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Wildwood VOS vs Murphy Lab

CatManDoo88

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Mar 3, 2019
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I have a 2022 VOS 64 ES-335 TDC and the finish feels much closer to my former Les Paul post-Historic Makeover than the Les Paul did before (Especially after a good couple polishes to get rid of the VOS gunk). I've been wondering if the standard Gibson Custom nitro mixture might have been tweaked in the last couple years as well.

Personally, I chose the VOS because it was a killer guitar and the Murphy Lab 64 335 available had way too much fake looking red rust on the metal hardware for my taste (the heavy hardware patina I've seen on actual vintage guitars tends to be more black than red rust.)
 

TM1

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Jun 27, 2003
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Any pictures of the two guitars?

Personally, I wouldn't buy a ML unless I was positive they fixed the nitro issue.
That's been fixed for well over a year at least..
Tom Murphy had the original Nitro Lacquer reversed engineered and re-created to those specs from the `50's & `60's. It's very different that the stuff that Custom uses.
 
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renderit

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I'm sorry.

I still giggle when somebody says they "reverse engineered" a formula for something which has been chemically changing by off-gassing for 60+ years.
 

corpse

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My '18 R9- if you are a stickler for staying fresh looking- has not aged well. It scratches easily and someone with better eyes than I would probably notice some checking.
My earlier CS LP's- an '07 and a '13 were like new when I sold them, and my treatment has not changed an iota.
Just my observations.
 

Todd Louis

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14,526
Murphy Lab is nothing different then a Murphy.
WW spec is a regular Historic but ordered with some change that tue dealer wanted.
 

CatManDoo88

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Murphy Lab is nothing different then a Murphy.
WW spec is a regular Historic but ordered with some change that tue dealer wanted.
That's not accurate regarding the difference between Murphy and Murphy Lab. Older Murphy guitars were sprayed with the same plasticized lacquer as other Gibson Custom guitars and the "weather checking" was artificially done by hand with a razor blade. The new Murphy Lab guitars are sprayed with a Murphy Lab exclusive harder lacquer formula with reduced plasticizers and then the weather checking is induced by either freezer or compressed air. The new methods are much more in line with the techniques used by boutique relickers like Historic Makeovers.
 

renderit

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That's not accurate regarding the difference between Murphy and Murphy Lab. Older Murphy guitars were sprayed with the same plasticized lacquer as other Gibson Custom guitars and the "weather checking" was artificially done by hand with a razor blade. The new Murphy Lab guitars are sprayed with a Murphy Lab exclusive harder lacquer formula with reduced plasticizers and then the weather checking is induced by either freezer or compressed air. The new methods are much more in line with the techniques used by boutique relickers like Historic Makeovers.
Guarantee.

Murphy uses MORE plasticizer.

You just don't know what plasticizer is...


Sorry, pet peeve...
 
Last edited:

CAGinLA

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478
Guarantee.

Murphy uses MORE plasticizer.

You just don't know what plasticizer is...


Sorry, pet peeve...
It certainly doesn't feel that way in hand. I have two MLs and the finish on both feels much less plastic-y than regular Custom Shop Historics. The finish on my late 2020 ML R8 feels even feels a bit harder than that on my late 2021 ML 64 335 (probably made after they tweaked the formula).
 

CatManDoo88

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It certainly doesn't feel that way in hand. I have two MLs and the finish on both feels much less plastic-y than regular Custom Shop Historics. The finish on my late 2020 ML R8 feels even feels a bit harder than that on my late 2021 ML 64 335 (probably made after they tweaked the formula).
Yeah, my 2022 64 335 VOS feels harder and less plasticky than my 2015 CS9 as well. So they might have tweaked the regular formula as well.

Is that yours in your avatar? Beautiful guitar!
 

CAGinLA

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Yeah, my 2022 64 335 VOS feels harder and less plasticky than my 2015 CS9 as well. So they might have tweaked the regular formula as well.

Is that yours in your avatar? Beautiful guitar!
Thanks! Yep, it's mine - a custom color (Watermelon) ordered by Norman's Rare Guitars out here in LA.
 

