Is French Polish the Best Finish for Guitars

The French Polish Debate

French polishing inside of guitar sidesIt’s a question I get asked all the time – is French polish the best finish for guitars. The short simple answer is no. The common misconception is that french polish is the best finish acoustically especially for classical guitars. It may have been 50 years or more ago but not now.  I have heard guitar builders and players claim that they can hear the difference. Sorry for the bluntness but I am sick of hearing this.

Yes, for the trained ear it is possible to hear a difference from one guitar to the next. And some may have different finishes on them. But the reason they sound different has nothing to do with what was used for a finish. It is almost impossible to say a difference in sound is solely due to the fact that someone used varnish or lacquer instead of french polish.
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