I was wondering what makes vintage Fenders so desireable. I was talking with a guy much like gearjoneser (he can go on and on about stories of when he was working with pro musicians in CA). This guy seems to know his stuff.
He told one of the main things that make the guitar is the finish. He told me that nitrocellulose (I think that's the name/spelling) was stopped being made quite a while ago and that allows the alder on the vintage strats to really ring. He also told me that things like the plastic type finishes and the sticky type finishes on necks can rob a guitar of approximately 40% of the guitars tonal frequency and clarity. Apparently, from what he's telling me Fender's custom shop used to still offer those finishes, except now they use an almost acrylic based version that doesn't sound as good as the original.
He's an amazing musician, a great guy to talk shop with, and I'm inclined to believe every word he says. Any opinions?