Question about colour fading

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by djlee8807, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. djlee8807

    djlee8807 New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    Let's say I never take my PRS to outside gigs and just play it inside my house and the church etc will the finish/colour on my PRS still fade over time?

    Thanks,
     
  2. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    That depends on a few things:

    1. The color. Some colors are more prone to fading.

    2. Whether you case the guitar when not in use, or hang it or put it on a stand in natural or artificial light; and also, how much light and for how long?

    Lots of variables here.

    In any event, without going into a long song and dance, the dyes used are organic and are sometimes light sensitive. If you keep the guitar cased when not in use, you won't see noticeable fading, or if you do it will be slight and take a very long time. If you hang it, or keep it out on a stand, you might see some fading depending on the color, how strong the light is, and how long it's exposed to light.

    Some inorganic stains are less prone to fading than organic stains, but they don't show the wood grain very well, so most guitar makers don't use them.

    Bottom line, if you're concerned about fading, keep the guitar cased when not in use. If you're less concerned about that, do your thing!

    I keep mine cased, but for other reasons, like buffering temperature and humidity changes that take place during the day, and keeping dust out of the control pots, etc.
     
    #2 LSchefman, Sep 1, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014
  3. djlee8807

    djlee8807 New Member

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    Thank you for the detailed response boss!

    Another relevant question. Is the colour blue more prone to fading? I remember a couple of users mentioning it on this forum but I don't know how true it is.
     
  4. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    It seems to depend on which blue stains are used; some seem to be more susceptible to light, some less so. My brother, an artist and head of the fine arts department at a university, once explained all this to me, as it's something that artists have to contend with when planning on which pigments and colors to use in creating artwork that is going to be displayed in public buildings, etc., where fading becomes a serious concern.

    But my knowledge of which specific stains are most risky isn't the greatest. He, on the other hand, has books on the subject. I'll ask again next time I see him. I seem to recall blue as one.

    I think he mentioned that some reds are also pretty light-sensitive.

    Apparently what happens is that light energy triggers a chemical reaction at the molecular level, and a lot of things can affect the strength of the reaction, including environmental factors, like heat and humidity. So there's another variable.

    Another question is whether a chemical reaction that causes fading will continue once it gets rolling, even with the light source removed -- I don't have the answer to that one. The chemistry involved is way over my head.

    In addition, some stains are blends of various colors, and each color in a mix like that might have a different photosensitivity.

    Note that it's not just daylight that causes the fading, even lightbulbs emit photons at an incredible rate, like on the order of billions of billions every second. I've had a couple of watercolors that I've bought over the years fade quickly in artificial light.

    So there are lots and lots of variables, and I think the smart thing to do is put it away when not in use, and then simply to not worry about it.
     
  5. GC Ron

    GC Ron Authorized PRS Dealer
    Authorized PRS Dealer

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    Depends on exposure to light and what type of pigment is used for a given color.

    I can tell you from personal experience that Royal Blue can fade to Whale Blue, Purple can fade to Black Cherry and Emerald Green can can fade to a mossy or olive green. Also Indigo and Faded Blue Jean can also fade to lighter shades as well.

    To keep the color protected, store your guitars in the case when not in use.
     
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  6. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    There is entropy in the universe. About the most you can do is slow it down. ;)
     
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  7. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A Soldier 25, DFZ
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    FIFY - only deleted 4 keystrokes.

    Good philosophy. Works for me!
     
  8. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Works out pretty much the same, dunnit, Ruger?

    I'm heavily involved in my own entropy these days, which really, really, really, really SUCKS. ;)
     
  9. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A Soldier 25, DFZ
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    Ya, and I'm doing a lot of sitting these days....
     
    #9 rugerpc, Sep 2, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
  10. NotPaulreeedsmith

    NotPaulreeedsmith New Member

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    [​IMG]

    Bought this guitar back in 2012. Never cared for the Custom 24 but I loved this color so much. Took a few pictures the day it arrived. Since then I rarely played it but was crazy about it´s looks. The following years I kind of lost my feelings for it more and more. I´d sometimes stumbled across this picture since it was on my Facebook but it kind of felt that I did not own this guitar anymore, even thou I did.

    On a sunny day during Wimbledon 2015 I thought it was a good time to bring out all my guitars and take some photos in good light.

    [​IMG]

    I was shooting from all possible angles and in different lights but it just looked dull and boring to me. When I saw the old picture I was trying to work out why they differed so much. Was it the light in the old apartment, was it my new phones camera. Did the flash create the vivid colors back then? I knew in the back of my head from the days on BAM where people tried to age their guitars, and people said that the finish PRS used did not fade like old Gibsons and Fenders did. So that never crossed my mind, and the guitar was kept in a rack most of the time away from the sun anyways.

    This week I decided to sell it and took it apart and cleaned it up. I did not care for it as much as I should. As I removed the bride pick-up I discovered what had happen.

    [​IMG]

    So I was not going crazy. The finish had changed. I googled and found out that blue is among a few colors that indeed will fade. Shame since I love blue guitars. Have had others but never for more than a year or so before selling them again, so I had never experienced the fading. Had my eyes on my dream guitar: A matteo blue 20th artist singlecut trem, but I´ll have to go for the next best thing now. Green guitars, and maybe a nice green fade or eriza verde and hope they will keep their looks.
     
  11. Huggy B

    Huggy B Whiizzz

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    I can see how just keeping a PRS with this type of finish out of it's case for long periods could do something like that. Light, even if indirect, still is light and could have that effect, also just being out in the air might have been a fading element.
    Personally I always case my instruments, I already know how pretty they are so I don't need to remind myself every time I walk into the room and dust is an even worse hazard as it screws up the pots & such.
    Not to mention clumsy people who might visit and knock them over or brush past them with an open zipper on their jacket, I pull them out only to play them. (Just my way about.)
     
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  12. CatStrangler

    CatStrangler PRS Enthusiast

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    The final result looks awesome to me.
     
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  13. charliefrench

    charliefrench New Member

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    Incredible how this guitar faded so much in three years. At any given time I will have one or two guitars ready to pick up and play. They being those currently in use. The others are always cased. Previously I had them hanging on walls and resting on stands, etc. They were like dust magnets. Gave me scratchy pots. Frets would tarnish quickly. Strings would be horrible to touch.
     
  14. G-Man

    G-Man New Member

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    In my old days, we did a lot of printing of books and brochures. Blue was the most god awful color to use because of the "Permanence Blue" factor. The ink never really dried and it faded like crazy with noting to do with sunlight. I think the same problem exists. Tomorrow I am going to pull the pickups from my Makena blue case queen and am sure there will be some fading.
     
  15. AP515

    AP515 Mostly Normal

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    The blues fade almost as nice as the emerald green ones do...
    [​IMG]
     
  16. sloanthebone

    sloanthebone I love quilts!

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    My DGT when new:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    And now:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    ooglybong, Mike Duncan, 22Top and 4 others like this.
  17. PRSAK

    PRSAK I am only an egg

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    THAT is my dream guitar!
     
  18. Dusty Chalk

    Dusty Chalk alberngruppenführer

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    Wow!
     
  19. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Too Funky

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    Doesn't it get sunny in church? IDK.. that whole hallowed ground thing.

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. JoeDirt

    JoeDirt New Member

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    This is an absurd discussion guys. PRS guitars don't fade over the years. And my hair doesn't fade to other colors over the years either! That's just an optical illusion from the way the sun reflects on it.....
     
    dogrocketp likes this.

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