Cedar top break in period

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tom0311
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Re: Cedar top break in period

Post by tom0311 » Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:35 pm

I was also under the impression that glass was a slow moving liquid until recently. As Bill said I always thought of the stained glass window example. Turns out they're thicker at one end due to the old manufacturing process, and they were deliberately installed with the thickest glass at the bottom.
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Re: Cedar top break in period

Post by Alan Carruth » Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:19 pm

You have to keep in mind the role of chemistry in all of this. Glass that has been exposed to water vapor picks it up in a hurry, and changes chemically into something that won't coalesce. In the case of my watch the crack was too small, so the surface was not contaminated and it was able to heal itself. I'm sure this is rare; I've never heard of it otherwise, but I can assure you it happened, and that's the only explanation that makes any sense.

In any thermoplastic they talk about the 'glass point'; the temperature above which it can flow more or less freely. However, most, if not all, thermoplastics will cold creep at almost any temperature, and that's a function of flow. The distinction between an 'amorphous solid' and a 'thick/cold liquid' is almost a semantic point in some respects. If it's thick enough so that you don't notice the flow under normal circumstances, it's a 'solid' for most purposes, but not all.

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tom0311
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Re: Cedar top break in period

Post by tom0311 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:54 pm

Alan Carruth wrote:If it's thick enough so that you don't notice the flow under normal circumstances, it's a 'solid' for most purposes, but not all.
Reminds me of the pitch drop experiments.
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Re: Cedar top break in period

Post by Bill B » Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:55 pm

Alan Carruth wrote:You have to keep in mind the role of chemistry in all of this. Glass that has been exposed to water vapor picks it up in a hurry, and changes chemically into something that won't coalesce. In the case of my watch the crack was too small, so the surface was not contaminated and it was able to heal itself. I'm sure this is rare; I've never heard of it otherwise, but I can assure you it happened, and that's the only explanation that makes any sense.

In any thermoplastic they talk about the 'glass point'; the temperature above which it can flow more or less freely. However, most, if not all, thermoplastics will cold creep at almost any temperature, and that's a function of flow. The distinction between an 'amorphous solid' and a 'thick/cold liquid' is almost a semantic point in some respects. If it's thick enough so that you don't notice the flow under normal circumstances, it's a 'solid' for most purposes, but not all.
if that's true it should be repeatable, and sounds like a heck of a science project for the kiddos. can anyone tell me how to achieve room temperature glass fusing without chemicals?
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Bill B
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Re: Cedar top break in period

Post by Bill B » Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:36 pm

there's a good article on the "glass is a liquid"myth online. corning glass museum. Robert Brill i believe was the authors name.
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Re: Cedar top break in period

Post by fast eddie » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:48 pm

Just purchased a Cordoba c-10 cedar. Since I am not a highly skilled (but am highly motivated) player, I may be screwed. I can only do my best.
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musicstand
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Re: Cedar top break in period

Post by musicstand » Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:20 pm

As a returning member I am late reading this thread but I have found it interesting none the less. A few years ago there was something similar and one of the answers at that time was to put a small transistor radio close to the sound hole and with very little volume let it play gently whenever the guitar was not being played. This was supposed to help with the opening up of the guitar.

Gwynedd
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Re: Cedar top break in period

Post by Gwynedd » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:30 pm

I was told cedar starts out where it is and doesn't develop, but I don't think that is quite true. I have a cedar top guitar I bought in March and it's starting to sound more mellow and sweet. Admittedly, I'm also playing better but there is a definite change. I think my teacher mentioned that spruce takes a longer time to develop. I like the darker sound of cedar--it's all a matter of taste. I'd buy a second guitar in spruce, however, just for the difference in tone. But I'm a one-guitar gal at the moment. I like my Spanish-made cedar top, and I'm even dubious of the double-top idea.

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Re: Cedar top break in period

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:30 am

When I posited the original question, I had just bought a Ramirez 4NE cedar. Well that guitar blossomed out in about 3 to 4 weeks if I remember. I spent a year or so trying different strings on it and arrived at medium tension Ramirez strings with the carbon 3rd. That was the best sounding set of strings that I had tried out of several different brands since I had got the guitar back in December. Not much change after that, in fact no new changes.

Gwynedd, I too like the sound of Cedar best. I had a spruce Ramirez, but sold out. It had nothing to do with the sound. It didn't sound bad, just not as good as the Cedar top. I don't know if I will buy another spruce as I don't know if I have enough years left to wait for it to sound it's best.

