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  1. So many guitars, So little time

  2. On another note, last night I started running the ToneRite on my Taylor LKSM-12 Leo Kottke Signature Model. If you are not familiar with the LKSM-12 it is sort of a baritone 12 string with everything tuned down 1-1/2 steps. (Low and high string sets tuned to C#) Unfortunately I don’t play it very often so it may be hard for me to identify the change if any, but I will fill you in. Happy Tunes
  3. Testing Results on my Martin 000-28EC Clapton Signature Model I finished 5 days of ToneRite treatment on my Martin 000-28EC Eric Clapton model and I have now had 5 days to play it. This guitar is one of the earlier models (1999) without headstock wings and such, before they started cutting corners on production. This is a guitar that I do play regularly; general several times a week. As mentioned earlier, I have noticed that in the past it generally takes about 30 minutes for it to “open up” if it hasn’t been played in a few days. Other then that, it has always been a stunning sounding, very easy playing guitar and over the years it just continues to get better. Sort of like my Taylor 714-CE LTD, it was hard to imagine going in that this guitar could sound any better. I performed a 5-day ToneRite treatment using the following criteria. 1. The guitar placed on a floor stand 2. ToneRite at the lowest setting (see note at top of this thread) for 2 days 3. ToneRite at the highest setting for 3 days RESULTS The overall tone is distinctly richer. I would describe it is very warm and rich in overtones. There is an increased ‘fullness” that also seems to amount to improved projection. There is a marked increase in volume as well. My non-scientific SPL measurements indicate a 3dB or 4dB increase acoustically. Today I finally had a friend play for me so I could listen from in front and also from a distance. I have to say that even more so than volume, there seems to be a substantial improvement in “projection”. Hopefully the trained ears out there understand the difference between volume and projection as there is a distinct difference. My friend who has heard my 000-28EC many times was very impressed in the improvement as well. Now that I have had five days to play the guitar I have noticed that it “kicks” right out of the case and no longer needs 30 minutes for it to “open up”. I’m wondering how long I would have to let it sit unplayed for it to need a warm up period. Anyway, I have to say I’m very happy with the results. I have now used this on three guitars and all three have shown performance improvements. Keep in mind that these were all high quality instruments as well. I would expect some degree of vibration de-dampening to occur on a quality instrument. I’m guessing that lower quality guitars improve to some degree but nowhere near the level of higher-end guitars made with quality woods, joints and construction workmanship. :-)
  4. In response to your post, “no”, I do not work for ToneRite nor have I ever worked for them. Additionally, I do not sell the product and I am also not affiliated with them in any way. Since you took the time to read my history of posts here, you actually already knew the answer to that question but posted it anyway. I have to assume you are a guitar refinement non-believer and this was an attempt to discredit my technical knowledge and review of the Tonerite product. Additionally, by reading my 8 posts, you would have realized that I am very new to this forum and 7 of the 8 posts were in response to questions that were posted as a result of my “1” previous review. I actually discovered this forum by searching for reviews of the ToneRite product prior to my decision to buy one. With the addition of this post there are now 9 posts related to the ToneRite and by the time I respond to all the new questions posed to me there will be 12 or 14. Happy counting… With all do respect, if you don’t want purchase a ToneRite then don’t. I'm certainly not trying to sell you one. I decided to buy one based on my knowledge of the applied science behind it. The fact that you are not interested in my results doesn’t discredit the known science of vibration-dedamping. There are many others here who seem to be very interested in the details and results of testing be it good or bad. Just because someone is a vegetarian and doesn’t eat fish doesn’t discredit the nutritional value of fish. Pass the fish please…
  5. Follow Up Review I just finished performing an initial ToneRite treatment on a second guitar and wanted to follow up with a review. But first I wanted to provide a little background information regarding the ToneRite controversy and the viability of its usefulness. Background One thing I didn’t previously mention is that I have an in depth background in audio engineering and acoustics. Being a musician, this has helped tremendously by giving me an understanding of electronics and acoustics and why guitars, amps, effects etc sounds and react the way they do. The acoustic principles of an acoustic guitar are very complex and unique. And then you introduce the room or environmental acoustics and elements on top of that that add a whole new level of complexity. . What you may find interesting is that I actually experimented with the theory of simulating play-in on guitars in the mid ‘80s. At that time the difference between aging and play-in was not completely understood. Most stilled musicians and luthiers have long acknowledged the importance of regularly playing an instrument to achieve and maintain their optimum tone and sound otherwise know as “play-in”. Having more then one instrument (86 currently) make it difficult or impossible to