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Pinball

Playing in a new acoustic, how quick can sound change?

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Posted (edited)

I decided to treat myself to a new acoustic and started looking around for one of the solid wood Yamaha LL series as I find that the neck suits me. I tried a few in stores and found them well made and great sounding, good value  pieces. With this in mind I felt confident enough to search online.

After failing to find anything cheap 2nd hand I looked for new bargains and found a very beautiful and blingy ex-demo dreadnaught LL16D at a price that was close to the used models out there.. With it's "all solid construction" and "ARE (Artificial resonance enhancement) treatment", I thought that this would mean an instant step up from my LL6, which is called Elaine. Elaine is 12 years old, solid top, laminate sides and back and when I bought her she was already named . Her sound suits my voice and is quite deep for a dreadnought but well balanced and clear. The previous owner splashed out on putting a decent pre-amp and pickup in it to so "Elaine" punches above it's weight and is "sonically correct".

The new LL16D arrived on Wednesday  and sounded tight and new in comparison and not nearly as refined. By that I mean it was toppy, the open high strings were shrill and the low strings errr...quiet and it lacked the "thump" that I was expecting when playing rhythm.

"It will play in" I thought but I also secretly feared that I may have bought a dud! Then last night I played it solidly for 4 hours and the sound changed and  improved throughout the night and I am so I'm much happier.  I am definitely getting a much more balanced and sweet sound.

It could be partly down to me adapting my technique and the strings playing in but surely a guitar can't play in that quickly can it?

Has anyone else had this sort of experience?

So you know what I'm talking about it is like this one:

 

Edited by Pinball

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Basically, it all starts here.. the more you play, and the more intensely, the quicker it'll develop. Keeps on happening for years, albeit less noticeable day to day.

Enjoy the ride! :-)

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, hubrad said:

Basically, it all starts here.. the more you play, and the more intensely, the quicker it'll develop. Keeps on happening for years, albeit less noticeable day to day.

Enjoy the ride! :-)

Aha, so the sound can change that fast, it isn't just my imagination.

To quote from a Premier Guitar article

as a guitar maker, I can state unequivocally that there are huge tonal changes in the first 24, 48, and 72 hours of stringing up a new guitar. This alone leads me to believe that even though the changes slow down, they don’t just stop after a month, a year, or a decade."

That is something that I never considered when trying out acoustics in shops. Here is a link to the Premier Guitar article

https://www.premierguitar.com/articles/19720-acoustic-soundboard-the-sonic-effect-of-time-and-vibration

Edited by Pinball

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Strings play in very quickly, in my experience, unless they’re coated.

There is some play in in the first few days of playing as mentioned above.

The LL series are excellent - Yamaha gave me an LL26 about 10 years ago which is still one of the finest acoustic guitars I’ve ever played.

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Posted (edited)

I’ve noticed this with my new Epiphone Dove; it sounds markedly different, better, since I bought it, brand new, four days ago. My twenty five year old Yamaha sounds amazing and is still improving all these years on. Fascinating.

Edited by BrunoBass
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1 hour ago, BrunoBass said:

I’ve noticed this with my new Epiphone Dove; it sounds markedly different, better, since I bought it, brand new, four days ago. My twenty five year old Yamaha sounds amazing and is still improving all these years on. Fascinating.

Nice, Slid spruce top shoult play in.

Mine is playing in nice...the balance between highs and lows is now sweet, which in turn makes the volume sound nice and even between the strings..it seems to be falling into place nicely sonically. I took it for a set up tweak (I like my acoustics to play as near identically as possible) and recieved complements even though the luthier is "not a Yamaha fan". He isn't the type of guy who hands out complements freely.

I still can't believe the difference in such a short time

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On 02/06/2018 at 01:32, therealting said:

Strings play in very quickly, in my experience, unless they’re coated.

There is some play in in the first few days of playing as mentioned above.

The LL series are excellent - Yamaha gave me an LL26 about 10 years ago which is still one of the finest acoustic guitars I’ve ever played.

I do use coated strings...I prefer something that that is stable and I like to slide my hands around the fretnboard and find them more "slippery".

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