Believe it or not, the finish of a guitar can also affect its tone. It is widely believed that the thinner the finish, the less restricted the tone wood's vibrations are. Subsequently, the tone of the instrument is improved. From our experience, although the finish definitely affects the tone, we are so convinced that it necessarily makes it worse. There are many factors at play here and different woods no doubt react differently to different finishes. Again, this is very subjective, but to put it this way, some of the best sounding guitars we have come across have had "thick" finishes on them.
Other things to consider are the appearance they give, the cost and the durability. With guitar neck the key thing to consider is the feel of the neck. It is one of the parts of the guitar that you are always in contact with and therefore the most influential over the play-ability.
These are the types of finish that we offer.
APPEARANCE - A natural wood looking finish which subtly highlights the woods grain with a soft satin sheen.
FEEL -Extremely tactile and smooth. Feels like natural wood. Our favourite feel of all finishes - especially for necks.
TONE - Extremely thin and therefore gives a natural tone, similar to an unfinished neck. However, we think you'd be hard pushed to hear a massive difference between different neck finishes.
DURABILITY - Oil has been traditional used to protect wood for hundreds, if not thousands of years. It isn't as durable as modern sprayed finishes. It can wear through to give a relic'd look after a few years. However, it is easy to repair and its lifetime depends on your playing habits and how well you look after your neck. If you gig hard, sweat lots and play for several hours a day, you may be better suited to a satin or gloss neck. For most "normal" players, oil will be more than adequate and if it wears through any local luthier will be able to repair it cost effectively.
COST - It's a bit cheaper for us to apply, so we let you see that saving directly.
APPEARANCE - Gives a soft sheen. You'll be familiar with this feel as it is common on a lot of guitars.
FEEL - Tactile and smooth.
TONE - Again this is quite a thin finish, especially in open pore, so the tone is quite similar to the natural wood.
DURABILITY - Very durable. It ages well and tends to dent when you knock it rather than chip or crack. It can polish as you play so you may end up with a more gloss neck after five years.
APPEARANCE - Mirror like shine. Looks stunning on top of walnut. Really brings the grain out and give that wet look finish. All of our gloss neck with come with either a satin or oiled fingerboard depending on the wood.
FEEL - Not as tactile as the other two finishes. It can feel grippy when touching it - think rubbing your hand on a pane of glass. For this reason we tend to only recommend high gloss for body finishes and not necks. Most people don't like the feel of a gloss neck.
TONE - The thickest of our finishes. Some say these finishes can restrict the vibrations, but to our ears they can still sound great.
DURABILITY - Very durable. It tends to chip or crack when you drop it, which isn't ideal if you tour a lot.