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fact or myth/


Braxat

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ok, so once some1 told me that the more u play a guitar the " nicer " it will sound and im not talking about technique or practice i mean the sound itself from the guitar will sound richer ...

 

what do u guys think? do u actually believe that randomly hitting the strings will in the long run make it sound " richer " ?

I Am But A Solution In Search Of A Problem.
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For as long as I can remember, I've been told that acoustic guitars 'mello' with playing. I even know of people who put their guitars in front of their stero speakers so that they'll still get a similar vibration whenever Anyone is listening to music. I don't know about that. I've never NOT played one, after I bought it.

 

 

I DO know this.. when you buy an acoustic guitar, within the first three years it goes through some serious tonal changes. Then it sort of stabilises and though it still changes, these changes are much more gradual. I have an acoustic that I bought new over 25 years ago, and I canb attest to the mellowing of the tone.

 

And this is why I prefer maple guitars. Two of my acoustic guitars are maple. Though they've mellowed, the maple still provides a fair amount of brightness.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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When I got my Yamaha APX acoustic, there was some sort of blurb with it expounding how that if you play your guitar every day then the vibrations actually rearrange the molecules. Over a period of (I think it said) 13 years this would reach an optimum.

 

I'm not sure about all that, but I think everyone agrees that acoustics sounf better as they get older.

 

Some woods peak earlier than others, then go off a bit. I gather Spruce is like that, ehile maple takes longer to mature.

 

Of course this won't apply to solids, but from a purely subjective point of view, to these ears, an old(er) pickup sounds sweeter than a new one.

 

I've just put a 1970's DiMarzio PAF (DP103) into my Ibanez Studio, and Oh Boy, does it sound sweet.

 

Geoff

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the World will know Peace": Jimi Hendrix

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The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

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I saw an interview several years ago, I don't remember who it was, that said that he had a shed in his backyard that he put his new guitars in with hundreds of burning cigarettes, to get them "aged", or something along that line. Can you imagine how sticky and nasty anything would be in that kind of environment? Or...maybe he knows something that the rest of us don't?!?! I think that I'll let someone else test this out. Any takers??? Anyone...Bueller...Bueller...Bueller...

Avoid playing the amplifier at a volume setting high enough to produce a distorted sound through the speaker-Fender Guitar Course-1966

 

 

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Originally posted by Caevan O'Shite:

Well, there's a machine that acoustically ages guitars- acoustic/hollow-body OR solid-body electric- by subjecting them to vibrations...

That would be a teenaged boy.....

 

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Originally posted by Greg B.:

....he had a shed in his backyard ....with hundreds of burning cigarettes, ...

That would be my mom and her friends.... and coffee, lots and lots of coffee...

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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well, but i mean, if they do sound better is it because of the age of the wood ( yea, the older the better just like trees ) and therefor u can just put ur guitar away and never play it and in a few years since its aged it'll sound better or will u stick to the vibration theories ?
I Am But A Solution In Search Of A Problem.
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Wood in a tree is a living object, and contains water.

 

Once the tree is harvested, obviously, it is no longer living and gathering water.

 

Unless the wood becomes waterlogged*, it dries over time.

 

As the wood dries, it becomes less dense, and more resonant.

 

 

* And even that's no guarantee. There are companies that harvest shipwreck wood to re-manufacture into flooring and stuff like that. The wood is presereved by being submerged in water.

 

x-bonus: At issue here in Boston, the "Back Bay" neighborhod, which is all landfill from teh late 1800's, has the buildings perched on wood pilings sunk through the fill and into the original bay floor. As long as the water table remains high, the wood pilings are safe from rot. When the water table recedes (as it has been :eek: ) the wood is exposed to oxygen sans hydrogen, and becomes prone to rot. So all of the older buildings are susceptible to the pilings failing and letting them sink into the ground :eek:

 

Wood, an organic object. :)

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Originally posted by Billster:

Once the tree is harvested, obviously, it is no longer living and gathering water.

I might be wrong here Billster, but will disagree anyway. My understanding is that wood is Hygroscopic so it absorbs water from it's surroundings.

 

I went to Durban, South Africa once with a favourite guitar to do some gigs.Apon reaching my room I took the guitar out of it's case and played it a bit and put it down. I came back some time later and about freaked. The neck was completely wet, dripping, oozing water. It looked like someone had poured a jug of water down the neck. Turns out the humidity was to blame. Coming from dry So.Cal, the neck had absorbed water from the humid sub-tropical atmosphere in Durban and when it could not hold anymore it weeped out. It was scary how wet it was.

 

So I suppose, even though it was not living, it still sure gathered water.

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I would think that the natural oils from our fingers would somehow condition the neck, thus making our playing flow more smoothly and resulting in a better sounding guitar.

 

I dunno... just a thought.

 

Of course, some certain woods age better than others... pertinent especially to acoustic guitars.

