Would you buy a Gibson Les Paul with poly finish?

InTheEvening

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If it’s like the poly finish on my old Epi LP, then probably not. Great guitar but the thick poly made it look and feel almost like plastic and cheap. Pretty sure my other guitars are poly, like my Fender and Ibanez, and I don’t mind it on those but on the LP it just doesn’t feel right.
 

brokentoeswalker

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My brother plays guitar and has sweat that strips off nitro right in his hands so for some people the 2 finishes would definitely "feel" different.

I have both nitro and poly guitars and enjoy both. I also have guitars with only a stain finish and they are cool by me as well. I would buy a Gibson with any finish if the price was right and I liked how they played.
 

Guitarhack

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No poly for me. I just don't like the way it feels. I had a 70's strat that had a poly coat -you could probably blow torch that bitch and it wouldn't affect the finish.
 

Telechamp

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I've got a '96 Epi LP Standard Plus Top Honeyburst, and while it is a fantastic LP and I'll never sell it, the poly is pretty thick on this one..

Having said that, it plays and sounds great.







 

efstop

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A typical poly finish seems overly thick to me. All of my non-USA instruments have poly finishes. The Mexican Teles and the Indonesian Squires look good, though.
 

dro

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Coming from the auto painting industry.
If a car had the mils of paint that the average Les Paul has on it. It would need to be stripped before working on it.
Lacquer check is not only due to temperature variations but mil thickness as well. If you've ever seen a chipped Gibson finish. It's pretty extreme. Especially the gold tops. That's why they crack so bad. A Urethane Finish between 3 and 5 or 6 mils. Would hold up to most conditions. (cellophane wrapper on a cigarette package is 1 mil.)
But it won't let the guitar breath.
The tree was cut many years ago. It's dead already.
I've painted a few guitars. Did some with Lacquer. Some with Urethane . In the end I learned, I don't like to paint guitars.
 

rockstar232007

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Isn't the reason that nitro cracks because it doesn't move with the wood and is crstal hard? Well, old nitro anyway.

I'm not sure though why poly doesn't crack other than when there is an impact accident (or in the case of my one guitar binding off gassing).
Without getting too far into the chemistry of it all - lacquer never fully dries. It's kind of like "lava" in the sense that the outer most layer is actually harder, and more brittle than all subsequint layers due to it's exposure to the elements

This is why most checklines have raised edges, as the finish is moving/expanding/contracting with the wood, it's actually pushing/pulling against itself.
 

THAWK819

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My PRS (the one in my profile pic) has a poly finish and my LP has a nitro finish. I love playing them both and neither hear nor feel any differences between them that I would attribute to the finish.

So sure; I'd buy a poly LP if it sounded, played, and looked good.
 
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dmac in SC

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I have a poly finished G&L legacy (from Indonesia) that is as good a playing guitar as I have ever had. The finish on this thing feels like, and probably is, 1/8 inch thick,. Everybody who has ever picked up that guitar, including myself, has the same impression, which is "WOW".

I just love guitars...there is no need to second guess yourself
 

BDW60

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If they passed on the savings, I‘d consider it. It would have to be at least 25 percent cheaper than the nitro equivalent, maybe more, to make me consider it. A new poly finished Classic, for example for $1,299? Perhaps.
 

rockstar232007

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The long and the short of it is, Gibson's legacy is bound in tradition. Lacquer finishes are a huge part of said tradition, which sets them apart from many other companies. Hence, if Gibson started finishing their guitars with poly, then bye-bye tradition.
 

efstop

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Well, PRS is using nitro now, but they aren't a traditional builder aside from whatever Ted McCarty showed them.
 

Brek

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No, not that i have anything against it, but not on a gibson Les Paul.
 

moreles

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It's fun to rewad when people self-declare their own expertise, disparage others, and go on to condescend to the rest of us as easily-manipulated, myth-worshipping fools. In my world, expertise is self-evident in results, and posturing and pontificating, absent proof or results, are ignored. All I can contribute here is the fact-based observation that there is no single meaning to "poly," and ditto for "nitro." Anyone touching Fender polyester can feel and actually hear the "clack" of that hard finish (I rather like it); anyone working with polyurethanes knows that those products are wide-ranging, from thick and rubbery to very thin and hard. Nitro? Most "nitro" guitars have a few light coats of modern plasticized notro shot over various non-nitro undercoats. Modern nitro has different formulations; most rattle-can nitros are pretty heavy on plasticizers. Because of these variations, I find this whole conversartion pointless because it opposes two generalizations -- "poly" vs "nitro" -- that are meaningless at the level of actual builds and practice. And finally, whatever is said about a finish material is meaningless without specifying the level of buildup. A think buildup of a finish can have give that a thin layer will not. Personally, I think the two paradigm mass-produced finishes are Collings' super-thin nitro and PRS' super-thin catalyzed poly. Love them both.
 

ehb

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I don't much care as long as it's painted correctly...

It doesn't matter..... I'm not gonna take a longneck cap and scarf the bitch up not am I gonna work it real good with a church key....

Tote what floats your boat.... One is not better than the other nor is one worse than the other....One is just different than the other....


FTR: I don't care what the Zoot was painted with... but somebody needs to pay for that....
 


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