View Full Version : Describe the different looks of different finishes

Jun-18-2004, 9:11am
Just curious, I don't have a lot of experience in handling high end mandolins and I hear a lot of talk about whether to use a lacquer or varnish finish etc...

Can anyone describe the differences in these finishes from an aesthetic point of view? Can I tell the difference just by looks? Are they all glossy and "deep" looking? Please include a reference to what the finishes on most MK, Kentuckys etc... are as well.

Jun-22-2004, 10:03pm
More finish thickness = more mass to move and thus the tone is dampened, thus the 9 series gibsons use lacquer , but not much, and the korean manufacturers use lots , but boy is it durable ! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wow.gif

Chris Baird
Jun-23-2004, 8:29am
Varnish brings out the figure of wood much better than lacquer. So it tends to give a deeper look. It isn't, however, glossier. Varnish has "texture" if you look at it close in the right reflection you will see that it isn't glass smooth. I tried to find some photos that showed the varnish texture but it doesn't come through on camera. Here are a couple anyway.

Chris Baird
Jun-23-2004, 8:30am
A little closer shot. You can kinda sorta see a little texture in the edges of the bright reflection.