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View Full Version : Since the recent survey proves that 50% of uke players love Satin finishes...



michaeloceanmoon
01-03-2013, 06:37 PM
Do any of you satin lovers have any opinions about satin finishes and the durability of softer soundboards, specifically cedar?

pdxuke
01-03-2013, 06:41 PM
Do any of you satin lovers have any opinions about satin finishes and the durability of softer soundboards, specifically cedar?

Don't know about cedar, I only own mahogany. But the one uke I have had that was gloss started to show fine scratches which I thought were most unattractive. My satin finishes still look great.

itsme
01-03-2013, 06:55 PM
Cedar and spruce are the most popular tops for classical guitars. Preferred finish is usually French polish, which is considered delicate.

Properly cared for, softer woods can live a long and happy life without the need for a heavy coat of gloss on them. :)

OldePhart
01-04-2013, 06:42 AM
Cedar and spruce are the most popular tops for classical guitars. Preferred finish is usually French polish, which is considered delicate.

Properly cared for, softer woods can live a long and happy life without the need for a heavy coat of gloss on them. :)

My satin cedar-topped guitar looked well loved within a year... Honestly, though, I don't think gloss finish is going to help a lot in protecting soft wood unless the finish is very thick - and then you might as well have a plastic top...

John

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
01-04-2013, 06:50 AM
My satin cedar-topped guitar looked well loved within a year... Honestly, though, I don't think gloss finish is going to help a lot in protecting soft wood unless the finish is very thick - and then you might as well have a plastic top...

John

Agreed. BTW, does anyone know the percentage of guitars are finished in satin? I think they are predominantly glossy. Ever seen a satin finished violin?

chris667
01-04-2013, 06:54 AM
Scratches and patina are good. If you disagree, look at Willie Nelson's guitar, Trigger:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Trigger-Willie_Nelson.jpg

:cool:

hoosierhiver
01-04-2013, 06:55 AM
The survey only proves that over 50% of the people who participated in the survey prefered satin finish. Overall, I'd say gloss might be a little more popular based on our sales.

Mandarb
01-04-2013, 07:42 AM
The survey only proves that over 50% of the people who participated in the survey prefered satin finish. Overall, I'd say gloss might be a little more popular based on our sales.

And only 43% of people surveyed believe in surveys.

Rick Turner
01-04-2013, 08:08 AM
I do satin nitro over a nice hard and tough polyester base coat, so soft woods are protected as well as with a gloss finish. Hence you have to really define the parameters better than just saying satin or gloss. You can have a gloss finish that doesn't protect well...French polish...or you can have a satin finish that protects well...satin urethane or nitro over poly base.

But my dealers prefer gloss finishes as being an easier sell. And I do this for a living, so guess what I do the most of...

ukeeku
01-04-2013, 08:19 AM
I like to look of satin. Less finger prints. I know that most of my satin ukes where not finished like Rick's. They have both needed pick guards, but they are both spruce tops also.
I have found that for many Gloss = high end. I have also heard that satin is thinner, but not always true. Rick demonstrated that it depends on the application and finishes for durability for either.
I love my kanilea gloss 8-string, it is purdy, but ukes I have control over the finish I have done satin. it is a personal taste.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
01-04-2013, 09:19 AM
[QUOTE=ukeeku;1142445
I have found that for many Gloss = high end. I have also heard that satin is thinner, but not always true. .[/QUOTE]

When I did satin lacquer finishes I would use the same gloss lacquer and the same spraying schedule with the same number of coats and pore filling as well. The only thing that made it satin was a small amount of flattening agent I would add to the lacquer. I would adjust the amount of flattening agent depending upon how much sheen I wanted.
A satin finish can be thinner, but a certain amount of thickness is desirable for protection. Ultra thin finishes do not last very long. Applying nice, thin glossy finishes is an art that is honed only after a lot of experience.

thejumpingflea
01-04-2013, 09:40 AM
I prefer gloss for softer wood tops. I have a MP redwood soprano and ended up putting my own pickguard on it because of the wear from strumming. It depends on the finish, but the UV finish that DaSilva and Kanile'a uses is very durable and doesn't chip easily.

Paul December
01-04-2013, 09:56 AM
Scratches and patina are good. If you disagree, look at Willie Nelson's guitar, Trigger:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Trigger-Willie_Nelson.jpg

:cool:

:confused: Am I the only one who finds that guitar creepy?

AndrewKuker
01-04-2013, 10:36 AM
When I did satin lacquer finishes I would use the same gloss lacquer and the same spraying schedule with the same number of coats and pore filling as well. The only thing that made it satin was a small amount of flattening agent I would add to the lacquer. I would adjust the amount of flattening agent depending upon how much sheen I wanted.
A satin finish can be thinner, but a certain amount of thickness is desirable for protection. Ultra thin finishes do not last very long. Applying nice, thin glossy finishes is an art that is honed only after a lot of experience.

I like your avatar pic Chuck. Shows off the glory of being a master luthier
I always wondered about the buffing process and if somehow that is creating a compression. It is a compression I like in gloss. It translates into warmth for my ears. I like buffed gloss nitro..about a year later even better.

