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Old 05-23-2009, 07:08 PM
SteveB SteveB is offline
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Default New Guitar Smell

Hi, first an introduction, I'm Steve and I'm an acousticholic

A couple of years ago I picked up the guitar again after about 20 years of not playing. Lately I've been playing acoustic mostly, and have bought a couple of guitars, new and used.

A couple of weeks ago I ordered a Simon and Patrick Vintage Burst Folk Cedar from a local dealer. After I got the guitar home, I noticed that it had a strong lacquer smell. I Played the guitar for a few hours and started getting ill, so I put it back in the case and called the dealer. He promised to contact someone at S&P and see about returning it.

After a week, the dealer called to say the S&P rep claimed the guitar was fresh out of the shop and the smell would dissipate. The dealer quipped that "He likes that New Guitar Smell"

Well, I haven't bought many new guitars, the ones I have bought didn't make me sick to play them, maybe I should go vintage

The smell is starting to go away, slowly, and I like the guitar, so I'll hang on to it. I was just wondering, is it normal for a new guitar to smell like lacquer, or what ever the finish may be?

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Old 05-23-2009, 07:13 PM
Scratz Scratz is offline
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Wouldn't hurt to get it out of the case to air out but ensure the humidity is proper wherever you air it out.

When my seagull was new I wasn't really liking its new scent either as it was only one month from production when I got it but another month of playing and getting it out of its case took care of that.

Congrats on the new acquisition.

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Old 05-23-2009, 07:37 PM
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fitness1 fitness1 is offline
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it's very possible that it's the glue in the case that you are smelling....set the case open outside in the bright sunlight, hopefully on a breezy day and you'll likely get rid of a lot of that smell. If it's a cedar topped instrument, it may have that odor as well, but I doubt that's anything that would make you ill.....glue will, of course.
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Old 05-23-2009, 08:01 PM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is online now
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I noticed a very strong glue smell from the Guild GAD-30R I bought a year or so ago. My belief was that it was mainly the case that smelled so strongly. My solution was the same as suggested here -- I left the guitar out on a stand for a while in a properly humidified room and I left the case open. It took a couple of weeks for the majority of the smell to dissipate.

Regards, Glenn
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Old 05-23-2009, 08:12 PM
AlexWilcox AlexWilcox is offline
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Every guitar I have ever owned has a wood smell, but I never smelled the finish?

2008 Fender Sonoran S
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Old 05-23-2009, 08:19 PM
Tom46 Tom46 is offline
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What did that Colonel in “Apocalypse Now” say?

"I love the smell of a new guitar in the morning!"
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Old 05-23-2009, 08:58 PM
SteveB SteveB is offline
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Last few days here in Arizona have relatively humid, enough to let the guitar out in an open room with an oasis humidifier. The room that I keep humidified is rather small and I didn't want to smell the guitar while I was in there.

It seems to have helped to keep it out for a day, I think I can start to smell cedar .

I had the thought that the case may be the problem, can't tell for sure. Anyway they sent the wrong case and the new one should be here next week. The guitar is a 000 size, but they sent it in a Dreadnought case with folded foam sheets around the lower bout , hope it doesn't smell....
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Old 05-23-2009, 10:00 PM
Deadduck Deadduck is offline
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When I got my J-45 it had a very distinct laquer smell. I loved it personally. It doesn't smell as much now that it's aged a couple of years.

Matt. 6:33
Gibson J-45, Seagull S6, Gibson L-50 archtop, Epi Casino, and a beat up old Mexican Strat.
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Old 05-23-2009, 10:03 PM
edman edman is offline
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I agree with the folks that think it's the glue in your case creating the smell.
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Old 05-23-2009, 10:16 PM
TjthePhD TjthePhD is offline
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I second what edman says. I have a guitar with a case that just reeked of the glue. An old thread here recommended just leaving the case open for a couple of weeks. It cut the smell, but now that I leave the case closed, it comes back. And this is a very nice case with a custom Martin. There ought to be some way for the case manufacturer to address that.

The guitar, on the other hand, smells delightful!
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Old 05-24-2009, 12:16 AM
grantgsc grantgsc is offline
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Default Phewwww...

Have any of you ever had a new Calton? Talk about a chemical smell! Calton even suggests "flairing" the case, or in other words, letting it air out.
I have owned several Caltons and what has worked is putting them opened up, in our spare bedroom and running the ceiling fan for a few days. This works well.

Now about my Martins...they both have the most wonderful spicey odor, especially the hog D18. I cannot resist sticking my nose where it doesn't belong everytime I take them out of their cases. OOOOO AHHHHH.
Love to play...everyday...
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Old 05-24-2009, 01:14 AM
Dr. Spivey Dr. Spivey is offline
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So these new guitars can emit a foul odor? I believe I'll keep a safe distance then.
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2005 Gibson J-45
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Old 05-24-2009, 04:57 AM
michaelnel michaelnel is offline
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My new Martin HD16R Adirondack pumps out the most wonderful aroma while I am playing it. I think it is the rosewood giving off that aroma. It's part of what keeps me playing that thing for hours.
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Old 05-24-2009, 05:16 AM
Dogsnax Dogsnax is offline
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If I'm not mistaken, some the Lasido guitars have a nitrocellulose finish and nitro contains formaldehyde which can trigger an allergic reaction in some folks. I've developed an allergy to formaldehyde late in life and can no longer play a guitar with a nitrocellulose finish. The aging process....

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Old 05-24-2009, 05:19 AM
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Brackett Instruments Brackett Instruments is offline
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If the finish is lacquer it shouldn't smell, since it's cured enough for buffing. I'm not sure about other finishes. I would suspect it's new case smell instead of new guitar smell but I'm guessing the case doesn't have the smell without the guitar in it. If you can stand to let it air for a while I bet it will be fine. Keep the guitar out of the case, and keep the case open, since the guitar smell has probably soaked into the case some too.

I love most new guitar smells. Martins (and my guitars) smell like the Spanish Cedar linings just sitting, and they start smelling like whatever the back and sides are when you start playing them. I love the smell of new Taylors too. I believe that smell is some kind of polish then use.
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