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DRC

Careful where you place your guitar during the day

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I always have my J-35 near the desk in my home office on a mini Fender acoustic stand during the day. It's to my right since there's no room to my left, and facing two small windows. I've been doing this for years with all of my guitars, and recently got the J-35 a few months ago and has become my main guitar, so has been exclusively by my side in the office during the day. I put the guitar in the case each night when I go to bed, and last night as I was cleaning it up a bit, I noticed a very delineated light rectangular area on the back that left me scratching my head as to the cause. There is also a thin, lighter vertical area extending down the middle of the back from the larger rectangular area. Then it hit me. It's from the guitar facing the windows day after day on that mini stand, and sure enough... when placing the guitar in the stand this morning, the lighter areas fit the outline of the stand that has been blocking light to those areas. So the light from the windows has been darkening the finish over time, and the stand has been blocking out a very particular area as can been seen in the photos. Since the back wood is so figured, it's not a huge deal, but I'm wondering if allowing it to sit in the same area without the stand...maybe rest it against my file cabinet... the back will eventually even itself out as it continues to darken. The odd thing is, in all the years I've been doing this, it's never happened to any other guitar, some of which were subjected to the same physicality for a much longer period of time, and it's only been the J-35, and in a very short period of time. Here are some photos.

 

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I made a wall mounted stand for the living room to hold my Telecaster up on the wall in a playing position. Looked cool and got lots of comments. Over the years the exposed parts of the body got darker than those parts not exposed to light. And I don't mean direct light either! Even the back, which was mainly up against the wall, got darker except for the part cradled in the rack. I did away with the wall mount a few years back.

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Weird!

 

A word of caution... I laid my beloved Martin D28 down on a nice hotel carpet because I was sitting on the floor, playing for my girlfriend. Left it there overnight. Bad move. Something in that carpet reacted with the finish. I was scared but I was able to use some polish and elbow grease and I finally got it to look normal again.

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I scored several free wall hangers when a local music store went out of business. I hung some guitars on the wall in my studio...BIG MISTAKE. There was a horrible crash and a mint tele is not mint anymore. One crushed edge, and several good sized chips out of the once pristeen finish. The weight of the tele was too much for the wall. The hanger's screw slipped right out of the wall. End of story. [scared]

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I notice that the back guitar stand brace, which makes contact with the back of your guitar, is made of rubber or soft plastic of some sort..... BEWARE!.... And CAUTION! ...Rubber products of any kind which make prolonged contact with many lacquer guitar finishes will SURELY damage it. It appears the mark I see on the back of your guitar is precisely where the rubber back brace touches the lacquer back. While sunlight will fade guitar finishes, and sometimes darken them...RUBBER products, and plastics of ANY KIND making direct, prolonged, or repeated contact will not be good for your finish. This is generally NOT TRUE for poly finishes...but for lacquer, this kind of contact must be avoided at all costs. You may wish to lay a clean soft cotton piece of material ..just .drape it over the contact points on the stand..this includes bottom contacts where the base of the guitar rests. And keep it out of direct sunlight..this should solve the problem from worsening. The mark may also fade or blend in time since it is not overly severe as of yet. ...But you should know that if it continues to make repeated contact with the rubber on the guitar stand..it will for certain become a permanent mark which damages the delicate lacquer finish. Good luck..it's a beautiful guitar!

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Thanks for all your helpful comments...but hated to hear about wall hangers failing and carpets causing finish issues. I'll take a slightly discolored spot on the back over my guitar crashing to the floor any day! I'll probably end up just putting it in the case when I'm not playing it...just to be safe. We live and learn....hopefully.

 

DC

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Thanks for all your helpful comments...but hated to hear about wall hangers failing and carpets causing finish issues. I'll take a slightly discolored spot on the back over my guitar crashing to the floor any day! I'll probably end up just putting it in the case when I'm not playing it...just to be safe. We live and learn....hopefully.

 

DC

Just drape an old (clean) t-shirt over the stand.

