ADVICE - Satin-finished 61 RI SG?

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Johan-san, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. Johan-san

    Johan-san New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey there! (First post here I think...)

    I've been looking into purchasing the Satin-finished '61 RI SG that debuted in 2012 (feel free to correct me if my facts are wrong). I've never owned a satin finished guitar before and have only heard negative things about them for both the Epiphone range and the cheaper Gibson Special stuff... but now we're talking about a '61 RI with a $2,399 price tag when it was new.

    My question is basically if anybody has had any experiences with these guitars before or with satin in general, and if so what do you think of them? Would a more "exclusive" SG like the '61 RI be worsened by this type of finish? Or is it a vintage touch similar to that of a lightly aged custom shop SG? Any tips would be tremendously appreciated \m/

    A video with great images (satin '61 RI):


    Image #1 (2012 Satin '61 RI):
    [​IMG]

    Image #2-3 (Lightly Aged CS SG)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. JohnnyGoo

    JohnnyGoo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2014
    Messages:
    7,930
    Likes Received:
    3,937
    Location:
    NW Oregon
    Welcome and good luck with your questions
     
  3. JohnnyGoo

    JohnnyGoo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2014
    Messages:
    7,930
    Likes Received:
    3,937
    Location:
    NW Oregon
    those are nice guitars.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
  4. ChaseB

    ChaseB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2014
    Messages:
    258
    Likes Received:
    331
    I have the 2012 61 RI in satin brown, it's the best playing Gibson I own. The fretboard is baked maple, nice and dark. I wish it were rosewood but it looks good enough!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    syscokid, Fiord, Gibsg and 1 other person like this.
  5. gball

    gball Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,755
    Likes Received:
    1,722
    Location:
    The beach.
    I have a good friend that uses one as his main gigging guitar. It's pretty amazing sounding and playing. If I run across one at the right price I will get it - had a chance at one recently and didn't pull the trigger fast enough.
     
  6. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Messages:
    7,407
    Likes Received:
    7,173
    Location:
    Michigan
    I have a 2012 SG special '70s tribute with a Satin finished Silverburst. I also have a 2007 Gibson SG special
    with the faded brown finish. I love both of these guitars, partly because I paid under $700 for each of them.
    I got a real Gibson for a smaller price, which is what the satin finish AND the Faded finish was intended to
    provide. These gave me exactly what I wanted... the workingman's SG, with all the rawk and kerang, but
    none of the bling and a reasonable price.

    It costs Gibson a lot more factory time and labor to produce Guitars with the awesome deep gloss that buyers
    expect when they pay $2400 for a new SG, or $3999 for a new Les Paul. You get a lot when you buy a top line
    Gibson, and you should. So I'm guessing that the satin finish on an expensive '61 RI will be much deeper and
    much nicer than what I have on my plain-jane SGs. There are virtues to both, I can testify.

    The people who would post negative things about satin finish guitars are likely to post lots of negative things
    about lots of guitar features. I tend to ignore cork sniffers and Gibson Bashers in general, because I think they're
    only blowing smoke. People get way too obsessive about cosmetic details like binding and gloss, which actually
    have no effect on tone and playability. I own two Gibson guitars among a collection of others, and my two Gibsons are among
    the best guitars I have ever played. Mine are humble SG specials. No binding, no gloss, no nibs, no problem.

    I did take some Meguiar's Ultimate Compound and do some hand buffing on my Satin SG silverburst. If you hate the
    satin enough to go through this, you have to remove ALL the hardware and spend some hours rubbing the darn thing
    down like it was Aladdin's lamp. For me, it shined up the satin just a little, just enough to make my arms tired, and
    enough to make me happy.
    April 06 polished@100.jpg body back buffed 1@100.jpg rear quarter 0515.jpg

    That works fine for a painted surface. on a varnished satin or 'faded' finish, I use a product called
    Howard's Feed N Wax, which is designed for antique dealeers to spiff up an old piece of furniture without
    harming the antique quality. Works fine on a faded. Just polished enough...
    Body Upper Bout@100.jpg
     
    Robert Herndon and Super fuzz like this.
  7. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,722
    Likes Received:
    1,412
    I LOVE satin finishes (and I've always wanted a Satin '61 RI). They don't get "sticky" as soon as your hands aren't perfectly dry and just feel more natural to me. Don't worry about what people say, some people just exaggerate to justify their opinions. You could just as easily say (and some people do) that glossy finishes feel cheap because they're like plastic.

