Breaking in a NOS 12 year old guitar

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by soldano16, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. soldano16

    soldano16 Member

    Oct 7, 2004
    British Columbia
    Last spring I sprung for a Guitar Clinic Les Paul replica. The guitar was completed in 1995, completely to 59 specs including Braz board, old Honduras mahogany and hide glue.

    Now the rather interesting thing about this replica is that it was built for and owned by a person who doesn't play guitar. Not sure on why he ordered it but when I got the guitar it was obviously NOS despite the very heavy checking on the finish.

    When I got it there was definitely a certain stiffness to the tone. Great tone, very clear and immediate but certainly lacking a certain warmth. I'd never kept a new guitar long enough to find out if the famous "breaking it in" thing was real. And I had no idea how 12 years of lying around would affect the guitar's ability to warm up. Time would tell.

    So now it's some many months of playing this wonderful guitar and sure enough, the unplugged tone is definitely less stiff and is warmer than it was when I got it. I have no idea how much more it has to go if any but it certainly adds credibility to the old saying that the unplayed vintage guitars usually don't sound as good. The is a noticable difference over less than a year.

    Click on a pic to enlarge



  2. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2002
    Santa Barbara, Marin, Chico, CA
    Beautiful guitar, glad it's loosening up.

    Man, that one's a real beauty, Dana O.
  3. treeofpain

    treeofpain Silver Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2007
    Columbia, SC
    There might be something to the wood resonating and "waking it up", though I imagine it is much more pronounced with acoustics than with a solid body guitar. My experience is that fresh strings and setup tweaking do more to improve the tone than playing it in, though I'm sure that is a subtle factor.
  4. rockinlespaul

    rockinlespaul Member

    Jan 3, 2004
    Excellent! I noticed mine is sounding better every day. Damn I love my replica.:AOK
  5. supergenius365

    supergenius365 Silver Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2005
    Clemmons, NC
    I have had a mid 90's Epi Sheraton II since, well, the mid 90's. It was a very bright and crisp guitar in a very unpleasant way. I did all the changes people do on these - electronics, pick ups, tuners etc. - but ti just never sounded good to me. It was a gift from my parents, so I always felt guilty about trying to sell it. Basically, it has sat out on a stand since the 90's with minimal play time. Recently I picked it up and noticed that the tone was much warmer and a lot less harsh. The wood is "looser", and has a much nicer feel about it. I am finally taking a serious second look at this guitar.

    I think Keith Urban said a guitar spends the first 10 years of it's life thinking it is still a tree. After 10 years, it starts to realize what it supposed to be doing.

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