I am so excited to share this with you, I just had to make a video about it! This is the easiest way EVER to make a vintage guitar. The process involves torrefaction which is like smoking meat: drying out the wood but at high temperatures instead of low ones (yes, that’s what smoking does too!).
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Torrefaction produces an authentic-looking finish that feels and sounds like old-growth timber. I couldn’t believe how simple it was when I saw the pictures and heard the results.
On today’s episode of Acoustic Tuesday, you’re going to have the chance to evaluate whether this simple technique can create an instant vintage-sounding guitar.
By using this rapid-aging technique, luthiers have been able to create guitars that sound almost identical to some of the most universally loved guitars: prewar Martins and Gibsons.
Once we’re done discussing torrefaction, you’ll get to hear about TAC Family member Jo and her guitar journey.
Last but certainly not least, I’ll fill you in on some of the latest guitar geek news and announcements.
Guitar #1 is vintage.
I agree with you. I do not want a new guitar distressed. I prefer my own dings and scratches.
I’m guessing #2
I would want to add my own dings and scratches. You can be proud of how few there are, and also enjoy the memories associated with the ones that are that are there. Done well, I may appreciate yellowed and or faded finishes.
torrefaction = yes, getting that aged sound right out the box is cool, plus I don’t have 40, 50, 80 years left on earth to age it on my own
pre aged aesthetics = no, while I like the vintage sound, I don’t care to buy a new guitar (and pay a premium price for it) that looks like it has been roughed up. To me it’s fake like plastic surgery. Or buying a new truck that look like it’s used for work for 30 years and paying extra for the beating. Seems like a waste of labor.
When I buy a new guitar, I want it to look new. Let me add the dings, scratches, nicks, etc. Those dings are my personality being added to the guitar.
No. 1 guitar
I picked #3 and I was right.
Number 3 sounds kinda flat/truest!
Vintage look should be related to the player, like Willie Nelson. A teenager looks odd playing a vintage, even though it might be a hand-me-down from Grandma. Even though I’m 77, my spirit is 29, and I’ll “vintage” my own guitar.
#1 seems like the vintage one. I HATE reliced guitars – it’s dishonest.
No I am not. I see no purpose in destressing the instruments unless you plan to hang on a wall like an ornament . what ever again it acquires will come from my abuse over time.
Distressing, no, Torrefication Yes. I do enough accidental distressing on my own, so I am not paying for someone else to do it.
First Guitar played was the oldest.
Sorry man , I am a beginner and only have one instrument an Ovation (Acoustic Electric) . Dam it look like I am in the wrong place
I am not in favour of a distressed guitar. It seems like fake to me.
I like a guitar if it sounds good. I don’t care what it looks like.
#4 is vintage
I love the brand new “vintage” guitars with the exception of the distressing. Each scratch, dent and blemish in an older guitar tells a story. The guitar doesn’t even need to be truly vintage to have a ton of stories revealed. If you have any doubt, just take a look at any guitar Tommy Emmanuel plays for a few years. So, I love guitar that copy the style of vintage instruments and torrefaction is very cool. I personally would not buy a distressed Pre-War Guitar if I was shopping in that price range. But I did recently buy a 50’s original Gibson J-45 that imitates the older version in design and materials but comes in at a more affordable price point than one with a torrefied top.
3 I think its a Martin.
I guess it looks cool to have it look old.
Would rather have an older guitar as it could save me money too.
I ordered a Pre*War HD with BRW in may of 2018 and was quoted a 6-month lead time. It took 14 months and was totally worth the wait. I can’t afford a real pre-war D-28 and at 56 years old I don’t have 80 years for my new D35 SA to sound like a vintage guitar. One day I saw something on the back of my new D-35 and tried to rub it off with my finger. It left a 2-inch scratch in the lacquer. Frack!
I fretted over that for 2 weeks and I still notice it 3 years later. If I scratch the Pre*War with level 2 distressing, I probably wouldn’t even notice it. LOL So, there’s that benefit.
If a thief were to steal one of my guitars, I’m hoping they would leave the old beat-up looking guitar and take one of the newer looking guitars. That said, I love the Pre*War and it sounds amazing for a “new” guitar. I believe there’s a 2-year lead time for a Pre*War now. I think that speaks for it’s self. Torrefaction is legit to my ears.
Hea Tony, that was a very interesting show. I have been watching since eps. 1 and have enjoyed many of them, especialey the ones with Noah. I was a TAC member for 3 years and still go back to my Fretboard Wizard when needed. Abought the old vs. new on guitars, in my opinion most people would like other people to believe they were good enough or lucky enough to have owned and been playing their brand new 1935 Martin look alike guitar just for the kick to the ego.I believe the person and their guitars should be able to tell there own stories how both them and there guitars got there nicks & scratches makes them and their guitars much more interesting. Thanks Tony for your love and interest in music & guitars. P.S. good luck tonight. Your friend Guy B. from Champa Bay.