achieve optimum performance. This is what drove me to exploring ways of “exercising” my guitars, ukuleles, mandolins etc to achieve optimum sound, tone and performance. I came to the conclusion that the reason for this phenomenon know as “playin” which at the time was difficult to differentiate from natural aging of wood and glue joints; had to be related to the concept of vibration-dedamping, ie allowing the wood and glue joints to become flexible and resonate freely as one, thus maximizing volume, harmonics, resonance etc. Based on the understand that the natural stimulus of playing a guitar is very random and unpredictable in terms of the wave forms generated and the time-invariants; I assumed that my method of generating energy had to also be random and somewhat dynamic. I also had to come up with a way of transferring this energy into the wood of the instrument without harm to the instrument. Based on my acoustics knowledge and a little research at the time, I decided to take the acoustical energy approach. I sound proofed an 8x10 room that I stocked with instruments on stands and instruments hanging on the walls. Using two large 2-way PA speakers and two subs with RCF drivers, I produced various sounds source at about 102dB to stimulate the instruments. Talk about vibration! It was substantially more energy and vibration then the ToneRite produces. I first used music and then experimented with a Loftech sweepable tone generator trying to find certain frequencies that produced the best results. I was blown away at the results that I could achieve after about 8-12 hours of stimulation. I later found that low frequencies around 30-100 hertz seemed to produce the best results in the shortest amount of time. My theory is that because this is a fixed sine wave vs random energy, the woods resonates in sync thus maximizing the vibration-dedamping process. I’m not sure if this theory is correct but it is my personal observation. What I can tell you is that I was able to achieve amazing results on nearly all of my guitars mandolins and ukuleles from as little as 10 hours of exposure. I also included several electric guitars (mostly Gibson Les Pauls) in my testing trials and noted positive results with those as well. The most noteworthy positive effects included: • Better string to string balance • Fuller more refined tone • Much richer harmonics and overtones • Substantially increased volume • Increased “punch” and presence Based on my knowledge and past experiences, when I heard about the ToneRite, I knew before trying one that there was a great potential for benefit. In place of my acoustical approach, the ToneRite takes a mechanical engineering approach which is a much more efficient method of transferring energy to an instrument. Not to mention substantially less expensive then my previous approach. (It’s much easier on your marriage as well) So far I have used the ToneRite on two guitars. The first was a Taylor NS72-CE. You can find my results of that on another thread here. The second application was my Taylor 714-CE LTD. This is a 2003 limited edition Grand Auditorium with the Taylor expression system. The back & sides are AAA Cocobolo and the top is Engelmann Spruce. This guitar was already one of the nicest playing and sweetest sounding guitars I have ever played. Because I have such a large guitar collection and because the 714 LTD is way to ornate to leave the house or studio, it has very few hours on it. In fact, the Elixir strings are two years old but sound and feel like they were just installed. I performed a 6-day ToneRite treatment using the following criteria. 1. The guitar placed on a floor stand 2. ToneRite at the lowest setting (see note) for 2 days 3. ToneRite at the highest setting for 3 days 4. ToneRite at the lowest setting (see note) for 1 day NOTE: When I mention the “lowest setting” I am actually talking about a sweet spot in the lower range. What you do is start from the off position and very slowly turn the knob clockwise until you reach a point where pronounced very low frequency oscillation occurs that seems to by around 60 cycles (60Hz). This is the sweet spot that you want. RESULTS In a nutshell, the ToneRite took at fantastic sounding guitar, substantially improved it and made it my favorite guitar out of my entire collection including all my vintage models. The tone is vastly richer then before with the sweetest harmonics and overtones. There is a “shimmer” and “crispness” that is just to die for. The overall tone is also much richer and very well balanced. The hi-end used to be a little edgy or slightly on the brite side due to the Cocobolo and it has now tamed into a very nice warm balanced tone. There was also a slight increase in volume but more so a substantial increase in dynamics. The guitar gives you the perception that it is easier to play then before and I believe this is due to the increased dynamic range. I only play fingerstyle with this particular guitar and I find that I now tend to play much gentler then before and find it very easy to get fantastic tone and great dynamics. I have to admit that I didn’t think it was possible for this great guitar to sound any better but the results are beyond convincing. It is now my favorite axe. Anyway, I will next be using the ToneRite on my Martin 000-28EC Eric Clapton model. It is one of the early models (1999) without headstock wings and such, before they started cutting corners. This is a guitar that I do play regularly and I have noticed that it generally takes about 30 minutes for it to “open up” if it hasn’t been played in a few days. I will follow up on this thread with the results! Happy Picking! Ken
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