Black light your Gibson - results?

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by pancake81, Nov 24, 2021.

  1. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    Out of sheer curiosity I am thinking of buying a black light and seeing how my guitars look (as far as that vintage glow). Keep in my mind my guitars are not vintage, 2001, 2007, and a 2009. So basically ranging from 12 years old to 20 years old. Not really sure what to expect, but really curious to experiment.

    From what I understand, the UV light interacting with the Nitro finish over years producing the oxidation and visible glow. For me though, my guitars see little to no natural light. My music rooms have always been in the basement with no natural light, I come in, flip the lights on, play my full, and then wipe them down and hang them up in a dark room. I am curious if even after 20 years if they will show the “vintage glow”.

    Have any of you folks done this in your own guitars? Curious to hear your results.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2021
  2. Decadent Dan

    Decadent Dan Active Member

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    I’ve heard of using that to look for previously repaired areas.
     
  3. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Well-Known Member

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    Not slagging on this thread or the O.P. here, it just seemed like an appropriate place for a loosely related rant that has been brewing for several months now...

    I just came up with an idea for the next big "useless guitar product": A black light reactive spray that makes a brand new guitar glow like it was 100 years old. Stupid idea I know, but I bet it would sell like a MoFo for a couple of years... Just long enough make a tidy little nest egg.

    Throw in some BS about how it makes your tone "glow across the full spectrum" like a vintage guitar costing hundreds of thousands of dollars for the low low price of $45.00 per can and I bet even guys with no black light would buy it. Some would even swear it works.

    Like @Decadent Dan says above, I get what people have ACTUALLY been doing with black lights up to now, and it is pretty legit, but I am sensing a broader shift in the market towards that next big "arms race" in the "who's is better" battle on the internet. MAKE THAT SUCKER GLOW!!!!!!
     
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  4. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    This is an interesting concept, and no doubt if some low life can capitalise on some suckers he/she most certainly will. I have watched lots of youtube vids that show the benefit of black lighting a guitar, as you mentioned it predominantly shows or highlights breaks/repairs/plastic changes, etc. As I purchased all of my guitars new, I am positive on that they have not had any repairs or breaks, however I am super curious to see how the Nitro glows under the light. A few things I hope to see:

    • Will it glow at all? As I mentioned, my guitars are not vintage, is 20 years enough? Also, my guitars see little UV (sunlight) light. How will thins affect the "glow"
    • I have changed plastics on 2 of my guitars. How will they differ under the light? My 2001 had a pick guard change in 2009, will the plastics glow drastically different to the naked eye? My 2007 received he TRC from my 2001, will it glow substantially more?
    • One of my guitars is a VOS Custom Shop. How will it compare to the others with the aged parts and the hazy finish?
    Honestly, I have no idea what I will find. A part of me thinks they might not glow at all because of my somewhat sterile environment. I will be sure to try to capture photos and report back. Other than posting my results, I was looking to see if others had indeed experimented with this. Not necessarily for the purpose of purchase or selling instruments and locating repairs, just out of basic experimentation. What did you see, how did it glow, any surprises, anyone have on that didnt glow, or perhaps a new guitar that glowed like crazy?
     
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  5. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Well-Known Member

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    Good points all, and thankyou for taking my post in the manner I meant it. Definitely not an attack. In fact I would be curious to see what you find just because I think it might help to set some realistic parameters for the current trend towards using black lights as some sort of definitive test of authenticity that I have seen in other places on the internet.

    I do think Black lights can be legitimately used as part of an overall evaluation of a guitar as long as it is done by someone with the knowledge and understanding of what the results can and cannot show.
     
  6. Decadent Dan

    Decadent Dan Active Member

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    Oil based paints will yellow faster in a dark room. Humidity and low temperature speed the process. Not sure how this relates to nitro.
     
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  7. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    Speaking of Yellowing.... I WISH my custom headstock would yellow! I just love that yellow hue on big split diamond headstock. It looks so vintage and classy. I am afraid in my OCD environment mine will never take that on. TIme will tell
     
  8. MR D

    MR D Active Member

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    A good Black-light in a sufficiently dark room will make a vintage Nitrocellulose finished Guitar appear to "GLOW"...... What I have always found a good Black-Light useful for is when buying a used guitar and checking for pervious repairs/cracks etc...glue/cracks etc etc can not hide from a good Black-Light..... A Good Black-Light will always react to certain phenomena in definitive ways, revealing cracks/repairs on Gibson guitars is one of 'em..
     
