I was wondering if the high gloss finishes have advantages over the duller finishes besides cosmetic. Do they protect the guitar more ? I know that they are more labor intensive, and cost a lot more, but I kind of like the look of the duller finishes.

Not really. If anything they protect the guitar less because they make a dent or scratch in the finish a lot more obvious.
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The lighter, satin finishes improve the sound in the guitar more than you think. The downside, however, is that the damage very easily. Combine with a soft wood, like cedar, and it is even more fragile. The satin finishes scratch, dimple, and chip a lot easier than the high gloss finishes do. If your guitars get beat up easily, I'd go with one of the high gloss finishes.

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They wear the same, if there are the same product. Satin finish is the same as the gloss but with a flattening agent added.
personally i like satin finishes best. High gloss just isnt my thing.
But a polyurethane high gloss finish is going to be the same as a polyurethane low gloss.
Same deal applies for nitrocellulose or whatever.
on custom made guitars you can get french polishing and i was under the impression that that type of finishing always gave you a high gloss.
Not sure about any other types of finishing. if someone could fill me in... Cord??? you around?

The finish does make a difference. For example polyurethane is just like plastic, not the best thing having a layer of plastic over your acoustic guitar which uses the vibration and movement throughout the woods used to produce noise. That type of finish wont let the wood vibrate as freely as say a nitrocellulose. So a low gloss nitro finish will sound better than a high OR a low gloss poly finish.
Polyurethan, nitro, acrylic, polyester, shellac and variouse types of oil are all commen finish materials. There are a lot of water based lacquer substatutes out there too, but none of them have really become popular yet. All of the commen finishes except Shellac are just different types of plastic. Polyurethan dampens tone the most and shellac dampens tone the least but at the same time polyurethane protects the guitar the best and shellac doesn almost nothing to protect it.

There are a lot of companies out there that use lacquer for gloss finished and shellac or oil for their satin finishes and that means that their satin finishes will dent and ding much easier but their satin finishes will sound much better.

There are a lot of companies that worry about burning through the finish so the put several extra coats on guitar that have a glossy finish. Glossy finished guitars from companies that do that will usually be more durable and less alive sounding, but you will always find the odd exception.

There are companies that do exactly as dave say and just add a flatening agent to make a satin finish and then the finish is applied the same way it is to the glossy guitars. Guitars from these companies will hold up and sound about the same.
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Last edited by CorduroyEW at Jul 14, 2007,
I prefer the dull finishes personally. They let the guitar itself shine through and I like the way the tone ages over the years.

Although, my Tanglewood is only 7 months old and already has about 6 dents along the edge. I don't mind like but I can imagine some will.
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They do to some extend but not as much as you would think. I have a Parkwood 310M which has an open pore finish. They put on several light coats that are thinned by a solvent. This they say helps the wood retain it's acoustic abilities without dampening the sound when the finish is applied.