Relicing On Thin Skins

Discussion of newer designs, copies and reissue offset-waist instruments.
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SMBlack
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Relicing On Thin Skins

Post by SMBlack » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:50 am

So according to Lee Anderton, Fender says the AO series is nitro over poly. I imagine that means they won’t really wear down or look aged. I would never buy a fake relic but I love the look of a well worn JM like Nel’s Watt JM, J Mascis’ main 1959 with black pickup covers and purple knobs, or pretty much all of Thurston’s. So I’m wondering about a Thin Skin (I want 9.5/6105 so I don’t want an AV65). I’m looking at either CFM or FMS but metallics usually are sprayed on quite a bit thicker usually out of necessity to make the metal flakes 3D looking and uniform. I know the AV65s had the very thin flash coat finish but how thin are the metallic finishes on the Thin Skins? Will they actually wear and check and chip eventually? I think a well worn CFM with a Spitfire burgundy speckled would look killer.

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Re: Relicing On Thin Skins

Post by N0_Camping4U » Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:57 pm

It sounds like you're after a more periodically correct nitro, perhaps looking into Danocaster/MJT/Other builders to spec it out how you'd like? You will likely be in for about the same amount of money. Perhaps less depending the builder you went with. Just a suggestion if you were exploring options.
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Re: Relicing On Thin Skins

Post by Despot » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:29 am

I had one of the old run thin skins for a while - a CAR Jazzmaster. This was pre-AV65s and the later run of thin skins with D&B boards.

There were a couple of things about that thin skin that I loved - the red was a far darker/deeper shade than on the AVs that released shortly afterwards - I like both (bright/lively red and deep/wine red), but it's worth mentioning.

What I do remember about that guitar was that the finish did mark up more than the AVRIs I'd used - but it wasn't as light/fragile as the AV65 I had at the time (I had an Aztec Gold AV65). I'd say it was somewhere in between.

I've owned a few vintage Fender custom colour offsets - mostly Jaguars. The '65 LPB Jaguar had quite thin paint (probably the same as the AV65), whereas by '67 the paint had gotten about the same thickness as the '62 Thin Skin.

My only offset at the minute is a 1962 sunburst Jazzmaster - which has thicker paint than the '65 LPB Jaguar had. I'd guess that one of those '62 Thin Skins would wear down like my sunburst JM ... but over time. The AVs wear very quickly if you're not babying them - even my AV, which was babied, had some dings and dints within a few months. I honestly can't even remember it getting any knocks!

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Re: Relicing On Thin Skins

Post by guitarsammy » Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:17 am

Despot wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:29 am
I've owned a few vintage Fender custom colour offsets - mostly Jaguars. The '65 LPB Jaguar had quite thin paint (probably the same as the AV65), whereas by '67 the paint had gotten about the same thickness as the '62 Thin Skin.
Interesting you say that. Prior to the 2012 AV update, people complained a lot online that the finish on the old AVRI line wasn't "vintage accurate" because it didn't ding easily, wear, check, etc.

The guitars from 2012 onwards seemed to address this, but then people complained that they wore too easily. So Fender can't really seem to win here. Now they'e gone the other way, and people are complaining again.

So it sounds like you think the delicate nature of the AV65 finish was actually pretty vintage accurate when you compare it with the genuine vintage '65 LPB Jaguar you had?

One thing I wasn't too sure about with the newer AVs was that when I look at photos online of vintage fenders, where they wear away, you tend to see a primer coat (usually white) underneath the finish. The post 2012 AVs don't seem to have this primer coat, and neither did the Orange KO Marr Jag that I had, which doesn't seem very accurate.

I suspect a lot of dealers weren't too keen on the post 2012 guitars. I saw several that had many dings on them for sale brand new in shops. Presumably customers had managed to damage them when trying them out.

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Re: Relicing On Thin Skins

Post by Despot » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:03 am

There's a whole thread on here about primer/fullerplast written by the former OSG user called ... Fullerplast (still miss you on here Doug).

Basically after a certain year (and before CBS - I forget when off the top of my head) the wood bodies were sealed with fullerplast ... which is a primer that's not nitro. I forget exactly what it's made of - but it's not nitro and is closer to poly.

My Jazzmaster is worn down to the wood on the back and forearm contour (and chipped in a few places too - but wear is more interesting for this I think). I can see bare wood, the three colours of the sunburst on the forearm contour (black, red and yellow), as well as another colour that's not the yellow of the sunburst ... which I'm guessing is the primer. It's translucent too as I can see the grain through it.

