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what is this crap on my guitar?

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a few months ago i stripped the finish off of my schecter.under the paint was this almost wood colored substance which was very hard and was difficult to sand off,but i got it all off,stained the wood,and clearcoated it.when i put it back together it sounded alot better.what was this stuff and why was it destroying my guitars tone?makes me want to strip all my guitars.

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I had the same thing on my guitar that I am refinishing. When I sanded it, it came off white, and took a long time to sand also. I was thinking that it was some kind of sand and sealer, or maybe an extra layer of laquer or something, I'm not very sure. But I havent put all the hardware back into the guitar, and now I'm excited to see if mine sounds better too.

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