Guitar #2 is my guess. All sound good.
Hello Tony , Thank You for having my GuitarSenal on your Show. On the New Ventage Guitar, I believe that I would much Rather having it age from New . If it gets a Scratch or a ding on it I want it to be my Scratch or Ding,. and again thank you for what you do my Friend
One good thing about buying a guitar with dings and scratches is that you don’t feel as bad
When you ding it yourself.
I am a fan of torefication. The older you get the less time you have to break in a new guitar.
Five hole, five hole, TONY.
I can’t believe I guessed it right. Woohoo. I don’t like distressed guitars, I like to ding them myself. Good video today.
Dings, scratches, etc., provide character to the guitar. Each one is unique, and the owner needs to be the one to put that ding or scratch there, to make it unique to that owner.
I could not pick out the true vintage guitar they all sounded amazing. As for true vintage or aged new guitars I tend to like mine to be new and write my own story on it. I would be interested in buying a vintage guitar that had an awesome tone and playability to it but if someone give me a guitar with their our story to it, I enjoy bit of wear and scars and weathering because I am connected to the story behind it like when my father gave me his Schecter built Telecaster style guitar. I guess what I’m saying is it depends on the guitar and what it means to me.
Thanks Tony for another great show!
Not a fan of artificial distressing…
Prefer to have a guitar age gracefully with me over time.
Guitar 1 sounds richer
#3 sounds slower and less peppy.
Guitar #4 had a much mellower tone than the other 3, so I’m guessing that’s the vintage instrument. (My 2nd guess would be guitar #1, but I’ pretty sure it’s #4).
Torrefaction makes sense, since it provides a certain desirable tone…. just as selecting tonewoods does. Distressing is purely cosmetic, and feels ‘fake’ to me. The point of guitars that have been naturally distressed through use is that they sound great and are fun to play IN SPITE OF the cosmetic damage, not because of it. Great sound is important. Looking cool is for fakers.
Not if it is disclosed that the guitar is new and made
to look vintage. There may be a market for these guitars that needs filling.
I would much rather live with the guitar and have it age with me. The nicks, cracks, dings, etc are attached to memories. Though I do agree, some of the pre-aged guitars look cool.
Hey Tony, yet another awesome episode. Here’s hoping that in next weeks episode you are wearing a holiday shirt covered in skulls and guitars to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, yes I’ve seen one on the Joe Brown website that would be fantastic! https://www.joebrowns.co.uk/holiday-vibes-shirt-sm389#colour=244
I correctly guessed #3 but it was pretty subtle. You could make more tonal difference with a different angle on the pick. The contest was a bit like the automotive clips where one car is half second faster 0-60mph. I didn’t see anyone who thinks they’d buy a guitar that the factory has beaten up and charged extra for it. That’s like buying expensive jeans with holes. Jeans companies sell holes all day long. I predict the same will not be true of fake “old” guitars.
Sorry, I couldn’t get to this yesterday. Great show. As a TAC member I am learning something new every day, and can’t say thanks enough. Ok, I thought #1 was vintage. I am not a fan of distressing a guitar. I’m old enough that I appreciate how good my guitar looks. Steve
Guitar number 3
I’m not buying a brand new pair of jeans with rips and hole in them either
I picked #3 and was pleased to have guessed correctly, #3 did sound different from all the others so it had to be it! Also artificially aged, distressed guitars do not appeal to me. I want my new guitar to be new and my old guitar to have it’s distinct history…… great show, very interesting and inspiring
I just loved the Joe’s guitar journey story and video, wished it could be my own… working on that one…
Thank you, Herta! Seeing this again after two years made me realize how far I’ve come as well as how far I have to go. The journey is still fun – best of luck to you on yours!
I’m guessing #3
For me….very hard to tell.Maybe #3,which seems a bit lower.#s 1,2 and 4 would be remakes.Thanks Tony,U have a great show!
As the owner of both new and old guitars, I own a 1934 Gibson arch top and a 1956 harmony arch top last a 2016 Martin acoustic arts and a Yamaha 2018 12 string I prefer the old being old and new as new, the fake old stuff I think that this will harm the value of vintage guitars because no one is sure what you get.
I did pick #3. As far as destressed look I prefer to age it myself ,when I’m putting out that kind for dough
Guitar # 3 is vintage sounding to my ears.