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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
NVGBD= New Vintage Gibson Bass Day!
I just got an awesome '74 Gibson EB-3. The tone is insane. Thick, beautiful, cuts through like nothing else.
I had to do a lot of tweaking with the pickups, I lowered the neck PUP screws a lot and lowered the entire pickup. I raised the bridge PUP as close to the strings as possible. I now get two really good tones.

But...its really dirty. I tried a damp cloth with a touch of dish soap. I tried Windex, Orange oil, and Fret doctor. None of them seem to clean it. There is always a film left over.
I did a lot of searching and tried every method. (Lighter fluid leaves it almost milky).
Is there any way to clean and restore the finish?
I don't mind it the way it is, but the wood is very beautiful and I would like to enhance it a bit. Also, the neck is a tad sticky from dirt.
Seems very stubborn. I'm thinking maybe just giving it a good wash with a wet soapy sponge, but its nitro, and may not like water.
Any ideas??

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Its really weird how I can't get rid of this film covering the guitar. No matter what I try, it spreads around. You can see in this pic, after buffing it with a dry cloth, my fingernail still leaves marks in the film.

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I use bathroom type wash cloths, hot water, and a little dish soap if it is really stubborn. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat, until clean; and it usually gets quite clean. Also a toothbrush on the hardware.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm just worried about using too much water based methods as I think it can react with the nitro.
I did take a soapy dish sponge and scrub one corner over and over, and after, there was still that weird film. Maybe the finish is just soft? Maybe I need to find a way to restore the Nitro a bit.
 

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Just a guess, but the previous owner may have used some sort of silicone based polish.(Pledge etc)
I don't know what cuts through it ...maybe napalm .
 

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Everything I have read says that you can use Ronsonol, or Naptha (lighter fluid) to clean your Nitro. it should cut through everything except the nitro finish
 

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A buddy sweated real bad all over my '77 LPC. I could not get it off - but I wasn't going to get real crazy on it by trying harsh chemicals. I took it to my guitar guy and he had to buff it out with a machine. Better safe than sorry.
 
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A buddy sweated real bad all over my '77 LPC. I could not get it off - but I wasn't going to get real crazy on it by trying harsh chemicals. I took it to my guitar guy and he had to buff it out with a machine. Better safe than sorry.
Buffing machine should help. My tech buffed my fingerboard yesterday which gives it a darker look.
 

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First thing I'd do is take it apart. Strings, bridge knobs, back control plate and pickguard, so you can work the whole surface. Then maybe some sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) on a damp sponge. This is a very mild abrasive. Then let it dry thoroughly, like close to a heat source. I was going to say in sunlight near a window, but such a thing is very rare this time of year. Then go gently over the whole surface with a Scotch Brite. Scotch Brite with lukewarm water is also good for taking grime off the fretboard. Then oil that fretboard with tung oil, let it soak in for 5 minutes then wipe and hand buff.

Bonne chance.

BTW, beautiful bass. I had a Melody Maker SG bass in the 70's for a long time.
 

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...Then oil that fretboard with tung oil, let it soak in for 5 minutes then wipe and hand buff.
I thought tung oil was a wood "finishing" product and not one of the "oils" I have ever seen suggested for this application.
 

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+ 1.
Try the Virtuoso cleaner. I had a 1970 d-28 that had a milky look to it. Naphtha wouldn't work or a damp cloth with a bit of dish soap.
I don't like the look of a really shiny guitar so the Virtuoso Polish isn't for me. The cleaner will bring out a shine though.
It's specifically made for nitro.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I will probably try the virtuoso. I would like to find a Canadian distributor. Anyone know where I can get it?
I'll never use lighter fluid again. I did it on my '74 LP deluxe and it left it hazy.
 

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I think my old tech (JIm Mozell) called it Oxidation. I have no clue what he used to use back in the 80's/early 90's, but reading up on that Virtuoso stuff, it appears to remove and protect the film. Apparently after application it also slow down the Oxidation process. There's a place in Fort Sask. that orders it for customers in this area but I do not know if they actually carry it. Lincoln?
 

