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Cheap nitrocellulose?


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What gives here? The Fender Stratocastor Highway One, is a budget guitar made in USA but featuring nitrocellulose finish;


The new pickups on the Highway One Stratocaster guitar produce a more round tone that can sound glassy and great with high gain. The thin nitrocellulose lacquer finish lets the body wood's natural tone shine through, making for one of the most exciting new instruments in the Fender family!


I thought that nitrocellulose was this incredible difficult finish to apply according to Gibson and now it shows up on the low cost line of Fenders....


I haven't seen one of the Highway Ones so I can't say what the finish looks like. Anyone got any info??? Thanks.

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A bolt on neck Fender is much cheaper and easier to manufacture than a set neck Gibson.


Especially when you're talking about binding and other intricate finish work such as inlays.


The Gibson has many inlaid logos while the Fender is silkscreened.


See what I'm getting at? The Gibsons are usually just fancier.


Fenders are a great value an I like the sound.

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last I heard, it was a thin layer of nitro over poly. It's not a buffed/polished layer of nitro, and it's probably only a few coats, as opposed to the many that go onto a gloss gibson. It's kinda like the "faded" finish on the lower end Gibson guitars. Also with a fender guitar they can just spray the body before it is assembled at all, so no masking is required and it's a lot less time consuming.

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I don't think nitro is expensive per se, it's how they lay it that's expensive. I think a glossy nitro finish is more labor intensive than shooting it with poly. But for the satin type finish they are going for it's harder to replicate with poly.


The Highway one I saw was a pretty guitar and the finish was nicer and thicker looking than that of the fadeds. It also had a glossier, smoother appearance.

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The Highway One series is exactly relevant to why Gibson shouldn't be charging more than $600 for the Faded series. They're no-frills as hell, like a H1, and with the cheapa$$ half-finish it makes no sense to charge so much for so little.


Although I saw two gloss-finish SG Specials in "Wine Red" (AKA: much closer to what "HERITAGE" CHERRY should look like) for about $200 more, and it would be a no-brainer which I would go for. When the Fadeds were under $600, they were a "good deal", but for $800 or more? Nope.



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Everyone always suggests playing these things before you buy but I still think it's worth the gamble to go for a Standard on eBay for around a grand. There's some really great deals out there and with a little-bit-o-luck, you may land yourself a very high quality guitar for a very reasonable price!


Said it before but since the old forum was squashed, I'l say it again.

Bought my last 5 guitars on eBay and was 100% satisfied with each and every one of them.

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I don't think nitro is expensive per se' date=' it's how they lay it that's expensive.

I think a glossy nitro finish is more labor intensive than shooting it with poly. [/quote']




Satin finish is easy and cheap.

Spray it and let it dry, assemble the guitar after minimal buffing.

Labor costs are a fraction of what it costs to finish a gloss Gibson of ANY kind.


It's ALL marketing, trying to steal some of Gibson's thunder on their horrid satin finishes.

"If you're thinking of buying a cheap-*** Gibson, then look at our Fenders....."


Highway one is a great American guitar for the money, only the finish is different from the standard Strat.


Well, that and the big headstock.


I bought two Hwy. 1 necks on Ebay to build these Strats, going for sort of a 70's vibe in a new Strat.

Lotsa mods in these homebuilt babes, turned out to be killer guitars!

Bought the pristine American bodies on Ebay, the natural one is Ash.





Fender Dove P-90's .................................................... Fender Tele Deluxe humbuckers


Both guitars have Gibson pots and selector, Schaller/Fender logo locking tuners, American trem, etc.

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Because there's no Fender Strat section.






Yeah, TBone...

I found out those humbuckers (from the Tele Deluxe reissue) were made in the USA despite the guitar being from Mexico. Seeing the cost on real deal vintage ones I decided to take a chance on new ones.


I always wanted an original Tele Deluxe but I ain't paying $2,500 for a good one.

Hate that stupid bullet truss rod.


That's why I built the Strat.

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I wonder if any of the boutique pickup makers do a Wide Range copy. I think they had special magnets and it was a hybrid design meant to sound more like a single coil pickup. It was also designed by Seth lover, which makes it kinda sad that fender won't make them the way they used to be made.


Anyway, another thing to think about with Nitro: it is an evaporative finish that takes a while to dry, even between coats I believe. That's a lot of time and labor. With UV-cured poly, you just spray it and zap it and it is onto buffing.

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Regarding Nitrocellulose Finish, from the Gibson website;


Applying a nitrocellulose finish to any Gibson guitar is one of the most labor-intensive elements of the guitar-making process. A properly applied nitro finish requires extensive man hours, several evenly applied coats, and an exorbitant amount of drying time.


But this fact has never swayed Gibson into changing this time-tested method, employed ever since the first Gibson guitar was swathed with lacquer back in 1894.



For starters, a nitro finish dries to a much thinner coat than a polyurethane finish, which means there is less interference with the natural vibration of the instrument, allowing for a purer tone.


A nitro finish is also a softer finish, which makes it easily repairable. You can touch up a scratch or ding on a nitro finish, but you can’t do the same on a poly finish.


In addition, a nitro finish is very porous in nature, and actually gets thinner over time. It does not “seal” wood in an airtight shell—as a poly finish does—and allows the wood to breathe and age properly.

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