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Thread: Torrefied spruce top

  1. #1
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    Default Torrefied spruce top

    I don't recall seeing ukuleles with a torrefied spruce top for sale in the past, but have seen them lately.

    I've read the sellers take on why it's a benefit, but what real world experiences have people here had with it?

    Is it just to stir up our UAS, or is it something that's worth seeking out?

  2. #2

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    Yeah I'd also like to know. :-)
    K
    Sopranos, Concerts, and Tenors

    4 Sale: Pineapple - MP Cali, Tenor: Washburn, Luna Tattoo

  3. #3
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    Here's my two bobs worth. "Torrefied" is just a marketing term for kiln dried wood which has been standard practice in the industry for a long, long time. Its been a LOONG time since mass manufacturers have had the time to let all the wood dry out naturally and this is something that only skilled and small scale luthiers have the time for.

    I did a factory visit to Cole Clark Guitars a few years ago and all the wood was being dried in a kiln.
    They just hadn't cottoned on yet to the marketing phrase, "Torrified".

    Its just marketing.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyg View Post
    Here's my two bobs worth. "Torrefied" is just a marketing term for kiln dried wood which has been standard practice in the industry for a long, long time. Its been a LOONG time since mass manufacturers have had the time to let all the wood dry out naturally and this is something that only skilled and small scale luthiers have the time for.

    I did a factory visit to Cole Clark Guitars a few years ago and all the wood was being dried in a kiln.
    They just hadn't cottoned on yet to the marketing phrase, "Torrified".

    Its just marketing.
    Those are different things though. Conventional kiln is gonna be like 100-150 degrees F. Torrefaction kiln is gonna be 400+ F. You can argue about tones but it definitely looks different after the process, like it aged 40 years.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyg View Post
    Here's my two bobs worth. "Torrefied" is just a marketing term for kiln dried wood which has been standard practice in the industry for a long, long time. Its been a LOONG time since mass manufacturers have had the time to let all the wood dry out naturally and this is something that only skilled and small scale luthiers have the time for.

    I did a factory visit to Cole Clark Guitars a few years ago and all the wood was being dried in a kiln.
    They just hadn't cottoned on yet to the marketing phrase, "Torrified".

    Its just marketing.
    I didnt realize you were a luthier and had built instruments with both tops and were therefore qualified to call it just marketing. Those luthiers that I have talked to that have built with it agree that torrification does change the tonal properties of spruce. That is not to say it makes it better, because tone is personal, it makes it different.

    Kiln dried is a completely different process. You are comparing apples to oranges.
    Last edited by DownUpDave; 07-22-2019 at 10:10 PM.
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

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    Bill1 plus 1

  7. #7
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    Meh, just because pasteurisation is considered good it doesn't mean that ultra-pasteurisation is better.

    What this does mean I guess is that if you don't absolutely love the sound when you play it, then its silly to believe that it may get better with age. Its as good as its ever going to be.

  8. #8

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    My question is does anyone know have ukuleles of both torrified spruce and regular spruce? (And yes we know there are different varieties of spruce that may sound different.) What do you think of your torrified ukuleles? I don't as yet own a spuce ukulele vs. the untorriefed one. I would be interested in your response. Thanks
    K
    Sopranos, Concerts, and Tenors

    4 Sale: Pineapple - MP Cali, Tenor: Washburn, Luna Tattoo

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by keenonuke View Post
    My question is does anyone know have ukuleles of both torrified spruce and regular spruce? (And yes we know there are different varieties of spruce that may sound different.) What do you think of your torrified ukuleles? I don't as yet own a spuce ukulele vs. the untorriefed one. I would be interested in your response. Thanks
    In the guitar world there are many people who are willing to pay more for a roasted top and then say it sounds better than a regular top. I am not sure if that is more a matter of psychology or of the changed molecules of the roasted top. I have several guitars with regular sitka and red spruce tops and they are just fine the way they are. For an ukulele, rather than thinking about spruce and torrification I'd rather spend more money to get Hawaiian uke made of koa.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by keenonuke View Post
    My question is does anyone know have ukuleles of both torrified spruce and regular spruce? (And yes we know there are different varieties of spruce that may sound different.) What do you think of your torrified ukuleles? I don't as yet own a spuce ukulele vs. the untorriefed one. I would be interested in your response. Thanks
    I would guess they'd need to be the same brand to be a better comparison, since the builder has a lot to do with it, too. A Kamaka doesn't sound the same as a KoAloha or a Kanile'a, for example, even if they're all koa.

    IA that whatever ukulele we buy should sound good to us on the day that we buy it, rather than hope that it gets better as it ages, but if something like a torrefied top can make it sound even better, that would be great. I haven't found any good sound samples yet to do a good comparison, but haven't looked too hard.

    What got me wondering about this is drooling over the I'iwi with a torrefied spruce top on HMS. Sounds lovely.
    Last edited by Joyful Uke; 07-23-2019 at 05:47 AM.

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