    Four of my guitars have glossy bodies and satin necks, which I love. One is VOS, which buffed to a gloss before long, but being lacquer, still has a softer feel. But I don't hate my SG-450's glossy Poly neck either. It's just another variation that makes it a unique guitar and it's really not that hard to adapt to at all. I think people get too hung up on details like those. I've never had an issue going from one neck profile to the next, or glossy to satin, or whatever. Even different scale lengths.

    TLDR: buy what you want and what's comfortable to you. Anyone who looks down at it for being "cheap" is obviously compensating for something by buying expensive gear to feel superior. Pay them no mind.
     
  8. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Messages:
    3,733
    Likes Received:
    2,763
    Location:
    Catskill Mountains
    As even the Col would have to admit, the stock satin finish just didn't cut it for him & he was compelled to further improve the look of his guitars & protect the finish.

    That is the only down side to the satin finish. The finish will wear off in high contact areas. If you like that look you're good. If it is going to bother you watching your stock factory finish disappear in contact areas & would prefer a nicer looking stronger finish then stay away from the satin.

    Thats all.

    People have the right to like what they like & even be picky when buying a new one. We are all individuals. And it helps to know & understand your personal needs & preferences & how they match up to a guitar before you buy it.


    I think there are legitimate differences between a player that has needs & preferences & a novice that read that xyz is the best & only type of guitar to own.

    I do try my best not to disparage those who like things differently from me without laying some label on them or trying to belittle or besmirch them or their opinion. A legitimate issue or complaint is just that, and one should recognize such observation & store it away should it be of use someday.

    Gosh how I wish I knew & understood more about binding & Nibs before I bought that '04 Standard. And just imagine the surprise & disappointment someone could have as they watch their satin finish wear away & disappear when they truly didn't know or expect that to happen!

    Information is a wonderful tool. And that's why legitimate complaints are useful & needed here. When we start to label people with issues & complaints 'cork sniffers' & 'Gibson bashers' it tends to make folks not want to speak up & share their truth with the rest of us. Out of all the people here I'm most surprised to see that negative labeling of others coming from you. Maybe I'm reading it wrong or reading too much into it?? So please clarify for others (newer readers) who may not know you as well as some of us older members do, so they don't misinterpret or see you as anything but the 'can't we all get along' type of long standing peacekeeper I know you to be.
     
    syscokid and RVA like this.
  9. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2012
    Messages:
    5,898
    Likes Received:
    3,088
    Location:
    Maryland
    Well said on many sides of the coin collection, Relic and Col.
    I don't think any feathers were meant to be ruffed nor any name calling been intended to belittle those who buy and enjoy the more expensive and shiny models of guitar. IE Cork Sniffer, etc. I also see Relic's point of keeping to answering legitimate questions about pros and cons, features, durability, sound, tone etc without using terms that might give new members the wrong impressions of our forum.

    I sure agree with Barry about finding out about shortcomings like short frets and nib joints that catch strings etc BEFORE we pay good money for guitars and find out later.

    Also, Welcome, Johan-san
     
  10. smitty_p

    smitty_p Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2012
    Messages:
    4,836
    Likes Received:
    3,466
    I think that is the main concern about the thin satin finishes. I do not dislike the look...in fact, I think the SG is one of those rare beasts that can look good in either high gloss or a satin finish. It doesn't work for all guitars. But, Relic is correct. The thin satin, is...well...thin. Just be advised it can wear faster than other thicker finishes.
     
