Into the Mystic...

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by HeyMrTeleMan, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. HeyMrTeleMan

    HeyMrTeleMan Colonel of Truth Gold Supporting Member

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    Hi Guys!
    I've read some articles recently which mentions "vibrating" or "Waking Up" guitars. Is this some kind of voodoo, or is there science behind it? It sounds a little mystical to me.

    What's this about? Does it only apply to acoustics or any wood guitar?

    TIA!

    Blind Lemon Pledge
     
  2. konavet

    konavet Member

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    OK, since nobody else is going to say anything, I'll give my non expert opinion. I think what you're refering to is the well known phenomena of sound character improving with playing. That is, a well played guitar will sound better than the same guitar not played. And a guitar that is laid aside for a while will take time to open up again with playing. There is even the perception (as noted by some in a previous post) that a guitar will actually open up and sound better while being played. This is mostly true for acoustic guitars, though I'm sure it's also true of electrics as well, just harder to appreciate when amplified.
    That said, I recall a few years ago someone noted this same effect from exposure to random vibration ( I think it was a ride on the back of a motorcycle?). So that led to experimenting with exposing new guitars to random vibrations of different sorts to see if they could prematurely "age" a guitar. They came up with some sort of device that apparently did work, but I can't recall how scientific this experiment was or if it was just subjective. In any case I haven't heard of a huge market for guitar vibrators to break in new intruments, so it must not have been that big of a deal.
     
  3. HeyMrTeleMan

    HeyMrTeleMan Colonel of Truth Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks, Konavet! After I posted this, I wondered if I might not get a response from anyone who was doing this, due to their proprietary methods. I remember the Ruokangas Guitar article in ToneQuestRepot about aging wood. They hinted that is was sound waves vs. vibration. Maybe if I throw my wife's vibrator in my dreadnaught (assuming she hasn't worn it out!:p ) and turn it on, something will happen*!

    It couldn't hurt.

    Ben Wa
    (*probably my wife will yell at me for being a bone head!)

     
  4. Cap'n Fingers

    Cap'n Fingers Member

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    Be careful. If your guitar starts screaming your name
    you've over done it.
    :rotflmao
     
  5. Tycho

    Tycho Member

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    I've heard of people who park their guitars in front of the stereo to get the vibrations flowing, but I don't think there's any consensus on whether that actually does anything.
     
  6. bluesmain

    bluesmain Member

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    coughs( bulls***) kidding of course...;)
     
  7. drolling

    drolling Member

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    No, really - I'm sure I remember reading something about a luthier who put his new guitars in a closet with a stereo which he blasted them with for a few days to simulate years of playing..

    A kind of psychoacoustic "relicing" process?

    Sounds kinda nutty to me, but I've never tried it, so who knows?
     
  8. JamonGrande

    JamonGrande Supporting Member

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    i think a lot has to do with how the resins in the wood harden, crystalize, and then fracture due to vibrations. not that this a guarantee of great tone.

    I belive Aspen Pitman designed a device in the early 90's that pumped hundreds of watts through a transducer the guitar was strapped to. the results where measured with a FFT analysis, which noted some differences.

    on the other side, wouldn't it make sense that the kind of frequencies and their point of origin would make a huge difference? pumping hip-hop music into an acoustic doesn't seem like "normal use", plus the vibrations are transmitted through the bridge into the body, not directly into the body. each element acts as a filter. perhaps the best method would be to record yourself playing, strap a transducer for playback to the bridge, and then see what happens. scientific method, eliminating variables, etc..

    joe
     
  9. Eero

    Eero Member

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    Gentlemen,

    I personally feel that it is pretty much voodoo, if these techniques are brought up as THE thing that makes a person's product so much better than the next guy's. I totally agree with what JamonGrande just wrote.

    There is not too much to add to what Tone Quest Report wrote, but for those who have not read it, Ruokangas does not use vibration methods. Thermo Treatment is a computer controlled aging method (heating and cooling). As there are good and bad new guitars, there are also good and bad, say, 50 year old guitars. It is a feature, among a bunch of features. Further, we don't thermo treat the wood that we are perhaps most well known for, Spanish Cedar.

    Eero
    Ruokangas Guitars, USA
    Mad Professor Amplification, USA
     
  10. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I'm the world's most skeptical guy about all that stuff, but I swear that the more you play a guitar the better it sounds, especially over the first 5 - 6 years.

    I have no idea if exposure to vibrations any other way makes any difference. I'd have to hear the "before" and "after" first-hand to be convinced.
     
  11. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    the vibrations from playing it and the aging process affect the sound. I do it the old fashioned way, by playing it.
     
  12. pickaguitar

    pickaguitar 2011 TGP Silver Medalist Silver Supporting Member

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    An adi topped guitar can be warmed up IMO.
    I do it all the time..
     

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