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School Me on Satin Finish

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by black_doug, Apr 20, 2021.

  1. black_doug

    black_doug Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I’ve owned about six acoustic guitars at different times over the years, always with a gloss finish.

    As I was browsing today I noticed a Larrivee Tommy Emmanuel Signature model. Everything about the specs has me interested, except for the satin finish.

    What’s the pros and cons of a satin finish?
     
  2. Dukex

    Dukex Tele-Afflicted

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    In my experience, pros = $400 - $500 less expensive for otherwise same guitar.

    I have two of both. Yes, the gloss is beautiful, but to me I'll almost always take the satin (if available) for cost savings.
     
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  3. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's just a finish option. I personally don't care for but it wouldn't stop me from buying a guitar that I liked.
     
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  4. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Advantages for the builder - a satin finish is cheaper to apply, does not require any color sanding or buffing. It does a better job of hiding lesser quality wood. Its most often seen on price point guitars. Sometimes you'll get a shiny top and satin back and sides.

    Advantages for buyer/player - costs less. Doesn't show wear and scratches as badly. Doesn't reflect lights on stage. Many folks the feel of satin necks. It is possible to polish a satin finish to more or less "semi gloss". Very few people actually go the other way.

    I'm not a fan of satin finishes, the one 314 Taylor that I owned long ago got buffed. On everything I build I either spray gloss lacquer or French polish - I want to show off the woods I use.
     
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  5. Greggorios

    Greggorios Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Never heard of an issue with it. Larrivee is certainly experienced in producing them. Their most popular line for years was the 03 series, all satin. I have a 20 year old Martin D16rgt with a gloss top and satin sides and back. No issues at all with the sides and back.
     
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  6. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    The best thing about it is, you save considerable cake, then buff it yourself and make it shine like God intended.
     
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  7. peteycaster

    peteycaster Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I have a Guild 240D with a satin finish and I really like the feel of it. To me it doesn't look cheap just different.
     
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  8. black_doug

    black_doug Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Thanks for all the responses.

    I have owned a Larrivee C-05, with the florentine cutaway like the TE Sig model, that I wish I still had. It had a L-shape body, with a gloss finish. Been thinking it's time to buy another Larrivee. I play up the neck more now so a cutaway would be nice. And I've always liked the look of a florentine cutaway.
     
  9. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had a satin-finish Smith & Young (National) squareneck for a while. Can't say it affected the sound for better or worse. Never got used to the look. Finally got rid of it. Guitars should be shiny.
     

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  10. black_doug

    black_doug Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Yeah, I’ve always felt that way too. Can an old dog learn new tricks?
     
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  11. BryMelvin

    BryMelvin Friend of Leo's

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    I actually Often build guitars with satin finish. I really like satin necks. The problem is they eventually become gloss.
     
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  12. black_doug

    black_doug Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Satin necks are also a big reason I like Fender electric guitars.
     
  13. Masmus

    Masmus Tele-Meister

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    I would try one out before buying online. If you like the feel then great. I personally don't like it but that's just me. Or buy it from GC with their return policy.
     
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  14. Jakedog

    Jakedog Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I don’t care one way or the other. My Cole Clark has a satin nitro finish and it feels great. Doesn’t look fancy, which is fine by me. I’m hoping that between not looking expensive, and being a brand almost nobody around here has ever heard of, it might help keep it from being stolen as easily.
     
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