CatManDoo88

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Thanks! Yep, it's mine - a custom color (Watermelon) ordered by Norman's Rare Guitars out here in LA.
Thought so, I saw those when they featured one on Guitar of the Day, hearing how great it sounded when Lemmo played Sunshine and Crossroads on convinced me it was time to pull the trigger on one of the new reissues.
 

renderit

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It certainly doesn't feel that way in hand. I have two MLs and the finish on both feels much less plastic-y than regular Custom Shop Historics. The finish on my late 2020 ML R8 feels even feels a bit harder than that on my late 2021 ML 64 335 (probably made after they tweaked the formula).
Plasticizer is not "plastic".

It is the technical name for thinner.

So all this web shit you hear about 'plasticizer' is ignorant of the language.

The more you want a fast thin spray you use a thinner that "flashes" as in evaporates very fast and (generally) more of it.

Since thinner is the plasticizer (the thing which makes the finishes prime ingredients more "moldable" (or in this case sprayable)) you would use more of it.

Think of it this way: When water is added to portland cement, sand and gravel it becomes concrete.

Concrete is "a plastic substance" in that it can be molded or shaped or poured in forms.

The WATER is the plasticizer.

Water is not plastic.

Now: if you want to say a Mumfry finish is harder and thinner than a standard Gibson you may be right.

And the statement a standard Gibson may "feel more plasticky" is not technically incorrect as a subjective observation.

So kids, go out in the wilds of the internets and remember to spread the word:

YOU CAYANT SPRAY NO LAQUER WITHOUT PLASTICIZERS YA KNUCKLEHEADS!

NEVER COULD.

NOT IN THE 50's, 60's ETC ETC ETC ETC.

 

renderit

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To add to this:

Nitrocellulose we know and love is a powder that when mixed with other chemicals becomes a sprayable finish.

It WAS the first man-made plastic.

In the 50's and 60's it was commonly used in automotive, furniture, and other industries.

It was loved because it created a hard finish which was sandable then polishable to a very beautiful 'mirror like' shine.

Over the years it releases some of the chemicals (gassing) and could then harden and contract to the point where it can crack and chip so it would need to be redone.

Through the years I am sure the chemicals used in the thinners, as well as spraying requirements for safety, and possibly the grinding methods for the powders has changed.

The new finishes may last longer because of this.

Maybe not.

Time will tell.
 

ajtonly1

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Jan 30, 2022
Messages
39
I recently went through a purchase such as this, and YMMV, but I had my LP refinished by Historic Makeover. I've been lucky enough to own a few 50s era Gibsons and played and felt several from WW & ML. Historic Makeover felt more "real" to what a vintage finish felt like than the others. Again YMMV

If resale value is to be considered the ML takes the cake over all others given my tracking of the market, and I think most will agree.

If you want a more "vintage spec/feel" Historic

If you want a great guitar, any of the 3 will be phenomenal IMO

good luck on your search and buy
 

CatManDoo88

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Mar 3, 2019
Messages
155
To add to this:

Nitrocellulose we know and love is a powder that when mixed with other chemicals becomes a sprayable finish.

It WAS the first man-made plastic.

In the 50's and 60's it was commonly used in automotive, furniture, and other industries.

It was loved because it created a hard finish which was sandable then polishable to a very beautiful 'mirror like' shine.

Over the years it releases some of the chemicals (gassing) and could then harden and contract to the point where it can crack and chip so it would need to be redone.

Through the years I am sure the chemicals used in the thinners, as well as spraying requirements for safety, and possibly the grinding methods for the powders has changed.

The new finishes may last longer because of this.

Maybe not.

Time will tell.
I think we were talking cross each other. Of course, lacquer needs and has always used plasticizer during spraying. I didn't think that was in debate. However, as you noted, the newer formulas use different plasticizers and there is a lot well informed people who say they behave differently than the ones used in the 50s/60s or earlier.

