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View Full Version : Tonerite vs. Massager



ukeykondo
01-04-2012, 06:25 AM
Has anyone tried just sticking a personal massager like this: http://www.meritline.com/handheld-vibrating-massage---p-42526.aspx?source=fghdac in their uke case to help it open up? Is that so different from what tonerite does. I know they have different versions for ukes and other instruments, but I would think that the differences have to do with size, as opposed to the frequency of vibration, but I could be wrong.

mr moonlight
01-04-2012, 06:53 AM
If you play your uke on a regular basis, it will open up on it's own. If you have a new uke that you won't be able to play much before a gig where you want it to sound it's best, then I'd just stick it in front of a speaker. I wouldn't want to risk anything near my uke that vibrates that much for an extended period of time. You may cause more harm than good.

ukeykondo
01-04-2012, 07:25 AM
Hey, I'm taking about this: http://tonerite.com/. It's been discussed on the forum before. Some swear by it, but it's quite expensive.


What? Huh?

SailingUke
01-04-2012, 07:42 AM
Besides playing a uke to open it up, I put it in front of a stereo speaker with James or Jake playing.
I hope that besides getting the top vibrating, I can blast some notes into the uke.
The latter has not worked, but I keep hoping.

stevepetergal
01-04-2012, 08:26 AM
Wow, maybe I should put that bridge up for sale again.

Ingrate
01-04-2012, 08:30 AM
Wow, maybe I should put that bridge up for sale again.

;)

Agreed! Smoke & mirrors, snake oil, etc.

Uncle Rod Higuchi
01-04-2012, 09:53 AM
Just to represent the 'other' side...

I've been using a ToneRite (Guitar model but works OK on the uke) for a few months now and I definitely hear and feel a difference in those ukes that I've been conditioning.

Just remember that the 'conditioning' doesn't make a mediocre uke great, only as 'good' as it can be. That being said, some of MY ukes, at least, did benefit from the continued conditioning and over time, did seem, to me at least, to 'open up'.

keep uke'in' everybody!

PoiDog
01-04-2012, 10:11 AM
Seems to me this ToneRite thing is a bit of a gadget. And it's probably like most gadgets in that it may not actually do anything to improve things, but also won't do any harm.

The massager is another thing altogether. I would think that may be a bad idea.

OldePhart
01-04-2012, 10:50 AM
Heeeere we go again... <fetches popcorn>

ukeykondo
01-04-2012, 10:52 AM
The tonerite is controversial, indeed, as is the entire notion of an instrument 'opening up'. Many swear that it happens--many on this board, in fact. Some have even offered an explanation for what it occurs. If it's true that an instrument does open up, then the tonerite probably does help; however, that's not to say that it's worth the price or couldn't be accomplished more cheaply. I've never seen a tonerite in person, but my guess is that it's a very light vibration. Anyhow, don't mean to open up a can of worms--sorry about that. The original thread wasn't so much about the efficacy of tonerite, but more whether if it works, whether it can be replicated more cheaply.

Gwynedd
01-04-2012, 12:28 PM
NOT buying a vibrator for my soprano uke. GET that outta yer mind, gal. Woo.

mds725
01-04-2012, 12:40 PM
I'm worried that if I buy my ukulele a vibrator, it will begin preferring the vibrator to being played.

Ukuleleblues
01-04-2012, 12:54 PM
Here is another built for ukes



31881

GVlog
01-04-2012, 01:26 PM
Why stop with just the Tonerite?

Use a Prime-Vibe with dual-transducers! You choose your music and play it into the soundboard. Think about it! You can have Jake Shimabukuro's music play-in your ukulele!!

31882
Click on image for enlargement.






:p


FWIW, I don't agree that these devices open-up your ukulele. I do believe that they can play-in your instrument, but that's a real expensive way to do it.


More popcorn?

hmgberg
01-04-2012, 05:36 PM
I think my ukulele is shutting down...or, maybe it's just played out. Butter or no butter?

Liam Ryan
01-04-2012, 05:44 PM
Word is that a tonerite is nothing more than an aquarium pump.

I still reckon it's a load of BS though.

ukeykondo
01-04-2012, 06:06 PM
thanks everyone. I guess we can move on, till someone brings this up again months later...unless someone has more photos of crazy looking useless inventions to share

Plainsong
01-04-2012, 06:28 PM
Opening up is real, it's just science at work there, nothing to be afraid of, just play the thing and the board will resonate like it should do.

Burn-in in audio equipment is likewise real, and you don't need to use pink and white noise to do it, just use the gear and the drivers will move like they should do. Even the companies that make this stuff can confirm it's real through FR charts.

BUT, some of this stuff to help you do it faster... it's snake oil. Just use your stuff.

