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FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Why do Fender's reissue sunbursts look so dull?

Mike the marksman

Kansas City, MO

Sep 11th, 2018 01:48 PM   Edit   Profile  

50s and 60s sunbursts look so vibrant and colorful, while their reissue bursts just look like burnt orange abruptly transitioning into black (or burnt orange into slightly darker burnt orange into black for "3-tone" burst)

What did Fender do differently back then to make them look so much better, and why can't they do it today on the reissues?

(This message was last edited by Mike the marksman at 04:29 PM, Sep 11th, 2018)

Peegoo
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Head down, ears back

Headed for the bar
Sep 11th, 2018 02:01 PM   Edit   Profile  

I think it's because Fender used to use a transparent dye ("shader") in their lacquer, and it was hand applied which created a smoother transition between color shades.

These days, it's opaque UV-cured paint or catalyzed epoxy, probably applied by a machine. Cheaper and faster to do.

Hammond101
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So. Cal. USA

Sep 11th, 2018 03:02 PM   Edit   Profile  

The paint process it one of the things you don't get to see on a Fender factory tour.

Peegoo
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Head down, ears back

Headed for the bar
Sep 11th, 2018 03:25 PM   Edit   Profile  

"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

RufusTeleStrat
Contributing Member

San Diego

Land of Sea, home of the Waves
Sep 11th, 2018 04:21 PM   Edit   Profile  

On the AVRI the Eric Johnson and the new AO series the finish is more transparent on the older models like the 50s, and the 60s were more translucent. This was because Leo went to a finish that allowed the use of wood with more streaks and imperfections compared to the wood used before.
R

The link is to photos of my sunburst ones I have had over the years. These are just the reissue ones which they tried to recreate the old finishes.

Finish difference photos

Achase4u
Contributing Member
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U.S. - Virginia

Sep 20th, 2018 10:08 PM   Edit   Profile  

"I think it's because Fender used to use a transparent dye ("shader") in their lacquer, and it was hand applied which created a smoother transition between color shades.

These days, it's opaque UV-cured paint or catalyzed epoxy, probably applied by a machine. Cheaper and faster to do."

This is true according to some sources I've heard from.

That's how they did it at a boutique builder I used to work at. And the bursts looked like this(see link)


Also FWIW, lacquer formulas have changed drastically in recent decades. Much more environmentally friendly. More plasticizers. I just painted a guitar last year with one of the major nitro makers lacquer, and it never polished up or got as hard as the older stuff even from 10 years ago. It looks like an epoxy finish or a bowling ball.

Another boutique guitar maker I know says they went through yet another change in regulations and formula. He now has his lacquer custom made in a lab.

There are certain things that just won't be again, unfortunately.

Sunburst, hand applied yellow dye.

(This message was last edited by Achase4u at 12:09 AM, Sep 21st, 2018)

Achase4u
Contributing Member
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U.S. - Virginia

Sep 20th, 2018 10:19 PM   Edit   Profile  

Another burst from around the same time 2006-2007 from the same place.

Seamrog Strat

Peegoo
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Tiki torches

at twilight
Sep 21st, 2018 04:38 PM   Edit   Profile  

THAT is how a burst is supposed to look.

It should look like colored water, not colored milk.

Achase4u
Contributing Member
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U.S. - Virginia

Sep 22nd, 2018 05:21 PM   Edit   Profile  

"THAT is how a burst is supposed to look.

It should look like colored water, not colored milk."

Ed-Zachary!

I guess some 60s bursts had the canary yellow finish, but for the more iconic early original bursts, they should look IMO like these pictures show.

Leftee
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VA

Sep 22nd, 2018 05:41 PM   Edit   Profile  

Those are awesome examples.

Mike the marksman

Kansas City, MO

Sep 26th, 2018 08:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've been playing with the idea of building a '58, three-tone sunburst strat clone for a couple years. Who sprays the most authentic looking pre-CBS sunbursts?

Achase4u
Contributing Member
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U.S. - Virginia

Sep 26th, 2018 10:19 AM   Edit   Profile  

Pat Murray at Coop guitars has been a finish expert for a long time on pre cbs and cbs Fenders. Not sure if he paints outside his production work but it's worth asking if he'll do an NOS job for you. I have one of his T style guitars. He did an aged Tele burst a-la 1959 that looks amazingly accurate to me.

FDP Forum / Fender Guitars: Stratocasters / Why do Fender's reissue sunbursts look so dull?




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