to the this question is the fact that, if possible, I want to age it myself the old fashion way by playing the frets off of it, but I want to make sure my years of investment and effort aren’t in vain because I’m being sabotaged from the start due to a “fountain of youth” nitro haha. I greatly appreciate any and all input on this, thanks!
My new Gold Top 50s Standard has a very thick finish on the back but the top seems thinner. It is nitro. I don’t think they are putting plasticizer in it. I freaking love this guitar.
 

FuriousMopar1968

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My new Gold Top 50s Standard has a very thick finish on the back but the top seems thinner. It is nitro. I don’t think they are putting plasticizer in it. I freaking love this guitar.
I can't say for certain what the USA models do for nitro but given the use of a more traditional Nitro in the Custom Shop its certainly seems possible for that less plasticized stuff to make its way into the USA shop, it's definitely a more desirable thing to have and they are in the same town after all these days.
 

ARandall

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My new Gold Top 50s Standard has a very thick finish on the back but the top seems thinner. It is nitro. I don’t think they are putting plasticizer in it. I freaking love this guitar.
Most if not all nitro has additives in it - especially USA factory level nitro. And even CS nitro has a lot by comparison to the dangerous stuff used in the 50's.
The back and sides of a Goldtop will always look thicker as you are seeing through every layer. The gold top section has a good portion of its depth being opaque.

And unless you actually know the precise brand of what Gibson uses and its precise formulation it is a little foolish to try and guess at that just based on its look. Even builders who have experience with various nitro types would not go so far.
 

FuriousMopar1968

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Most if not all nitro has additives in it - especially USA factory level nitro. And even CS nitro has a lot by comparison to the dangerous stuff used in the 50's.
The back and sides of a Goldtop will always look thicker as you are seeing through every layer. The gold top section has a good portion of its depth being opaque.

And unless you actually know the precise brand of what Gibson uses and its precise formulation it is a little foolish to try and guess at that just based on its look. Even builders who have experience with various nitro types would not go so far.
Yeah that’s why they like to use terms like “as close as legally possible” in context of the modern CS reissue finishes since the original formulas are most certainly outlawed for toxicity and other violations. Whatever Murphy did with the current mix did give it the nice checking quality and oxidizing abilities so that’s all that really matters to me.
 

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