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Unread 05-11-2004, 03:58 PM   #1
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Aging a guitar

Alright, I'm talking about my acoustic here. My dad mentioned storing it in the closet when I'm not using it and spraying it with lemon oil (I think he meant inside the sound hole.. I dunno) to help it age.

Does anyone have any experience with/ suggestions on aging an acoustic. Also, this is all under the assumption that the tone will get better with age - someone can lighten me on that one also.

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Unread 05-11-2004, 04:13 PM   #2
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I heard that playing music in front of an acoustic guitar moderately loud for a few days straight can simulate the guitar being actually played a couple times a week for years, and makes it sound sweeter somehow. Whether that's true or not, I can't really tell.
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Unread 05-11-2004, 04:26 PM   #3
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You're talking about aging as in making it sound better, not making it look old, right? For the former, I've heard of the same technique as Jon -- placing a guitar in front of a big fat woofer and blasting music for some unspecified amount of time until the vibrations cause the guitar to "naturally" open up. I don't know if that works or not, but it sounds logical to me (if you don't mind being a cheater ).

I've never heard of the lemon oil technique, and I'd be really wary of putting any kind of treatment on the exposed wood inside the guitar. The storing-in-a-closet technique is a surefire method -- just make sure to leave it in there for 30 years or so.
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Unread 05-12-2004, 09:56 AM   #4
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Noise thing is supposed to work, some manufacturer was doing that to thier guitars with these big woofers, running super low to high frequencies through the guitars to a period of days.
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Unread 05-12-2004, 02:15 PM   #5
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I've heard of the speaker thing, but I've never tried it. I wonder what kind of music would work best, if it works at all: "I wanted to enhance the bass on my Gibson, but now everything I play sounds like the Beastie Boys!"

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Originally Posted by niangelo
Noise thing is supposed to work, some manufacturer was doing that to thier guitars with these big woofers, running super low to high frequencies through the guitars to a period of days.
I'll have to dig out the article from either Acoustic Guitar or Guitar World Acoustic, but I think it was an aftermarket-type thing, or maybe even an experiment at a university or something like that. I'll try to find the article and update.
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Unread 05-12-2004, 03:52 PM   #6
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I've heard the same thing about using speakers. The reason "vintage" guitars are so desireable with performing artists is that they sound "better." This "better" sound is supposed to come from years the solid top vibrating and becoming more resonant (as opposed to putting it in a closet for 30 years & not playing it). If you can get that top to vibrate by putting it in front of speakers it theoretically should sound "better" sooner.
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Unread 05-13-2004, 06:36 AM   #7
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About the only thing that lemon oil would do would be to keep the finish shiny. I don't think that it would be sprayed inside the sound hole (it's really hard to reach all areas of the inside of an acoustic with something wet and sprayed while avoiding "soaking" other parts).

For solid-top acoustic guitars, the best preventative maintainance during storage is to keep the relative humidity around the guitar consistant and in the range of 40-60% using a humidifier for moistening (DampIt, for instance) or a dessicant for drying (calcium chloride pellets in a semi-porous bag, for instance). Far more important than anything you can do with lemon oil.

Nate

Oh, and I've heard the "set the guitar in front of a speaker" thing works too, but I'm much more into playing the thing, so it wouldn't get much speaker-time.
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Unread 05-13-2004, 03:51 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by nate95366
Oh, and I've heard the "set the guitar in front of a speaker" thing works too, but I'm much more into playing the thing, so it wouldn't get much speaker-time.
You can use a combination method to make it older even faster!
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Unread 05-14-2004, 01:39 AM   #9
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For the speaker thing to work, you're going to want to just go out of town for a few days, and set the music to about 3x as loud as the guitar will get just by strumming it. Anything that's quiet enough to not annoy the heck out of you when it's playing 24 hrs a day isn't loud enough to do any good.
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Unread 05-14-2004, 05:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casey
Alright, I'm talking about my acoustic here. My dad mentioned storing it in the closet when I'm not using it and spraying it with lemon oil (I think he meant inside the sound hole.. I dunno) to help it age.

Does anyone have any experience with/ suggestions on aging an acoustic. Also, this is all under the assumption that the tone will get better with age - someone can lighten me on that one also.

Case
I wouldn't put lemon oil in my resonator if I were you, There might not be a finish inside of it that will protect it from the lemon oil just eating away at it. I usually just bang on my strings when I am ready to change them. I find that works, it sounds a little better every time.
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Unread 05-14-2004, 07:00 AM   #11
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Give it three teenagers! That seemed to age me overnight.
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Unread 05-14-2004, 07:23 AM   #12
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Give it three teenagers! That seemed to age me overnight.

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Unread 05-14-2004, 07:34 AM   #13
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I have heard of a company that provides an aging service. They use mechanical shaker tables to do the deed. Apparently, it can age a wooden guitar 20 years in a matter of days. Really mellows it out. I forget where I saw it, harmony-central or one of the tele groups perhaps...
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Unread 05-14-2004, 08:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
I have heard of a company that provides an aging service. They use mechanical shaker tables to do the deed. Apparently, it can age a wooden guitar 20 years in a matter of days. Really mellows it out. I forget where I saw it, harmony-central or one of the tele groups perhaps...
Yeah, I saw that too - It is quite a contraption. I'm gonna run up to the paint store and see if the guy will let me strap one of my newer guitars on to their paint shaker machine for a couple hours.





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Unread 05-14-2004, 09:59 AM   #15
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I wouldn't do that if I were you! Not a bad Idea nonetheless.
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