Promotion Items

the KILN @Indiegogo
4hr Courses

Dear Friends, Guitaring Passionately has began its inaugural acoustic guitar making process in early 2017. Do stay tuned to the progress thru instagram and Facebook.

Check out our Price Busters

Learn practical guitar maintenance skills in our 4hr Courses. Brochure Download here

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Guitar Myths #001 - Matt vs Gloss

Hi Guitar Enthusiasts,

Kicking off a series in urban myths of guitars; we heard of many good intended advices about maintaining and enhancing our beloved guitars. Be aware of the stuff you read from various websites because the information found there may not be always authentic and much less helpful. I have learned many such myths from my clients. Let me warn you, some myths are simply out of this world and I think only magic mushrooms can take you there!

Myth #001

"Gloss finish will always give you more brighter sound and more treble and Matt/Satin more warmer sound".

Heard that before? I remember window shopping in a guitar shop and a sale person sharing that myth with me. With much convictions I must add.

Comparisons between finishes
Taken from:

Left flatting agent used, Right no flatting agent
The facts behind finishing woods are diverse and deep and I made no attempt to elaborate every aspect of it as I am no expert in this as well. There are indeed critical differences between gloss finish and satin finish but they have nothing to do with "brighter sound and warmer sound".

In short, most regular polyurethane (PU) finishes are gloss by chemical nature. PU finishings that are Satin or Matt have been taken through an additional chemical process to attain the so-called Matt finishing.

When guitar makers produce Matt finish guitars, they attained that by mixing an additive commonly known as flatting agent into the finishing concoction. By this doing, we get the so-called Satin or Matt finish.

We can safely say that Satin or Matt finish guitars have slightly thicker coats than gloss finished guitars.

More reading on Flatting agent can be found here:

Say we entertain the idea of finish thickness that may have influenced the tonal characteristics of guitars. For a start, both finishes have negligible differences in thickness, and it is totally within the control of the person who is doing the finishing job to give both finishing the same amount of coats.

In my opinion, to relate gloss finishes to brighter tone and satin finishes to warmer require great imagination or blind faith.

PU Finish

There is an article on Satin Vs Gloss finish that finds little or no relationships between types of finishes and tonal characteristics. You can read it here:

So when one of your guitar buddies suggest that Matt finished guitars give warmer tone, hope you can enlighten them.

No comments:

Post a Comment