What is a thermo-aged guitar?

In the world of music, thermo-aged guitars have become quite popular for their exquisite tones. That is why many people invest in this type of guitar. But if you don’t understand what’s all the fuss about, don’t worry. Keep reading to know why this type of guitar is special.

What is thermo-ageing?

Thermo-ageing is a process in which resin, moisture, and other volatiles get removed by heating the wood in a high-temperature setting. The scientific name for this process is torrefaction when acoustic guitars undergo this process, their sound, resilience, weight, and appearance changes.

Recent modern electric guitars like Cutlass ranges and Music Man’s Stingray have thermo-aged maple necks. The colour of the maple wood is naturally light, but because of the torrefaction process, they get a deep dark brown colour. But the effect of this process on an acoustic guitar can be easily seen because the tone of the guitar is dependant on the wood’s nature.

Effects of thermo-ageing

During the process of torrefaction, the molecules in the wood get stiffened. This leads to quick strumming response and powerful resonance. The EQ range of the roasted woods is expansive and quite loud. The volume is more when you compare it with their non-aged contemporaries in the frequency spectrum. This is noticeable in treble and bass.

Also, good acoustic guitars are less affected by environmental changes. Generally, the guitars need a slight amount of water to be in good condition. But avoid the extremes in the temperature and let the wood age consistently—otherwise, the wood contracts leading to cracks which affect the overall performance of the guitar.

Should you buy a thermo-aged guitar?

This process of thermo-ageing can fasten the wood’s natural ageing process. It can bring out the vintage properties of a good woodcut, but it cannot improve the quality of the bad pieces. Old acoustic guitars are high in demand because the wood in them has become chemically stable and they can produce beautiful, elegant tones. But these vintage types cost a lot. So, if you want good tones of a vintage guitar but not ready to break the bank, then thermo-aged guitars are good for you.

These guitars have many different options too. Many tonewoods like mahogany, spruce, and maple can undergo torrefaction.

Popular brands for these guitars

Ibanez is the recent brand that excels in this series of guitars. Though they deal predominantly with electric guitars, they have released thermo-aged guitars with good quality. Their range has several mahoganies and spruces that comes along with X bracing to boost the volume.

Other popular brand names like Martin, Yamaha, Taylor, Takamine, and Gibson also have this type of guitars. Some models are of higher price range while many models are affordable.

The bottom line

Thanks to science and technology, thermo-aged guitars can give you the same result as that of the expensive vintage ones. So, if you are thinking about buying them, no need to hesitate. They will last you for years to come.