I am very interested to know if anyone has experience with ToneRite or Reso-Sound....


ToneRite: LMI product TRG. (rests against the bridge, used only on acoustics)


Reso-Sound: (some sort of chamber? used on acoustics and electrics and drum kits)



Do these treatments work well?? Does anyone know of an other method to accelerate the 'played-in' feel? (other than keeping the guitar stand in front of the stereo speakers)

Tags: Accelerated, Sonic, aging, play-in

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Lots of good stuff there.

Thanks Eugen
We're still lacking the serious, double-blind study that would be necessary to "prove" anything about breaking in or warming up instruments. My own experience is that I can't recognize my own instrument from one day to the next, and I know it's not the one that's changing.

While graphic measurement of tone has value, I'd be more convinced if there were reproducible verifiable results that showed the differences to be significant to human listeners.

IF you can stand it, here's my only long-term study on the subject:

In 1983 I bought a new Martin “Custom - 15.” In case you don’t know that model, suffice it to say it’s another brother of the HD-28.

David, a local bluegrass picker, bought one just like mine that same year. In fact, they were VERY similar guitars: grain spacing on face, bridge height, setup. Most of all, they sounded as nearly identical as any two guitars I’ve heard.

David built himself a box for his guitar. It was big enough to hold the instrument, was made of 3/4” ply with foam insulation inside. Also inside was a speaker, through which he played his stereo LOUD for many months. During and after this break-in period, David played the guitar in the classic hard-driving bluegrass style. He formed a band, and drove it with his Custom 15. This guitar got years of really hard mileage.

I, on the other hand, am a mandolin player, and was suffering with the beginnings of arthritis. My Custom 15 has hung on the wall or sat in the case, and has been played so little it’s embarrassing.

In 1993, around the tenth anniversary of their manufacture, David and I got the two instruments together for a trial:

I had just installed some new strings on my guitar when he arrived at the house. He walked in and hit a G-chord on it and said, “Well, so much for all that breaking-in - your guitar sounds better than mine!” I insisted that he break out his guitar and restring it, too. After some serious comparison, we agreed that his had an EXTREMELY slight edge over mine in the clarity of trebles. It was such a small difference that we agreed it might well have gone unnoticed ten years earlier.

Now, what do I think I learned from this experience? First, I got a quick lesson in David’s ability to recognize his own guitar. (No big surprise, because some days I don't think I could identify the mandolin I’ve played for 30 years.) Second, I think I’m satisfied that the break-in of a guitar is a subtle thing I have no business even trying to hear. I’d say it is very likely that the two guitars aged some by just being instruments, and probably less from the vibes they experienced. Neither instrument had any peculiarity of tone or volume that would compel one to describe it as better than any new Martin dreadnought. They're both good, but not outstanding.

Of course, like any other study, the results are easily skewed to suit a predicted outcome, but this is the most objectivity I've been able to manage.

I spoke to David recently and we agreed it was time for a second “summit meeting,” sometime soon. . .

Update, 2009:

David brought his guitar into the shop for another “summit.” He’s continued to play his every day, fronted numerous bands and generally worked that guitar hard. I, on the other hand (or should I say both hands) have bad enough arthritis I have difficulty holding a pick, and I simply haven’t played any music for a decade. My guitar has had no use at all in that time. It has been stored tuned up to pitch, and it needed to have its neck reset at the same time David’s did - both were done a couple of years ago.

This time we invited the entire assembly of Gryphon employees and customers who were in the shop to compare the guitars, without telling them what was up.

There was a clear consensus that both instruments sounded so similar as to be considered nearly identical. Some voiced a slight preference for one or the other, but there was no agreement on which one.

Most agreed that both guitars had begun to develop that “vintage” tone and were stronger sounding than equivalent new ones. Indeed, they are both excellent sounding guitars.
Thanks for this input Franck. Glad to see everyone don't fall for it.


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