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  9. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Well-Known Member

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    I don't think I want to know what's splattered on my instruments...

    download (3).jpg
     
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  10. Decadent Dan

    Decadent Dan Active Member

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    I saw that dude smash a broken bottle into his forehead… he had serious issues… glad he didn’t poop onstage too.
     
  11. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    Alright folks, some feedback is ready.

    I was able to grab a black light today and played around with guitars to see what I can find. As expected, no breaks or repairs on my 12-20 year olds guitars, no surprise as I purchased new. Bit here is what I did find.

    - I am red / green color blind. So this is hard for me unless it is glowing that big GLOW. My kids helped me with the color ID

    - all three of my headstocks GLOWED that green color. Pretty cool to see

    - 2001 61 RI: Head stock glowed great (please note: creamtone TRC). The neck and body GLOWED the least. Interesting as this is my oldest guitar at 20 years old. I couldn’t see the green and my confirmed they could also not see the green

    Headstock
    [​IMG]

    Body
    [​IMG]

    Knobs
    [​IMG]


    - 2007 SG Custom: headstock GLOWED great. Got that green color! Neck and body looked darker to me, but the kids assured me it was glowing green. I was sceptical, as I couldn’t see it as well as the headstock, but they assured me. Knobs and plastics did not really appear to glow to me

    headstock (note: the TRC is from my 2001 61 RI, and does glow)
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Body
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Knobs:
    [​IMG]

    2008 Angus Custom: headstock glowed green! Neck and body were dimmer like the custom, but again kids assured me it was green. Plastics did. It really appear to glow at all, except the TRC. That you could see some GLOW on.

    headstock: not the best photo, but it did glow like the rest.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Body:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Now… my understanding was always that the Nitro reacts to UV exposure over time and Hence reacts to the black light resulting in a green glow. I was also told, numerous sources, that this ONLY happens with nitro. Basically, this experiment will not react with Poly. So… out of convenience I also tried it on my 2001 Epiphone Sheraton. And… OH MY! This black poly finish glowed the brightest of greens!! Very cool to see.

    Headstock:
    [​IMG]

    Body:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2021
  12. MR D

    MR D Active Member

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    Now there is somethiong I did not know, THANK YOU !!! How the Blacklight reacts w/GIBSON Nitro Finishes is a well-know fact but IDK the part about the Epiphone and the Poly- Finish...so TNX again !!! ETSG teaches me something, AGAIN !
     
  13. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah it was super surprising for me. From what I rad and understood was the black light test ONLY worked on Nitro and was not supposed to react to poly..? But in this case the Poly was the only one that really Glowed that vibrant green, so I am confused. You certainly could not use the black light test to confirm nitro vs Poly. Another surprise was that my oldest SG (20 years) had the least reaction on the body. Headstock glowed nice, but little to nothing on the body.

    The black light I purchased was a small hand held LED flashlight type, so perhaps results would be clearer with a more powerful light, like what TROGLY uses. But for the sake of this home experiment I thought this would fit the bill. Also, I thought the size and convenience would be good if I ever needed to take it to check out a used guitar for purchase
     
  14. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Well-Known Member

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    I think what you found highlights the limitations of using a black light. By itself it really proves nothing. It can be useful for helping you spot repairs and finish variations that might bear closer inspection. Anything beyond that needs to be taken in conjunction with a healthy dose of the same knowledge that you would use with or without a black light. The black light can sometimes help point you toward items that bear closer inspection.

    Trogly is one of the Youtuber salesmen that led me to my earlier rant. Some of what he is doing feeds into the misinformation machine that might cause the less experienced buyer to think the black light proved authenticity by itself. It's interesting, perhaps useful, but NOT conclusive.
     
  15. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    I completely agree Nigel. The blacklight test definitely has a place in the inspection process, and I will be including it as part of my due diligence when purchasing ANY guitar, including new in store. Why not, takes only a few moments and you never know what you might find. The test definitely has it's limitations, and as a buyer or utiliser of the test you need to be aware of those to not instil false results on your own research. I personally feel with my little bit of background reading and experimenting I know enough to incorporate into my available arsenal.
     
  16. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Well-Known Member

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    I would agree with that. You have certainly done more than most.
     
  17. MR D

    MR D Active Member

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    For Black-Lights to pick out certain things (cracks/repairs/glue lines etc) they need to be strong enough, and when they are, they will do a good job of finding repairs and cracks....especially glue just cant hide from a strong enough black light. As far as dating a guitar, and looking for the 'GLOW', a B.L. would definitively prove nothing.
     
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