Daysailer
01-04-2012, 08:04 PM
Word is that a tonerite is nothing more than an aquarium pump.
..........

Here's what I know from having borrowed a tonerite from a friend for a month.

Guitar, solid wood accoustic, well played in by first owner, evidenced by fret wear up to the 5th fret and pickguard wear. I bought the guitar when it was 2 yrs old.
Played, it daily morning and evening practice session for another 2 years. Liked it, but always felt the low end was a bit muted.

Heard about using loud speakers to play music into body and help improve opening up. Tried it off and on for 2 years (all day sessoins while at work), didnt notice any improvment.

Friend offered a Tonerite for me to try. Googled and read up on it for a week before saying I'd try it.
Noted the aquarium pump references in my research. (My aquarium room, 5 tanks, is also my music room. (no low humidity issues)

The tonerite was about the size of an air pump recommended for 10 gallon tanks. The tonerite also sounded and felt the same. 60hz, simple line frequency driven vibrations. The tonerite has a mounting system that makes contact with all the strings, and transmits it's vibrations to the strings. So the 'treatment' is at least mimicking the massage that actual playing provides.
The level of felt vibration is much-much less than a back/neck massager, and about twice as strong as the felt vibrations on the guitar when sitting very very near a speaker, turned up louder than a person can stand.

While I had it, I also fashioned a similar mounting system to a spare aquarium pump i had laying around. A-B comparisions, Tonerite-pump, same-same. Sound, mearsured "note" on Korg tuner, and felt vibrations in various parts of guitar, back/top/neck/headstock, all the same as far as my uncalibrated ears and hands could tell.

Results; using the tonerite/pump as instructed for 3-5 (memory ?) days, the guitar sounded like i had just changed the strings, brighter, but more importantly to me, bass was fuller, crisper, certianly less muted. Now I have had that guitar 6 years, still a daily player, and notice I dont feel the need to change strings as often, because it soounds good longer. Just more alive.

On my Pono PT tenor, all solid Sapele, I tried my pump version, and think (?) that the sustain is better and it is a bit louder too.

Not scientific, I know. Just one man's observations and experiences.
Someone once said, that the wood in our insturments, was a tree all its life.
We have to be patient as we train the wood to believe it is now a music maker.

Play on....and on.....aaaaaand..........on.

ukulefty
01-04-2012, 09:03 PM
thanks everyone. I guess we can move on, till someone brings this up again months later...unless someone has more photos of crazy looking useless inventions to share



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z86V_ICUCD4

Nickie
01-04-2012, 09:35 PM
I know, I keep showing my uke Jake videos on You Tube, and I think it's having orgasms, but I'm not sure...

ukeykondo
01-05-2012, 07:28 AM
I was also wondering whether it's possible to turn my soprano ohana into a moore bettah tenor by feeding it extenz tablets.

BTW, I found a bunch of threads on guitar forums about tonerite. Some do think that it works, but most seem to think that it's not better than an aquarium pump. But the original thread was really not so much about whether tonerite is a good value, but whether a substitute, like an aquarium pump is worth trying. Some seem to have used it with success.

Ukuleleblues
01-05-2012, 01:16 PM
Even though I kidded around earlier, I think this really works as I opened up a homemade uke by feedback, really saw a difference. But do you know what the best way is to make your uke sound better? Can anyone guess?

RyanMFT
01-05-2012, 01:24 PM
But do you know what the best way is to make your uke sound better? Can anyone guess?

Hand it to James Hill?

ukeykondo
01-05-2012, 01:29 PM
ha--nice one!


Hand it to James Hill?

Ukuleleblues
01-06-2012, 01:45 AM
Practice, Practice

bigpoi789
05-07-2014, 06:32 PM
66633 Conditioning as we text, let y'all know if it improves the sound of my ukes....:)

mds725
05-07-2014, 07:47 PM
Do you think one could use a guitar Tonerite device on an ukulele? Tonerite makes an ukulele device, but it costs $50 more than the guitar one.

Guitar Tonerite: http://www.tonerite.com/guitar.html

Ukulele Tonerite: http://www.tonerite.com/ukulele.html

Hammond
05-07-2014, 09:56 PM
We should keep our mind creatively. So all creative ideas are good.;) The massager seems over power for this, I can imagine it keep banging the uke.

(For below, not from a professional point of view, I am not that wise.:o)

I think, some people may misunderstand the idea of this kind of tools' purpose (i.e. ToneRxxx). So there are comments appear like:
"Yea don't think it'll turn your uke into a Mxxxe Bxxxxh"
"Yea don't think it'll make your uke play like Jxxx's"
:wallbash:
I agree these comments, they are true. But they are not connected to the concept of open-up or conditioning.

