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Saw this on the StewMac site (but it's sold elsewhere as well) and my first thought was "gimmick". But then I recalled thinking the same thing when the Bridge Doctor came out... and it's proven itself to be a worthy tool in the right situation.  So what's the community take on this?

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Accessories/ToneRite/ToneRite.html?tab=...

My second nomination in this particular category would be the StewMac nut slotting gauge.  Great little dial indicator, but for setting nut slot heights?  Please, old-school feelers and files for me, thankew.

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Accessories/ToneRite/ToneRite.html?tab=...

PS: no particular dig against StewMac.... love 95% of their stuff, if not the prices. Can't win 'em all.

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a StewMac rep will be contacting you at any moment...
I'M wondering if this device makes the guitar make sound as if someone is strumming the strings??
Mike, I checked this out after seeing the manufacturers ad for it in a guitar magazine. I saw an ad for this in the back of a guitar magazine a few months back and was wondering if it was hooey - however the quote from Bob Benedetto seems to support the claims made. Reading further, 72 hours is the recommended time the gadget should be used and it makes me wonder if that would be the time a person to play a guitar to make it open-up. Who knows.

BTW, did you know that you look amazingly like Porter Wagoner?
I saw the Tonerite ad in the back of Acoustic Guitar as well. It reminded me of the ads in the back of comic books for "x-ray specs" and "sea monkeys". Stew Mac is constantly trying to re-fresh the selection to keep us coming back for a better mouse trap. How do you stay in business once you've sold everyone a set of feeler gauges and files? You have to re-invent the wheel.
I've had a tonerite for about a year. I have the mandolin version, which works on guitars as well. It has done a good job of opening up my two mandolins. One, an Addy spruce Unicorn and Mustang, takes a while to "wake up" even though it's 10 years old. The Tonerite allows me to have it "awake" almost when I pick it up. The other, a custom Brazilian bandolim, was always a little tight and quiet, although it sounded great--slightly over built, I think. The Tonerite really helps it to step out and be heard.

Stew Mac might have done some research, because it was marketed for quite a while before they jumped on board.
Larry
Mike,

There may be more there than seems obvious. First I ascribe to the theory that instruments have to be played sufficiently to be "broken in" or they never develop their true richnes. A few years ago I played a 1972 D-18 that the owner was quite proud to acquire but when I played it my first thoughs were "so what?" Just sound like anyother instrument too new to have any particular characters.

You'all know that I come to this forum/area from a long time in electronics repairs and the exact same thing happens to guitar speakers - new speakers out of the box sound flat and one of the factors that addes value to a vintage guitar speaker is having been "broken in" without having been worn out. So there are devices - I've even built one - that swept the speaker with various frequencies within the particular speaker's power rating and frequency range for a few days to "loosen up and break in" the various parts. And I feel they work and when I sold more speakers treated every new speaker I sold as such.

With all that said I know absolutely nothing about the StewMac device in question - but in theory it may work well., There are rumors of one of the high dollar vintage violin makers adapting a hurdy-gurdy wheel to be driven by some lowely apprentice until the new instruments were broken in (or the hurdy gurdy was broken over the master maker's head more likely).

Anyhoo, like muhc of the SM stuff it could be cobbled up for cheap at home - all you'd need is a flat speaker coupled to the table driven by a programmable oscillator to vibrate the table to a set amount of time. I one were to "pirate" (arrrrrrrrr!) you could buy one of the SM devices and record the changes then program your own version and return the SM one.

But there's always the good old way which is to play your instrument long and hard enough to become familiar with it's nuances and develop it's character.

Rob
I bought the nut slotting gauge last year. Love it. Saves a lot time. I can gauge exactly how much material my file strokes are removing in different materials. It also works as a quick and accurate fret height tool.
I went looking for the results of the double blind study but strangely couldn't find a thing.....
(Steve, actually, my avatar is a shot of "The Wagonmaster" himself, but thanks for the compliment:)

Whether the Tonerite actually works or not is something I'll never be able to verify, as the last sentence in Rob's post sums-up my feelings about the sometimes-murky marriage of high tech goodies with old school ideals.

Confession time for me, Tom: I also bought a nut slotting gauge last year. Unfortunately, it just sits on my bench looking cool but that's about all it does for me. Fret height gets measured using digital calipers. When it comes to nut slot height, I really don't need (or even want) to know the exact numbers, as that little ping of the string on the first fret is my "go/no-go" gauge. It was a new toy and I got it.... and it's a reminder to "think before I buy".

Griff's on the money about these supply companies having to refresh the marketplace now & again. Most of the time the new products are pretty neat, but sometimes.... meh, maybe not so much.

Must admit loving the discussion, though! Do we have any other nominations for the category?
thanks Mike now i don't feel bad for not having the state of the art equipment here at MGM. i build guitars the way i was taught and is the way guitars were built 100 years ago all solid hand carved cheers no new toys here so about this new thingamabob y cant we just crank some classic rock for 3 days and be done with that batch to get ready for a new one that's my opinion
Stewmac will take the nut slotting gauge back. Lucky you!
Because I'm trying to get old, I can't remember where but I once read an article about the use of sound coils from speakers in a "break-in room" that subjected stringed instruments to vibrations for a few days. It's been too long ago for me to remember much in the way of details but it seem to me that the idea was to vary the range of frequencies to simulate the playing and I think the length of time was something like 3 or 4 days. If I remember correctly the instruments were laying on shelves with the coil attached to the bridge somehow. These, in turn, were connected to a variable signal generator. I don't remember the process being automated so I suppose someone has to change the frequency periodically. I don't remember the magazine but it seems that it was more scientific in nature than directed at instrument builders. I really can't remember anything else.

If anyone really wanted to dig into this, I know there's a fairly large body of scientific work done on resonance and vibration patterns in violin family instruments. What I've seen of it is pretty much over my (attention deficit ) head.

Ned

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