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FDP Forum / Fender Custom Shop / That smell...

Next 20 Messages  


Oct 18th, 2004 05:22 AM   Edit   Profile  

Y'know, the Fender Custom Shop has done a fantastic job of making replicas of the great instruments of their heritage, but the one thing that I have noticed that they have not "nailed" in their reproductions is the smell of the old lacquer used on the originals from the 50's. Anyone who has owned or cracked open the case of a "real" Fender from the 50's will know what I mean--I've often thought they should bottle the scent into a men's cologne and call it "Leo." Or maybe car "Air Fresheners" in the shape of old Strats or Teles??? At any rate, does anyone know if any effort was made by the CS to find out the type of lacquer used that creates that wonderful, unmistakable smell of an original Fender?

Gold Tone


Oct 18th, 2004 12:22 PM   Edit   Profile  

you're kidding right?

how far should they go!?!?

"Anyone know if they were able to get some hair from any of the 1954 employees? Occasionally a hair would fall of the head of an employee and land in the case. That is before Leo made them all wear hairnets. So that would be really great if they would reproduce that detail!!"



Southwest, USA

Oct 18th, 2004 03:37 PM   Edit   Profile  

More than likely the formula for the original paints and lacquers have long been banned by the EPA.



Oct 18th, 2004 08:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

I'm sure you're right about the EPA, Knucklehead. And with all due respect to my young Canadian friend, no, I was not kidding. There's nothing that will bring back a memory more vividly than a smell, and there ain't nothin' like the smell of the lacquer on an old Fender.

the riddler
Contributing Member

Ottawa, Canada

Utilize it, don't critisize it.
Oct 18th, 2004 08:12 PM   Edit   Profile  

Mine smelled, but probably not like you're saying.
What do you mean? Like guts?
I had one outside on a hot day, and it smelled really wierd when it heated up a bit.

Jim Shine
Contributing Member


Grover Jackson is the man!
Oct 18th, 2004 09:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

That smell is not old lacquer. It is a little mildew mixed with aging hide glue used in making the cases.

Tyrone Shuz
Contributing Member

I hate pedals!

Ya screw w/the bull, ya get the HORNS!
Oct 18th, 2004 09:44 PM   Edit   Profile  

...not to mention ciggie smoke and stale beer...

Gold Tone


Oct 18th, 2004 11:09 PM   Edit   Profile  

"my young Canadian friend"

Oh how I yearn for my youth.

It just gets rediculous to what degree this need for authenticity takes some people.

Contributing Member

Yorkshire, England

Oct 19th, 2004 01:36 AM   Edit   Profile  

One of my current Deluxe cases smells like an tannery, and so does the guitar for half an hour or so after taking it out. Maybe if you haven't got that vibe you should hide 1lb of offal in the accessory tray and see if it evokes the 50's embience?

cpt. midnite

San Francisco

Oct 20th, 2004 12:32 AM   Edit   Profile  

I happen to like the smell of my "new" CC Nocaster. It is a good thing too, as it helps offset the stench of my playing.

Open a window, he's pluggin in!

fred smoot


Oct 20th, 2004 09:44 AM   Edit   Profile  

JimShine is right. The smell is from the case, not the lacquer.

Contributing Member


Oct 20th, 2004 10:01 AM   Edit   Profile  

Whatever the new Custom Shop Nitro-covered guitar smell is, it is due to the guitar rather than the new G&G case. I swapped cases, and the vanilla-ish smell I associate with the new guitar moved into the new case (happily!).


USA, Santa Monica

There's a hellhound on my trail
Oct 23rd, 2004 02:43 PM   Edit   Profile  

Ahh, there's nothing like the smell of fresh Nitro in the morning to get your heart pumping.

Hey Jim, you are right about that "old" musty case smell, I got one and it even make the guitar reek of it. Any tips on how to nuturalize it? baking soda, incense, something that won't hurt the finish on the guitar? Airing it out in the sun doesn't even seem to help...

Jim Shine
Contributing Member


Grover Jackson is the man!
Oct 23rd, 2004 03:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

Nitro smells like vanilla? lol..thats a new one! I really wish it did. Gibson is doing something to make it smell that way if the case didn't affect it. I must say I have old guitars in new cases that quickly pick up the new case smell and when it goes back into an old case, it transfers a bit of the new smell to the old case.

I don't know how to neutralize the smell of an old case without removing the glue. As for the guitar, if you put it in a new case for a few months it will gain that newer glue smell, but it still may have a little of the old smell underlying. I have an old tweed case that I can't even bring in the house it reeks so bad. It gives me a headache.

(This message was last edited by Jim Shine at 03:07 PM, Oct 23rd, 2004)

Contributing Member


Oct 24th, 2004 12:50 PM   Edit   Profile  

I don't know why, but I like this thread. It seems that one thing more elusive than agreeing on a guitar tone via the web is agreeing on a guitar scent.

Jim, I was writing about a new-smelling Fender Custom Shop guitar. Maybe vanilla isn't the right scent, but it smells pleasant, and it doesn't seem to be due to the G&G case, as a new-in-box G&G case that doesn't have a guitar in it doesn't have that "new-guitar" smell.

Maybe they perfume the things before sending them out the door.

What does nitro smell like?


USA, Santa Monica

There's a hellhound on my trail
Oct 24th, 2004 01:59 PM   Edit   Profile  

That's the nitro you a'smellin' when you pop the case on yer new CS guitar.

It stays around for several good long months, then fades slowly away. Can't really think of a similiar scent to compare to, not vanilla, but I see the similarity due to the "sweet" smell of nitro. That's it, it is sweet type scent, not offensive like paint oders but not sickining like overly sweet vanilla.

Actually I heard you can put vanilla into paint to kill the paint oder, so maybe a drop of vanilla in that old musty guitar case would do the job?

Sonic Mike

United States

Dec 18th, 2004 09:10 PM   Edit   Profile  

My wife puts nitro cellulose in cookies and they taste like vanilla!

Contributing Member


My Roadie hasn't showed up for 35 years.
Dec 19th, 2004 10:27 AM   Edit   Profile  

That should finish you off nicely! :)

Jim Shine
Contributing Member


Grover Jackson is the man!
Dec 19th, 2004 04:54 PM   Edit   Profile  

Vanilla in paint? I wont discount it! One well know repairman guru uses egg whites to replicate old blonde finishes...I wont do it..but who am I to say he is wrong?



Dec 20th, 2004 03:29 AM   Edit   Profile  

Smelly guitars are the best ;=> I might throw some egg whites at my wife to replicate an old blonde -thanks for the tip Jim Shine!

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