"Faded" Finish vs "Satin" Finish

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by cerebral gasket, Jul 24, 2019.

  1. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    A "Faded" finish is a "Satin" finish with the grain unfilled. Most "Satin" finishes have the grain unfilled like a "Faded" finish with the exception of a few, usually solid colors, which have the grain filled.

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    From 1961-2001, all SG Specials had Gloss finishes. 2002 was the first year of the "SG Special Faded". SG Specials with Gloss finishes were still being produced concurrently with the SG Special Faded until the late 2000's. Several years later the "SG Special Faded" was renamed to "SG Faded". After SG Specials with Gloss finishes were discontinued, the SG Special was listed as having a "Satin" finish and the Humbuckers were replaced with Mini Humbuckers.

    SG Special Faded and SG Faded have the finish name as "Worn".

    Faded Finish Colors
    Worn Brown
    Worn Cherry
    Worn Ebony
    Worn Yellow

    Modern SG Special have the finish name as "Satin".

    Satin Finish Colors
    Satin Cherry
    Satin Ebony
    Satin Silverburst
    Satin Vintage Sunburst


    The SG Special pictured below middle had the Mini Humbuckers replaced with P-90's and has a "Satin Cherry" finish with unfilled grain. The SG Special on the far right has a "Satin Ebony" finish with the grain filled.

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    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
  2. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    Gibson Satin finish has a satin headstock too, Faded has a gloss headstock finish.

    Some Satin finishes are awesome like the SG '61 Ri, the Les Paul Tribute, ....


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  3. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Faded has a Satin headstock finish.

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  4. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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    May be, sometimes .
     
  5. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    All SG Special Faded, SG Faded, SG Specials with Satin finish have a Satin finish headstock.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
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  6. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info and pics. So basically for an SG Special that is either cherry or natural, satin = faded. Same thing.

    I've been thinking of something Col Mustard said in a post I read a long time ago about putting wax on his faded SG. I liked the look, it didn't look glossy exactly but had more even sheen than the stock faded ones (and satin one too I guess). i also think it would even up the finish a bit (i.e. wax would collect in the pores first and so the surface would smooth out overall) and it would help keep the finish from rubbing off like you see on so many faded ones. I am not that into relic looking guitars, at least not ones that are just a few years old. Giving some thought to trying it out.
     
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  7. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    From my experience, yes.
    Unfilled grain with a Satin finish.

    Some have tighter grain than others and wax may yield great results in those cases. Others that have more open pores in the wood may collect wax deposits that cannot be buffed out and end up leaving cloudy white specs in the pores drawing more attention to the open pores of the wood. That may or may not be the desired effect one is looking for.

    I do like translucent finishes where the grain is visible through the color, but prefer the grain to be filled, leveled and smooth prior to the final clear coat. When I sent my 2004 SG Special Faded out to be stripped, grain filled and leveled, refinished to clear with the grain still visible through the color, it felt like a completely different guitar when I got it back and I could not be any happier with the results.

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    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
  8. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm. You comment about wax building up in the pores gives me real pause for thought. My SG has lots of very tight grain with some fairly deep pores, if those pores whitened up it would look absolutely awful.
     

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  9. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    I suspect that is what happened to the SG Special Faded pictured below that I purchased second hand. It appears that the previous owner waxed it because of the white spotting in the grain behind the tailpiece. It did not bother me when I had it. The only reason I sold that guitar was that I already had two or three other SG Special Faded at the time and wanted to eliminate duplicate guitars.

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  10. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    That's a nice color on that SG. Mine is "natural" which is often a reddish tan shade but in my case it's just brown which is a bummer. It does seem that over time some red highlights are coming out, I hope that continues.

    Your old is more a classic dark mahogany shade, with reddish hues. Love it, so great looking. shame about the white spots.
     
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