Is the V12 finish stickier than the old Acrylic Urethane?

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Sage, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. Sage

    Sage While you were partying I studied the blade.

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    All my PRSi are pre-2010, and have the original Acrylic Urethane finish. I've always been happy with it, but I'm about to order a Private Stock and I'm considering the V12 finish instead. I've already eliminated Nitro as a potential finish; Aside from the general consensus that it's difficult to maintain, I've always hated the sticky, tacky feel of Nitro.

    So I tried a few V12-finished guitars at the local shop, and to my surprise, they feel... kinda sticky, at least compared to my Acrylic-finished guitars. Maybe not as bad as Nitro, but definitely enough to be uncomfortable. Has anyone else noticed this?

    I found this video of Paul talking about how the V12 finish was essentially Nitro laquer with plexiglass (acrylic) used as a binder instead of the normal oil used in most Nitro, and that might explain why it feels like this...


    Does anyone else agree with this assessment? For those of you who own guitars with the V12 finish, does the stickiness subside over time? Is the durability better than the Acrylic Urethane?
     
    #1 Sage, Sep 12, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
  2. Darkho

    Darkho New Member

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    Hi, all the PRS have V12 finish since 2010 ?
    I don't know which finish is on mine CE24 from 2016, but it's not sticky at all.
     
  3. vchizzle

    vchizzle Birdman.

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    I felt the V12 was even smoother than old poly finishes. PRS current nitro is very smooth and not sticky. But if you're super sensitive to finishes, ymmv.
     
  4. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Sage, I felt the same way about nitro until I played a PS with PRS' "Shatter Hard" nitro finish. It isn't sticky. If you're going PS, you owe it to yourself to at least play one with the nitro finish before deciding.

    In addition to its superb look, I think the nitro does a certain something nice tonally. I've got 4 of the nitro finished PS guitars now, and they're superb. But I've also got some with V12, and no complaints there, either. And the V12 guitars sound fantastic.

    As to V12, I haven't found it any stickier than poly, and I've had plenty of PRSes with both finishes over the last 26 years.

    YMMV, but with these superior choices in recent finishes, I think it'd be a shame to coat a PS with poly.
     
  5. Sage

    Sage While you were partying I studied the blade.

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    Thanks for the input, Les. I've heard that PRS uses a lot less plasticizer in their Nitro, and I'm sure that helps keep the stickiness of their Nitro finishes down compared to other manufacturers. However, I've eliminated Nitro for other reasons as well, particularly its reaction to rubber and leather. I don't want to have to worry about it melting when I set it on a stand, etc.

    Have you noticed any difference in the durability of the V12 finishes as compared to the old acrylic urethane?
     
  6. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I use leather straps on my nitro PRSes without problems, but obviously they're not on the guitars for all that long. I try to be careful, and I hear you on not having to worry about that stuff.

    I haven't noticed a difference in durability with the V12, even though it's a thinner finish, but I don't generally ding my guitars up. The poly is thicker, so maybe that adds something to durability, but if so, I haven't seen it.

    I've probably had 8 or more with the V12 since it came out, and many more with the poly. So hopefully there's enough base of experience with the guitars to have gotten a good idea re: durability.

    I do think that for a lot of accumulated reasons and improvements, recent PRSes sound better to me, and they've raised the bar over the poly models. The usual disclaimers apply, of course.

    I wouldn't get the poly on a PS. It's a step backwards. Just my two cents.
     
    #6 LSchefman, Sep 13, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
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  7. vchizzle

    vchizzle Birdman.

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    I feel the same as Les. Though our situations are much different. I've been gigging my PS with nitro for over a year and a half. While I don't abuse the guitar, I also don't baby it. I've been known to unintentionally bump it during gigs, being in the moment. I play in a heavy rock band so there's a bit of physicality in our performances. I use a variety stands and wall hangers(String swing, Hercules, a 6 guitar boat covered in fuzzy guitar case material and a few others). A little research and planning and it's not hard to care for nitro. I believe PRS nitro is less susceptible to some of the taboo "don'ts" out there. I don't go out of my way much and have seen no ill affects.
     
  8. Herr Squid

    Herr Squid I was severely impressed

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    I own two satin nitro-finished guitars (ME and 59/09 limited). If I run my fingers across the body where the finish has worn smooth, I do feel some drag, though I wouldn't call it sticky exactly.

    Anyway, I don't notice that on my V12 guitars at all, it feels more or less to me like the old poly finish.
     
  9. Drew

    Drew New Member

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    Is it even confirmed that V12 is even used anymore? PRS very quietly removed all mention of V12 from the website after the finish flaking incidents that occurred to some instruments from the initial runs. That video is over 4 years old at this point. V12 used to be listed in the individual instruments specs on the website but those have been gone for a while now.

    Unless someone from PRS chimes in, my suspicion is that V12 was eventually and very quietly retired or reworked.
     
  10. Sage

    Sage While you were partying I studied the blade.

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    That's... an excellent observation. And a good question: what *is* PRS using now on production guitars, if not V12? Anybody know?
     
  11. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    It's definitely V12 on the Core models. Paul says in the video that they've tinkered with the formula. I'm not sure the few isolated reports of flaking were a major thing, though of course PRS stands behind their stuff anyway.

    I think they still use poly on the less expensive S2 line.

    You could simply call PRS customer service or email them for an answer if you're at all concerned, but I'm very certain, since I have a brand-new Core 594 Soapbar made this year.
     
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  12. Sage

    Sage While you were partying I studied the blade.

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    Went back today for another test drive, same exact guitars. This time they didn't feel as sticky, felt more like the old acrylic urethane finish. I'm going to chalk this up to humidity, hand washing, etc.
     
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