Have You Used a ToneRite?

Arik

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Thanks for your thoughts. This thread has had lots of strong opinions on this. I believe those who have noticed the difference on some of their ukes. I'm still not sure that the reasons for the differences are correct in every case.

I can easily wait a month for your results.

Thanks Ed1. I did some extensive research on people's thoughts going on UU, Guitar forums, and violin forums. From what gather there are generally 2 camps. Folks that have tried it and skeptics that have not tried it. For the people that have tried tonerite, they have found great results to minimal to none. The differences really depended on the brand/builder. Most people that have the tonerite have multiple instruments (and brands) and generally, the positive results outweighed minimal results. I eventually just bypassed all the skeptics that haven't tried the device. I already love the sound of my ukes. Tonerite has a 30 day return policy so it was worth trying to make my ukes sound better IMO.
 
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Graham Greenbag

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I’m under the impression that these days it is possible to measure the sound and frequency response coming out of a Uke, but perhaps I’ve not fully understood some of Choirguys reviews.

Scientists might talk about the impossibility of opening up and assisting opening up but I wouldn’t set aside people’s experiences lightly. Personally I’ve found improvements with (calendar) time and use but what causes the improvements I wouldn’t like to say. However I do know that Science is always in flux, new discoveries are constantly being made and old theories are set aside in favour of newer ones. Scientists, whilst very clever people, often know less than what they believe they do and sometimes they arrive at unsound judgements.

Use what works for you and just accept that when you’re not fully informed - on this topic I don’t believe that anyone is fully informed - then the results may be variable.
 
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merlin666

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One of the terms used in these threads is improvement. So if someone bought an instrument and they don't like it they may try many things to improve it from changing strings and little parts to more major alterations to devices like this. If one likes it already then obviously it won't need improvement and any changes could also lead to one not liking it any longer. It is all subjective. For the few instances where I could not bond with an instrument as it was I did not bother trying to waste time with potential improvements. I just sold them locally to people who loved it and moved on.
 

kissing

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deznuchs said:
Folks that have tried it and skeptics that have not tried it.

I think to be a "Folks that have tried it" requires some faith in the product's spiel, which will undoubtedly affect their subjective perception of the outcome.
Even in the robust realm of medical and pharmaceutical research; researchers have to wrestle with the placebo effect when determining whether a treatment works for a disease. Placebo effect alone is known to cause 30% or more positive effect on their health outcome, even if the patient was given nothing but a sugar pill.

It's not hard to make that association with people believing a certain costly contraption changes the properties of wood to be a better musically.
 

kissing

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As I have posted before, close to the uke is inside a near field and the sound energy waves are going to be all over the place as happens in a near field. Science is unable to do a lot in the near field at present, too many things happening at once. The player sits right in the near field. The timbres and nuances are caused by near field effects on the sound energy. The energy bounces around inside the body and makes all sorts of instantaneous and changing resonances, reflections and diffraction patterns, capturing them or modelling them is not something science can accurately do at present.

Sure maybe you can use a single test tone and get some indications, but a three minute tune has an amazing array of frequencies and sound levels bouncing around during the 180 seconds of the song.

You can easily do tests in the far field, which is not actually far away, but just a few metres from the sound source at musical audio frequencies. You can set up a receiver (microphone) and capture the sound that has settled down to be like a constant beam. But in the far field you may not hear the nuances and timbres that are discussed so often, without using an amplifier, they do not have enough energy to get out into the far field. When you use an amplifier, you need to do a lot more work to compare sounds because you introduce speakers and amplifiers and wires etc..

So if you get a ToneRite and find it works for you, enjoy the experience and enjoy the improved sound you can hear. But, it really is a waste of time trying to explain it to anyone who has never experienced the ToneRite experience, there is no exact mathematical model or test results which can accurately support any arguments for or against ToneRite. There are a lot of beliefs which are passed off as theories, if you want an endless argument, then just toss in a comment on your ToneRite.

Also there is the wood and construction technique. Wood can be assembled in what is called the "overbuilt" fashion and it is very strong and stiff, it wont loosen up or open up for a long time, maybe 80 years long. If you own a low cost overbuilt laminate uke, it may never open up in your lifetime. You generally will see opening up happen or talked about in more lightly built instruments made out of solid woods.

If you have a belief that wood stays the same for ever, check out wooden fences. They age, change colour get brittle, they are solid wood. If you do maintain them they dry out and crack and fall apart. The same thing happens to the wood in your musical instrument. It ages and may get more brittle and change colour.

