#1
I bought a Yamaha APX-900 November 15th last year. The top is solid spruce and the sides and back are flamed maple. As my guitar gets older, will my sound improve? I'm not saying it sounds like crap, it sounds great. I just want to know will it still sound amazing 30 years from now? 50 years? 100 years?

Also, I recommend this guitar for anyone. It's a thinline but it's amazing clear, loud, and bright. It's a 22-fret guitar and the body is pretty small but amazingly comfy, and I'm a pretty average-sorta-big guy. And looking at the flamed maple back is like looking at the backside of Eva Longoria.
#2
Yes it will sound much better. You have to be very careful with a spruce top. If you live in a humid climate and not somewhere dry, then one day that Spruce top WILL crack. It is only a matter of time, especially if it is a nylon string. I strongly suggest a guitar humidifier. As to your original question, your guitar's tone will greatly improve with age.
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#3
Is San Diego humid? I've never really understood that humidity idea... And it's a steel string.
#4
Well, your guitar, with its combination of solid top/laminate sides and back, will probably stay about the same as it is right now for the life of it, as long as you take proper care of it.

All-solid guitars sweeten with age, but solid/lam combos, I think, will sound almost the exact same as the day you bought it for the life of the guitar. Which, if properly taken care of, will probably exceed yours

Oh, and to answer your humidity question, guitars should be kept in a humidity level of 40-50%. Don't know what the humidity level in your residence is? Get a hygrometer and check. If it's too humid, dehumidifier. Too dry? Humidifier.
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Last edited by Natrone at Jan 25, 2009,
#5
And if my guitar is always in a hardcover case, should I still worry about the humidifier?
#6
Quote by H_ngm_n
If you live in a humid climate and not somewhere dry, then one day that Spruce top WILL crack. It is only a matter of time, especially if it is a nylon string. I strongly suggest a guitar humidifier.

Dude, what are you on? Almost everything you've said is the exact opposite of correct. Humidity causes wood to swell. Dryness causes wood to shrink and therefore split and crack. Humidifiers INCREASE humidity. You do not need a humidifier in a humid climate. You need one in a dry climate.

And what does the type of guitar have to do with it? If anything, steel string guitars are more prone to sustaining damage due to fluctuating humidity than nylon string guitars, since steel string guitars are under greater tension and are thus more likely to warp.
#7
Quote by RevenG
And if my guitar is always in a hardcover case, should I still worry about the humidifier?

Yes, you should keep a hygrometer (gauge that measures humidity) in the case to make sure you don't over or under humidify your guitar. The case in and of itself does not maintain a certain range of humidity. How could it? The air in the case is the same air that is all around you.

If you need to humidify your guitar (ie you live in a dry climate):

- If you keep the guitar in the case, then humidify the case and keep it shut tightly.

- If you often leave the guitar out of the case for extended periods of time, then humidify the room as well.
#8
Quote by sunshowers
Dude, what are you on? Almost everything you've said is the exact opposite of correct. Humidity causes wood to swell. Dryness causes wood to shrink and therefore split and crack. Humidifiers INCREASE humidity. You do not need a humidifier in a humid climate. You need one in a dry climate.

And what does the type of guitar have to do with it? If anything, steel string guitars are more prone to sustaining damage due to fluctuating humidity than nylon string guitars, since steel string guitars are under greater tension and are thus more likely to warp.

First part is right, second part is horrendously wrong.

Solid wood is much more prone to damage than laminate, and are more prone to humidity-related problems. All acoustics should be well cared for, but solid woods require much more care. It doesn't matter if the guitar is steel string or nylon string either, because either way the woods need to be well cared for.
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plexi


i realize the longshot that is. little giant to humongous one.


Rest In Peace Stevie Ray
#9
Quote by Natrone
First part is right, second part is horrendously wrong.

Solid wood is much more prone to damage than laminate, and are more prone to humidity-related problems. All acoustics should be well cared for, but solid woods require much more care. It doesn't matter if the guitar is steel string or nylon string either, because either way the woods need to be well cared for.


By "type of guitar" I was referring to steel string versus nylon string, since the person whose comment I was responding to claimed that nylon string guitars are more susceptible to damage from fluctuating humidity.

I was simply pointing out that if anything, all else being equal, steel string guitars are more likely to warp because they're under greater tension.

We weren't talking about solid versus laminate.
Last edited by sunshowers at Jan 25, 2009,
#10
Quote by sunshowers
By "type of guitar" I was referring to steel string versus nylon string, since the person whose comment I was responding to claimed that nylon string guitars are more susceptible to damage from fluctuating humidity.

I was simply pointing out that if anything, all else being equal, steel string guitars are more likely to warp because they're under greater tension.

We weren't talking about solid versus laminate.

Oh, ok. My bad, sorry.

In that case, you were right on both parts of your post
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As usual Natrone's mouth spouts general win.

Quote by Silverstein14
man, Natrone you're some kind of ninja I swear


Quote by gregs1020
plexi


i realize the longshot that is. little giant to humongous one.