In my experience vintage nitro varied from year to year with manufacturers. Gibson are a great example - I've had Gibsons with original nitro finishes from 1957 all the way up to 1976 (let's leave this to pre-1980 for the sake of the argument). The interwebz suggests that these were always nitro finishes, never poly. That's consistent with the wear I've seen on these guitars - poly chunks off leaving hard edges - poly can wear off smooth, or it can sort of chunk off too leaving behind fractal edged paint/lacquer lines. However, the line between wood/paint, even where there's a visual hard edge, is smooth.

My ES345 (1962) has an entirely matt finish. It appears to have sunk into the wood. It's been played hard over the years (practically no finish left on the neck) so I doubt it was polished to this condition. It appears to be the type of nitro and how it wore - there's also practically no checking ... it's just sunk into the wood grain.

My ES330 is from 1962 ... but I suspect later. It's top has checked in the most spectacular fashion, and while there is some wear down to the wood on the forearm top area, the pain appears to be a lot thicker than on my ES345.

Move into 1965 and a Polaris White SG Junior. The paint here is extremely thick - there's one chip that's down to the wood and the paint is easily thicker than '70s Fender poly finishes. I'm putting this down to the need to build up coats to hide the wood grain.

I had another '65 (another ES330) - it was thinner as a cherry sunburst finish. Lots of checking but not a huge amount of thickness to the finish.

Now that I think of it ... wood grain finishes seem to be thinner - the ES330s, ES345, SG Custom - various 1970 ES models I've had. Thinner than that SG Junior in white.

What I do notice is how the paint wears on Gibsons instead of Fenders. Fender necks in particular wear smoother than Gibson. You will see a more gradual wear between the bare wood and remaining lacquer. Gibson necks rarely wear like this - you usually get that fractal pattern between bare wood and lacquer that I've mentioned.

I guess the TL;DR of this post is that lacquer varied ... even in vintage. Wear varied and depends on how the guitar was used. I don't think people necessarily started out looking to have their guitars worn and abused ... it just happened as a consequence of being a gigging musician. The ES345 is a case in point - I'm the second owner of that guitar. The original owner, despite it's serious wear to the body and neck, adored that guitar. He took good care of it as it was his livelihood as a musician. The fact that it's worn to all hell reflects the fact that it was used every night for years on end.

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Re: Relicing On Thin Skins

Post by takeittothemall » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:20 pm

guitarsammy wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:17 am
Despot wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:29 am
I've owned a few vintage Fender custom colour offsets - mostly Jaguars. The '65 LPB Jaguar had quite thin paint (probably the same as the AV65), whereas by '67 the paint had gotten about the same thickness as the '62 Thin Skin.
Interesting you say that. Prior to the 2012 AV update, people complained a lot online that the finish on the old AVRI line wasn't "vintage accurate" because it didn't ding easily, wear, check, etc.

The guitars from 2012 onwards seemed to address this, but then people complained that they wore too easily. So Fender can't really seem to win here. Now they'e gone the other way, and people are complaining again.
I think there is a way for Fender to meet expectations here. AVRI's were too thick and essentially felt like poly. Some guitars within the AV series are too thin as to be fragile--which I still strongly prefer over the AVRI line. I have a 2007 Thin Skin Strat in Sherwood Green. It's perfect.

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Re: Relicing On Thin Skins

Post by SMBlack » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:31 pm

The Sherwood green TS Strat looks amazing. On the new American Original line, it’s supposedly a poly undercoat followed by nitro over that. That would be pretty consistent with vintage Fenders starting from when they began using Fullerplast. I don’t mind if the finish isn’t fragile. It’s ok if it takes years to wear in as long as it’s not like poly where it still looks shiny in 30 years. Time will tell I suppose

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Re: Relicing On Thin Skins

Post by clef051 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:48 pm

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Here is my 57 avri strat i believe its a 98. Showing some wear and yellowing were a sticker use to be.

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Re: Relicing On Thin Skins

Post by clef051 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:49 pm

takeittothemall wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:20 pm
guitarsammy wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:17 am
Despot wrote:
Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:29 am
I've owned a few vintage Fender custom colour offsets - mostly Jaguars. The '65 LPB Jaguar had quite thin paint (probably the same as the AV65), whereas by '67 the paint had gotten about the same thickness as the '62 Thin Skin.
Interesting you say that. Prior to the 2012 AV update, people complained a lot online that the finish on the old AVRI line wasn't "vintage accurate" because it didn't ding easily, wear, check, etc.

