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  #31  
Old 01-17-2020, 09:36 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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For me, I much prefer a satin body and neck finish.

Satin finished necks feel great and don't have the tendency for your hand to stick or drag on the surface.

Satin finished bodies just look a whole lot classier to me. They don't show fingerprints, smudges, or surface wear the way a gloss finish does. I really appreciated how much a satin finish contributed to the look of a guitar after I purchased my first Lowden with wood bindings; you could look INTO it rather than look AT it.

If you perform (or watch performances) stage lighting is just plain cruel to the audience as it reflects off the face of a gloss-finished guitar.

From a builder's perspective it's often easier to produce a thin finish using satin finishes and that translates into a more open and transparent sound. Those gorgeous mirror-like finishes reflect more than lots of light; it translates into lots of labor, and that spills over into the cost of a custom instrument. My appreciation is mostly what's under the hood, not the finish.

I can appreciate the amount of effort that goes into a well done gloss finish, but it always reminds me of the cheap imports that have the thick U.V. cured polyester finishes that look like they were dipped in a vat to apply the finish.

Gloss finishes aren't something I would ever seek out, but obviously this is a matter of personal preference for the most part.
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  #32  
Old 01-17-2020, 09:55 AM
MikePrent MikePrent is offline
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I love the simpleness of the satin finish on my DSS. Not fancy or flashy.... Just simple.

One thing I've recently noticed, over time the neck and a small area around the pick guard has actually started to sheen a bit from the oil and sweat of my hands. Not in a bad way, I think it adds character.
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Last edited by MikePrent; 01-17-2020 at 10:08 AM.
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  #33  
Old 01-17-2020, 01:55 PM
Pura Vida Pura Vida is offline
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I've owned a few satin finish guitars, which were ok, and I own a couple currently that are satin with open pore finish. But my preference is a classic gloss top nitro finish, natural, and w/ no spray tan.
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  #34  
Old 01-17-2020, 02:04 PM
PetesaHut PetesaHut is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeInBethesda View Post
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
Satin looks somewhat cheap to me, and yes it "might" be a deal-breaker.
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  #35  
Old 01-17-2020, 02:13 PM
Llewlyn Llewlyn is offline
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Love both, but my preference is glossy finish (satin on neck).

Ll.
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  #36  
Old 01-17-2020, 02:49 PM
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vindibona1 vindibona1 is offline
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While I can't fault those that like satin, in comparison IMO it looks cheap. It's definitely a cheaper finish in terms of man-hours required for finishing. Satin can hide imperfections and fingerprints. But here's the rub (pun intended)... When you rub a satin finish it gets glossier, and to get it back to a uniform satin look is almost impossible.

Gloss will almost always bring more visual depth to grain and color. This is not in dispute. It will however produce more glare and hot spots (visually) under direct lighting... and reveal imperfections of fingerprints and dings. But still, given a choice for me it's gloss and satin can be a deal breaker. As for the neck? I don't mind a gloss neck if it has little "stiction". I find that some gloss lacquers allow the hands to move freely while other lacquers just make things more difficult. My Taylor 614 has a gloss neck while my Taylor 814 has a satin neck and I have no preference for either.

As an illustration, some time ago I photographed two very similar Koa guitars side-by-side; one satin and the other gloss. The difference in the "wow" factor is undeniable (at least IMO). I would have really liked to have seen the one on the left with gloss. The graining is really rich looking. Now as I study the one on the right, it doesn't appear that Taylor book-matched the wood top. Am I wrong?
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  #37  
Old 01-17-2020, 03:51 PM
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I love satin finished guitars and own two.
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  #38  
Old 01-17-2020, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vindibona1 View Post
it doesn't appear that Taylor book-matched the wood top. Am I wrong?
The top on that guitar is bookmatched. The difference in color you see across the joint is due to the figure. We call it runout in a top but the light reflects differently for figured woods that are bookmatched. As the grain rises on one half it is falling on the other half. Look closely and you can see how the grain and figure are symmetrical but just different in color. Some figured sets will show this effect more noticeably than others. It is more prominent on your guitar as most of the lower bout is lighter on the left side than the right side.
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  #39  
Old 01-17-2020, 04:06 PM
fishwatcher fishwatcher is offline
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One thing to consider, is what happens if there is damage to the finish.

I just got back a ukulele with a satin finish. A repair was done to a cracked top, which resulted in a solid fix (underneath the top). However.. the external finish, was a thick satin finish, and the shop (a very prominent one) told me that in order to fill the crack and buff it out.. there would be a glossy area that would stand out and contrast versus the satin finish.

So.. fixing a significantly dinged satin finish, it seems is harder than a glossy one.. at least as I understand it.
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  #40  
Old 01-17-2020, 04:32 PM
MikePrent MikePrent is offline
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Default Satin vs gloss finish

Quote:
Originally Posted by vindibona1 View Post
But here's the rub (pun intended)... When you rub a satin finish it gets glossier, and to get it back to a uniform satin look is almost impossible.

This is 100% correct. This is the neck on my DSS-17. The headstock and heel are still satin, but the middle of the neck has that sheen from the oils. Same around the pick guard where my hand strums. Itís going to be interesting to see how long it takes for the pick to wear down to the bare Sitka.

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Last edited by MikePrent; 01-17-2020 at 06:25 PM.
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  #41  
Old 01-17-2020, 07:20 PM
1Charlie 1Charlie is offline
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I’m more concerned with how a guitar sounds, and satin-finished guitars generally sound great, free and unrestrained.
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  #42  
Old 01-17-2020, 07:56 PM
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My favorite guitars in the past few years have been my Lowdens, Avalon and McIlroy...all of which have satin finishes. If they had glossy finishes, they'd still be my favorites. That said, my car is glossy! ha...Dan
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  #43  
Old 01-17-2020, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeInBethesda View Post
Curious to hear what folks think of satin finishes on acoustics....e
I prefer gloss every time, without exception. Everyone should just buy what they like best. That's all that matters.
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  #44  
Old 01-17-2020, 09:36 PM
Mark Stone Mark Stone is offline
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My 110e is my first satin, and I love it. The only negative would be the sound when it rubs against clothing, but as far as ease of maintenance and appearance it rocks. Scratches don't show up as easily, too.
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  #45  
Old 01-17-2020, 09:40 PM
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I have guitars with 3 types of finishes, gloss, satin and my Avalon which is a weird kind of mix between the other two. I generally don't play my satin (Martin D-16GT) guitar much and when I do it isn't for a recording. One small body movement sounds like an earthquake through a mic with a satin finish.
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