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What's that smell?

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What is the smell of a new LP Standard? Is it the case or the nitro cellulose finish?


Rock On!



Nitro finish... I love it too.. Smells a bit like vanilla :)


the sweet sweet smell of a new guitar Hmmmmmmm


Enjoy it [thumbup]

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Guest farnsbarns

I find that 'Dulux' Magnolia emulsion smells like 'Bakewell tart'. Open a can and see.

Who loves the smell of Two stroke? Mmm....and tar! MMMM.


2 stroke? Yes, mmmm.


Castrol R burning in a vintage engine even but tar, as in melted *****umen? Yuk, one of the most unpleasant smells there is.

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Nitrocellulose is essentially odorless.


Yes O wise one...


It is the solvents that smell and are released over a long period


A mixture of ketone, alcohol and hydrocarbon


Hence the advent of the 'sniffer' in 20th century 'nose-ology'





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Guest farnsbarns

It's probably because I've worked in paint so long.


Takes all sorts. I have to admit that I like the smell of an overheating cpu, I think its the heat transfer paste between cpu and heat sink that smells nice.

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Without running a gas chromatograph on the volatiles from the guitar/case, it would be difficult to identify the odor. None of the possible solvents used to dissolve nitrocellulose either evaporate slowly enough to hang around in the guitar finish to contribute to the odor or have the characteristic "vanilla" or sweet odor described by those who report it.


There are three types of solvents that are typically used to dissolve nitrocellulose resin- esters, ketones, and alcohols (which are poor solvents for NC and are more aptly descried as diluents). Of all of those solvents, only a few of the ester-type solvents could be descibed as "sweet"- none have any resemblance to vanilla. Ethyl acetate is "sweet," but evaporates too quickly to hang around in cured lacquers or be used in significant quantites in spray applicators. Isoamyl acetate is also called "banana ester," and it is slow evaporating and can be used in NC lacquers. Acetone is not an unpleasing odor to me (ALL of the other ketone solvents smell awful and are in no way "sweet"), but it is the fastest evaporating of all of the solvents cited.


I just thought of an ester-type solvent that has been used to dissolve NC resin called ethyl lactate. Its odor is descibed as buttery, creamy, coconut. It has a boiling point and evaporation rate high enough and slow enough to keep spray nozzles open, and could be slow enough to linger in uncured NC lacquers/finishes.


Glues typically used in applications like guitar cases can contain 5 to 25% of a formaldehyde-type resin and starch resin. The odors from formaldehyde resins can vary, but their detection levels are very low, and in low concentrations have been described as "sweet."


Lignin is used as one of many flavoring agents to make artificial vanilla extract. It is found in wood. Could the odor described actually be coming from the guitar, itself?


As I said earlier, nitrocellulose is processed to the point where it is VERY low in odor.


I am familiar with the odors that have been reported because I've smelled them myself, and I am familiar with the odor of formaldehyde and formaldehyde resins used in adhesives. After considering all of these possibilites, my money is on the formaldehyde resin used in the glue from the case.

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