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Does placing stickers on an acoustic guitar alter its sound quality?

  • I have my whole front covered with stickers.
  • Should I remove them?
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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Stickers will change the sound a little, making it less rich, duller. However, since they are already stuck, you may well create a bigger problem as you remove them. The adhesive may already have spoiled the finish in the guitar's body, so removing them will leave you with a tarnished (at least) front. If they've been there a while, the wood under them may end up darker than the rest of that face.You may pull some lacquer off as they are removed. Unless the first one comes off easily - try the smallest - I'd advocate leaving them. Warming them with a hair-drier is a (risky) possibility.

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I disagree. Most acoustic guitars these days are finished with a very durable and thick polyurethane or polyethylene finish. In this case putting on and removing stickers does no harm to the finish. Try removing a small part of one sticker and see if you can detect any damage to the guitar's finish or any discoloration. If there is none, then it should be safe to remove the rest of the stickers if you want to. A commercial solvent that is designed to remove the adhesive on stickers, such as Goo-Gone, is useful for this purpose. – user1044 Feb 15 '14 at 17:45
I took many stickers off one if my guitars last year. Some had been on for over six years... The surface was destroyed. Lacquer and varnish were eaten away badly. – Dr Mayhem Feb 15 '14 at 20:16
@Wheat - we don't know if the guitar in question is new or old. Caution was and still is encouraged.Not all sticky on stickers is googonable. – Tim Feb 15 '14 at 20:50
Unless it's an expensive guitar I really doubt you'd have a discernible different sound. Many acoustic guitars have a scratchplate which is essentially a large, very thick sticker. And I doubt it's a very expensive guitar or you wouldn't have put stickers on it in the first place! – Mr. Boy Jan 15 '15 at 9:26

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