what brands of guitars are finished with nitrocellulose lacquer

If you’re a guitar enthusiast or a musician looking to invest in a high-quality instrument, you may have come across the term “nitrocellulose lacquer.” Nitrocellulose lacquer is a type of finish commonly used on guitars to provide a protective coating while enhancing their appearance. While many brands offer guitars with various finishes, only a few select companies choose to use nitrocellulose lacquer due to its unique properties and vintage appeal.

Benefits of Nitrocellulose Lacquer

Before delving into which guitar brands utilize nitrocellulose lacquer, it’s important to understand the benefits it offers. Nitrocellulose lacquer is highly regarded among guitar enthusiasts for several reasons:

  • Enhanced tonal qualities: Nitrocellulose lacquer is known for its thin and breathable nature, allowing the wood to resonate more freely. This can result in improved sustain, richer tones, and more harmonic complexity.
  • Excellent aging properties: As nitrocellulose lacquer ages, it develops a beautiful patina and natural wear, giving guitars a vintage, relic-like appearance. Many players appreciate the character and personality that this aging process brings.
  • Repairability: Nitrocellulose lacquer is relatively easy to repair and touch up. Small scratches and dings can often be buffed out or filled in without requiring a complete refinish.
  • Handcrafted tradition: Nitrocellulose lacquer finish is often associated with traditional craftsmanship and high-end instruments. Its use adds a touch of authenticity and prestige to guitars.

Guitar Brands Utilizing Nitrocellulose Lacquer

While not an exhaustive list, the following guitar brands are well-known for producing instruments finished with nitrocellulose lacquer:

BrandExample Models
FenderStratocaster, Telecaster, Jazzmaster
GibsonLes Paul, SG, ES-335
PRSCustom 24, McCarty, SE models
Rickenbacker330, 360, 4003
GretschDuo Jet, White Falcon, Country Gentleman

It’s worth noting that the use of nitrocellulose lacquer can vary even within these brands. Some guitar models may utilize this type of finish exclusively, while others may offer it as an option alongside alternative finishes such as polyurethane or polyester.

Other Considerations

When deciding on a guitar with a nitrocellulose lacquer finish, it’s important to consider a few factors:

  1. Price range: Guitars finished with nitrocellulose lacquer tend to be on the higher end of the price spectrum due to the additional craftsmanship involved. Consider your budget and explore models within your price range.
  2. Maintenance and care: Nitrocellulose lacquer is more delicate compared to other finishes such as polyurethane. It can be susceptible to scratches, dings, and chemical reactions with certain substances. Proper care and maintenance are crucial to preserve its appearance.
  3. Personal preference: While nitrocellulose lacquer offers unique tonal and aesthetic qualities, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. It’s essential to try out different guitars and finishes to determine what suits your playing style and preferences best.

Exploring Nitrocellulose Lacquer

As you delve into the world of guitars, understanding the different finishes available is crucial. Nitrocellulose lacquer provides a vintage charm and tonal enhancement that appeals to many players. Whether you choose a classic Fender Stratocaster or an iconic Gibson Les Paul, the use of nitrocellulose lacquer adds a touch of refinement and tradition to your instrument.