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I have noticed a trend (marketing hype?) lately for electric guitars made with roasted wood. They claim that the roasting speeds up the aging. :rolleyes:

My first reaction was that this is B.S. But is it? :confused:

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No. It's hogwash.

It may have some effect on acoustics but you would need an anechoic chamber to measure the difference on an electric solid body.
 

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Tonal effects for sure, but I wonder if it makes any effect of stability.
Fore acoustics, I like what Yamaha does with their A.R.E. treatment for opening up the wood. However, buying a used instrument that's been around for a few years and played regularly, likely accomplishes the same thing.
 

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The nicest Tele neck I have played to date was on a Suhr Classic Antique T - roasted maple with a very light finish. That guitar haunts me to this day, even though I'd still be hard-pressed to pay over 3 grand for a Tele. I also really like the look of it.
 
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I always thought the purpose of roasting wood was for stability purposes? I had never heard anyone mention speeding up the aging process or different tone or any of that bull crap.

I think it will yield a stable neck because the moisture content would be low and the wood would be properly seasoned, but I think the process is gimmicky in the sense that most necks are stable enough with conventional methods. I'd say a regular multi piece neck is more likely to be stable than a single piece roasted neck.
 

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Why hasn't a luthier popped in and answered this one for us? :/
 

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Not sure about 'seasoned,' but wood is hygroscopic, which means it's going to adjust to the ambient air conditions anyway. You can dry it out all you want, won't stay that way.
True. Leave your glossy axe in the basement and watch the finish crack.
 

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Eh, I think some builders are morally above that :)
It's not really a question of morals - if a guitar buyer commissioning a guitar is of the opinion that Wood ABC Subspecies 24 has more of the tonal characteristics that they're looking for than Wood rs59q and asks for that, then who's the luthier to say "those woods are going to sound pretty much the same." The beauty of the sound is is the ear of the beholder. If I can't tell the difference between two woods it's not immoral for me not to tell you you're wrong if you can.

All I will tell you is that if you compare the discussion on luthiers' forums to the discussions on acoustic guitar players forums, the players spend a helluva lot more talking about tonal characteristics of particular woods than the luthiers!
 

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The late Glenn McDougall of Fury Guitars told me: "You can only make a guitar so good, after that you're just paying for fancy materials and decoration."

Looks like you're both right, Bud and Al.

Guitars players are full of shit, but there are some honest luthiers out there.
 

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The late Glenn McDougall of Fury Guitars told me: "You can only make a guitar so good, after that you're just paying for fancy materials and decoration."
I have seen so many posts that would make the uninitiated think that guitars are the most intricate of all manufactured products. Those kind of people are overpaying for their purchases or are still saving for it/them.
 

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The feature of aged wood that roasting seeks to emulate is that in aged lumber the pitch or resin is completely petrified, in other words it has zero water content, it's hard like glass and turns to dust when you cut it.

When the pitch is petrified it makes the lumber stiffer and it can aid in making the material less reactive to seasonal changes, hence the "more stable" claims.

Kiln or air drying alone doesn't petrify the pitch/resin, it needs to literally age afterwards for that to happen with kiln/air dried. Roasting does the job alright but it has side effects I personally don't like - colour being the biggest one.

The above is why I have a preference for reclaiming old growth lumber for instruments...
 

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The other factor is weight. A well dried or roasted body should be lighter than a comparable body with more moisture content. But I imagine that roasted body comes at a premium and I doubt there's much sonic difference.

On acoustic guitars, it makes a significant difference on the tone. And being that there are no other tonal upgrades available on an acoustic, if you want it you have to pay for it at the get-go. In my experience, it's not cheap. I couldn't justify the price difference to have a roasted body for a solidbody electric when a simple pickup change will provide more tonal variation. But a roasted neck I could see - for reasons mentioned above and to perhaps balance the weight of a neck heavy guitar.
 
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