Alan Carruth wrote: ↑
Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:09 pm
Guitars are generally finished using shellac, varnish, lacquer or some other film forming finish. Some makers these days are using 'Tru-Oil' or a similar product, sometimes called a 'wiping varnish'. What guitar makers don't generally use is a colored
varnish, which is normal on violins.
So to summarise what I understand is that there may be more variety in the finish of guitars, and no colouring.
Varnishes tend to darken with age, some by quite a lot. I believe (without any proof) that violin makers started using dark varnish as a way of 'antiquing' their instruments, since there's a general belief that older fiddles sound better.
You're probably not wrong; what I recall of iconographic "evidence" is indeed that violins tend to be lighter (though I'd say still darker than lutes, vihuelas and guitars). Still I've seen old "blond" instruments and 19thC instruments that are so dark they almost certainly had a dark to begin with.
a high polish is not so much valued on violins as it is on guitars.
New and newly restored instruments are often quite "high gloss" but they rarely remain that way. Rosin doesn't help, and the body is small enough that you quickly have put your fingers everywhere
The 'magic' varnish of Stradivari is an ongoing topic for discussion, despite (or perhaps because) it will never be resolved; everybody's opinion is as good and anybody else's.
Mostly we don't have any hard evidence that there's anything magic to it that makes it better than the varnish from other famous builders (Amati, Stainer, Guarneri, choices enough). I don't think anyone has sacrificed a Strad to see how it sounds without its varnish
I'm happy enough with the varnish of my violin - soft indeed; I'm pretty certain it has change subtly in the 25y I've owned the instrument.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4xCX ... U5wNTFrcE0