#2
Some people don't like used goods. Not to mention that despite that it may sound better, there is the concern of something else may be wrong with it. I've always been rather wary of buying used things unless I can get a really good look at it beforehand. A lot of people who would buy used, would go through eBay, or a similar site. Unless I could hold the guitar in my hands, even new these days, I won't buy it. I'm sure others have a similar idea.
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#4
Quote by GC Shred Off
They don't physically change to any meaningful degree. You just get to know them better.

what do you mean? don't they sound better with age as the wood of the guitar opens up? you don't physically see it change, but you can hear it in the sound.
#5
Quote by sincerelyydavid
what do you mean? don't they sound better with age as the wood of the guitar opens up? you don't physically see it change, but you can hear it in the sound.


You'll often see little disagreements about this if you stick around long enough, but i think most people side with the no real tangible change argument. Nothing can be better when it comes to tone anyway, really. It's all just opinion.

When you buy a nice guitar there is a certain satisfaction with it being yours and only yours. That's why i buy new. Although, that's not really a healthy opinion i guess.

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#6
when i play older martins and gibsons, they definitely sound different than new ones. most people oooh and ahhh over them, but i prefer the sound of a new guitar much more.
#7
Quote by sincerelyydavid
don't they sound better with age as the wood of the guitar opens up?

Until someone provides a meaningful definition what "opens up" means, I'll continue arguing otherwise. I just hate to see anyone sold on the idea that a bad guitar now will sound great later because the top is real wood. It just doesn't happen.

...I do get a kick out of those rapid-aging machines though.

Regardless, there is no denying that old guitars are cool as hell.
#9
Quote by GC Shred Off
They don't physically change to any meaningful degree. You just get to know them better.


However, a solid top will vibrate better than a laminate one, thus causing a better tone most of the time.
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#10
Quote by clayonfire
However, a solid top will vibrate better than a laminate one, thus causing a better tone most of the time.

Meh. I don't think there is even a consensus on what vibrating "better" means. Good is good, regardless of materials. Search for a "good" guitar and you'll never go wrong.
Last edited by GC Shred Off at Jul 13, 2010,
#11
Solid top guitars may sound better with age. Maybe. This is a highly debatable issue, to say the least.

Moreover, even if one does believe that the guitar will sound different with age, just how significant is this difference?

Additionally, it's very easy for a guitar to sound worse with age. Even much worse. For example, store the guitar for years in the attic, or garage, in a climate where summers get very hot, or humidity varies widely during the course of the year, and you're a whole lot more likely to have ruined the guitar, than to have improved its sound.

Personally, I think most of the reason why a guitar may sound better after its owner has been playing it for 20 years, is that the owner has improved over the course of those 20 years, or that the owner has learned how to get the most out of the guitar as a result of having played it all that time. And of course, there may well be some wishful thinking involved.

As for a 50 year old Martin sounding different from a current Martin, well, I guess I could believe that. But I suspect when that 50 year old Martin was brand new, back in 1960, it may have sounded different from the Martin manufactured in 2010. I'm not sure it was the passage of time that created the difference.

Now, I could possibly accept that a guitar needs to be played for a while (several months), before it sounds its best. Taking that long for everything to sort of settle in seems somewhat plausible to me. But I'm not so willing to accept that this process continues in a meaningful way for several decades. Not in the vast majority of cases, anyway.

And as for the $495 miracle treatments available from http://www.acousticbreakthrough.com/ , well, I want to be kind, so I won't use the expression "snake oil." Nor even the expression "sucker born every minute." And you don't hear me saying anything about "fool and his money are soon parted."

Oh, and the main reason why people don't invariably flock to buy used solid top guitars is that many people like new, shiny things. Just because. Especially among those new to guitar, the instrument is selected based largely on looks and price. Then on factors like brand name recognition, immediate availability, and "free stuff" included in the price. Sound quality is a very minor factor in the decision making process.
--
Michael
#12
I don't buy old guitars because I want to know every single thing that has happened with that guitar from beginning to end. It's just more personal.
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#13
despite that it may sound better, there is the concern of something else may be wrong with it.


This.

