Vela finishes - Satin or gloss? Tone or feel/resonance difference?

brain21

New Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
13
Anyone played both the semi-hollow satin finishes and the semi-hollow gloss finishes and notice any difference in how it feels/vibrates or how it sounds? I've been leaning toward the satin ones, but a gloss one caught my eye. It's a fairly big price difference between the two, however, with the satin finishes being much less expensive.
 

Sybo

Jim
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
727
Location
Nashville Tn
I have a Poly finish White, and a Reclaimed Wood in Satin Nitro. The Satin Nitro is sooo different, Much more LP to me. Hard to describe. I am sure the 150 year old reclaimed wood doesn’t hurt either!!!! Great guitars. I am a Vela lover.
 

Fram

Vela Love
Joined
Oct 12, 2019
Messages
226
Location
England U.K.
Hi there,

When I got my Vela (not semi hollow) I played a lot of satin and gloss. I especially took note of how they sounded/felt unplugged and to be honest the finish really didn’t make a difference, some resonated more than others, some gloss were better than than some Satin and vice versa. None of them were bad, they all played amazingly well. The two finishes do feel quite different.

I ended up with a gloss model with birds and after gigging hard she has a few knocks, dings and the odd little chip. After looking at a chip I can see the gloss finish is super thin, but it’s quite tough.

I love my Vela, love the balance and the weight, love the way I can hit a G chord and feel the whole body resonate, just a bloody good instrument.
 

Aahzz

Bluebeard Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
5,640
I'm curious, wouldn't mind adding a satin Vela to go with my gloss Vela - I may have become slightly Vela-obsessed. My question, for those with satin Velas, is how durable is the finish? A local player mentioned something to me about the satin S2 finishes flaking off, but I haven't seen much about that here - but also haven't been looking til now :).
 

RallyFanatic

Perpetual musical mid-life crisis
Joined
Jun 10, 2013
Messages
494
Location
New England
I'm curious, wouldn't mind adding a satin Vela to go with my gloss Vela - I may have become slightly Vela-obsessed. My question, for those with satin Velas, is how durable is the finish? A local player mentioned something to me about the satin S2 finishes flaking off, but I haven't seen much about that here - but also haven't been looking til now :).

I don’t think they would flake. I had a satin S2 as my only real guitar for a few years, the forearm area and the back of the neck got real shiny from use, and it’ll nick a bit easier, but the finish felt like it penetrated the wood well enough that it wouldn’t flake. I think it’s an excellent finish, and a satin semi Vela is high on my list of what’s next.
 

brain21

New Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
13
Thanks for all the input so far guys!

I am guessing that the gloss is significantly higher due mainly to the extra labor involved in making the gloss finish then? $1550 vs $1220 (new). $330, or a 25% price increase is nothing to sneeze at...
 

andy474x

Knows the Drill
Joined
May 4, 2012
Messages
4,323
Location
West Michigan
In the S2’s that I’ve tried, the satin finish models have been consistently very resonant, the gloss sometimes maybe a little less.

If you’re ok with the finish getting a relic effect (and it will), the satin finish makes for a killer guitar. They wear through in areas that get the most contact. And, obviously, if you want the guitar to look like new for a long time, the gloss is the way to go.

Really, you can’t go wrong, I don’t think the gloss are bad either, I have two gloss S2’s and one satin, and love them all. But the way the satin rings is something special. Wish I could’ve gotten my Studio in a satin finish, they did a run of them for the U.K.

Thanks for all the input so far guys!

I am guessing that the gloss is significantly higher due mainly to the extra labor involved in making the gloss finish then? $1550 vs $1220 (new). $330, or a 25% price increase is nothing to sneeze at...

Also, gentle reminder, PRS asks that we not discuss pricing here. Sorry to be that guy!
 

brain21

New Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
13
Oh, 1 thing I didn't think about until perusing the threads xjbebop posted is the neck finish. The gloss Velas have the gloss neck finish, where the satin ones have a satin neck finish. I much prefer a satin neck. Most of my recent guitar purchases have been raw roasted maple or raw wenge necks, and I really like those. You can't really have a raw mahogany neck w/o risking issues, so a satin neck would be the closest.

Anyone swapped out the pickguard on theirs? I was considering a black satin and swapping out to a tortoise pickguard, along the lines of this, or perhaps Black Abalone (that has shades of blue in it - leaning toward the tortoise though):
img_5129.jpg
 

RallyFanatic

Perpetual musical mid-life crisis
Joined
Jun 10, 2013
Messages
494
Location
New England
Oh, 1 thing I didn't think about until perusing the threads xjbebop posted is the neck finish. The gloss Velas have the gloss neck finish, where the satin ones have a satin neck finish. I much prefer a satin neck. Most of my recent guitar purchases have been raw roasted maple or raw wenge necks, and I really like those. You can't really have a raw mahogany neck w/o risking issues, so a satin neck would be the closest.

Anyone swapped out the pickguard on theirs? I was considering a black satin and swapping out to a tortoise pickguard, along the lines of this, or perhaps Black Abalone (that has shades of blue in it - leaning toward the tortoise though):
img_5129.jpg


I like the tortoise! Would be pretty amazing if there was a satin tortoise
 

brain21

New Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
13
Quick Guards has brushed aluminum as an option, that would look killer on the satin black as well, especially with a matching truss rod cover.
This isn't helping. lol. I just went to their site. They have a number that might look really good! I'll have to see if you can get samples like you can from WD. The black-copper and black-gold sparkle look good on this guitar from my photoshop mockups.
 

Sybo

Jim
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
727
Location
Nashville Tn
I don’t think they would flake. I had a satin S2 as my only real guitar for a few years, the forearm area and the back of the neck got real shiny from use, and it’ll nick a bit easier, but the finish felt like it penetrated the wood well enough that it wouldn’t flake. I think it’s an excellent finish, and a satin semi Vela is high on my list of what’s next.
My S2 Standard is Satin black, when I got it REEKED of Nitro. I find the finish to be robust so far, it a really fast guitar!
 

dogrocketp

I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!
Joined
Apr 28, 2013
Messages
4,155
Location
Washington, DC
I don’t think one finish is inherently better than the other. Some guitars just seem to have more of what I want. My DC3 is satin, and I love it. All my gloss guitars get car wax on the neck every other string change. After a year or two they’ll never get sticky.
 
Top