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  #1  
Old 01-16-2020, 05:15 PM
MikeInBethesda MikeInBethesda is offline
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Default Satin vs gloss finish

Curious to hear what folks think of satin finishes on acoustics. Iím considering buying a relatively high end acoustic that has a satin finish. Would a satin finish be a deal breaker for you? I realize this is primarily aesthetics (I havenít heard that the finish has much effect on tone) and in the eye of the beholder, but would still value thoughts on this. Thanks, Mike
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Old 01-16-2020, 05:22 PM
srbell srbell is offline
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I personally prefer the look of a satin finish, but I seem to be in the minority. That being said, glossy is quieter against your clothes if you're recording or amplifying. In all cases I like a satin neck as they don't feel as sticky as glossy.
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Old 01-16-2020, 05:26 PM
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Satin guitars are great. My dad owns a Taylor 517 that has a nice satin finish all over, and my god is that a comfortable guitar to play. Feels nice and slick, no stickiness at all that can come with gloss finishes.
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Old 01-16-2020, 05:28 PM
foxo foxo is offline
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I only briefly owned a mirror shine gloss guitar (the OM 21) and as lovely as it looked it picked up fingerprints and smudges so quickly that it got on my nerves. Ambertone probably exaggerated it too.

I’m not totally sure if my Lowden F32 is gloss or satin, it’s like somewhere in between? Either way I prefer that, it just feels and looks great.
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Old 01-16-2020, 05:43 PM
Peepaw Peepaw is offline
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I don't give it much thought other than the neck. Neck has to be satin on the neck.

I own one that is all satin, one that is all gloss and my last purchase has a gloss top with satin back and sides.

Really as long as the neck is not gloss, I don't really care on the body.
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Old 01-16-2020, 05:57 PM
Steel and wood Steel and wood is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeInBethesda View Post
Curious to hear what folks think of satin finishes on acoustics. I’m considering buying a relatively high end acoustic that has a satin finish. Would a satin finish be a deal breaker for you? I realize this is primarily aesthetics (I haven’t heard that the finish has much effect on tone) and in the eye of the beholder, but would still value thoughts on this. Thanks, Mike
I think a lot of guitars with a satin finish sound to my ears "drier" or "woodier" if that's a term. (Like an old guitar where the lacquer on it has all but gone). The tops on satin guitars tend to darken quicker over time than guitars coated with lacquer is my experience also.

I'm a fan of both!
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Old 01-16-2020, 05:58 PM
Daveyo Daveyo is offline
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Funny you should mention this topic right now.
I just bought a Guild dv52 with supposed satin body and gloss
Top,we'll see,it was advertising gloss top .I will receive it next week.
I feel kinda dupped but if it plays and sounds good I don't really care
If its glossed ,I just feel I should have bid less if I knew it wasn't all gloss
Larrivee does matte very well as does Taylor.
In the end,no it doesn't matter
There are lots of pretty glossy guitars at guitar center that sound awful
It's all about sound and feel for me.
Dave
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Old 01-16-2020, 06:15 PM
Ncbandit Ncbandit is offline
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I have both and love the look of both evenly.Gloss finishes scratch and smudge easy but the light scratches can be buffed out. I never noticed any obvious tone differences.

I would get whatever guitar speaks to you without any concern about the finish type.
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Old 01-16-2020, 06:30 PM
bufflehead bufflehead is offline
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Three of my guitars are satin, and I prefer it. A lighter finish deadens the sound less than gloss. Play a satin guitar for about ten years, and it takes on a pretty cool personality. I'm also convinced, although this may prove controversial, that satin-finished guitars open up more spectacularly than their glossy cousins.

My only high-gloss guitar is my stage guitar. I play a lot of outdoor venues in rainy Washington state, and that's where I prefer something that's more water resistant, even if I'm playing under a canopy. Easier to wipe down a glossy when you're done. But for pure tone, go satin.
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Old 01-16-2020, 06:41 PM
archerscreek archerscreek is offline
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Other than on a neck, I've concluded that I don't want a satin finish on an instrument. They look cool in pics. They look cool when someone else is playing them. They sound good. But something changes when I hold the thing. I need the finish to be a gloss. Distressed varnish finishes look cool and classy, too. But I never bond with an instrument that has a satin top, back, or sides.
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Old 01-16-2020, 06:52 PM
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M19 M19 is offline
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The hand rubbed satin finish on a Lowden or McIlroy is wonderful (I have a Mac and have owned Lowdens). Smooth and lustrous. I wish my Taylors, Martin and Gibson had the same finish.

I am NOT a fan of the satin finish on the GS Minis (I had a mahogany one). Rough and uneven, and the gloss finish on my Gibson Parlor is over-done.
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Old 01-16-2020, 06:55 PM
sloar sloar is offline
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I prefer satin, and a darker wood top.
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Old 01-16-2020, 06:59 PM
foxo foxo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M19 View Post
The hand rubbed satin finish on a Lowden or McIlroy is wonderful (I have a Mac and have owned Lowdens). Smooth and lustrous. I wish my Taylors, Martin and Gibson had the same finish.
Ahhh, so it is satin, thanks for clearing that up.
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Old 01-16-2020, 07:18 PM
Mdinterman Mdinterman is offline
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Gloss finish except for the neck. Gloss neck is a deal breaker for me.
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Old 01-16-2020, 07:18 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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I own both and gig with both. Satin finishes are generally much faster to apply and to cure, so those guitars with it can be sold for a friendlier price than those with high gloss finishes.

Most guitarists donít realize that applying a high gloss finish makes up about half of what it costs to build a professional quality guitar, due to the need to let successive layers cure before proceeding to the next, then the hand work needed to buff it out. The guitar factory employees who work in the finish department are usually among the most skilled and thus best-paid on the factory floor.


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