I don't buy old guitars because I want to know every single thing that has happened with that guitar from beginning to end. It's just more personal.


and this.
#15
i've blind tested new vs older j45s. i got it right easily every time. does that mean they "opened up"? i wouldn't know. they were mostly in the vintage room at hollywood guitar center, and it's climate controlled at about 45% humidity, but to me they sounded dryer and airier.

i don't have any problem believing the wood in guitar changes as it ages. after all, the glue and the wood have chemical compounds, and many things do change as they age. on the other hand, i could just as easily believe the glue and the finish are what's changing as the wood. for all i know, hide glue is made differently now and that's the difference.

i not only prefer the sound of a new guitar to an older one, but i completely agree with this:
Quote by captivate
I don't buy old guitars because I want to know every single thing that has happened with that guitar from beginning to end. It's just more personal.
Last edited by patticake at Jul 14, 2010,
#16
I have newer guitar i picked up in march of this year. I have been playing almost every night. Last night I pulled out my first guitar that led me into this wonderful world of guitars and music. It sounded wonderful, so rich and resonant. Was it because it had aged and opened up? I came to the conclusion it sounded so good because it was my first love. I mean I love my new guitar but my first one is so special to me.
#17
Quote by GC Shred Off
Until someone provides a meaningful definition what "opens up" means, I'll continue arguing otherwise. I just hate to see anyone sold on the idea that a bad guitar now will sound great later because the top is real wood. It just doesn't happen.

...I do get a kick out of those rapid-aging machines though.

Regardless, there is no denying that old guitars are cool as hell.


There is a noticeable difference. Over time, the sap in the wood dries. After drying, the vibrations cause the sap to fracture and eventually crumble away, resulting in a marginally lighter, yet noticeably more flexible and responsive top. This added flexibility is the reason why most guitars experience an increase in bass response as the most noticeable change. So yes, guitars do open up. Whether you can actually hear the difference or not depends on how good your ear is, but most people do notice a significant change. Several controlled recording tests have been done, and they all lead to one answer - it's not just your perception, there is quite a difference in sound.
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#18
Quote by i_don't_know
Several controlled recording tests have been done, and they all lead to one answer - it's not just your perception, there is quite a difference in sound.

Well hook me up with those sources, by all means. With out them, the claim is just as valid as me speculating that the sap turns to diamonds, which is why vintage guitars cost so damn much.
#19
What I stated is just one of many theories, but it doesn't really mater how the guitar opens up. The point is, the difference is obvious.
Quote by Ur all $h1t
On public transport I furiously masturbate while trying to make eye contact with as many people as possible for as long as possible.
#20
Quote by i_don't_know
The point is, the difference is obvious.

It can't be that obvious if it's such an arguing point. I would bet that every significant improvement that anyone has ever experienced over a period of time with their instrument is caused my familiarity with the thing and better playing skills, not the minuscule physical processes that occur in wood over time.

Not that I think that we'll come to any agreement. Their isn't really any effective way to prove either side, so we just get to hammer on indefinitely.
Last edited by GC Shred Off at Jul 17, 2010,
#21
B... bu... but... but the recording tests. THE RECORDING TESTS, I TELL YOU!!!


Haha fine, I'll drop it. I still don't understand how people can't tell the difference though. And if the difference is just in familiarity and improved playing skills, why don't all-laminate guitars ever seem to open up? Eh? EH? Haha of course I'm not trying to instigate anything. It's just something to think about.
Quote by Ur all $h1t
On public transport I furiously masturbate while trying to make eye contact with as many people as possible for as long as possible.
#22
Quote by GC Shred Off
Well hook me up with those sources, by all means. With out them, the claim is just as valid as me speculating that the sap turns to diamonds, which is why vintage guitars cost so damn much.

Vintage is vintage and that's just going to be pricey no matter what.

A simple Google search will reveal these results:

http://www.acguitar.com/article/default.aspx?articleid=24089

http://www.acousticguitar.com/gear/advice/vibration.shtml

tl;dr: Vibration over the years changes stiffness and flexibility in the wood.

You'd think Fender or Gibson would have tested this sort of thing but maybe that goes against their business of selling new guitars?

But then again, what does sounds better with age actually mean?
Last edited by the spiker at Aug 28, 2010,
#23
Quote by the spiker
Vintage is vintage and that's just going to be pricey no matter what.

That is true, without a doubt.

Quote by Moral from 1st Article
For these reasons, it’s best to not count on specific tonal improvements when purchasing a new guitar, but rather to choose one that sounds great to you now.

Yep.

Quote by Made up shit from 2nd Article



"Rabe is working with scientists at MIT to try to determine if there are observable changes in the wood that has been shaken."

I've already responded to this "shaking" nonsense in the past, so I won't go deep into it. The short and sweet is; he's not working with any scientists because he is dumb as a bag of bricks and no academic would want anything to do with him. Here is what his scientific plot says:

Before you put your guitar in our shaker, the headstock doesn't vibrate... ...at all ( ). After the procedure, it vibrates to some unspecified magnitude at unspecified frequencies.

The entirely subjective evaluations of the changes don't exactly help his cause either. Please don't buy any of this garbage.