When it comes to premium guitars, it’s all about tone. Every detail of the instrument contributes to its unique sound, making it easy to get lost in the intricacies. This is especially true when it comes to chasing the elusive “vintage” tone (which can take decades of aging) and combining it with the conveniences of modern construction. However, after many developments in tonewood technology, one innovation has given guitars the best of both worlds: torrefied wood.
Torrefied wood has always been used for our all solid Highland Collection spruce models. With their roasted solid Sitka spruce tops, they have an iconic sound with top-of-the-line features. The tone is so good, we’re introducing three of our fan favorite Melrose Collection models with a new torrefied spruce top option. That means now is a better time than ever to take a closer look at the torrefaction process and why we choose it for our guitars.
Using natural materials is the tried and tested way to craft high performance instruments. But, Mother Nature can be fickle, and it’s easy to forget that your favorite guitar is subject to her will. If you want to get technical, common guitar woods are “hygroscopic,” which means that they can release and absorb moisture depending on their environment. Most guitar maintenance guides would encourage you to keep your guitar well hydrated in order to avoid the cracking that comes with the shrinkage of dried out wood. But, your delta blues enthusiast might tell you the opposite; after decades of drying, vintage guitars can take on an entirely new tonal quality that some desire, even at the cost of cosmetic blemishes.
Torrefied wood, however, is roasted in order to remove most of this moisture that can affect your guitar. That means the wood becomes non-hygroscopic due to the closed cell structure it takes on during the baking process. You won’t have to worry about keeping your machine well-oiled, as the moisture has already been taken out of the question. Less variables and less maintenance means that torrefied wood will keep your guitar playing at peak performance, whether you’re strumming atop a mountain or down in a river basin.
The Vintage Look
What’s a guitar worth if it doesn’t look rad while you’re playing it? Nothing will inspire you to pick it up and play more than a finish you love. That’s why we’re glad the torrefied spruce looks as good as it sounds. Roasting the Sitka gives it a golden brown appearance that emulates the natural aging process of the wood, giving it a classic look that will never go out of style.
The Rich Tone
Here’s where torrefied wood really shines. If you want the vintage tone without the vintage price, there is no better option on the market. As the wood becomes drier, the stiffness makes the guitar feel more responsive. It also gives a woody and warm old-school tone that is sought after by collectors and praised by audiophiles alike. Plus, the added resistance to atmospheric change makes the tonal quality completely consistent. So, what you hear is what you get, no matter where you travel with your trusty acoustic.
Some things are too good to be true, but torrefaction is the real deal. The game has changed, and the vintage tone does not need to fetch the vintage price. If you want the best sound with modern construction and no compromises, torrefied wood is the right choice for you.
Pick up a torrefied top model for yourself! You can shop our all solid Torrefied Spruce Highland Collection and check out the latest in our Special Edition Melrose Collection: The Torrefied Spruce Echo Live, Melrose Live, and Brooklyn Live.