I personally have enjoyed several opening up experiences by using my WiFi speaker, which I set up on the top of an instrument and turn the music up loud. It makes the instrument vibrate with the music. To my ears it "wakes up" the instrument in several ways. If you have a WiFi speaker its easy to try, just lay the instrument safely flat and put the speaker next to the bridge and turn up the music and leave it there all day. See what happens. Doing a test like this is a lot better than trying to argue about your beliefs, unless you are bored and like a little argument for some social interaction.

Finally, I recommend against buying any instrument, or paying more, because it will "open up". Opening up is a treasure from the universe, if it is going to happen. Buy the instrument for how it sounds when you hand over the cash, if you find that it does open up then that is a bonus gift from the universe.

So arguments over something like ToneRight are only ever going to be opinions and beliefs, unless you actually set up a Tone Right and hear it for yourself.


Scientific concepts can be applied not just in the capture of sound energy differences in wood, but on whether external soundwaves themselves can affect the structure of wood; let alone in a manner that improves the subjective perception of its sound when played.

My opinion is the same as it was before.
Soundwaves from speakers or "Toneright" are not sufficient to change rigid wooden structures.
Any sound sources that are actually capable of manipulating wooden structure would be destructive in nature and damage/destroy the wood.
 
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hawaii 50

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Scientific concepts can be applied not just in the capture of sound energy differences in wood, but on whether external soundwaves themselves can affect the structure of wood; let alone in a manner that improves the subjective perception of its sound when played.

My opinion is the same as it was before.
Soundwaves from speakers or "Toneright" are not sufficient to change rigid wooden structures.
Any sound sources that are actually capable of manipulating wooden structure would be destructive in nature and damage/destroy the wood.

just wondering have you tried the tonerite?
 

kkimura

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;)

It is possible that ukuleles that sound better get played more then ukuleles that don't sound as good. Hence the connection between lots of playing and sounding good. And, of course the great sounding old antiques by virtue of being around for a longer time than the new ukuleles, have been played more than most. And so sound the best.

Just my totally unscientific read on the subject. (YMMV)
 
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kkimura

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No, I have not.
For the same reason I haven't tried healing crystals, homeopathy and magical talismans.

Don't know about healing crystals or homeopathy but anything magical always catches my attention. Like a fast complicated strum where the sound reaches your ears after your eyes see the strumming so you can't figure out how it's being done. Magically good sounding.
Sorry, just trying to lighten the mood.
 

kissing

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It is possible that ukuleles that sound better get played more then ukuleles that don't sound as good. Hence the connection between lots of playing and sounding good. And, of course the great sounding old antiques by virtue of being around for a longer time than the new ukuleles, have been played more than most. And so sound the best.

Just my totally unscientific read on the subject. (YMMV)

There is more science in your reasoning than what is stated by Toneright.

I think it is possible for instruments to open up a bit with time, as the wood dries and compresses, the constant tension from the strings causes the instrument to reach a structural equilibrium over time from manufacture... the player who has owned the instrument a long time subconsciously adjusts for its nuances.... or it may also be that older instruments were made in a certain way using certain materials that can't be quite replicated today.

I've had new instruments that I felt "opened up" by simply sitting dormant for months.

However, I've yet to see any plausible scientific explanation of how applied sound/vibrations to an instrument (such as via a device like Toneright) can alter the wood in a way to improve sound. In fact, a working knowledge of physics, structures and forces does not support it at all. Hence my earlier point that if there were soundwaves or vibrations powerful enough to alter solid wood; then the outcome is far more likely to be destructive than specifically constructive towards improved sound. Entropy comes to mind.
 

kissing

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Don't know about healing crystals or homeopathy but anything magical always catches my attention. Like a fast complicated strum where the sound reaches your ears after your eyes see the strumming so you can't figure out how it's being done. Magically good sounding.
Sorry, just trying to lighten the mood.

My point being; whether one has used the Toneright or not isn't really a valid argument towards whether one can have a valid opinion on the subject.
There are many things in life we don't necessarily have to experience first-hand to prove or disprove.

I haven't flown out to space myself to see that the world is round, but there is enough scientific knowledge and evidence out there to reasonably conclude it.

Likewise, I haven't experienced healing crystals, homeopathy and talismans firsthand, but I know enough about medical science and general common sense to have the opinion that they don't work beyond the placebo effect.

Thus, my skepticism towards Toneright or the general concept of applied sound/vibrations improving tonewoods. There is no plausible, scientifically sound (excuse the pun) explanation that it works.


Making music is certainly as much an art as it is a science. What sounds pleasant to our ears when we strum a chord definitely involves some subjectivity. However, we can certainly explore the concept using scientific tools since physical processes are involved when we are claiming improvements to tonewood itself.
 