For us simple laypeople, those in the know often refer to "reduced" or "without" plasticizers in their formulas as shorthand for the fact those formulas use less of the modern plasticizers that slow hardening and delay/prevent the glass like finish seen on vintage guitars. I've seen interviews with Murphy or other Gibson representatives refering to "reduced" plasticizer in the Murphy Lab lacquer and Kim LeFleur at Historic Makeovers referred to their mix as being without the "plasticizers found in current Gibson lacquer" when explaining to me the difference in their process when I had my makeover done on my CS9.
 

CAGinLA

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Jan 4, 2016
Messages
478
Plasticizer is not "plastic".

It is the technical name for thinner.

So all this web shit you hear about 'plasticizer' is ignorant of the language.

The more you want a fast thin spray you use a thinner that "flashes" as in evaporates very fast and (generally) more of it.

Since thinner is the plasticizer (the thing which makes the finishes prime ingredients more "moldable" (or in this case sprayable)) you would use more of it.

Think of it this way: When water is added to portland cement, sand and gravel it becomes concrete.

Concrete is "a plastic substance" in that it can be molded or shaped or poured in forms.

The WATER is the plasticizer.

Water is not plastic.

Now: if you want to say a Mumfry finish is harder and thinner than a standard Gibson you may be right.

And the statement a standard Gibson may "feel more plasticky" is not technically incorrect as a subjective observation.


So kids, go out in the wilds of the internets and remember to spread the word:

YOU CAYANT SPRAY NO LAQUER WITHOUT PLASTICIZERS YA KNUCKLEHEADS!

NEVER COULD.

NOT IN THE 50's, 60's ETC ETC ETC ETC.

Thanks for the strawman argument in lots of cool colors. I never said that there is NO plasticizer in the new formula, only that it feels like they are using less of it. It's harder and thinner and has less of a plastic feel to it than the standard formula used by the Custom Shop.
 

CAGinLA

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Jan 4, 2016
Messages
478
Thought so, I saw those when they featured one on Guitar of the Day, hearing how great it sounded when Lemmo played Sunshine and Crossroads on convinced me it was time to pull the trigger on one of the new reissues.
Yeah, that was the video that got me to pull the trigger on this one. They had four in stock that all looked very similar - I asked them to weigh them for me and grabbed the lightest one (around 7.5 lbs, IIRC), which wasn't the one from the video.
 

CatManDoo88

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Joined
Mar 3, 2019
Messages
155
Yeah, that was the video that got me to pull the trigger on this one. They had four in stock that all looked very similar - I asked them to weigh them for me and grabbed the lightest one (around 7.5 lbs, IIRC), which wasn't the one from the video.
Very cool!

I hope you don't mind if I take this opportunity to share a glory shot of mine... She is just the regular VOS model, but she's been hot rodded a little to match up to Clapton's famous 64:
PXL_20221119_214732448_2.jpg
She rolled out of the factory the week of May 20 this year, which is the week my daughter was born, and also the same week that Clapton's shipped out in 1964, so I kinda felt I had to go all the way. Best guitar I have ever had or played by far. Leaves my old Historic Makeover Les Paul in the dust.
 

renderit

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Jan 19, 2009
Messages
10,636
Thanks for the strawman argument in lots of cool colors. I never said that there is NO plasticizer in the new formula, only that it feels like they are using less of it. It's harder and thinner and has less of a plastic feel to it than the standard formula used by the Custom Shop.
I stand corrected then.

You are most wise.

As nitro IS plastic.


And I am apparently made of straw which I never knew!

Dorthy?
 

CAGinLA

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Messages
478
Very cool!

I hope you don't mind if I take this opportunity to share a glory shot of mine... She is just the regular VOS model, but she's been hot rodded a little to match up to Clapton's famous 64:
View attachment 20244
She rolled out of the factory the week of May 20 this year, which is the week my daughter was born, and also the same week that Clapton's shipped out in 1964, so I kinda felt I had to go all the way. Best guitar I have ever had or played by far. Leaves my old Historic Makeover Les Paul in the dust.

That's a beauty!
 
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