Re: Aging a guitar
- From: "Lumpy" <lumpy@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 8 May 2009 00:16:27 -0700
...most structural materials tend
to weaken as they vibrate over long periods of time.
If that structure needs to carry a load and does that...well, that's
BAD. For a guitar, think neck, bridge, and just about anywhere the
thing is glued together.
The stings vibrating aren't the issue - it's driving the structure of
the assembly into resonance as a whole and risking a failure
somewhere, or weakening something someplace and making it fail
earlier than it might have otherwise...
I wouldn't think that the normal vibration of strings
has ever caused joint failure in a guitar. And I think
that the artificial excitation we're talking about
simulates just that, string vibration. We're not
exactly slamming a jet fighter onto a carrier deck.
We are indeed driving the structure into resonance.
Stringed instruments are typically "tuned" to resonance.
Luthiers tap or bow the tops and backs and remove material
to reach the desired resonant point. One of my guitars
was specifically tuned to two strong nodes,
one at 107 Hz and one at 305 Hz.
After the guitar was initially built and tuned to those
nodes, the Q factor was very narrow. ie the bandwidth of
the increased response was very narrow at that freq.
After opening it up with artificial excitation, that
bandwidth widened and was less peaked.
This was a desirable result, IMO. And as I suggested
earlier, if that results in a joint failure in 30
years, I'll accept that prospect.
Perhaps it's similar to the idea of getting the
first scratch in your guitar. Once that happens,
you're almost relieved and then it seems like
all the sharp objects in the universe are drawn
toward your instrument.
Perhaps another similarity might be the idea
of never taking your guitar out of the house.
Keep it in one building, or even more festidious,
keep it in a climate controlled glass case. I know
some collectors that do exactly that. It will probably
outlast the owner and his great grandkids. But a guitar
that is played might also last just as long.
What do drummers do?
How about upright bass players. Their doghouses
get banged around constantly. Ray Brown had basses
with holes in the side large enough to put your
lunch. All caused by trauma from falls and handling.
Willie Nelson, Tommy Emmanuel, any of those tapping players.
In Your Ears for 40 Something Years
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