Arik

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Wow this is getting kind of intense... We are all here to enjoy and appreciate the art of music and the ukulele. For me trying the tonerite was kind of like getting new wheels for my car just because I wanted to. Some might think it's a dumb idea and some might think it is cool. It's really a personal preference and my own money. I already appreciated my ukes and their sound. I wanted to try out the Tonerite just because. So far I'm enjoying my purchase and I know there has been interest in the forum on the device.
 
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kissing

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I understand we're all here to enjoy and appreciate the art of music and the ukulele.
That's precisely what I am doing, though people may show it in different ways.

Calling out false claims is part of the hobby and passion at times.

Getting Toneright to me is not the equivalent of getting new wheels, but being scammed into getting one of those dodgy engine enhancement chips from Wish.com that promises more horsepower, but does absolutely nothing :D

I don't wish to rain on anyone's parade, but I am just being honest and truthful as I can.
 

Graham Greenbag

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I understand we're all here to enjoy and appreciate the art of music and the ukulele.
That's precisely what I am doing, though people may show it in different ways.

Calling out false claims is part of the hobby and passion at times.

Getting Toneright to me is not the equivalent of getting new wheels, but being scammed into getting one of those dodgy engine enhancement chips from Wish.com that promises more horsepower, but does absolutely nothing :D

I don't wish to rain on anyone's parade, but I am just being honest and truthful as I can.

Calling out false claims isn’t necessarily as simple as it might seem or even as constructive as it might seem. It also relies upon the caller actually being correct and not just correct against the information known now but against the information that will become known in centuries to come. History is littered with changes in scientific understanding so tread carefully; whilst some claims are clearly meant to deceive others are made in good faith and in years to come may well be substantiated.

Is today’s scientific understanding always right? Science is right about a lot of stuff and a wise man uses it, but an even wiser man understands that all knowledge has errors and gaps in it. Just because we don’t understand how something works does not necessarily mean that it can’t or doesn’t work; being tolerant of ideas that don’t match our own is good, sensible even. :D

As for the Tonerite my suspicion is that it works - and variably so - in some circumstances and doesn’t do much if anything in other circumstances. That might not be how its performance is described in sales literature and I think that calling out implied or actual claims to guaranteed improvements is fair, it’s all a matter of the customer making an informed and balanced judgement.
 
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kissing

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Calling out false claims isn’t necessarily as simple as it might seem or even as constructive as it might seem. It also relies upon the caller actually being correct and not just correct against the information known now but against the information that will become known in centuries to come.

Is today’s scientific understand always right? Science is right about a lot of stuff and a wise man uses it, but an even wiser man understands that all knowledge has errors and gaps in it.

Calling out false claims is constructive and meaningful to community discord and shared knowledge within the hobby.
If that is not your cup of tea and you would prefer blissful ignorance - then there's no need to engage in the specific conversation.

The person calling out the false claim need not be actually "correct". We are all humans entitled to an opinion, so who is to say that any one of us has grounds to insisting they are absolutely correct?

Rather, I have ensured to clarify that I am stating my opinion, which I contend to be from a logical perspective relying upon well known scientific concepts.

I think your understanding of what should or should not be discussed on the public forum is a bit inconsistent and counter-productive to the overall progression of the collective knowledge. It's precisely the mechanism by which many false remedies and old wives tales continue to thrive even in this modern age.

There was once a time most people thought traditional martial arts like traditional Kung Fu or Aikido are effective against aggressive, non-compliant assailants in genuine combat situations. When conmen like Frank Dux and Ashida Kim claimed that they were extravagantly skilled martial artists trained in these traditional systems, nobody questioned it for decades.

People saw gaps in this reasoning, and now it is common knowledge in MMA circles regarding what works and what doesn't in real fights.
What's amazing to me is that such realisations and shift in collective thinking took this long - perhaps aided by the internet making it possible to communicate and share ideas.

Likewise, I think many musicians are still stuck on the outdated notion that physical vibrations from playing an instrument improves its sound. In my opinion, this is already debunked by basic physics and no one I've spoken to thus far have provided a plausible explanation regarding its mechanism. I understand that all areas of human studies have limitations and gaps, but to continue believing in "guitars and ukuleles improve with sound" is similar to acknowledging that the Earth could still be flat, or that the universe may revolve around the Earth since there are "gaps" in scientific knowledge.


To go a little bit on a tangent, I am a rather active member in discussion groups concerning the ocarina, a round flute-like instrument usually made of ceramic. For a very long time, people in the hobby thought that ocarinas made of a certain kind of clay called "purple clay" had the property of improving over time as it absorbs the moisture and retains better sound qualities - much like how some of us believe guitars and ukuleles improve with being played. This has now been debunked, because there really is no scientific backbone to it.