Rest In Peace Stevie Ray
#11
Quote by Natrone

All-solid guitars sweeten with age, but solid/lam combos, I think, will sound almost the exact same as the day you bought it for the life of the guitar.


That I'm not so sure about. My cedar top A&L actually got a LOT better in tone after about 5-6 months of excessive playing. It was actually enough to notice. One day I just picked up my guitar and it felt quite different from what I remembered. Maybe it was me, but I could have sworn that it changed for the better.

Anyway, having said that...
Cedar tops tend to age much more quickly than Spruce, but less.
Spruce tends to age much slower, but ages a lot better/more in the long run.

This is, of course, all relative to how much you play the guitar. The more you play, the faster it will age.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#12
Quote by captivate
That I'm not so sure about. My cedar top A&L actually got a LOT better in tone after about 5-6 months of excessive playing. It was actually enough to notice. One day I just picked up my guitar and it felt quite different from what I remembered. Maybe it was me, but I could have sworn that it changed for the better.

Anyway, having said that...
Cedar tops tend to age much more quickly than Spruce, but less.
Spruce tends to age much slower, but ages a lot better/more in the long run.

This is, of course, all relative to how much you play the guitar. The more you play, the faster it will age.

Well, I was just making a bit of a guess on that. You see, I still don't have a solid anything guitar.

That's good info to have though.
Quote by necrosis1193
As usual Natrone's mouth spouts general win.

Quote by Silverstein14
man, Natrone you're some kind of ninja I swear


Quote by gregs1020
plexi


i realize the longshot that is. little giant to humongous one.


Rest In Peace Stevie Ray
#13
The difference definitely won't be nearly as much as an all solid for sure, but I think there would still be a noticeable difference after long enough.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#14
Well....my reasoning on that was yes, the solid wood will get better, but the laminate will (more than likely) get worse.

Although, I don't know what it is, but my Takamine actually sounds better now than it did when I got it, and it's all lam.

And, yet again, I'm thinking that part of it could be that my ear has gotten better since I first got my baby
Quote by necrosis1193
As usual Natrone's mouth spouts general win.

Quote by Silverstein14
man, Natrone you're some kind of ninja I swear


Quote by gregs1020
plexi


i realize the longshot that is. little giant to humongous one.


Rest In Peace Stevie Ray
#15
^Definately will be -- over time the soundboard as well as the bracing will 'loosen up' and will vibrate more easily, causing a much sweeter tone. I suppose whether that's better is, like everything else, subjective, but most people like it -- I sure do. Just remember that if you want your guitar to age well, you have to play it!!!!
#16
I have a 1955 Gibson L50 Fhole. I can't comment on how it sounded when I first got it :-) but it sounds great now. I've also know a couple of other guitars since the 1970's, I think they've gotten distinctly better over the years (or maybe its just the players...)
#17
Quote by L50Sunburst
(or maybe its just the players...)


This is probably a pretty big factor....


But yeah, now that i have a taylor with a real solid top and laminate back and sides I'm glad in a way since i know i won't have to worry AS MUCH about it warping, though sad it wont sound 50% better in 5-10 years

I live in a place that is around 30-40% humidity in winter, and 20-30 in summer...

if i keep my guitar in the case will i need a humidifier?

i got a bunch of articles with my taylor all about dry and wet guitars and such... But where do i buy one of those sound hole monitor/moistening/dampener things?

I heard if you leave it in the case it will keep it at a higher or lower humidity then if you keep it in the open air. even says in the papers i got with my taylor.
#18
Quote by RevenG
Is San Diego humid? I've never really understood that humidity idea... And it's a steel string.

San Diego is very humid, but I don't think the guy who told you that humid climates are bad really understands humidity either. You don't need a humidifier. An air purifier in the room you have guitars might keep the guitars nicer but usually too much humidity is not a problem
#19
If it's originally a good guitar, from my experience, I'd say yes. My mum has a 64 year old Gibson J47 and the thing's incredible.
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#20
Quote by Tommy Walker
San Diego is very humid, but I don't think the guy who told you that humid climates are bad really understands humidity either. You don't need a humidifier. An air purifier in the room you have guitars might keep the guitars nicer but usually too much humidity is not a problem


Too much humidity CAN actually be a problem. Excessive humidity would make the guitar bulge upwards and sound muffled(if im not mistaken). Too much of anything is bad for a guitar. However, I'm not sure exactly how humid San Diego gets. Some places might actually need a dehumidifier.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#21
Anything up above about the 55-60% humidity level and holding would require a de-humidifier. God knows it gets much higher than that here in Minnesota in the summertime. I've seen it at 98% and 95 degrees at the same time. It's just miserable. That excessive of humidity levels can and will wreck an acoustic in short order if measures aren't taken to prevent it. One of the problems is mold and mildew can grow on the inside of the guitar, where it's really tough to get rid of. It doesn't happen so much to the outside due to the finish. Plus the fact that a swelled up guitar's dimensions change. Meaning that everything is going to be different, the action, intonation, neck relief all suffer. Plus what happens to metal parts when they get damp? Rust right? And if that humid air is salty, like it is by the ocean, metals will rust even faster.
#22
Yes - provided you play it. They get better with use rather than age I think.