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 use the nut slot gauge for accurate reference of incoming instruments. And at times for measuring fret height.

I think the Tonerite has been discussed to death over at the Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum.

Personally, I think nothing can replace just playing your guitar rather than letting it hum in a corner somewhere.

Vibrating the guitar is needed when you have

    A brand new guitar
    A guitar that has gone through a major repair or refinish
    A guitar that has ben unplayed for a long time.

Three whole days of vibrating opens up the guitar as I described above. No harm is done to the guitar and you don't have to play for months with a stiff and boring guitar to break it in. Not much to debate about that.

Roger I would appreciate if you would not revive seven year old threads (or six or five, etc....).

Many of us are busy professionals who do not have the time when we do have a few minutes to weed though years of prior posts trying to figure out what was so earth shattering and new that our time is to be wasted and my attention drawn to this thread.....

I wanted to help someone new here with a split bridge problem but after having my time wasted to the degree that I had time this morning no such luck for me or the poster who could genuinely use a friendly hand in the spirit that this forum is well known for.......

I appreciate that you want to comment on these issues but I've also grown to identify your comments as often a waste of my time....  You seem to believe that none of us know our asses from a hole in the ground.  It's insulting and disrespectful and making me not want to read FRETS much anymore....

The tone rite is NOT new and all of us have been through this over and over again for years now.  What is new and wonderful to you may not be new to others....  Also...I am finding your assertions to often be flat our wrong and having the earmark of someone with no actual business to address just lots of time..... to..... play...... Luthier.

Not trying to be rude here (but I am pissed.....), I would appreciate if you would consider others and also not be rude to us.  Not all of us are holding our breaths to see what your take is on this, that, or the other thing.

Lastly do you ever have a customer????  All I ever see in your rants is the same pics of the same crappy old guitar......

Thanks............  Now you've upset my IBS........;)

Sorry to upset you. As far as I know you are the only one beeing rude. I promise I wont revive any old threads from now on.

The "same crappy old guitar" happend to be the ones I'm working with. Not the same one on every picture, I restore 3-4 of them each month. I love them all. An so does my customers.

Hiya Hesh :)
Thanks for the post I've wanted to write for quite some time.
I no longer reply on this form because of inane discussions of questionable achedemic value and unappreciative hacks.
I'm still an active tech, playing as much as I wish to and all is well.
Btw: IF Rusty ever makes it to your shop, let me know and I'll fly up to meet you guys. I'll bring extra bail $$$, just in case :)
Have a superior week, my friend!!


At the top of this page is a banner that says, "A Meeting Place for Instrument Builders, Repairers and Players". I do not see the words "expert" or "professional" mentioned. As a member of this group for a few years, I have noticed there are quite a few novice and hobbyist members here.

Maybe when you come across a discussion of "questionable achedemic (sic) value" you could just skip it and spare us the attitude.

Hi Steven:  No one is questioning who the forum is for or even questioning participation from all levels from hobbyist to pro.  The point is that some of us don't like our time being wasted.....  Time that could be spent helping others.

As someone who is known to be a helper of others.... I believe I have license to ask Roger to shut the hell up once in a while and give it a break...... AND to stop spreading snake oil......

What I am directly questioning is a rude, narcissistic know-it-all who in reality knows very little....  For weeks now this guy has asserted expertise on all manner of things from compensated nuts to playing Black Sabbath on 78 speed backwards (turntable fan here...) through 200 watts RMS to break in an ax.

As mentioned for those of us who actually work in the trade we might have 15 minutes to kill walking away from a G&L or a pre-war Martin only to find that our valuable and limited time is taken up by Haggstrom or what ever the hell his real name is telling us all how great he is.  It's often a revival of a movie that we all had been to before and for what?

 Anyway this has happened before, some know-it-all offending others....  It's not the first time and won't be the last time I'm sure.  It's also not the last time that I'll call it out when I see it.

Since I'm considered the villain and is accused of spreading snake oil and being to busy on this forum (is that a crime?) I will respond.

First of all, who am I? I restored old guitars for about 10 years in my kitchen. Bought a lot of old wrecks on eBay to study how they were made and how they sounded. I have more than 100 parlor guitars in storage now - I have a tendency to go all-in when I'm interested in something. I scanned the net for all information I could find, Frank Ford's site was one of the very best sources of information. I happen to know a fiddle restorer and he steered me in the right direction, using hide glue and spirit varnish and provided me with top class woods for my repairs. I was a computer programmer, but now I have a shop since three years doing something not many other luthiers does, restoring AND improving old guitars. I prefer to work with wrecks from the 1930s and before that. When the guitar is well made and in good condition, I have to battle with my conscience. Some guitars should not be messed with.