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Re: Cedar top break in period

Post by davebones » Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:35 am

I have begun learning classical guitar, after 15 years of playing mostly jazz on an electric. I have acquired two guitars each of which were made in 1977: a Yamaha G245s with spruce top, and a Takamine C132s. I chose these because of price, and recommendations by members of this forum. The Tak has a lovely open sound with Savarez Corum Alliance normal tension strings. When I first got into electric hollowbody guitars, several guitarists I met told me about leaning their cedar and spruce topped archtops up against stereo speakers and playing music with varied dynamics and a range of octaves. The vibration was supposed to help the wood develop a resonance. I tried this with an Eastman archtop that I bought new. I left it in front of the speakers when I went to work in the morning and it got to vibrate for eight hours at a time. I never could tell if this made any difference. It sounded great anyway.

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Re: Cedar top break in period

Post by Peskyendeavour » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:56 am

cedartop wrote:
Mon Dec 12, 2016 6:11 pm
According to my guitar maker, if I may paraphrase, spruce grain is more "thatched" and cedar is more "straight," so cedar opens up faster. He also notes that the guitar's sound characteristics and the nature of the sound doesn't really change, it just becomes easier to get it out. In other words, a guitar isn't going to become a different guitar. A poor instrument will not get better just because it is played a lot. The quality of the player also figures into the equation. My maker once made two guitars as closely to the same as possible. The woods were all from the same trees, everything was measured and weighed, etc. One went to a teacher and one to his student. He got them to agree to switch guitars after 6 months. At the time of the switch, the teacher's guitar was much more "open" than the student's. After they switched, the guitar that had beenthe student's opened up more and the guitar that had been the teacher's retracted.
Interesting tale, any particular study or reason for this? Is it to do with the amount you play or how you play? I'm now worried that my guitars would all retract and play less well than when I got it.... I'm the student you see.....

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cedartop
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Re: Cedar top break in period

Post by cedartop » Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:45 am

Peskyendeavour wrote:
Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:56 am
Interesting tale, any particular study or reason for this? Is it to do with the amount you play or how you play? I'm now worried that my guitars would all retract and play less well than when I got it.... I'm the student you see.....
Well, the point being made was that the player has a lot to do with how the guitar responds over time. I also think the player responds to the guitar so it is a circular event. Your guitar and you can "grow" together.
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Kevin Cowen
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Re: Cedar top break in period

Post by Kevin Cowen » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:42 pm

The following is probably an urban myth but I'll relate it anyway.
Chet Atkins is noodling in a studio in Nashville.
Someone passing by says "boy that guitar sounds nice"
Chet stops playing _ hangs the guitar on the wall and asks . . . .
"How does it sound now ?"

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Re: Cedar top break in period

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:59 pm

Kevin Cowen wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:42 pm
The following is probably an urban myth but I'll relate it anyway.
Chet Atkins is noodling in a studio in Nashville.
Someone passing by says "boy that guitar sounds nice"
Chet stops playing _ hangs the guitar on the wall and asks . . . .
"How does it sound now ?"
Snopes has nothing for Chet Atkins, so I can't fact check it. Innocent until proven guilty... :D

Having said that jokingly, if you do a broader Internet search, you'll find that entire books are written surrounding that quote. It seems that the gender of the onlooker may change, and whether Chet puts it on the wall, or just stops playing are in question, even where he was at the time - like in a store, or a studio. So it probably happened, but we may not know the real quote.

Now - cedar break in period ? This is the urban myth, fake news, etc. I think it may be easier to prove life on distant planets. If you think you hear improvements after some period of break in, cool - I'm truly happy for your excellent experience! I'm the original owner of three guitars with spruce, cedar,and redwood, played all of them 1000s of hours - I don't hear any changes at all! So I either got gypped, or it is not a real phenomenon. But I may have said that in a previous post. :D

I'm sure "something" happens to the top wood over time. But good luck trying to prove that "something" is an improvement in tone and/or responsiveness.
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Gwynedd
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Re: Cedar top break in period

Post by Gwynedd » Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:40 am

I don't understand how break-in would work. Unless the fibers of the wood line up microscopically with constant play and are more like strings, in that they are organized to vibrate. Also, some of the interstitial material between the fibers probably loosens up and you get sympathetic vibration that is better as the guitar is played (until it is reputed to be "played out." Which some players like Bream claim happens.) Alas, I can't find that anyone did research on wood, showing changes over time with photomicrographs and sound patterns.

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