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  #1  
Old 09-03-2019, 03:10 PM
PTL PTL is offline
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Default Can Tonerite Harm a Guitar?

I'm intrigued and have been reading up on Tonerite. However, I could not find any postings online or here on whether Tonerite can harm a guitar if overused or set to too high a setting.

Would love to hear some thoughts.

Thanks in advance for any insights.
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Old 09-03-2019, 03:14 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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No, or only if you drop it on the top.
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Old 09-03-2019, 03:24 PM
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It may bring to light any construction weakness. Especially with the bracings of the top. It's not likely though.
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Old 09-03-2019, 03:28 PM
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Bruce Sexauer Bruce Sexauer is offline
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I believe so. In fact, I highly recommend against using the Tonerite on my own guitars. Not because they don't do anything, but because they actually can loosen/open the guitar, and in the case on my own work I have observed a guitar being moved from my tonal target to a floofy unfocused tonality that lacked integrity. The good new was that 6 months later the instrument seemed to recover. I did this myself, by the way, about ten years ago.
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Old 09-03-2019, 04:30 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Just to reinforce what Bruce wrote, I haven't had any real concerns with using ToneRites on structurally robust factory-built guitars, though some company's designs (like Larrivée's parabolic bracing) seem immune to them. But I have used ToneRites on guitars and been pleased with the results.

With lightly built custom guitars, however, I've proceeded cautiously. Bruce's friend and colleague Howard Klepper built his version of a Gibson Advanced Jumbo (which he dubbed "the KJ") for me, and that's such an alive guitar that I only put a ToneRite on it for a few days. Then I stopped, never to repeat the procedure on that guitar.

I did the same thing last autumn when my special order Martin Custom Shop 00-21 arrived: I "ToneRited" it for ten days, and that was it.

One of the things I dislike about using a ToneRite is the way it kills the strings. While the gadget's other attributes might be debatable, (and you can find endless pages upon pages of AGF participants arguing whether it works in the archives here,) no one contests that the strings get dull-sounding after you use a ToneRite on a guitar for a few days.

Once I figured that out, the times I've used a ToneRite have been when the strings were almost ready to be changed anyway. No point in ruining a brand new set of strings using one.

Anyway, to circle back to my main point, the more lightly built the guitar, the more sparing you should try to be when using a ToneRite. If you like the sound of the guitar where it is but think you should try using a ToneRite to make it sound "better," proceed with caution.

Hope that makes sense.


Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 09-03-2019, 05:13 PM
Arthur Blake Arthur Blake is offline
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I monitored the tone after using Tone Rite quite carefully. Do a bit, try it out, and so forth.

In my experience it seemed the higher settings on the device introduced a harshness in the tone that I didn't like. It may have been a bit louder, but I didn't like the tone as well. So I used it only on the lowest possible setting, and I preferred that result, but stopped using it altogether after about a week.
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Old 09-03-2019, 05:15 PM
Rosewood99 Rosewood99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
I did the same thing last autumn when my special order Martin Custom Shop 00-21 arrived: I "ToneRited" it for ten days, and that was it.
Proceed with caution but you left it on for 10 days. That seems contradictory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post

Once I figured that out, the times I've used a ToneRite have been when the strings were almost ready to be changed anyway. No point in ruining a brand new set of strings using one.
I would think you would do the opposite. Of course it's going to sound better if you go from dead strings to new strings. I'm starting with brand new strings and will change them once I get to 144 hours of tonerite.
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Old 09-03-2019, 05:26 PM
Wade Hampton Wade Hampton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulzoom View Post
Proceed with caution but you left it on for 10 days. That seems contradictory.
That's a fair point. What I meant by using caution is to check it as you go along, as compared to leaving it on for ten days or so, then regularly repeating the process, which is what I believe ToneRite recommends. And using it on a regular basis to "wake up" the guitar. Which I never do and never did, even when I owned my own ToneRite.

For the sake of brevity in my post, (which is unusual for me, I'll admit,) I didn't fully describe how often I picked up that guitar, took off the ToneRite, and played it while it was undergoing that treatment. I checked the guitar and played it at least two or three times a day during that ten day period.

The ToneRite brought the guitar along to where I wanted it by the tenth day, which is when I removed the ToneRite and returned it to the gentleman who'd loaned it to me.

