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?

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.

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

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I heard Scientific American had an article on the science of the vibration modes of strads, etc. vs new violins. I'll see if I can find something on it during all the free time I have :). I'm back to the shop...

- Steve

Play play play is the name of the game. I heard that if you set your guitar in front of your stereo and let it ply your favorite kind of music  The guitar will learn to play your music.

This sounds crazy but I think it will work!



Please stop with the old threads.

 Zombie thread revival.. I don't like that much.

 On almost every guitar site on the internet, if someone asks this question, they will eventually get sent to this 48 page tome on the Collings site.

Collings Tonerite thread 

 The simple answer is 'YES' it works.

On this thread, there were over 160 axes documented/ done by about 125 folks over a few years. The only guitars that were not positively affected were a Brand spanking new Gibson, that had several of it's unglued top braces actually fall out ( I kid you not. Way to go Gibson!) and two Martins that both were played  for several hours every single day. They already sounded as good as they ever would.

Every other guitar was a positive. 

 So now it's like this... I don't care if 47% of America questions if climate change is real. Who cares what they think?  97% of Scientists agree, so that 47% can go science-denie amongst themselves. It is the exact same thing with this device.  The evidence has been in for years.

Speaking personally, I have now done about 35 instruments. The Tonerite is also in thousands of Luthierie shops allover the world. Again, why would that be?  

Here's an interesting article about "breaking in"violins:
Thanks Frank. That made it totally understandable.I just place a vibrator inside my fiddle and the fid fell in love almost immediately.Who says it ain't rocket science?
My classical guitar likes to be awakened with thumping techno music. That and Cannibal Corpse. When I play classical to it, it doesn't seem to respond as well.....
Very droll Tim, and thankyou Frank for the reference to the Violin study......The way I break in my guitars is to loan them to a musician or a relative and tell them to be careful........instant vintage! Rusty.

 " Subsequent treatments will be required to maintain and further develop your instrument."

    Chiropractic for guitars!

If you put a sweepable signal generator through a 10w amp into a 4" speaker and then suspended the speaker a 1/2" above the middle of the soundboard, as you slowly swept from 0 to 20k hertz you'd hear various components vibrate as you passed their resonance frequency, with most of the action happening between 80 hertz and 1000hz. With all the interacting harmonics it would probably be fairly uninformative.

I'm guessing the Tonerite is a a pink noise generator. If so, playing an FM radio station through the 4" speaker would probably do the same thing. You're just exciting the resonant frequencies to loosen the guitar up. The question is what loosens? Obviously the cellular structure of the wood isn't going to degrade as it does from aging. Perhaps it loosens the glue joints and causes micro-fractures in the cell walls. This might increase soundboard excursion and thereby volume which, in turn, would have more power to excite harmonics.

I'm wonder if, like the Tacoma Narrows bridge, a certain frequency at some threshold volume would shake a guitar apart (or did the bridge collapse that because there were two of more dissonant frequencies?). That could be a fun experiment!

The ToneRite do work, but after a treatment the strings are dead. The one I bought lasted only one year, the quality is not that great and the marketing of the device contains too much snake-oil for my liking. Using something to vibrate the guitar intensely for 3-4 days is a great way to get rid of the stiffness in a new, newly restored guitar or an unused wall-hanger. The difference before/after is really great.

There is no question that this method is valid, it simply works and it works well. I do this on every restored guitar for three days to open up the guitar. The audible effects a treatment has on the guitar is less perceived stiffness, more sustain, more volume. Simply put, it sounds better and the guitar opens up.

My own theory is that the wood itself (the structure inside the wood) and all the glue joints are forced to be synchronized by the vibrations. Every part of the guitar will move effortless in the same direction simultaneously. The theory can explain the audible changes after a treatment. Less perceived stiffness because the initial resistance to movement is low. The sustain is longer because the top and bottom wants to move back and forth without different parts fighting with each other. The volume is higher because the top and bottom will move with a bigger amplitude.

The story don't end with the three days of vibrations. The guitar will continue to change it's tone with age and when it's played. I can go so far that the individual style of the player will change the sound of the guitar to his/hers style of playing!

Instead of the ToneRite I use an aquarium airpump (the cheaper the better) strapped to the top. A piece of hard cardboard or plastic will protect the top from the vibrations. It's way cheaper, more durable and more effective than a ToneRite. It's the guitar that has to be vibrated, not the strings.

Don't know about the ToneRite, but I'd hate to be without my nut slotting gauge, much more accurate and faster than feelers....


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