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It's still common for...

David Weaver
...gloss finish on some very high end instruments.

I asked George about it after seeing several classical guitar makers using french polish, and he said that it's appropriate for nylon string guitars because it actually makes a difference in sound vs. a heavier lacquer finish (less string energy in shellac, I'm sure).

That whole tone effect thing is a can of worms - you can hear it on steel string guitars, too, but the range of irate opinions about it goes from "it makes no difference" to "I can hear differences in finish type even when they're the same thickness and hardness".

But I can easily believe it on a nylon string guitar. One of the few types of guitars left that's still bought from master makers instead of factories and production custom shops.

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