My customers are for the most part musicians who has bough a "wreck" and will have it made into a great player good enough for any studio or scene. The other category is "the family guitar" hanging unplayable on a wall with a lot of family history and a gifted child needing a good small guitar to play. Right now I have a 1 year queue (too long) and I'm working hard to cut it down refusing new customers.

I'm curious by nature and whenever I get an idea or read about something interesting I want to try it out. For real. Did a lot of experimenting in my amateur days and my methods has evolved to a concept I'm pretty sure works. Still doing and testing new things, but I do it in small increments. Right now I'm busy sharpening my "tools" so to speak realizing that some things I've done is not the best way to do it.

Coming to this forum I was eager to share the methods and new things I've discovered and I admit that it was a handful! I'm not a person that keeps things hidden, if I find something that is really great and working I can't wait to share it with the world. I'm looking for a response to my ideas that will improve it. I have strong opinions about some things, but proven wrong I don't hesitate to change my mind.

As for the vibrating debate. I have been using the original ToneRite and my variant with an aquarium pump for more than 5 years. It's part of the standard procedure and one of the last things I do when done with an old parlor. I give it new bracing, a carbon rod in the neck, some new varnish, replace and repair parts, new frets, nut and saddle intonation and a composite saddle bone. I know exactly what the vibration does to a "new" guitar, the tone improves by a mile every time.

If I'm allowed in this forum I would like to make a post later showing one of two old parlor guitars I'm making for myself (not finished yet). In that case I will do some recordings with and without a nut compensation and with a standard bone saddle and two variants of my composite one, one with cedar between the bone posts and one with spruce. I have some nice recording equipment and you can decide for yourself if I'm giving you "snake oil"...

I'm writing this instead of working with my vocals on the next "Roger & the Rockets" CD so I have to stop. I wont write anything more in this thread and keep a low profile for a while. I will sit back and don't throw any more fuel on the fire.

Hi Steven,

Everyone has to start somewhere and Hobbyists, enthusiast and novices are at that point.  

For those who are at that point there is an opportunity to learn from senior members of the forum who have mainly got their chops from being in business and learning their professional skills  from other experts and professionals.   Therein lies the nub of some emotional outpouring from wounded and indignant well meaning amateurs from time to time.  They have plenty of time to ask questions wheras we don't have time to answer them.

The issue here is that (GENERALLY SPEAKING) the people with the answers are also the people with the least time available to spread the knowledge and deal with the sometime repititious nature of  very basic stuff.   Worse still is having to deal in depth with pedant minutia, stuff that is way too basic, and/or voodoo physics.

I have no idea whether exciting bits of wood glued together and pinned with stings and things with the rather feeble looking whatzit actually works.  It probably does something, because everything you can do does something, including doing nothing.

However, as with compensated nuts, powdered unicorn horn capacitors, Kentucky fried tonewood and quartersawn anything - I have stopped listening and writing and now concentrate on our own Sound Lounge research which is where stuff is actually comparison tested and evaluated against typical performance requirements.  Thats our BS destroyer.

I am also conscious of the notion that just because someone important says something is good doesn't actually mean anything.  The CEO's of major banks said CFD's were great stuff right until the collapse of the Worlds financial structure with the GFC.  

So if you wish to break in a green guitar do what most dudes do and stand in front of a Quad and a "room heater"  turned up a tadge - much more fun than watching paint dry.   Point of order:  you want to break in a Telecaster barrel bridge or a TOM by sticking a vibrator in it, um, good luck with that. They ain't acoustics but the principles are said to be the same.

Similarly, last time I looked a couple of cycles is enough to settle most things down from an engineering point of view - not to be confused with failure testing.   Mildly exciting your guitar with a vibrator is OK but it's not something you need to do for any length of time.  Once it's moved, it's moved. Unless you cycle the environmentals and the intensity/frequency of the vibration, which will probably do something.

So what's up here?   no , you do not see the words "expert" or "professional"mentioned in the header, but when they contribute free professional advice (when was the last time you got something like that for free)  as part of the knowledge backbone of this forum,  it's probably a good idea to listen and accept that not everyone is going to feel happy.

That's a grab bag of what I see from where I sit,



HI Paul,

Good to hear from you bloke

I have to say that the work is starting to take over most of my time and that includes the leisure time!   The temptation to unload is a constant problem, especially with the web forum dwellers who have an excess of everything except real time experience and hard yards actually doing this stuff. 

I have penciled in LA and Baltimore for August and will confirm a trip to Ann Arbor to visit Hesh as soon as I get some firm stuff.

Will PM stuff from this point to You and Hesh and anyone else who may be interested in getting together for a cold beer on a hot day.

Stay frosty mate,


Thank you for the perfect practical illustration of my comment, Steve.


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