Help Finishing Figured Maple Veneer

I hoping someone can help me in determining the cause of a problem I'm having finishing the top of a recently completed table. The top consists of a solid bubinga frame around a figured maple veneer center panel. Specifically, I'm having trouble getting a uniform finish on the figured maple veneer. For some reason small portions of the veneer appear to have a different, (for lack of a better word) coarser texture. This change in texture is especially noticeable along the edges of the veneered area, where it almost looks unfinished. I should also point out that this area feels smooth to the touch; you can't actually feel any difference when you run your fingers across it.
The veneer was vacuum pressed over an MDF core using urea resin glue and sanded to 320 grit. The finish is General Finishes Arm-R-Seal satin, buffed between coats with 4 OT steal wool. Application is pretty much as recommended by GF, even thought I have also tried a method recommended by David Marks, which is to apply the finish, let it absorb for a minute and then wipe it nearly dry with a soft cloth.
On another top, where I had similar problems, I tried applying heavier coats in an attempt smooth out the finish and although that helped, it really started to look like a heavy film finish, which is not what I'm aiming for. I definitely want the character of the wood to show through and I absolutely don't want to lose the figure.
Any help / ideas would really be appreciated. The following link shows a photograph of the problem, which might be a bit clearer than my description. At the point the photo were taken, the top had four coats of finish, including the sealer coat (Seal-A-Cell).
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http://home.earthlink.net/~jahod/images/Veneer.jpg
Thanks.
Joel
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The one time I used quilted maple, I found it didn't look particularly good until I got about 8 coats of wiping varnish on it. Now it is spectacular. YMMV
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Looks like you got bubinga dust into the end grain. A real problem with sanding of differentially-colored woods. Since the curly presents end grain in the areas that are darker in your picture, it's pretty sure that you've stuffed dark dust into them. Use a sanding sealer on the lighter wood before sanding the darker and see if that doesn't help on future projects.
Better yet, use a fine-edged scraper. Does unbelievable things for curly maple.
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