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Thread: Have You Used a ToneRite?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2019

    Default Have You Used a ToneRite?

    Other than Uncle Rod four years ago and experimentjon seven years ago, there hasn't been much talk of ToneRite. It seems to have opinions both for and "meh" on the issue, so I'm wondering if there are any new thoughts from those who have tried it. Experimentjon sold his seven years ago and said it works, especially the first use on a uke and that if you have a half dozen of all-solid good ukes it's a good idea. So, that makes me curious.

    Any new thoughts in this decade on the use of ToneRite - by those who have tried it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Catskill Mountains, NY


    What does it do?
    Too many ukes, but I can't stop buying!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2019


    The web site at claims:

    Vintage Tone, Now!
    It is no secret that vintage instruments sound better. Tens of thousands of hours of play time alter the molecular structure of the wood fibers, aging the instrument and creating a richer, sweeter, and louder tone.
    The ToneRite accelerates this same play-in process by using a set of sub-sonic frequencies to simulate long term play.
    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 of use.

    It is supposed to help "open up" a solid wood instrument the same as if you had played it a lot. I wondered if someone like you with an above average collection might have tried it.
    Last edited by Ed1; 05-02-2021 at 11:20 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Canada Prairies, brrr ....


    I think this mainly for guitars that have torrified tops where the fibres are all baked together and the additional extreme vibration are supposed to loosen them up. Good thing this fad is not common for ukes.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Aurora, IL US


    I have one that I use on guitars to try to "open them up". I'm really not sure if it helps much but it's easier than practicing........

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2020


    Sounds like this is the same idea as placing guitars in front of speakers to vibrate them to accelerate the aging. I kind of remember reading that it either doesn't work or accelerates the aging so slowly that it isn't measurable.

    But, Yamaha seems to think heating the instrument can accelerate the aging process. I don't think the home oven is big enough for guitars, but a soprano shold fit...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012


    i use it and it works for me
    Kanile'a K-2 Concert,Ko'Aloha Super Concert,Maui Music 1998 Koa Tenor,Compass Rose Koa Tenor,Graziano Koa Tenor,Kamaka HF3-S,Moore Bettah Milo/Sitka Spruce Tenor,DeVine mother of curl Koa/Engleman Spruce Tenor,Ko'olau Indo Rosewood/Sinker Redwood Tenor,Washburn Lyon and Healy 1936 Bell shaped soprano,Lfdm Bastogne Walnut/Carpathian Spruce Tenor,Rollo Scheurenbrand African Blackwood/Adirondack Spruce Tenor,Kimo Super Tenor all Koa,Beau Hannam Walnut/Carpathian Spruce Tenor

  8. #8


    From a logical and scientific perspective, I think it's a load of baloney.

    Dead wood fibers that stringed instruments are made of are very hard and stiff.
    No amount of vibrations or soundwaves coming from a device like this is going to make any change to the physical structure.
    If the vibrations and soundwaves ARE powerful enough to make a physical change, it'll be a destructive force that will damage the instrument.

    The notion that instruments improve physically from the vibrations of playing is a myth. I know there will be those who disagree with me, but from my research and understanding in the topic, it's based on flawed logic and has no scientific credibility.

    1. Instruments do not sound better with playing. Tonewood in an instrument does not have the sentience to improve itself at being a tonewood. If simply playing could change the physical structure of an instrument's wood, going by the laws of entropy it's far more likely that the sound would change in an undesirable way.

    2. Instruments are known to change with time, not necessarily due to being 'played'. Especially on older instruments where the wood has had more time to dry since manufacture making it lighter in mass. Some believe that the nitrocellulose finish on vintage instruments tend to thin with age, also improving the resonance a bit as it wears down. Glues used in the instrument also change with time, possibly affecting the resonant dynamics. These ageing processes should occur regardless of whether it is played a lot or not.

    3. Vintage instruments were made differently to how they are today. Different batches of woods were available and different manufacturing processes compared to modern instruments. The vintage instruments that survive today do so because they were nice enough to keep well maintained.

    To use an analogy, think of historical swords. No swordsmith can get a sword made using today's materials and techniques exactly like they did in medieval times. Modern replicas can look like vintage swords, but will behave rather differently to actual historical examples. However, in some parts of the world (eg: Seki, Japan), swordsmiths will recreate swords in the most authentic way possible with crude materials and minimal reliance on modern technology. Those swords may behave more like vintage swords.

    Likewise, with instruments - modern ones made strictly using traditional methods and materials could potentially sound similar to vintage ones.
    However, a vast majority are mass produced in a different manufacturing process which will make them sound and feel different from vintage instruments. The old ways can't always be replicated today (i.e. the original manufacturing process was lost, forgotten or superseded).

    4. Do instruments that get played a lot sound better than those that sit dormant?
    I am highly skeptical of this urban myth. I think there are multiple explanations that are far more plausible:
    -An instrument that already sounds nice gets played a lot
    -An instrument that is played a lot is also kept well maintained, strings replaced, etc. A neglected instrument is not usually well maintained.
    -An instrument that is played frequently by you may appear to 'improve' with time because you subconsciously adapt your playing to its characteristics and nuances.
    Last edited by kissing; 05-05-2021 at 07:03 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2019


    Quote Originally Posted by kissing View Post
    From a logical and scientific perspective, I think it's a load of baloney. [SNIP]
    Yes, but what do you really think?

    Well, anything that is baloney or an urban myth should make us all highly skeptical, and I like the logic of the points you make. However, I would like a little proof, if possible, and not just logical guesses, which is why I asked the question.

    Since I couldn't find anything on the Internet that studied this, I was hoping there would be a lot of users here to discuss it. If they all liked it, they could just be resolving their cognitive dissonance of spending money on it, or perhaps it does help in some way that might be interesting to learn about. That might not be proof, but it would be better than guessing.

    Until then, I'll withhold my judgement ..... and not buy one.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Michigan, USA


    The only scientific study of this phenomena of which I am aware is this:

    It isn't terribly long, but might be a bit dry if you are not used to reading scientific papers.

    To quote the conclusions of the authors:

    We therefore conclude that any changes associated with the vibration treatment we performed are negligible. We
    do not make conclusions on the origin of the widespread anecdotal reports of improvements in sound associated
    with this vibration treatment, but note that the well-established effects of the power of suggestion and marketing,
    as well as the lack of double-blind, control testing might be a factor in these anecdotal reports. We also do not
    make conclusions about possible effects of more vigorous vibration treatment, including that of playing the guitar for
    decades, or of the effects of simple aging on guitar tone. We do however suggest that the methods utilized in this
    study can be used to investigate the effects of these treatments and others on wooden string instruments of various
    Mainly a concert player.

    Beansprout alto (myrtle) | Martin Konter | Kala Elite Soprano | Rebel Double Cream mango concert
    KoAloha Silver concert | Blackbird Clara | Kamaka HF-2 (special) | Kanile'a K-1 C | Bruko #6
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