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Tone improvement with aging and playing


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I was reading some older posts where people asked and commented about the effects of playing and age on tone.


My experience on this is with the following 4 guitars, two of which have laminated tops


1954 L-50 just keeps getting better since 1990, easpecially the last 10 years. It gets played often.


1989 ES-175D it's acoustic tone improved significantly at about 20 years, even though I don't play it often.


1985 Martin D-18 purchased new, we put it front of the stereo speakers in the living room to let it "rattle" until the strings went dead, then replaced them and repeated. After 3 months, it woke up and had wonderful tone. This technique of letting it vibrate was passed onto me by a very experienced luthier who has now passed away.


1972 Yamaha FG 300, laminated spruce top. I bought this guitar in 1976 as it had fantastic tone, and it has steadily improved to the point where I will never part with it, despite it being a piece of "plywood".


So do they get better with age and being played/exposed to muscial vibrations? Most certainly, the answer is yes, especially the acoustic properties.


Do newer guitars made with aliphatic resin and polyurethane finishes improve too? Well yes and no, meaning yes they will improve, but probably not in our lifetime as these newer synthetic adhesives and finishes take much much longer to fully harden.



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