(to give context, the notion of 'purple clay' improving tone comes from the study of traditional Chinese teapots made of this material absorbing and retaining flavours of the tea over time, resulting in richer flavours).


All in all, I think perhaps the issue is to not take the honest opinions of others personally and have a bit of tolerance for the diversity of opinions out there. There is no universal rule stating everyone has to be agreeable towards your views; nor should that adversely affect your enjoyment of the community or hobby.
 
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kissing

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Graham Greenbag said:
Just because we don’t understand how something works does not necessarily mean that it can’t or doesn’t work;

But there are those that do understand how things work.
As I've said, I have a working knowledge of physics.

Here are the lines of logic from ToneRite:

One of the secrets of great sounding vintage instruments is the fact that they have been played-in for thousands of hours.

This whole premise is based on the wrongful assumption that it's proven that vintage instruments sound great due to being played-in for thousands of hours. There's no physical reasoning that substantiates this case. By what mechanism does "playing in" improve sound?

Alternatively, there are some plausible explanations of why some instruments appear to "open up" or why vintage instruments sound the way they do:

-New instruments are made of younger wood which contain more moisture. The wood equilibriates with the environment over time, becoming a bit drier and lighter, affecting the resonating properties. If this is the case, then any perceived "improvement" in tone has nothing to do with being "played in". An instrument that is infrequently played will improve just as much as an equal instrument that is played a lot.

-As someone owns a particular instrument for longer, it appears to "open up" because they subconsciously adapt to its characteristics and nuances.

-Vintage instruments that have survived the years have done so because they sounded great to begin with, hence the owner has taken good care of it until the present day.

-Vintage instruments sound the way they do because they were made using particular materials that were available at the time, using processes which may differ from today's.

-Some brand new instruments sound excellent straight out of the box, some arguably similar or equivalent to how great vintage instruments sound.


The ToneRite accelerates the play-in process by using a set of sub-sonic frequencies to simulate the same physics as long term playing.

Simply attach the ToneRite whenever you are not playing and expect to hear a dramatic increase in resonance, balance and range after only a week's worth of use.

Subsequent treatments will help maintain your new vintage sound!"

By what mechanism do "sub sonic frequencies" make an instrument's wood perform better as a tone wood?
Especially if the core hypothesis they have built their entire spiel on is easily debunked?

Wood are dried cell walls of dead trees. They are rigid, stiff and maintain structural integrity.
Any processes that intentionally manipulate the structure of the wood in an accelerated manner is not going to magically improve the sound of the wood.
This is due to entropy.

Any "sub sonic frequency" actually powerful enough to change a wood's structure would be quite destructive and compromise the structural integrity of the wood.

That's simply not how sound waves work. They either meet the threshold of influencing a wood's structure or not.
And if they do meet the threshold, you basically have weaponised sound waves capable of destroying the wood.

The most plausible explanation of what this device does, in my humble opinion, is that it does absolutely nothing to change the wood :D
Whether or not they believe in their own hype... they're making money from a very loose, unsubstantiated premise.

The only claim they can really make is that the vibrations caused by the device creates an emulation as though the instrument is being played; although it is not. Kinda like stimulating your muscles with electrodes rather than actually working out. Whether this actually improves an instrument's sound, for the above-mentioned reasons I am very very doubtful :)
 
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John Colter

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I have built more than thirty ukuleles (just a hobby builder) and have observed that when the strings are first fitted, I am always a bit disappointed with the sound. However, the following day brings a very noticeable improvement.

I don't believe the new strings are causing this effect. If it were the cause, then it would happen when I fit new strings to a well used uke - and it doesn't.

This experience leads me to believe that newly built ukuleles do improve over a very short time span. It follows that they can continue to improve, after the first couple of days, but at a very much reduced rate.

Whether this minuscule rate of improvement can be assisted or enhanced by applying vibration to the instrument is another matter. Personally, I am sceptical.

John Colter
 

kkimura

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Remember what Pat Solitano said in "Silver Linings Playbook", “I am practicing being kind over being right.”.
 

Graham Greenbag

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I don’t think anyone need worry about this topic further, we have been very clearly told by someone who has ‘a working knowledge of Physics’ that ToneRite doesn’t work. How foolish of others here to have an open mind on the subject or to even to think that effects heard with their own ears (whether it be just playing or use of the ToneRite, etc.) could possibly be anything other than hallucination.

Science knows the answer to everything and we should trust it without question? :confused: At one time Scientists believed that blood letting was a medical cure and that our Solar System rotated about the Earth but later ‘they’ discovered a few ‘little mistakes’. :uhoh:

Whatever, arguments have no place here on UU. What does have a place here is tolerance of views that are different to our own and the spirit of Aloha. :cheers:
 
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