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LC220S - is it nitro finished?

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:27 pm
by trubolp
i've found on the internet that "LC-200 has lacquer finish over poly". i imagine current LC220S is pretty much the same thing, so I wonder whether that's true that tokai use poly finish underneath that nitro?

Re: LC220S - is it nitro finished?

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:53 pm
by Paladin2019
trubolp wrote:i've found on the internet that "LC-200 has lacquer finish over poly". i imagine current LC220S is pretty much the same thing, so I wonder whether that's true that tokai use poly finish underneath that nitro?
Yes, they've used this method on several high end models over the years. They do a thin 'undercoat' of poly to bypass having to do the first few coats of nitro that are just absorbed into the wood. Then they top it up with the nitro lacquer.

It saves the cost of several coats of nitro without adversely affecting the final look or feel.

They don't do this on all their 'nitro' models, most of them nowadays are pure nitro due to customer demand.

Re: LC220S - is it nitro finished?

Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:32 am
by trubolp
Paladin2019 wrote:They don't do this on all their 'nitro' models, most of them nowadays are pure nitro due to customer demand.
thank you very much for the info, Paladin! i wonder how you guys know that kind of info? :)

is there a way to find out for sure whether they did this on LC220S that was made in 2018?

alternatively, is it possible to tell that by having guitar in person?

Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:06 pm
by Paladin2019
The 2016 catalogue lists the LC210S as having a lacquer finish, the same term as used on the top of the line LS340. I would say therefore that it has a pure nitro finish.

Any test that you could do on the hybrid finish - sight, smell, feel, chemical reaction - would tell you you're dealing with nitro. In my experience even ageing and damage patterns are similar (although mine are pretty well looked after, and a sample of 1 is not exactly definitive science!)

Posted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:41 pm
by trubolp
i've just checked older catalogues where it's listed as LC195S, and it says "Lacquer finish", like on higher-end models as well. that means catalogue is of no help :).
so I wonder how you know about the whole poly+nitro deal then? :)

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:56 am
by Paladin2019
trubolp wrote: so I wonder how you know about the whole poly+nitro deal then? :)
I own an early '00s LS-200, which in the catalogue is listed as having "Finish = lacquer finish" while the next model up was listed as simply "Finish = lacquer", so there is a distinction in the specs even though it's not obvious what it means (although it makes sense when you know the context).

Mine has been examined by a couple of luthiers who know a lot more about that sort of thing than I ever will and they knew exactly what the deal was and had seen it done elsewhere. The explanation I gave above comes from them. :)

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:47 pm
by trubolp
Thank you very much for the info, man!

Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:34 pm
by aroomstudios
I own a good amount of FGN (Fujigen) and History (also Fujigen) guitars. I have a 2011 History GH-LCV which is their top of the line LP ever. It is probably one of the best LPs I have ever seen, Plus all my Tokais. Most of them (the new FGN and History) are top coat lacquer. Which is what you said a thin coat of poly with Lacquer on top of it. But from what I have heard (in Japan lacquer is almost always acrylic and not nitro at least these days) it is acrylic lacquer and not nitrocellulose lacquer. FGN (Fujigen) is a very high end MIJ company like Tokai. I cannot say this for sure but I would guess they do things the same way. What is the difference from acrylic lacquer and nitrocellulose lacquer. I have heard acrylic is actually harder to do (putting on the final cost requires the sprayer to have more skill than doing nitro, from what I have heard) and costs more money. They both have a very similar feel to them. Is one better or worse? I have no idea. But from what I have researched they are slightly different from each other.

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:50 am
by villager
actually the AH is the top of the line ever... and they were a bit mental...

http://s13.photobucket.com/user/general ... t=3&page=1

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:43 pm
by aroomstudios
Yeah, I have seen those on YJ and places like that before. Those are not in their catalog though right? At least not the ones I have seen. Those are just the GH models with custom woods and stuff like that right? The one you posted looks like a GH LSV just with the custom wood, custom PU covers and so on.

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:58 pm
by villager
its the AH model, or Limited Edition, they did a tele LP and a couple of others.. I believe there was a separate catalogue for them . here is some info..

https://www.shimamura.co.jp/originalbra ... imited.pdf

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:38 pm
by aroomstudios
Those are just a bit too over the top. I think I am happy with my GH highend of the normal catalog LP.

Posted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:41 am
by villager
I agree they are a bit too mad..
lovely... but mad.. :)

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:27 pm
by Diamond
I know the current Tokais are nitro because a friend/tech sprayed one with compressed air aerosols which freezes the nitro and checks it...it won't work on poly.