Nitro or Poly?

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Joined: 01/31/22
Posts: 22

Evening all,

I have a question based on somthing I've been told.

My guitars are mainly hung on Hercules hangers unless I am away in which case they go in a hard case

A friend has told me that the hangers can effect the finish on guitars and after some research myself this does appear to be an issue with a nitro finish. [br][br]

I have a MIM strat, an Epi LP and a PRS SE Custom 24. I'm pretty sure the strat and LP are poly finished but I don't know about the PRS.

Please could you advise?

Many thanks


# 1
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Joined: 02/17/18
Posts: 1,422

PRS SE Custom models were made Korea up until 2019 when production of some SE Custom models was transferred to Cor-Tek Indonesia (Cort). Date of manufacture should reveal where yours was built.

I don't own a PRS so don't know if they have the origin stamped on the reverse side of the headstock or on a sticker on the reverse of the headstock as is common practice. Edit: the 2021 MII model does, belatedly sighted and confirmed in the vid linked in the final paragraph. If not indicated on the manufacturers (shipping) box label assuing you might still have it somewhere, there may even be a serial number legend online someone in a PRS fan forum can point you to which reveals DOM & POM info. [br][br]Regardless the build quality and segment step above the SE Standard, the Custom is still a part of PRS' budget line. Can't confirm definitively, but pretty sure neither Cort Korea nor Indonesia would be using a nitrocellulose finish on anything. It's a safe bet that if a manufacturer doesn't mention the finish material specifically as a feature, and here PRS don't, you can bet your life it's a contemporary polyurethane finish.[br][br]My own guitars spend their life on Hercules wall hangers when not on a floor stand. All polyurethane finished necks, satin and gloss. 4+ years on, no sign of reactive issues, nor would I expect there to be. However ....[br][br]N.B. FWIW I've read the same 'reactive with nitro finishes over time' complaint about the protective foam rubber compound material Hercules use on their guitar floor stands. [u]Hercules now include a warning note disclamer inside the box[/u] with those stands, (I know as I very recently bought two of them) so it would appear Hercules acknowledge the potential for reaction with their rubber bumper compound as = true. [br][br]The Hercules wall hangers I have (GSP38WB) deploy a visually similar compound on their retaining arms and back bumper which given the note now included with their floorstands suggests to me it would be unwise to use them for any guitar with a nitro finished neck. I've owned my Herc wall hangers now for over 4 years, but at the time they were purchased, there was no warning note included in any of their boxes.[br][br]P.S. Watch this 08/2021 vid. Shane demos the 2021 SE Custom 24 (on loan) here which he confirms is Made in Indonesia, but mentions, paraphrasing, he 'owns its Made in Korea SE Custom 24 predecessor and will offer a difference comparative later' in the vid. The 2021 version in this demo is obviously Polyurethane finished to my eyes.

# 2
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Joined: 03/12/16
Posts: 4

Good thing about Nitro it's easy to repair, and polish.  Rattle cans of insturment quality nitro can be had off of Amazon.  I've been doing my own necks now from Warmoth.  Get them raw with frets for under $200.  I level, crown the frets, and cut the nut.  Then I use the rattle cans to finish them.  I use mostly  maple necks so it's pretty easy.  It does take a lot of coats with sanding in between, but it dries very quickly.  I'll probably never buy a store bought guitar again.  My Gibson 339 I bought before they moved their Semi/ Hollow shop in Memphis to Michigan is the only guitar I own that has the playability of my hand done necks.  

BTW, I hang most of my guitars,  definitely the Gibsons for fear of a broken neck,  and keep just a few close by on stands, usually a Tele.  

# 3
john of MT
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Joined: 10/08/09
Posts: 1,381

It strikes me that if one is concerned about the finish of guitars one would neither hang nor keep the instruments on stands.

Just sayin'.


"It takes a lot of devotion and work, or maybe I should say play, because if you love it, that's what it amounts to. I haven't found any shortcuts, and I've been looking for a long time."
-- Chet Atkins
# 4