Ukuleleblues
01-04-2013, 11:09 AM
When I did satin lacquer finishes I would use the same gloss lacquer and the same spraying schedule with the same number of coats and pore filling as well. The only thing that made it satin was a small amount of flattening agent I would add to the lacquer. I would adjust the amount of flattening agent depending upon how much sheen I wanted.
A satin finish can be thinner, but a certain amount of thickness is desirable for protection. Ultra thin finishes do not last very long. Applying nice, thin glossy finishes is an art that is honed only after a lot of experience.

Thanks MBU!! Wow another Myth-buster, sure shoots my reasoning in the AZZZ. I guess glossy "looks" so thick compared to satin, very interesting info. So any difference I think I hear is in my head.....wow lots of stuff up there (head) really tempers what we perceive.

Ever go out and everybody appears to be in a bad mood and then you go out another day and everyone seems happy? I think that is in your head too!!

I once read a serious thread where folks were discussing if a 1/4 90 degree cable end altered the sound over a 1/4 straight cable end. (I learned that too, electricity likes the straight open road, especially for music.)

I once read a thread where folks were convinced that a black nitrocellulose made the best (noticeable?) "resonance" on a solid body electric guitar. (hey man it's solid, how much can it really resonate?)

Maybe this is just an adult version of an imaginary friend.......Gotta go, my pal ukulele Ike (he plays a satin uke) just showed up we are going out for a few stiff drinks...later

mds725
01-04-2013, 11:47 AM
The survey only proves that over 50% of the people who participated in the survey prefered satin finish. ......

Thank you for pointing this out. It troubles me when discussions are based on what might be a flawed assumption.

Freeda
01-04-2013, 11:58 AM
I have one french polish, one gloss, and one satin. My spruce (solid top)/gloss and and my mahogany (laminate)/satin looks fine. My spruce (solid)/french polish looks...a little abused. I kind of like the little strum marks, though. Character.

itsme
01-04-2013, 12:24 PM
The survey only proves that over 50% of the people who participated in the survey prefered satin finish. Overall, I'd say gloss might be a little more popular based on our sales.
Mike, if I might hazard a guess... most of your ukes feature rope binding. And I have seen a few threads here where people said they were turned off by it and wouldn't buy a Mainland for that reason. So maybe the crowd that likes rope bindings is more into "bling" and would be more inclined to go for glossy?


I once read a thread where folks were convinced that a black nitrocellulose made the best (noticeable?) "resonance" on a solid body electric guitar. (hey man it's solid, how much can it really resonate?)
There might be some truth to that. Back in the day when floppy disks were the shiznit, everyone in the know knew that black floppy drives were faster. :p

aperseghin
01-04-2013, 12:32 PM
i'd like to point out that 76% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

OldePhart
01-04-2013, 12:34 PM
:confused: Am I the only one who finds that guitar creepy?

Yes, you are the only one. :)

Seriously, it's one of the best sounding acoustic guitars I've ever heard.

hawaii 50
01-05-2013, 11:05 AM
When I did satin lacquer finishes I would use the same gloss lacquer and the same spraying schedule with the same number of coats and pore filling as well. The only thing that made it satin was a small amount of flattening agent I would add to the lacquer. I would adjust the amount of flattening agent depending upon how much sheen I wanted.
A satin finish can be thinner, but a certain amount of thickness is desirable for protection. Ultra thin finishes do not last very long. Applying nice, thin glossy finishes is an art that is honed only after a lot of experience.


Thanks Chuck..i guess that clears up my questions..

everyone says that a Satin finish vibrates more..but if you treat/spray it the same way as a gloss finish i guess it is not any thinner and does not vibrate more..i guess it is all in the way it looks?

i can not really hear the difference between the 2 finishes..
but that only me..

i understand what you mean on having a lot experience to apply a thin glossy coat>> almost all of my ukes have a great finish on them

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
01-05-2013, 01:29 PM
Thanks Chuck..i guess that clears up my questions..

everyone says that a Satin finish vibrates more..but if you treat/spray it the same way as a gloss finish i guess it is not any thinner and does not vibrate more..i guess it is all in the way it looks?

i can not really hear the difference between the 2 finishes..
but that only me..

i understand what you mean on having a lot experience to apply a thin glossy coat>> almost all of my ukes have a great finish on them

Please know that I'm only talking about lacquer in my comments. And I'm only speaking from the standpoint of how I do things which may be far different from what's commonly done. It is true that many glossy finishes are thick. It's a lot easier for a factory to simply put a lot of finish on to cover up defects in the wood and reduce the time it takes to achieve a good thin finish. I see a lot of inexpensive imported instruments that look like they have been dipped in finish (The neck/body joint is usually where it is most evident.) These thick finishes can certainly have a negative impact of the sound. Higher end uke factories and custom builders usually approach their finishing schedules in a different manner and are usually thinner regardless of the sheen. These are generalities naturally and there are exceptions.