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Thread: I must say, satin finish looks better than gloss

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2020
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    Default I must say, satin finish looks better than gloss

    I've never cared much about the type of finish; they all look fine to me.

    Maybe I preferred gloss over satin because it seems more durable and sweat and stuff come off it so easily.

    But, now, on a side-by-side examination, I think I much prefer satin finish for its superior looks. It has this understated elegance that I never noticed before. (or maybe it is just new-uke love; we shall see.)

    uke_back.jpguke_top.jpguke_side.jpg

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by clear View Post
    It has this understated elegance that I never noticed before.
    uke_side.jpg
    And it doesn't glare annoyingly onstage.

  3. #3
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    I'm the complete opposite. I much prefer a gloss finish for the looks but satin for the ease of cleaning. During this summer, my gloss finished ukes have had an insane amount of sweat and dirt and grime on them after only a little bit of playing and it's a nightmare to get off, but for the few satin finished ukes it's just a few swipes with a cloth, if even that, and it's completely clean. Especially for acacia and koa ukes, a gloss finish brings out the grain and flaming much nicer than a satin finish. For something less striking such as mahogany or spruce, the difference is not as big. And of course, this is only in regards to the looks of the uke and not the sound, which can actually differ quite significantly depending on the finish.

  4. #4
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    It's a tossup. I Only have one glossy uke, it's koa and koa laminate. I Do think that cocobolo looks way better in satin.
    I've seen tons of glossy guitars, and the only one I ever wanted (Wooden) was in satin.
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    Upper Hale, Surrey/Hants border, UK.
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    Satin for me too - gloss gets finger prints too quickly!
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  6. #6
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    May 2015
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    London
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    It depends on the manufacturer and what they mean by satin or gloss and what materials they use.

    Kanile'a satin is in my experience a huge fingerprint grease magnet. Kanile'a gloss on the other hand does not show any fingerprints whereas Pono gloss does.

    Kamaka semi gloss is just about the perfect balance I think.
    Kamaka HF-3DC - Kanile'a Custom Tenor - KoAloha KTM-S00 - Pono MGTP5-PC - Pono MBD-CR

  7. #7
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    Los Angeles, near the Beverly Center.
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    I have both and don't prefer one over the other, though I do have to be a little more careful photographing the glossy.


    This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
    9 tenor cutaway ukes, 4 acoustic bass ukes, 12 solid body bass ukes, 14 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 39)

    • Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
    • Member The CC Strummers: YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers

  8. #8
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    Sep 2019
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    USA
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    Cheap thick heavy gloss finishes look terrible. Makes it look like the ukulele is encased in plastic and probably doesn't do wonders for your sound quality, either.

    A good quality gloss finish can look great. Some of them really highlight the wood grain without affecting your sound quality because they are so thin.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by kohanmike View Post
    I have both and don't prefer one over the other, though I do have to be a little more careful photographing the glossy.


    This is Michael Kohan in Los Angeles, Beverly Grove near the Beverly Center
    9 tenor cutaway ukes, 4 acoustic bass ukes, 12 solid body bass ukes, 14 mini electric bass guitars (Total: 39)

    • Donate to The Ukulele Kids Club, they provide ukuleles to children in hospital music therapy programs. www.theukc.org
    • Member The CC Strummers: YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/CCStrummers/video, Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheCCStrummers
    I just noticed that (WRT photography) after posting the pics. In 2 of the pics, you can see the reflections of a picture frame and window, making the ukulele wood look discolored.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2018
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    West Philly, PA
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    A well done gloss finish is a beautiful thing, but I generally prefer satin.

    I have found the down side of gloss to be that it shows play-wear, scratches, and fingerprints quite easily and I really don't care for the feel. However, an advantage of gloss finish is that because it is a buffed out finish you can fairly easily buff out scratches to a level of sheen that matches the overall finish.

    Satin finishes tend to show wear not as easily but a sprayed on satin finish is generally obtained by having flattening agents in the finish and therefore has not been buffed out at all. You can buff out scratches to a similar sheen but it will never totally match that untouched areas and you risk creating a worse blemish. In most cases it is best to scratches and wear in satin finishes alone. Somewhat counter-intuitively gloss finishes are actually easier to touch up.

    But overall I do generally prefer the look and feel of satin as well as how it wears. Overall, I don't have a strong preference except when it comes to necks...the next uke I own with a gloss neck will be getting the #0000 steel wool treatment (just to the neck).
    Last edited by CPG; 07-30-2020 at 07:41 AM.
    Pohaku "Yellow Label" Mahogany Soprano
    Weymann Model 10 Mahogany Soprano (c. 1918)

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