Snakebyte SW Yellowing

Brent S.

I'm looking to buy a Snakebyte and going back and forth on whether the spoils of an ESP justify the $3K difference. At any rate, I'd like it to be Snow White whichever model I end up getting. My question is, can anything be done to stop the yellowing? I understand that the clearcoat is the culprit and it might look cool on another classic model. However in my mind, the Snakebyte's aggressive/modern style shape needs a bright white. Environment in which it lives? Possibly some request to the shop (ESP) in the painting phase? Thanks in advance.

Ryan T.

Never heard of yellowing in the modern era as much. Certainly paint quality at this level of price range should be all but non existent under norm care.

Brent S.

You would think, but apparently that's not the case. Some Snakebyte owners say the yellowing starts within a year. I've seen some used on Reverb with yellow spots and some with yellowing bodies and white headstock. Crazy.


Unfortunately there isn't a whole lot you can do to stop yellowing. Some guitars with a thick finish will yellow more slowly but they will still yellow down the line. Some argue that it's a fault of the white finish itself and not the clear coat (as some white guitars that live inside a case still yellow) but that's unclear. If you're like me and you want to get a guitar to play it and not as a collection piece that lives inside the case this is something you might have to live with, or just not get one. I've GASed over the iconic white Les Paul customs for years but, yeah, I sympathize with you. If there's no guarantee that it will stay nice and bright white, is it worth the price? Anyway, I not that's not much help but I hope you find a nice Snakebyte that you like. Cheers.

Brent S.

I appreciate the reply. I decided to go with the LTD model for just that reason. The yellowing with bother me $3k less. Like you, I don't want to keep it in the case, but I'll try to make sure it lives in a dark corner somewhere.


I have no scientific evidence to back it up, but in my personal experience, guitars yellow faster in a case. I'm not sure if that's because of the gasses trapped in the case as the finish ages, or it's just the climate I live in. But I have a 15 year-old Eclipse that is still bright white. I keep it out of direct sunlight, but it sits on a stand all year (unless I'm playing it.) The only time it's in a case is when I'm taking it somewhere.


I believe it's also a matter of what clear coat is used. while the exacts are dependent on the formulation (there is no one single polyurethane or polyester clear coat formulation), I know that, for instance, fender usa offers both a polyester-based clear coat and a polyurethane-based clear coat (which is an upcharge), but for white finishes will only spray polyurethane due to yellowing of the other one. perhaps esp used the wrong clear coat on a run of guitars?

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