  11. John61

    John61 Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2016
    Messages:
    116
    Likes Received:
    90
    I've owned both and they are both beautiful finishes. The satin has a great feel to it. The '61 SG is a great choice, my advice would be to check out all the different permutations, and there are many, before buying.
     
  12. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Messages:
    7,407
    Likes Received:
    7,173
    Location:
    Michigan
    okay, okay, sorry about that bit of intolerance... Maybe we're all just a little bit on edge here, during the craziest
    political season I've ever seen in my long and checkered life. 'appy polly lodgies, as me droogie Alex might say.
    I do want us all to get along, and don't want to stifle anyone's legitimate issues and complaints.

    ol' Relic is right to call me out if I seem to be disparaging anyone. But the OP has said:
    "I've never owned a satin finished guitar before and have only heard negative things about them for both the Epiphone range and the cheaper Gibson Special stuff..."

    So my epithets were aimed at whoever wrote negative things on whatever forum the OP was reading.
    I have no patience for Gibson Bashers, which I would describe as a person who might say: "Gibson hasn't made
    any good guitars since ____________________" -- insert your favorite year here. It doesn't matter what year
    you insert, it's all bull-taco. Repeating this does NOT make it true.

    My post above was actually in praise of the faded and satin finish, even if I've found ways to 'improve" them
    to my own satisfaction. I was trying to describe my own experience with this Gibson feature, which has been
    positive. I'm actually a fan. I own two of them, that I paid good money for.

    So, to the OP: Good wishes! and Welcome. To the rest of us: Can we please all get along?
    Including all our differences, we actually have more in common than most amorphous groups of
    OCD individuals. So speak up! Share yer truth with the rest of us. That's actually what I try to do.
    And I take most any knocks I receive here with good grace and the wisdom of years and years and years. *sigh
     
    syscokid likes this.
  13. Gibsg

    Gibsg Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Messages:
    2,140
    Likes Received:
    1,251

    Nice '61 RI ,

    :bowdown:
     
  14. bwotw

    bwotw Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2012
    Messages:
    1,022
    Likes Received:
    1,165
    Yeah, it's not cheapeaned out at all to me, just a different finish. And I like the walnut stain on those. If you don't mind the finish rubbin out a bit on contact areas, you're golden. It'll be as much a 61RI as any other.

    You could polish those but, as the mahogany has a very open, deep grain that isn't filled, it will never really gloss. On the other hand, the Gibson Satin or Faded models that have a maple top can be polished quite nicely to a reasonable gloss, since maple is closed-grain.

    And just to clarify, the faded-satin finish is different than the one on the Custom Shop aged models. That's the full nitro traetment, with the mahogany pore-filled; they just rough it up a little so it doesn't shine as much. And they use the word Faded regarding the color (as in a red that has faded to an orange-brown), not the lacquer (confusing, I know).


    Lovely! Is that the Creamtone pickguard? I have one just like that!
     
  15. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Messages:
    3,733
    Likes Received:
    2,763
    Location:
    Catskill Mountains
    And for the record, I love the Meguires Ultimate Compound tip the Col offers as both additional protectorate & shine increasor on the painted satins & the Howards Feed n Wax for the Faded wood varnish finishes. Just great tips for a real problem preventing wear.

    Much like the Col, I have found Gibsons more affordable lines like that of the Tributes, SGJ, Future etc etc to be some of the best bargains out there. Good solid guitars at competitive American prices.
    You almost can't go wrong!

    And Col, I actually said to myself, "I bet he just watched the presidential debate or something" LOL too funny!
     
  16. ChaseB

    ChaseB Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2014
    Messages:
    258
    Likes Received:
    331
    Yes! I love the Creamtone pickguard on a 61 RI!
     
    bwotw likes this.
  17. 12ay7a

    12ay7a Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    51
    Welp, as my pal in Nashville said, "Hey, man, you don't play the paint."
     
    Relic61 and RVA like this.
  18. Relic61

    Relic61 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Messages:
    3,733
    Likes Received:
    2,763
    Location:
    Catskill Mountains

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice