Torrefied Guitar Wood

 For nearly 20 years I have been observing fad after fad as guitar builders are always looking for a better sound. As experience has taught me, I do not buy into most of them but every once in a while something hits home and peaks my curiosity. The idea of "baking" a guitar top is not new at all as some builders have been doing it for years but it seems that the process has been improved and (unlike most fads) this one is being discovered as a significant game changer. As Luthiers, most sound improvement changes that we make to a guitar are not very noticeable by themselves but they are significant as the changes accumulate. 

 Having the privilege of owning and building with naturally aged (torrefied) wood (some over 200 years old), and having some processed torrefied wood, I am highly impressed with how similar the two are - in fact had I not known that the processed wood was torrefied I would have assumed that it was at least 100 years old. The one difference that I do notice is that the naturally aged guitar tops have a stiffness to them that (although seemingly stiffer than simple air dried tops) the processed tops do not quite have. 

Having said all of that, hearing the buzz from great Luthiers and having my own experience with naturally century aged wood, 10 to 20 year air dried wood and torrefied wood I feel very comfortable saying that from here on out it will be a rare occasion if any acoustic guitar coming from my shop is NOT built with processed torrefied spruce or whatever other type of top I might be building with. Cedar may very well be the exception as it is already a brittle wood and subject to cracking as it ages.

 As I discover new things that really matter (on this subject) I will post them here so stat tuned....