Let's Talk Tops - Cedar or Spruce......

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
Grooveman JS
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Re: Let's Talk Tops - Cedar or Spruce......

Post by Grooveman JS » Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:40 am

While we're on this.....Just want to pop a question for you all.....general knowledge says Cedar takes less time to break into; whereas Spruce needs to be played-in before it starts to open up to its full potential in terms of tone. Just how long does a new Spruce guitar needs to be played-in before it opens up? Maybe I should also ask: what can you do to speed up this "opening-up" process:?: :?:
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tom0311
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Re: Let's Talk Tops - Cedar or Spruce......

Post by tom0311 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 9:29 am

Grooveman JS wrote:general knowledge says Cedar takes less time to break into; whereas Spruce needs to be played-in before it starts to open up to its full potential in terms of tone.
I'm not sure it's really general knowledge, more like a feeling. I think there was a recent lengthy discussion on this forum about it recently. No doubt it's come up countless times. Needless to say there is more than one opinion on whether it actually happens or not.

I think you can buy machines you attach to the guitar that output a tone, which supposedly breaks them in.
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Grooveman JS
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Re: Let's Talk Tops - Cedar or Spruce......

Post by Grooveman JS » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:05 pm

I think you can buy machines you attach to the guitar that output a tone, which supposedly breaks them in.[/quote]

Really :o :D :o You're kidding me right :?: :lol: :lol:
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tom0311
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Re: Let's Talk Tops - Cedar or Spruce......

Post by tom0311 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:23 pm

I'm sure I've read something about it on here. Just a tone generator or something. Now you're making me doubt myself :D so maybe it was just an idea or something.

EDIT: it's called a tonerite. You can find the website easily on google.
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Steve Toscano
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Re: Let's Talk Tops - Cedar or Spruce......

Post by Steve Toscano » Mon Jan 09, 2017 2:47 pm

Grooveman JS wrote:Just how long does a new Spruce guitar needs to be played-in before it opens up?
I notice a distinct change in tone that occurs within the first 4 - 5 hours of playing in my new spruce guitars.
I think this early change is quite drastic compared to the gradual change that probably occurs for the next 100 - 200+ hours which would be far less noticeable and much harder to hear.
I dont know for sure as i dont hold on to the guitars that long (they are off to their owner by then).

The change that occurs in this early stage i can only describe as becoming more 'mellow'.

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Peter5
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Re: Let's Talk Tops - Cedar or Spruce......

Post by Peter5 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:21 pm

Just to add another question to this: it is often stated that a spruce guitar has "fallen asleep" when not being played for longer time. What is your experience with this ? How long does it take to "wake up" again ? Is it like "the longer it has been sleeping the longer it takes to wake up again" ?
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Peter

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tom0311
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Re: Let's Talk Tops - Cedar or Spruce......

Post by tom0311 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:34 pm

Recently discussed here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=109175
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Grooveman JS
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Re: Let's Talk Tops - Cedar or Spruce......

Post by Grooveman JS » Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:12 pm

Peter5 wrote:Just to add another question to this: it is often stated that a spruce guitar has "fallen asleep" when not being played for longer time. What is your experience with this ? How long does it take to "wake up" again ? Is it like "the longer it has been sleeping the longer it takes to wake up again" ?
Thx
Peter
Well i guess instruments are meant to be played; what good is it if its kept in the case or for collection only...... Luthier Masaki Sakurai of the Kohno shop told me to play my guitar at least 30mins a day :) :)
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Grooveman JS
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Re: Let's Talk Tops - Cedar or Spruce......

Post by Grooveman JS » Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:15 pm

tom0311 wrote:Recently discussed here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=109175
After ploughing through the link on the discussion thread; i guess we can only say that its Theory at best......what ever the case; just play & keep using the instrument....that's the way its meant to be. :bravo:
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Peter5
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Re: Let's Talk Tops - Cedar or Spruce......

Post by Peter5 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 5:52 pm

I completely agree with that statement! However sometimes you are in a different situation, e.g. you want to buy a used guitar and the seller tells you that it hasn´t been played for some time and it will wake up and the sound gets better again once it is more played. True ?
But I also went through the entire referenced link above (long but quite interesting) and the many contributions in the link show how complex this topic definitely is.

Pat Dodson
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Re: Let's Talk Tops - Cedar or Spruce......

Post by Pat Dodson » Mon Jan 09, 2017 6:37 pm

Peter5 wrote:I completely agree with that statement! However sometimes you are in a different situation, e.g. you want to buy a used guitar and the seller tells you that it hasn´t been played for some time and it will wake up and the sound gets better again once it is more played. True ?........
In another thread that explored this controversial topic, (How do you judge a guitar's potential?) @JohnB summarised things pretty well I feel. Said John,

".... one should buy a guitar because of how it sounds when you play it - not how it might, hypothetically, sound in the future."

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souldier
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Re: Let's Talk Tops - Cedar or Spruce......

Post by souldier » Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:30 pm

Evaluating the sound of a guitar is difficult. With every single guitar I have owned, they all have had good days and bad days. Factors like whether the guitar is being played regularly, humidity/temperature, etc. can change the guitar and sometimes the guitar has a good or bad day for no apparent reason at all! It is one of the challenges of playing fine wooden instruments. Sometimes we can quickly judge a guitar in a single sitting as being an average instrument that we would of judged as an excellent instrument had we had a few more days with it. This does not mean we should purchase in instruments in hopes that it could turn out better in the future, but that we at least are aware of the potential of an instrument and the factors involved. For example if I were to purchase a guitar on trial that didn't initially impress me, I'd play it for several hours in the best possible temperature/humidity before I actually make a judgment.
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tom0311
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Re: Let's Talk Tops - Cedar or Spruce......

Post by tom0311 » Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:32 pm

souldier wrote:sometimes the guitar has a good or bad day for no apparent reason at all! It is one of the challenges of playing fine wooden instruments.
What makes you sure it's not your ears having a bad day? Or your fingers having a bad playing day?
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souldier
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Re: Let's Talk Tops - Cedar or Spruce......

Post by souldier » Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:48 pm

tom0311 wrote:What makes you sure it's not your ears having a bad day? Or your fingers having a bad playing day?
Perception and playing can be a factor no doubt. In most cases I am thoroughly acquainted with how my guitar sounds and I am quite confident I know if the guitar itself is sounding off. Do you feel that guitars having "good or bad" days is an outright myth?
"Success grants its rewards to a few, but is the dream of the multitudes.
Excellence is available to all, but is accepted only by a few." - Christopher Parkening

robert e
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Re: Let's Talk Tops - Cedar or Spruce......

Post by robert e » Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:52 pm

tom0311 wrote:
souldier wrote:sometimes the guitar has a good or bad day for no apparent reason at all! It is one of the challenges of playing fine wooden instruments.
What makes you sure it's not your ears having a bad day? Or your fingers having a bad playing day?
Does it make a difference whether it's you or the guitar having a bad day? Or both? Either way, you're not hearing it at its best.

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