Basstech

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May 22, 2019
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This bass came in the other day. It's an '05 MIA Sub. I've never seen a modern finish so badly broken down.

Is this a known issue with these?

Cheers.

Stingray Finish 1.jpg Stingray Finish 2.jpg Stingray Finish 3.jpg
 

kevins

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Someone probably tried cleaning it with alcohol or an alcohol based cleaner or naphtha.
Yeah you can see where some substance caused it to bubble up, an unstable poly finish will craze or crack when it shrinks with age, usually in a big spiderweb pattern, someone definitely put a substance on there that caused that to break apart and it looks like whatever cleaning implement they used took off the clear coat and added a sort of rough texture to the whole thing, but those chips are definitely from localized abrasions
 

Basstech

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Hmm... Yeah, maybe. It's all localised around the neck positions where the player obviously favoured.

Surely if someone rubbed some cleaning product on there, they would have done the whole neck, right?

Also, IME, modern finishes are resistant to alcohol. And I would think naphtha too. (Although we don't really use that here in Aus.) In the past, the two-pack polys I've tried to strip have even been resistant to methylene chloride paint stripper!

The (new) owner tells me it came down from Queensland, which is a tropical/subtropical part of Australia. He said also that the case was pretty buckled. I wonder if it's just been cooked in a hot car. The finish on the body is in good shape, but it is a completely different type of coating. It's that rough flat black stuff that looks a bit like bed-liner.

I'm from (Southern) Queensland originally myself, and I don't recall ever seeing anything as bad as this for a modern finish. (Although I've seen a lot of lacquer and shellac finishes that have gone this way.) The heat and humidity in northern Qld is relentless.

Anyway, I will refinish it, probably just in black stain, and Dainish oil.

Thanks for the replies. I'm glad it's not a common thing!
 

dave1812

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Looks like someone tried to relic the neck or maybe tried to remove the finish.
Afaik modern poly finishes are resistant to most chemicals.
 

bovinehost

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I've got a SUB from that same era and nothing like that is happening to mine.

I agree that someone tried something that didn't work out in their favour.
 

Billy Tennessee

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I have an old Sub1 guitar. The finish is very thin, it did start peeling and showing wood although not to this degree. But I did also play the living shit out of it. Eventually I could scratch through to the wood with my fingernail with ease. Recently ended up sanding the finish off completely. LOVE that guitar.
 

Basstech

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Being sprayed in California in the early 2000's I actually wondered if the finish was a 1st gen water-born coating. These days water-born systems are used virtually always in auto body finishing. And I assume it's the same with guitars. But back 15-20 years ago, the ones I tried were pretty hopeless if I'm honest...
 

danny-79

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Definitely had a hard life, as others have said that’s either heat or a chemical reaction (or both) that’s caused most of that, the rest just use.
It’s a perfect opportunity to strip it then oil and wax it. My favourite neck finish. After it’s sanded you could always stain it black before applying the oil ?
 

five7

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I had one do that because of rubbing alcohol. Went ahead and removed the paint and finished the neck with oil and wax.
 

Basstech

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I had one do that because of rubbing alcohol
Interesting... was it a California made bass from the early 2000's?


I wonder if it is actually a water based finish. Alcohol/ethanol will break down most domestic water based paints and varnishes.

These days, water based industrial and automotive coatings are very chemically resistant, but back in the late 90's/ early 2000's, much less so...
 

Basstech

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Thanks again for all the replies. I ended up stripping, staining and refinishing the neck. I like to mix my own Tru Oil / Danish Oil. I find these products are too shiny when yu build a few layers, so I like to use matt poly. I also like to double up the amount of poly in the mix too give it a bit more durability.

Here's a video I made about it.

 
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