So a large part of the caution I suggest using is by regularly checking and playing the guitar while it's being ToneRited. It's not as though I put the ToneRite on my new little Martin, turned it on, then left the state to go on a two week vacation. ToneRite does encourage people to check on their instruments as they're undergoing the process, but also advocates regular repeat use. Personally, I'm less sanguine about that repeated use than they are.

Hope that makes more sense.


Wade Hampton Miller
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Old 09-03-2019, 05:37 PM
Stevien Stevien is offline
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Personally, I would hesitate to buy a guitar that I knew had been tonerited.
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Last edited by Stevien; 09-03-2019 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 09-03-2019, 06:02 PM
Rosewood99 Rosewood99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevien View Post
Personally, I would hesitate to buy a guitar that I knew had been ronerited.
Steve
On what basis? Several luthiers swear by them including Tim Mcknight and Michael Lewis. This sounds like a statement made without any facts.

https://umgf.com/luthier-tim-mcknigh...s-t111811.html
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Last edited by Rosewood99; 09-03-2019 at 06:08 PM.
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  #11  
Old 09-03-2019, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hampton View Post
That's a fair point. What I meant by using caution is to check it as you go along, as compared to leaving it on for ten days or so, then regularly repeating the process, which is what I believe ToneRite recommends. And using it on a regular basis to "wake up" the guitar. Which I never do and never did, even when I owned my own ToneRite.

For the sake of brevity in my post, (which is unusual for me, I'll admit,) I didn't fully describe how often I picked up that guitar, took off the ToneRite, and played it while it was undergoing that treatment. I checked the guitar and played it at least two or three times a day during that ten day period.

The ToneRite brought the guitar along to where I wanted it by the tenth day, which is when I removed the ToneRite and returned it to the gentleman who'd loaned it to me.

So a large part of the caution I suggest using is by regularly checking and playing the guitar while it's being ToneRited. It's not as though I put the ToneRite on my new little Martin, turned it on, then left the state to go on a two week vacation. ToneRite does encourage people to check on their instruments as they're undergoing the process, but also advocates regular repeat use. Personally, I'm less sanguine about that repeated use than they are.

Hope that makes more sense.


Wade Hampton Miller
What exactly are you supposed to be checking? I'm at about 50 (hoping to get to 144) hours into my homemade tonerite experiment. From what I remember of the actual tonerite I once saw, mine is about the same as a low setting.

I'm using it on my new Martin Onvangkol topped guitar that I'm hoping to get a bit more projection out of. Once I'm done I don't plan on any follow up.

I did a lot of research and until this post, never heard of it harming a guitar. The most common results were no change, some improvement or a lot of improvement.
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Old 09-03-2019, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulzoom View Post
I did a lot of research and until this post, never heard of it harming a guitar.
Then you ignored Bruce's comment above. That man has built a lot of guitars.
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Old 09-03-2019, 06:26 PM
Rosewood99 Rosewood99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoopeda View Post
Then you ignored Bruce's comment above. That man has built a lot of guitars.
How do you figure? Like I said, until that post I had never heard of any negative issues. And Bruce is one Luthier. I would say Tim Mcknight is pretty respected as much as Bruce and he tonerites all his guitars.
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Old 09-03-2019, 06:39 PM
zoopeda zoopeda is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulzoom View Post
How do you figure? Like I said, until that post I had never heard of any negative issues. And Bruce is one Luthier. I would say Tim Mcknight is pretty respected as much as Bruce and he tonerites all his guitars.
Having not seen an occurrence is not as significant as having seen an occurrence. I work in medicine. Just because I've never seen a case of leprosy doesn't mean it's not out there. I trust those who have to report rare cases. Apparently Bruce has seen damage. Seems like listening to that--regardless of what guitar experts haven't happen to have seen it--would be wise.
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Old 09-03-2019, 06:42 PM
Rosewood99 Rosewood99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoopeda View Post
Having not seen an occurrence is not as significant as having seen an occurrence. I work in medicine. Just because I've never seen a case of leprosy doesn't mean it's not out there. I trust those who have to report rare cases. Apparently Bruce has seen damage. Seems like listening to that--regardless of what guitar experts haven't happen to have seen it--would be wise.
It seems like opinions vary widely. Wade professes to have uses it with success but does not overdo it. Bruce did not actually state that it damages a guitar. He stated it adversely affected the tone but even that was not permanent. I wouldn't call that damage.
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