The guitars from 2012 onwards seemed to address this, but then people complained that they wore too easily. So Fender can't really seem to win here. Now they'e gone the other way, and people are complaining again.
I think there is a way for Fender to meet expectations here. AVRI's were too thick and essentially felt like poly. Some guitars within the AV series are too thin as to be fragile--which I still strongly prefer over the AVRI line. I have a 2007 Thin Skin Strat in Sherwood Green. It's perfect.

Image
nice looking strat

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Re: Relicing On Thin Skins

Post by spacecadet » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:21 am

I have a FMS AV65 and I can't imagine Fender does that color any different on the Thin Skins. I guess it's possible, but it's such an uncommon finish that it just seems like a lot of effort to change it for no real benefit. On my AV65, the finish feels paper thin. Definitely the thinnest finish on any guitar in my house, including other nitro finished guitars. I don't use it much, though, so it's not showing any real wear, although I do have some permanent dark marks on the neck from a guitar hanger that happened very quickly when I first got it :'(

I have an AVRI JM as well, which is nitro over poly, and while the finish definitely feels (and to some extent looks) thicker than the AV65, it actually looks fairly worn for the amount that I play. I don't gig anymore and mainly just noodle around the house these days, but that guitar is all scratched up, and dulled in general from all the microscratches on the top coat. The dullness could probably be brought back with some polish, but I kind of like it that way. But it definitely has some deeper scratches too, and once I did a test with my fingernail to see if I could scratch it that way (because it seemed very fragile) and I actually left a big dent in it. So it is a very soft finish.

I'd say the AV65 feels like an eggshell over the guitar, whereas the AVRI feels like it's covered in saran wrap. One's tough in the same way the other's fragile, and vice versa.

The vintage pre-fullerplast Fenders I've played have all felt like the finish had either sunken into the wood or somewhat evaporated. It's not just that it rubs off, because this effect is all over the guitar. No new finish is going to feel like that, and I think it's hard to predict if any of them will actually age like that (but the AV65's, including the AV65-based Thin Skins, probably have a good chance of it). I do have a 1966 Mustang that I think probably has a fullerplast undercoat, and that finish is definitely still sitting on top of the undercoat. The AVRI's might age something like my Mustang has, although it seems like they won't ever check the same way.

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Re: Relicing On Thin Skins

Post by SMBlack » Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:08 pm

FMS is amazing. At first I was only looking at CFM but FMS...sort of like a metallic duochrome version of Daphne blue or something. Kinda blue/silver that really shines and looks 3D at different angles. I love the classic look of a sunburst on an AO but the thin paint and these colors are making me lean Thin Skin. The quality is supposed to be really decent on the Thin Skins in general from what I’ve heard.

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Re: Relicing On Thin Skins

Post by spacecadet » Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:38 pm

FMS is a beautiful color. It's the main reason I still have mine, because I just don't like playing my AV65 as much as my other JM's (for one, I'm not as big a fan of chunky necks as I thought I was). But it's hard to part with a guitar that looks like this:

Image

The Thin Skins do look *slightly* different, but I think the body and headstock should be the same. It's just the plastic bits that are a different color, and the fretboard wood is different too.

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Re: Relicing On Thin Skins

Post by SMBlack » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:17 am

Yeah I noticed the pickguard is darker on the Thin Skin. Didn’t know the fretboard was different though. They are both rosewood but is there a different species on one rather than the other?

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Re: Relicing On Thin Skins

Post by spacecadet » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:50 am

SMBlack wrote:
Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:17 am
Yeah I noticed the pickguard is darker on the Thin Skin. Didn’t know the fretboard was different though. They are both rosewood but is there a different species on one rather than the other?
I'm not sure. The AV65's definitely have a unique rosewood, and there was talk about it here at the time they were new but I can't find those threads anymore. (Just searching for "av65 rosewood" isn't very helpful, but I don't know what else to search for.) I have plenty of other guitars with rosewood and it is definitely a different species than any of them. It's got a very visually pronounced grain and dramatic differences between light and dark. It's also very dry and smooth, whereas the rosewood on my AVRI is oily but somewhat rough.

The Thin Skins at least appear in the pics I've seen to have a more traditional rosewood. More of a muted grain, darker, and they look a bit shiny to me, which seems more like my AVRI. That could just be the pics or the individual guitars I've seen pics of (not all AV65's have those light and dark streaks either), but I think probably it's just different rosewood.

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