Satin vs. Poly finishes on a Neck???

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jokerjkny, Mar 6, 2002.

  1. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    hey all,

    i've been in the process of building my jazz bass. and i'm in the stages of sending out my maple neck/fretboard to get it finished. i love the feel of satin, but have been told its not a good idea to do so cause of the fretboard. also, poly seems to look better, but has that tacky feel.

    what's the pros and cons of both???
  2. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I have basses with both and definately prefer the satin finish. I sweat a lot when playing, and poly necks get very sticky. I'm not sure what you've been told, or how the finish on the back of the neck would affect the fingerboard (unless you are talking about a finished maple fingerboard), but I have not had any problems with mine. I have 6 instruments with satin finishes and 4 with poly, and like the satin better.
  3. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA

    thanks, htag. Good points that i never realized. hmm...
  4. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Neither. :) all my instruments have a natural (oiled) finish.
  5. I would agree with geshel... tung oiled necks feel extremely smooth and only seem to get better with time. They need very little maintenance and are a breeze to clean.
  6. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    The fashon these days is satin; I've owned both, but it seems that all my basses have satin finishes these days. I like both.
  7. Can you guys tell me what's the finish on the newer G&L L2000 basses and Alembic.
  8. seamus


    Feb 8, 2001
    I like satin finishes too, they're faster and don't get as sticky. Still, some of my favorite basses (Jazz and NS4CR) have neck finishes that can get tacky. I usually only notice the difference when playing for long periods at a time, or when it's hot and humid.

    I love the feel of a tung oiled neck. It seems like it really allows you to connect with the fingerboard more. The feel is just so silky smooth, slides and fast position changes feel more effortless.

    As far as the G&L's, my L-2000's are of the newer variety. I would describe the finish as satin. Not silky smooth, but definitely not tacky.
  9. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    Not the question asked ~ this is more of an editorial remark. For the life of me I'm just not able to connect with the heavy poly finishes Fender uses on its 'non vintage series' basses. I had two beautiful MIA Jazz Deluxes and I was never able to get any kind of 'feel' for the bass. It always felt like I was playing a bass in a plastic bubble. Ended up selling both of them. I'd opt for a good nitro finish bass.
  10. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    so does the satin finish really make that much of a difference tonally??
  11. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Yes, a hard poly finish does sound a little brighter than an oil finish. I don't know about a satin finish though, they sound like a poly finish to me.

    I have 4 poly finished necks, 1 graphite with a poly like finish, 1 satin finish, and 1 oil finished. None of them feel sticky to me, and my hands sweat a lot.
  12. About the stickyness, poly to me feels sticky if my hands are dry, but if my hands are sweaty or moist then it doesn't feel sticky anymore. I haven't heard much of a difference between satin and poly necks, but I there is a difference between poly and oil.