The tool's purpose was to kind of like "warm up" the instrument. Not to "make it better". If the instrument only performs its 80% potential functionality, then warm it up and hopefully retrieve as much as possible of the rest 20%. It will not exceed 100% of its own.

If a uke does perform its full potential, than it sounds just like it should be.

There is no such statement of turning a hundred dollars uke into a thousand dollars uke. Or making it sounds like one.

So is my uke still young and only getting 50% of it? Is it already at its full potential? Or, it will stay what it is now, and never get to 100% due to its imperfect construction. I don't know this, I can't measure this happen. Only by ear, feel, and experience.

I have watched this sometime ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NC2DyP6bI54. What do you think?:) I think its clever.

I also interested about the old trick that put the instrument infront of stereo speakers, sometime I feel uke in my hands resonates / vibrates with the music from YouTube. (the speakers themselve also need to be play-in / open-up. You know what I am talking if you are Hi-Fi geek).

Keep this topic interesting.

Stevelele
05-08-2014, 01:32 AM
I have spoken to the tonerite people before. The guitar tonerite operates with the same frequency and power as the uke one--it's just a fit issue and the uke one cost more bc of the molding equipment they needed. The tonerite according to many people does help, but you have to use it periodically--it's not a one time fix forever if you don't play your instrument a lot



Do you think one could use a guitar Tonerite device on an ukulele? Tonerite makes an ukulele device, but it costs $50 more than the guitar one.

Guitar Tonerite: http://www.tonerite.com/guitar.html

Ukulele Tonerite: http://www.tonerite.com/ukulele.html

mm stan
05-08-2014, 02:37 AM
I just wonder if tone rite is affecting the strings rather than conditions the wood...temporary.... ;)

Uncle Rod Higuchi
05-08-2014, 06:07 AM
Aloha, mmstan,

it must affect the strings some as it makes everything vibrate and it attaches via the strings and is to rest against the bridge.

If I see you this Summer, I'll try to bring along my ToneRite and let you borrow it for one of your ukes, if you like :)

Not sure if I'll have the use of a car, but if I do, I'll try to take you to HMS. MusicGuyMic will be missed, but can still share Aloha with the other staff.

Hope to see you this Summer. Maybe we could go to the Ukulele Festival together and try to contact any other UUers who will be attending :)

A hui Hou, Brah!

keep uke'in',

hawaii 50
05-08-2014, 06:19 AM
Aloha, mmstan,

it must affect the strings some as it makes everything vibrate and it attaches via the strings and is to rest against the bridge.

If I see you this Summer, I'll try to bring along my ToneRite and let you borrow it for one of your ukes, if you like :)

Not sure if I'll have the use of a car, but if I do, I'll try to take you to HMS. MusicGuyMic will be missed, but can still share Aloha with the other staff.

Hope to see you this Summer. Maybe we could go to the Ukulele Festival together and try to contact any other UUers who will be attending :)

A hui Hou, Brah!

keep uke'in',


Hey Rod...let me know when you in town....

I live in Wahiawa but we work something out with Stan....and make a tour to HMS and Ko'oalu........we can visit Kanile'a too if you want....I come pick you up...where are you staying and when are you here...
if you here for the festival that would work...I be at the HMS booth but for sure let me know your plans....
take care,Len

btw I have a ukulele tonerite...and I have 11 ukes...and since I can not play them all like I should all the time I let the tonerite play them...haha..
I think it works on certain ukes better than others....I don't use the tonerite on the ukes I play everyday though

mds725
05-08-2014, 07:00 AM
Hey Rod...let me know when you in town....

I live in Wahiawa but we work something out with Stan....and make a tour to HMS and Ko'oalu........we can visit Kanile'a too if you want....I come pick you up...where are you staying and when are you here...
if you here for the festival that would work...I be at the HMS booth but for sure let me know your plans....
take care,Len

btw I have a ukulele tonerite...and I have 11 ukes...and since I can not play them all like I should all the time I let the tonerite play them...haha..
I think it works on certain ukes better than others....I don't use the tonerite on the ukes I play everyday though

Not to hijack the thread, but I'm still looking into coming to Oahu for the Ukulele Festival in July. If I'm able to go, I'd love to visit with Stan and Len and meet Uncle Rod.

