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Re: [HD] tone conditioning?

To: Hammered Dulcimers <hdlist@hammered-dulcimers.org>
Subject: Re: [HD] tone conditioning?
From: Lone Stickman <lonestickman@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Mar 2015 00:13:20 -0700
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On 2/28/15, Linda Lowe Thompson <linda@lindalowethompson.com> wrote:
> Good evening,
> I received this question, today.   I can't give
> him an answer, so I'm asking you folks.
> Here it is:
> Do you know about any of these products or heard
> others speak of them regarding using it to âwake
> upâ or âtone-conditionâ the wood of a h.dulcimer. What are your thoughts?
> Â         <https://www.tonerite.com/>ToneRite
> A local guitar shop in town uses ToneRite to
> condition all their new guitars for 6 days or 144
> hours which significantly improves the tonal
> quality of the instrument. Also they recommend
> periodic treatment because left untreated the
> wood will gradually lose its âtonal-edgeâ.

Hey, Linda! I don't check this email very often, so I'm sorry if this
isn't timely enough.

I wrote up my own experiment with the vibration treatment idea on the
HD list almost a year ago. Here's a link for the archived topic.


In short, a lot of players and builders are familiar with an
instrument "opening up" as it gets played. My personal thoughts are,
just as a piece of stiff cardboard gets easier to flex, or a baseball
glove gets worked in and more flexible in the ways it is flexed over
time, or even the flexing, squeaking wooden step on the stair, the
flexing wood in a musical instrument would do the same.

I don't think I've ever seen a baseball glove go back to its original
stiffness through lack of use, nor a piece of cardboard through lack
of further flexing. I believe a musical instrument similarly does not
go back to its original stiffness.

I think that dismissing the ease of flexing a well-flexed piece of
material as snake oil goes against the evidence which most have
experience with, including baseball gloves, cardboard, and steps on a

In my previous write-up, I also mentioned the Timbre Tech process. The
original article actually had frequency plots of the guitars which
showed an observable difference between before and after vibration
treatment. I also mentioned the excellent long-term experiment on the
Collings forum of the Tonerite device, which is what led me to make my
aquarium-pump device.

Happy reading!
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