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Thanks for all your helpful comments...but hated to hear about wall hangers failing and carpets causing finish issues. I'll take a slightly discolored spot on the back over my guitar crashing to the floor any day! I'll probably end up just putting it in the case when I'm not playing it...just to be safe. We live and learn....hopefully.

 

DC

Carpet cleaner, rubber foam, light and oxygene are unfriendly to guitars. Storing them in dedicated cases is the best thing in my opinion. [thumbup]

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All good points and pre-cautions stated above. I would like to add another possibility in the case of DRC's J35. Perhaps Gibson has changed the color dye or nitro/blend and that NOW makes the finish more susceptible to light exposure??? You know how manufacturers can never leave "well enough" alone? The J35 is a relatively new model trying to hit a price point. They may have "cheaped- out" on the finish! ....Call me crazy....BUT [glare]....he did say that this 'shadowing' happened fairly fast on THIS guitar....

 

 

....and as Cap sez....Case is BEST!

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I can see that the back has definitely become slightly darker than the sides, so it appears the window exposure is affecting the finish as much or more than the rubber pad on the stand. Sides and back were once the same. I actually like the darker shade on the back, so now just need to figure out how to get the sides to that level. :)

 

Like retrorod, I'm wondering if Gibson has altered the dye and/or nitro blend. I've had my D-41 and OM-16 (both nitro) on this same stand in the same location, each for a MUCH, MUCH longer overall period of time than the J-35 with no adverse issues like this. Like the J-35, the OM-16 is solid hog back/sides and there's no difference in finish color/tone depth after nine years. I've used these types of stands on stage when performing, Irish sessions, band rehearsals, etc for about four years and have never seen any kind of discoloration or similar issues on the backs of any of my other nitro guitars, including some not listed in my sig that were sold.

 

DC

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A properly installed wall hanger is not going to pull out of a wall.

 

Buy a stud finder and learn how to use it, pre-drill a hole for your screw and you can tell if you have hit wood or not.

 

I had an ES-335 and Strat hanging for years on a Hercules wall hanger with no problems.

 

I think this tan line issue could be a combo of sun and the rubber reacting to the finish. Hang that beauty on a Hercules wall hanger and call it a day, the closing arms when the guitar hanger has weight on it are pure genius.

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Looks like light to me IMHO anyway. The reaction with rubber, foam, etc. is usually a softening or pitting of the finish in the contact area.

 

For me, unless it's my cheape player (my Epi Dove or Epi Bird) they all live in their cases for just that reason. Nat. guitars suntan a lot and any finish that has red (or mixed with red to achieve) in it may lighten up as red is the most sun submittable dye/color with light.

 

I'm with Dan on the T-shirt on the contact areas even with my Hercules stands for a shorter period of time (just cuz I want to be safe than sorry with the nitro guitars).

 

When I purchased my Gibson Dove a couple of years back, I did leave it on the stand in indirect east light exposure to the nat finished soundboard side. Wanted a little "honey colored" suntan look and a little cream color to the binding. Just a touch mind you on both and it did the trick just right. Light will really effect things.

 

Aster

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...

Nat. guitars suntan a lot and any finish that has red (or mixed with red to achieve) in it may lighten up as red is the most sun submittable dye/color with light.

...

When I purchased my Gibson Dove a couple of years back, I did leave it on the stand in indirect east light exposure to the nat finished soundboard side. Wanted a little "honey colored" suntan look and a little cream color to the binding. Just a touch mind you on both and it did the trick just right. Light will really effect things.

 

Aster

As you described correctly, even natural finishes will darken. I think aging of the clear varnish component is the main reason for white guitars changing to off-white or yellowish. Apart from others, in particular red ones, typical white pigments as such won't change with time due to light or oxygene.

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Years ago I used to put my guitars on stands in the hall to admire them...

BIG MISTAKE!

The air is very dry here in my appartememt and the instruments suffered badly...

