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Sr. Martins

Posts: 3009
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

Satin vs Gloss 

Hi,

I was wondering if there are any drawbacks/cons to having a satin polyurethane finish vs the glossy one.

Thanks,

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"Ya no me conoce el sol, porque yo duermo de dia"
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 11 2018 13:19:15
 
Echi

 

Posts: 462
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Satin vs Gloss (in reply to Sr. Martins

Hi,
As a matter of tone, the main factor is the thickness of the film. A thin layer of polyurethane, with matte look, is what Greg Smallman applies on his cedar top guitars.
With the time polyurethane will slowly penetrate into the wood.
I read on this forum some positive considerations about polyurethane by mr Brune: I think Richard Jernigan wrote something about it as polyurethane is often used as standard by some varnishers in Madrid.
I generally prefer shellac mixed with other resins or nitro varnish for matter of future reparability.
Nothing wrong with matte but sometime it looks cheap.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 12 2018 8:05:36
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3009
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: Satin vs Gloss (in reply to Sr. Martins

It’s funny how satin gets that conotation because of usually being applied to cheap instruments. Less labor apparently.

To me satin feels much better and shiny gloss poly is what I consider cheap looking

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"Ya no me conoce el sol, porque yo duermo de dia"
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 12 2018 9:40:50
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3629
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Satin vs Gloss (in reply to Sr. Martins

Yep. I like it a lot too.
When me saw an axe with mate finish first time in the early nineties, I loved it right away.

To me it feels more natural and at the neck even more practical.
Guess the only ergonomical benefit of skins higher friction on gloss being when you need the sticky characteristic for to hold the corpus in place with the right lower arm.
Which again has the disadvantage of having to clean remains of sweat, unless you accept that region to become dull or eaten away over time.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 12 2018 11:27:56
 
Echi

 

Posts: 462
Joined: Jan. 11 2013
 

RE: Satin vs Gloss (in reply to Sr. Martins

It’s more common in Germany.
Companies like Hanika and other local luthiers sell quite well guitars with matte finish.
Things like open pores, matte finish, dark woods and not yellowing finishes contribute to a kind of cold feeling which seems to be appreciated more at those latitudes than in the Mediterranean and West countries.
Nothing wrong with this. Generally speaking, I think it goes way more the classic shiny honey/orangish finish though.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 12 2018 12:08:16
 
estebanana

 

Posts: 7459
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Satin vs Gloss (in reply to Sr. Martins

You can get a flat lacquer and even brush it on. Looks fine to me.

A lot of makers now are using long oil boat varnishes and thinning them on with mineral spirits and rubbing them on in layers. You can use satin varnish that way, although I like long oil varnish instead of poly. I finished a guitar for customer in 2016 with a satin oil varnish and it looked great.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 12 2018 14:08:27
 
mt1007

Posts: 44
Joined: Jan. 20 2011
 

RE: Satin vs Gloss (in reply to Sr. Martins

As a player, I prefer a matte finish. I practice about 3 hours a day, gig on weekends, tablaos etc. For me, when playing a lot, sometimes your hand will sweat. Humidity is also a factor, especially when playing in dance studios with no ventilation and a bunch of dancers. So a shiny gloss finish is a no go for the left hand, it starts to stick to the neck when doing fast chord changes or runs. This issue does not happen anymore with my Devoe negra matte finish on the neck. The matte finish will get shiny though, wherever skin contacts the guitar, but it doesn’t feel like a glossy finish. The next guitar I order I will have the whole guitar done in a matte finish, just feels more organic. My two cents guys.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 12 2018 16:57:49
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3629
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Satin vs Gloss (in reply to Sr. Martins

Funny to read your explanation.
I suggested the very same thing about thumb sticking at glossy necks versus mat etc., years ago on the foro. And was tared & feathered by hosts of tabooists.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 12 2018 17:04:00
 
heyjamesguesswhat

 

Posts: 9
Joined: Apr. 13 2016
 

RE: Satin vs Gloss (in reply to Sr. Martins

I feel like satin finishes are easier on the eyes under stage lighting. You're not up there trying to signal a distant ship with your guitar.

A little shine is nice, but I'm not a fan of the mirror bright high gloss nitro fetishism.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 24 2018 14:31:30
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