On the subject of Tonerite, Rick Turner told me that he used one on both of my Compass Rose baritones before I picked them up. He seems to think that wood instruments open up and that Tonerite helps with that process.

mm stan
05-08-2014, 07:19 AM
Aloha Uncle Rod, Len and Mark,
We should definetely plan something together this summer and whoever else that may want to come and join us...and Uncle Rod, Bring your tonerite...:)
Markie, make shua you get off too and we can work out the schedules.... Len I will let you know too... I will be awaiting you all....for shua malama Pono and a hui ho
Okay guys I wrote a song...he he for the occasion..here it is

Just wrote a song... Bad Bad Stan :)

(G)Well it's the southside of Oahu (oh-ahhhh-whoooo)
(A7)And it's the badest part of town
(B7-2322) Where all the strummers really jammin' down
(C) So Bring your ukulele (D7)and (G)sing along

(G)And If you make it to Waikiki
(A7)And if you come across a man named Stan
(B7)Who likes to play his ukulele all day long
(C)So won't you come along(D7)and(G)sing a song

(G)Now Stan loves his ukuleles
(A7)and it didn't take long for him to find a song
(B7)So wont you come and join me
(C)just to sing (D7)and play(G) a song along with me

hawaii 50
05-08-2014, 07:44 AM
Not to hijack the thread, but I'm still looking into coming to Oahu for the Ukulele Festival in July. If I'm able to go, I'd love to visit with Stan and Len and meet Uncle Rod.

On the subject of Tonerite, Rick Turner told me that he used one on both of my Compass Rose baritones before I picked them up. He seems to think that wood instruments open up and that Tonerite helps with that process.

No wonder...my Koa CR sounded so broken in when I got it 2 years ago...the strings were good too....I always thought that Rick played it himself to open it up...which would of been fine with me too.... :)

sounds good Mark...I got a little Toyota for 4 no probems...we visit Andrew and all the guys...you can set up the UU meet as I will help out at the HMS tent during the festival
...

keliiyama
05-08-2014, 06:42 PM
Len... your the best;) Len gets my vote for ukulele ambassador!

BigMamaJ40
05-09-2014, 07:55 AM
It has been reported than the ToneRite kills steel guitar strings, that is, it is necessary to replace the strings at the end of a full "treatment".

Does it also kill uke strings? Or are nylon/fluorocarbon/etc., less affected, since uke strings have a much longer life than guitar strings?

Ramart
05-09-2014, 09:25 AM
...I definitely hear and feel a difference in those ukes that I've been conditioning...

I think the principles of "psychoacoustics" may pertain in such a case, i.e., we tend to hear what we expect (or hope) to hear, kinda like double-blind drug trial participants whose symptoms diminish even though they've only ingested placebos.

hawaii 50
05-09-2014, 09:29 AM
I think the principles of "psychoacoustics" may pertain in such a case, i.e., we tend to hear what we expect (or hope) to hear, kinda like double-blind drug trial participants whose symptoms diminish even though they've only ingested placebos.

just wondering how many times have you tried a Tonerite on your ukes....or are you just guessing..... :)

Ramart
05-09-2014, 09:42 AM
just wondering how many times have you tried a Tonerite on your ukes....or are you just guessing..... :)

Just guessing, though I'd call it an educated guess.

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
05-09-2014, 09:56 AM
just wondering how many times have you tried a Tonerite on your ukes....or are you just guessing..... :)

I only tried the Tonerite once on one of my new and freshly finished ukes for 7 days. I had no expectations or the desire for any particular outcome; I was just fooling with the thing. After that period of time I noticed that the tone was warmer (which wasn't necessarily a good thing in this case). Keep in mind though that a freshly finished uke will go through some changes just by hanging on the wall during the first week, absorbing the ambient vibrations while the finish cures further and the strings continue to stretch. If I thought it did anything positive I would use it on every uke I built. I neither dismiss nor agree with Ramarts suggestion of psychoacoustics but when you spend a couple of hundred bucks on a gizmo that's supposed to mature an instrument you do expect some results. On the other hand, plenty of well respected luthiers swear by it. For me the jury is still out. Maybe it's time I pull it out of the box and play with it again. Interesting discussion.

mds725
05-09-2014, 10:53 AM
I'm wondering whether a ToneRite device would work on my voice.

hawaii 50
05-09-2014, 10:58 AM
I only tried the Tonerite once on one of my new and freshly finished ukes for 7 days. I had no expectations or the desire for any particular outcome; I was just fooling with the thing. After that period of time I noticed that the tone was warmer (which wasn't necessarily a good thing in this case). Keep in mind though that a freshly finished uke will go through some changes just by hanging on the wall during the first week, absorbing the ambient vibrations while the finish cures further and the strings continue to stretch. If I thought it did anything positive I would use it on every uke I built. I neither dismiss nor agree with Ramarts suggestion of psychoacoustics but when you spend a couple of hundred bucks on a gizmo that's supposed to mature an instrument you do expect some results. On the other hand, plenty of well respected luthiers swear by it. For me the jury is still out. Maybe it's time I pull it out of the box and play with it again. Interesting discussion.

Thanks Chuck....
I do not use the tonerite on my Moore Bettah...it sounds so good already.....and I want it to be me who breaks it in...etc
since I got my MB I don't touch my other ukes as much as I should... :)