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I thought tung oil was a wood "finishing" product and not one of the "oils" I have ever seen suggested for this application.
That's what I've been using on my fretboards and it ages real well. It is obtained by pressing the seed from the nut of the tung tree. All natural stuff, can't be that bad.
Just don't let it dry from a thick coat. I let it seep into the grain, then wipe it off.
 

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I've used WD40 on some of my pawnshop buys before.

Just try a little on an hidden spot before soaking the whole body down.
Before people chime in:
WD-40 Brand FAQs - Learn About WD-40 Brand's & Our Products

It does not contain the hard core paint thinners a lot of other similar products do. Nor fish oil.
I've used it to clean grease from carpets, dust from dashboards, build up on fretboads.

Duct tape and WD40....
 

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I will probably try the virtuoso. I would like to find a Canadian distributor. Anyone know where I can get it?
I'll never use lighter fluid again. I did it on my '74 LP deluxe and it left it hazy.

www.fleetsound.com

I bought one of each there a couple of months ago. They are authorized for mail order. There is also a dealer in Cornwall (www,rainbowmusicshop.com) I don't think there is a Canadian distributor
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks...I tried the guy in Cornwall and he doesn't carry it any more. Exchange rate is too high.
I did find it from fleetsound, but with shipping, thats 60$!! Yikes....I think I'll try a few other things first.
 

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Capsule, and 12th fret sell the virtuoso polish. If you go to their webpage there are 9 authorized dealers in Canada
 

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Beauty bass (I have a 65 which are a bit different in terms of construction as well as electronics).

The tone is insane. Thick, beautiful, cuts through like nothing else.
Yes. Yes, yes, and OMG not at all. In fact they are known for the opposite.

That large pickup ain't called the mudbucker for noffin (though it will cut through with either the bridge pup engaged or the tone choke - position 4 is neck pickup only with choke on). That thing (sans choke; i.e. Position 1) produces near perfect sine wave of fiundamental; you can talk to bloody whales with it. Also it will give many tube preamp sections a hard time (DCR = a staggering 30K; 70s ones might be closer to 28.8, but still); these are best through a solid state preamp but tube power section (like Musicman amps) or just a really high wattage tube amp (200watts +) so you're not much past 2 on the preamp gain (headroom is your friend with these; open up the master if there is one - let the power tubes do the heavy lifting). My secret studio bass weapon is one of these on position 1 through a Peavey Rage (or similar crappy ss practise amp with 10" guitar speaker; it was also surprisingly OK in a similar way through my Peavey Bravo112 whcih isn't solid state, but I have since sold that guy); the woof of the mudbucker is perfectly counterbalanced by the lack of bass response of the amp. Another good idea (especially if using with tube amps) is to get a rumble filter out front of it (I used an MXR 10 band EQ pedal with the lowest band , 35Hz or so, cut all the way.... and a bit of a mid bump for cutting power; boosting highs does nothing; there are none). Without some sort of compensation (e.g. position 1 DI into your recorder with no subtractive EQ or anything) it will make for an awesome dub reggae solo tone that gets completely lost in the mix (unless the mix is as sparse as dub - doesn't usually happen in a rock context). .... wait, what's that minitoggle by the output jack? Is this thing active? ... could also be the choke bypass mod (part of the filter is always kinda in circuit, unlike the chokeless EB0, there is no position on the varitone that will give you 'full mud' without mods). I have also seen peopkle coil tap the mucdbucker in an attrempt to tone it down a bit (the original version of this pup from the 50s was a single coil - you can tell them apart because the poles are all on one side vs the middle like yours... also bakelite cover vs metal).

I second for tung oil on the fretboard (you won't get a surface finish with just a coat or 2; work it in - elbow grease + friction = heat which lowers the viscosity of the oil + opens up the wood pores and allows the oil to penetrate further into the wood). FYI it is also what 12th fret uses (or did a decade ago) if you take your axe there for a setup. I also use tung oil to finish instruments - it takes a good 10-20 bloody coats to get a good protective finish (anything less than that and you're just moisturizing the wood and tinting it a bit).

Also, a bit of a warning; most people don't know how to set up those 3 point bridges properly. It's not rocket science; just not your typical bridge. And watch out cuz the saddles fall off with no string pressure (when it innevitably happens to you during a string change, remember that the tall ones go in the middle to match the fretboard radius).
 
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