Cedar top break in period

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
Andrew Pohlman
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Re: Cedar top break in period

Post by Andrew Pohlman » Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:42 pm

Gwynedd wrote:
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.
Review Alan Carruth's post on page 1 of this thread. He talks about microscopic changes to the wood.
2013 Rodriguez FF Sabicas blanco
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Re: Cedar top break in period

Post by Gwynedd » Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:47 pm

Whatever the scientific reason, I'm sure my cedar top instrument has changed. It is louder and sweeter. I'm now curious to own a spruce top guitar to see about tone differences and changes. Maybe when I get better, I can justify a different guitar or owning two guitars. Right now, I'm still a beginner even though things are moving along nicely.

John Stone
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Re: Cedar top break in period

Post by John Stone » Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:26 pm

I have a 1977 Ramirez 1a. For about 25 years, I played it very, very little -- I was playing other kinds of music and guitars during that time. I recently began playing it a lot. I know this goes against the conventional wisdom about cedar tops breaking in quickly and then staying the same, but it seems to me that it's sounding better and better. Not sure if it's just me learning again how to make the Ramirez sound good or if there's been some Sleeping Beauty-type waking up process. Or maybe both.
2001 Manuel Velazquez
1977 Ramirez 1a
2014 Cordoba C10
They said, "You have a blue guitar, You do not play things as they are." The man replied, "Things as they are / Are changed upon the blue guitar."

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Re: Cedar top break in period

Post by Leendavid89 » Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:44 pm

Hard to say with cedar because we dont have any historical references like with spruce. Pre war Martins with spruce are legendary. I owned a 1977 Ramirez 1A in cedar with long scale. It had a sweet sound but not much punch. This was in 2005 so it was about 30 years old. Even much less expensive new cedar guitars were much louder, punchier, and more expressive in comparison. Personally I think cedar tops are ready to play right from the get go but in my experience they start to lose vibrancy as they start to get old. Historically, we have good references to judge how spruce ages. I think spruce tops retain their vibrant punchy sound longer. But I also heard that classicals in general don't last as long as steel strings, so hard to compare. Segovia switched every 20 to 30 years to a new guitar. Might be something in that. Needless to say I went with spruce when I bought my Picado. This is all conjecture. My friend bought Laurindo Almeida's 1968 Manzanero in cedar. This guitar still sounds incredible to this day. Food for thought.

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Re: Cedar top break in period

Post by chelson » Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:01 pm

Not sure is this considered as some form of break in. My GVR arrived in 2013. This was the post about it but it had been archived. If you scroll down the thread, there is a rough recording in 2013:


Recently, I have tried to do another recording. Post it here to compare if there is any difference due to break in.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4Huv ... UtNaF9hQ2s

However, focus on the sound only, and please ignore all the playing. This is not a performance or demo.
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