Before & After Finishing: A Sound Comparison

Luthier Douglass Scott explores the sound of his guitars before and after applying French polish (Oil varnish back, sides & neck, French polish on soundboard). Read his notes and listen to samples here. To my ears it might sound a bit more woody and clear without the polish. Of course that might be physiological on my part. Also, don’t forget that the polish will dry over time so this is somewhat arbitrary. It would be cool to hear the guitar again one year from now.

Here’s a brief excerpt:

I mentioned a few posts ago that I might try to record some sound samples of one of my guitars in the white (ie. before finishing), and then again after French polishing. The point would be to convey the effect that the finish can have on the sound of a guitar. I’ve always found it fun and interesting to hear the same guitar before and after finishing, so hopefully you’re able to hear something interesting in these samples and maybe even learn a little something…


Photo via Scott Guitars
Photo via Scott Guitars

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