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Thread: Gloss or Satin finish? Sound difference?

  1. #1

    Default Gloss or Satin finish? Sound difference?

    I know this may be a generalization - but in general - which has the most "wood" sound - gloss or satin? I love varnish finishes, but one does not always get lucky enough to have it!

  2. #2
    Hands of Pot Metal
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Forest Grove, Oregon

    Default Re: Gloss or Satin finish? Sound difference?

    While I’m sure someone can discern a tonal difference based on the lack of flattening agent in the varnish, I am not one of them. Such a person might be hard to find.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Joey Anchors's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Austin, TX

    Default Re: Gloss or Satin finish? Sound difference?

    I don’t think gloss vs satin finish makes a big impact on how the mandolin sounds. The thickness of the finish has more of an impact than the type used.
    2020 Waterloo WL-M “SOL”
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  4. #4
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    40.1646° N, 74.2083° W

    Default Re: Gloss or Satin finish? Sound difference?

    It doesn't affect the sound all things equal and considered. If one finish is thicker than another it might, varnish vs lacquer might but gloss vs satin, again all things equal should be the same.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Gloss or Satin finish? Sound difference?

    The two best sounding mandolins I have ever played had a nitro finish. One was a very plain Weber A type and the other was a Gibson F. Both just loud incredible sound. In my opinion I do not think finish makes a big difference. Very few high end guitars have a varnish finish and they can sound great. Just my opinion now please.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Central Illinois

    Default Re: Gloss or Satin finish? Sound difference?

    NO difference to my ears ! But, to my tongue Charles Shaw wine ( $2.99 a bottle) tastes as good as $20-30 dollar a bottle wine ! My ears have a difficult time differentiating between mandolin strings also ! Picks are a different story ! Love those BC picks !
    My two favorite pastimes are drinking wine and playing the mandolin but most of my friends would rather hear me drink wine! Adapted from quote by Mark Twain------supposedly !

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