 

God Bless :)

"Treat your wife with honor, respect, and understanding as you live together so that you can pray effectively as husband and wife." 1 Peter 3:7

 

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Originally posted by Greg B.:

 

I saw an interview several years ago, I don't remember who it was, that said that he had a shed in his backyard that he put his new guitars in with hundreds of burning cigarettes, to get them "aged", or something along that line. Any takers???

____________________________________

 

Heck, most smoke-filled clubs and bars would do that trick! :D

"Treat your wife with honor, respect, and understanding as you live together so that you can pray effectively as husband and wife." 1 Peter 3:7

 

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I have no problem with the molecule re-arranging theory....why not, it sounds good.

 

Pickups also go soft in time, lose a little magnetism...that would explain tonal difference in an electric.

 

Acoustics pull real hard on the bridge. ( I have a broken Ibanez Nylon to attest to this, heh heh ) Anyway, there will be a little change in the top usually right behind the bridge. I can actually see the "hump" behind the bridge on an Ovation I have. Supposedly this alters the tone a bit.

 

But the best thing you can do for your guitar is give it a lot of hugs and love.(hey, I'm from Los Angeles, what do you want from me?) Put some good vibes into that puppy, let those positive Neutrino's flow.

 

And never, ever let it hear you say you are going to sell it. That's when they start playing really well and sucker you to keep it, then they just go to hell at a gig, as if to say " Gonna sell me were ya?"

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Originally posted by Braxat:

why would u break an axe?

He's not "breaking it"...he's "breaking it in"... :)

 

The theory as I heard it, states that as those sound waves travel through the wood, they make the fluid resins/oils in the wood align in a particular fashion, which over time will change the tone and make it sweeter, since the resins/woods get more "in harmony" with that various sound waves, and are better able to resonate along with those sound waves coming from the strings.

 

This may be a topic for the "Myth Busters"... ;)

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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All wood instruments change their tone over time...and it might be nothing more than the natural aging/curing/drying-out of the wood.

 

When I can hand-pick a guitar VS the few I bought online...I always ask for 3-4 guitars to try out...and one of the things I look for is for the one that is the lightest, which would mean they are not as "wet", and that the wood has already released a lot of it's moisture...

...which means it's already stabilized to a point, and the sound I here then, will not change drastically over time.

 

But then, it's also fun to see/hear things evolve and to re-experience them as they go through those changes. :)

 

Like when you pick up a guitar after not playing it for a long timeand all of a sudden it sounds better then you can remember it sounding when you first got it! :cool:

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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I read a Keith Richards interview a while ago where he said that he breaks in new guitars by letting someone borrow it for about a year, cause he hates new guitars...let someone else "break it in". Excuse me, Keith, over here, I will gladly break in any new guitar(s) that you have!!

Avoid playing the amplifier at a volume setting high enough to produce a distorted sound through the speaker-Fender Guitar Course-1966

 

 

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Originally posted by Greg B.:

Excuse me, Keith, over here, I will gladly break in any new guitar(s) that you have!!

Yeah, and then when he asks for it, you'll eagerly give it back! :D

 

How's that NRA slogan go...

 

"From my cold, dead hands...." ;)

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Originally posted by miroslav:

All wood instruments change their tone over time...and it might be nothing more than the natural aging/curing/drying-out of the wood.

 

When I can hand-pick a guitar VS the few I bought online...I always ask for 3-4 guitars to try out...and one of the things I look for is for the one that is the lightest, which would mean they are not as "wet", and that the wood has already released a lot of it's moisture...

...which means it's already stabilized to a point, and the sound I here then, will not change drastically over time.

 

But then, it's also fun to see/hear things evolve and to re-experience them as they go through those changes. :)

 

Like when you pick up a guitar after not playing it for a long timeand all of a sudden it sounds better then you can remember it sounding when you first got it! :cool:

I think that the changes in tone are due to changes in the wood and the conditions in which the guitar is kept. For instance, I know that Taylor keeps their guitars in conditioned air that's around 50% humidity at a certain temperature (temperature matters too because the amount of humidity air can hold is a function of temperature. That's why it snows so little in Fairbanks, Alaska: the air is too cold to hold much moisture). Thus, I would think that if you (and the dealer you bought it from) kept your Taylor in similar conditions all the time the tone would change very little. The tone changes with variations in humidity, temperature, and environment. I'd be very surprised if tone changed much at all by "playing".
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"Thus, I would think that if you (and the dealer you bought it from) kept your Taylor in similar conditions all the time the tone would change very little. "

 

Outside of forays to live gigs, my guitars live in a 50% humidity environment. The sound definitely changes over time. We can guess at the reasons but there is no disputing that the tone does change over time.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Originally posted by Braxat:

hmmm intresting input here, i always knew direct sun to the wood or too much cold was bad ... but i dont think that affects " tone " as much as it does " looks "

If the sun/cold is accompanied by low humidity it affects tone bigtime. Living in AZ where the humidity is around 10% most of the time I can't tell you how many guitars I've come across that are cracked and the owners can't figure out why...
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