Now I hold all my guitars in the cases day and night and two or tree humidifiers inside every case.

The guitar cases are all in the corridor (there are 8 cases now there)

Luckily my woman doesn't yell at me about that

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Thanks again for all the input and personal experiences. I must say that in 40+ years of playing, touring, playing clubs, and owning more guitars with nitro finish over the years than I care to admit, this has never been an issue with any guitar/stand combination. Or... at least I never noticed it until now. :) The J-35 finish appears to be very sensitive, so it will remain in the case when not being played. I'd hate to think what will happen to the finish when my band plays festivals and other outdoor events. This has happened so relatively quickly, I'm now wondering if the top will darken around the outline of my right arm when playing outdoors. Ha!

 

DC

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I know what you mean about that. When I get stuck during a design or layout I'm doing, sometimes I'll play one of mine at the office to just not think about the project anymore. I clear my head, step back bunches from the job, and the answers pop right into the empty space.

 

Towner, You may have something on the "conflict of interest" that Fender stand wields. I do believe in a neutral stand that favors no one but is a friend to all. The mighty Hercules hasn't done me wrong yet.

 

Cappy, it's interesting that you have to "suntan" fine Cherry wood after you've got your woodworking project cut out. I don't think it looks like much until you do. Then, after a week or so laid out in the sun, the character of the grain really is outstanding. Then, with stain, the icing is on the cake for sure. I noticed the Spruce on my Natural decks really suntan to that beautiful/warm honey color soon. The grain then comes alive too. The clear nitro still really looks clear but I know it WOULD yellow some if you leave things out a long time. I had to suntan a Casino's white pickguard after I bought it. It had the Epi sales sticker on the guard hanging on the shelf at the store. After I removed it the spot under was white as snow and really stuck out. That was just from the Metal Halide lighting in the store (about like sunlight for UV content). I had to leave that in the sun for about 10 days till it colored the same as the rest of the pickguard. It did just fine.

 

Aster

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I know what you mean about that. When I get stuck during a design or layout I'm doing, sometimes I'll play one of mine at the office to just not think about the project anymore. I clear my head, step back bunches from the job, and the answers pop right into the empty space.

Sounds like we do the same thing....graphic design? And that's exactly why my guitar is nearby when I need to just sit back a look at a design or layout I'm working on for a bit. It always helps inspire. And sometimes I'll take a break and work on some music, search YouTube for trad Irish tunes to play along with, etc. At any rate, it's a positive diversion that makes my work life more enjoyable and as you say, helps clear the head. I'm busy and in the process of starting another business, but always find time for music. It's nice being self-employed. :)

 

DC

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I am still trying to get a handle on the bring the guitar to the office thing. I do not seem to even time for lunch these days.

 

Yeah, I feel ya [thumbup]

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Thanks again for all the input and personal experiences. I must say that in 40+ years of playing, touring, playing clubs, and owning more guitars with nitro finish over the years than I care to admit, this has never been an issue with any guitar/stand combination. Or... at least I never noticed it until now. :) The J-35 finish appears to be very sensitive, so it will remain in the case when not being played. I'd hate to think what will happen to the finish when my band plays festivals and other outdoor events. This has happened so relatively quickly, I'm now wondering if the top will darken around the outline of my right arm when playing outdoors. Ha!

 

DC

 

I can relate.... [thumbup]

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Sounds like we do the same thing....graphic design? It's nice being self-employed. :)

 

DC

 

Well, I engineer lighting & lighting control layouts (both commercial & residential) and have another company that I design all our home technology systems, home automation, whole house audio & video systems, home theaters (from an empty room to finished with curtains & all the trimmings). That type of design stuff. All the color changing LED gear, with automation is sometimes challenging esp. for larger commercial projects or outdoor buildings where you paint the building with color changing light.

 

SOMETIMES I like owning my businesses. If I was a young'n again if I'd do it all over again however. Business & regulations have changed so much it's just may not be for me esp. if you have employees. :(

 

Aster

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