Considering satin-izing the neck of my ESP Horizon

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by OliOliver, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. OliOliver

    OliOliver SS.org Regular

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    I have an ESP Horizon NTII and I love it to death, but.... IT HAS A GLOSS NECK. I hate gloss necks! Ever since I got my Ibanez Prestige, I've realised how annoying a gloss neck is compared to a satin or unfinished neck.

    Has anyone satinized their neck with success? This is my baby so I'm quite nervous, but I think satinizing it will take it to a whole new level of playability.

    Guides, tips, encouragement would all be appreciated
     
  2. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Tape off the ends where you don't want it satin, rub with 0000 steel wool. It's not a permanent fix, it'll gloss up again eventually, but it's cheap, easy and fast.
     
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  3. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    How smooth does this get though? I've always wanted to try it, but I was always afraid it would just make it like a matte finish that feels a bit sticky.
     
  4. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    It gets it as smooth as a factory matte finish.

    If you have a sticky matte finish, it just needs to be cleaned with a damp cloth.
     
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  5. OliOliver

    OliOliver SS.org Regular

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    I've heard about this technique, but I wanted something more permanent, but I suppose it's a lot safer than sanding it off entirely. Thanks!
     
  6. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Modern polyester finishes are formulated to be glossy. There's no way to permanently make the existing finish matte.

    You can sand it down to the wood and apply a different finish, like oil and wax, but those are going to need regular maintenance and reapplication as well.

    They make other low gloss hard finishes, but those will take even more work to apply properly.

    You could always send it off to have the work done.
     
  7. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    It's probably not worth noting, but I see it mentioned enough that bugs me... that there's really never a factory "unfinished" neck. There's always at least some sort of finish, even if it's an oil finish.


    Also, is there such a thing as a "sticky" matte finish? Matte finishes are non-stick by nature of their super fine texture. It's why you'll never see a mirror-polished non-stick skillet.
     
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  8. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    I have never played a single matte finished guitar that didn't have a rubbery/sticky feel to it. Satin is super smooth, but matte is sticky to me.
     
  9. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    The whole "unfinished neck" thing is one of my biggest pet peeves. :lol:

    Can you give an example of the guitars you're talking about?

    Modern polyester clear doesn't get tacky.

    Perhaps there's a curing issue?
     
  10. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    Kiesel/Carvin, Schecter, ESP, and I'm sure more I just can't remember. It's been a long time since I always stayed far away from them. Nothing makes me want to never play guitar more than a sticky, not smooth, or painted neck.
     
  11. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Was the Kiesel/Carvin actual satin poly or was it the tung oil option? Oil and wax finishes can get sticky when its time to re-up.

    What model Schecter? They've used modern poly since forever. Did you try cleaning it? Some import guitars need a good cleaning.

    Not sure about the ESP. Both of my MII bolt-ons, MII neck-through and Eclipse had satin necks and were very slick.

    I know some folks have sweat that interacts weird with some finishes. Maybe you're one of the lucky ones. :lol:
     
  12. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    I'm talking about matte, not satin. The Kiesel was fully painted with a matte black finish. One Carvin and one Kiesel, both sticky. The Schecters were the KM7 MKI (The glossy blue one with matte neck) and the stickiest I've ever played was the Schecter Hellraiser C-1.

    Tung oil is by far the smoothest and fastest finish. Besides the finish on Prestiges, I will only play guitars with a tung oil finish or rare cases with a satin neck.
     
  13. Soya

    Soya Poor person Contributor

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    Do you eat a lot of chips?
     
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  14. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    I love to eat a bunch of cheetos while I play guitar, the cheeto dust helps to add grip to my playing and just makes me look super cool! /s
     
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  15. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    I think you're getting stuck on terminology. In terms of guitar terminology, "satin" and "matte" are seemingly used interchangeably (with some exceptions, like Taylor).

    There is a type of finish that I did forget about, because I try to block it from my memory. It's probably what you associate with the "matte" description. It's more "waxy" feeling. It's what Taylor uses on their 100 and 200 series guitar necks (the ones made in Mexico). It's also what you would see for years on the cheapest Gibson SG and Les Paul models with the sort of open-grain style finishes. Those are definitely sticky, and my least favorite types of neck finishes, next to nitro gloss. Which makes sense, because the gibson finish on those "faded" SG and LP guitars is a "faded nitro" finish. Nitro is inherently more "sticky" than many other hardened finishes, especially as you play it and warm it up.

    Then there is the other type, like what Taylor uses on their 300 Series and higher, which is the exact same finish type as gloss, just a non-glossy version which I believe you'd associate with "satin". This has a less "hand-rubbed" look to it, is harder, and feels "faster".

    The part that perplexes me is your experience on the Carvins/Kiesels being "sticky". Note: I'm not saying it didn't happen, but I'm trying to figure out how. They've never used the stickier type of the non-glossy finishes for at least 15 years, because those types of finishes are illegal to spray in their state. Nitrocellulose is easier to work with and cheaper (which is why, for example, Taylor uses it on their cheaper guitars built in Mexico, and not on the more expensive US-made models), but they can't use it...so they don't. I can imagine it's a bit confusing because they call their "satin" finish "satin matte" (and that doesn't matter if it's on bare natural wood, or on painted necks...they call it the same thing)...but it's the same Polyester-type polyurethane finish used by PRS, MusicMan, Schecter, Suhr, Anderson, James Tyler, ESP, etc, for their satin finishes.
     
  16. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    I don't know what to tell you man. I've never played a single matte finish that wasn't that waxy feeling. Another guitar that had it was the PRS SE Holcomb. That's why I got the trampas green tung oiled version. Music Man's (specifically the JP Majesty's) were super slick, same as the Ibanez JBM series. But everything else was absolute hell to me with the waxy felling. I've played two different Kiesels, one Carvin and one Kiesel, both had that waxy feeling.
     
  17. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    I used a red scotchbrite on my fender neck through showmaster.
    Went deeper than 00 steel wool and is super smooth @OliOliver
    The red scotchbrites are super cheap off ebay where i got mine from.
     
  18. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    Yours came out looking really nice too!
     
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  19. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    Thank you :)

    Ive decide to get more extreme with the refinish now though haha.
    Want to take all the paint off back to bare wood allover. Then just refinish the top matt black but keep the sides, back of neck/headstock natural wood.
    Probably use that tung oil or whatever it is.
     
  20. Albake21

    Albake21 "Just get a used Ibanez Prestige."

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    Oooo that's going to look awesome! Will you be updating your thread on that project with updates?
     
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