Satin Vs. Gloss Finish Guitar (Making The Right Choice)

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The satin and gloss finish guitar are two types of guitars that can be found in the market. While both have a unique look and feel, there are some key diferences between them that must be considered before making a purchase.

In this article, we will discus the satin versus gloss finish guitar to help you decide which one is right for your needs.

Overview Of Satin And Gloss Finish Guitars

Satin guitars have a satin sheen finish on the wood, which gives it a mellow, soft look. This is great for players who want a smooth and warm sound that wont be too harsh or bright. The satin finish also gives the guitar beter resonance and sustain.

On the other hand, gloss guitars have a glosy sheen to them that can bring out brighter tones with increased clarity and projection compared to satin guitars, just like the PRS SE Standard 24.

This makes them ideal for rock, metal, punk and other genras that require high volume and energy. Aditionally, gloss finishes are more resistant to scratches than satin finishes.

Satin Vs. Gloss Finish Guitar: Key Differences

The distinction between a satin and gloss finish on a guitar can be broken down into several key categories, including apearance, feel, maintenance, tone, and cost.


The appearance of a guitar is one of the most important factors for many players, and the finish can have a significant impact on how the instrument looks. A gloss finish provides a highly reflective surface, giving the guitar a shiny and polished apearance. The high gloss shine is eye-catching and gives the guitar a classic, professional look, and this finish can be found in many Charvel guitars.

On the other hand, a satin finish has a more muted and mate appearance, with less shine and a softer look. The less reflective surface of a satin finish also means that it is less prone to showing scratches and fingerprints, making it ideal for players who prefer a more lowkey look.


In addition to appearance, the feel of a guitar is also an important consideration for players. A gloss finish is smoother to the touch and provides a sleek and slipery feel, making it ideal for players who prefer a smooth and fast playing experiance.

However, the slippery nature of a gloss finish can make it more difficult for some players to grip the neck of the guitar, especially when playing for extended periods of time.

A satin finish, on the other hand, is less slippery and provides a beter grip for the player, making it ideal for those who prefer a more secure and comfortable playing experince.


The maintenance required for a guitar can also be impacted by the finish. A gloss finish requires more maintenance, as it is more susceptible to scratches and fingerprints, and requires regular cleaning to maintain its apearance.

This can be a challenge for players who are frequently on the road or do not have easy access to cleaning suplies, but the materials are pretty similar to the ones that are used during the cleaning process of maple fretboards.

A satin finish is lower maintenance, as it is less prone to showing scratches and fingerprints, and does not require frequent cleaning. This makes it ideal for players who prefer a more lowmaintenance playing experience.


The tone of a guitar is also an important consideration, and the finish can have a slight impact on the sound produced by the intrument. A gloss finish has no impact on the tone of the guitar, and the sound produced is identical to that of a satin finish.

However, a satin finish can provide a slightly more muted and resonant sound, as the surface of the guitar is more porous, alowing the sound to resonate more easily.


Finally, cost is another important consideration when choosing between a satin and gloss finish on a guitar. Gloss finishes are usualy more expensive, as they require more time and materials to achieve the high level of shine.

Satin finishes are usually less expensive, as they require fewer materials and are quicker to aply. This makes satin finishes ideal for players who are working within a budget.

Maintaining Satin And Gloss Guitar Finishes

Maintaining satin and gloss guitar finishes is an important part of preserving the look and sound of your instrument. To keep your satin guitar looking its best, its important to clean the surface regularly with a soft cloth.

For stuborn dirt or grime, you can use a damp cloth or soft brush with mild soap. Make sure to never use agressive cleaning agents that could damage the satin finish. After cleaning, it’s recomended to apply a light coat of polish to protect against oxidation and fading.

When maintaining gloss guitars, it’s important to take extra care while cleaning as they are more prone to scratches than satin guitars.

To avoid scratching the glosy surface, use only a soft cloth or brush when wiping away dust or dirt; never use abrasive cleaners that could damage the finish.

Aditionally, gloss guitars require regular waxing with a good quality carnauba wax in order to maintain their shine and luster. Aplying wax will also help protect against oxidation and fading over time.

In addition to cleaning and polishing satin and gloss guitars, its also important to check for loose hardware such as tuners or bridges which may become loose over time due to regular wear-and-tear from playing or live performances.

It’s also recomended that strings be replaced every few months in order to maintain optimum sound quality over time – if left unchecked strings can become coroded which can lead to poor tuning stability and dull sounding tone.

Finally, it’s important not expose satin or gloss guitars to extreme temperatures as this can cause cracking in the wood over time; store them in a room temperature enviroment whenever posible for maximum longevity.

Overall, proper care and maintenance is essential for keeping satin and gloss guitar finishes looking their best for years to come.

Regular cleaning using only gentle tools is recomended for both types of finishes; satin should be polished after cleaning while gloss should be waxed on a regular basis for optimal protection against fading and oxidation.

Furthermore, checking all hardware for any signs of wear-and-tear is always advised as well as replacing strings every few months in order ensure optimum sound quality over time.


In conclusion, the choice between a satin and gloss finish on a guitar will ultimately depend on the player’s preference and intended use for the instrument.

For those who prioritize apearance, a gloss finish may be the better choice meanwhile for those who prioritize playability and lower maintenance, a satin finish may be the better choice.

Tone-wise, both finishes are equal, so it would not play a role in determining the winner and ultimately, it is up to the individual player to decide which finish is right for them, taking into acount all of the key factors discused above.

Whether you want to learn about guitars, guitar equipment or other instruments, Guitarsquid has all the answers.