Ultra Seasoned Top Wood
… allowing the wood to breath as it would in nature.
Guitar wood is far from uniform–especially across the grain. There are weak areas in all pieces of wood. With time, these areas can become stronger and hence better sounding. One obvious factor is the pitch that is in wood. The pitch is like chewing gum. It acts as a barrier to sound transmission and also as an damper of sound. The ultra seasoning of the wood greatly reduces the soft pitch and therefore allows the wood to behave as a more uniform material–with a far better and uniform sound across the top.
The sound velocity and attenuation factor are measured as a function of frequency across the ultra seasoned wood. What is found is more uniform sound transmission both near and far and significantly lower losses.
It may burst the bubbles of those who theorize that there are complex crystallizations and elongations that affect top wood’s sound quality–but it is far simpler than that. Ultra seasoning wood goes further to allow the wood to breath as it would in nature. A tree that is 100 years old is not seasoned. The wood still has high moisture content across it, whether 100 year growth of fresh growth from last year. Once the wood is cut, it begins the seasoning process.
John Griffin and Acoustic Optimization have worked out a way to cycle through what happens in nature but to turn seasons into days rather than months. We call this wood “Ultra Seasoned.” The normal changes in the environment causes the wood to pump ever so slightly. Not visible to the naked eye, but nevertheless measurable. This pumping action causes an exchange of air, moisture and volatiles within the wood. It acts to sparge these materials from the wood as would naturally occur over decades. What results is a truly uniform seasoned piece of wood that is old in all of the good ways but not oxidized, degraded, or attacked by microbes or heat in any manner.
Normal seasoning is to reduce the moisture content down to levels to stabilize the wood from additional moisture loss under normal environmental conditions. If a guitar were to be made from green wood, it would shrink greatly as the wood dried. Seasoning the wood prevents that shrinkage unless there are dramatic temperature and humidity swings.
Old Standard Wood and Acoustic Optimization have a small supply of this material, and it is being incorporated into some guitars that will be available for sale very soon. The wood itself is available now. The up-charge price on a finished guitar with ultra-seasoned wood will be in the neighborhood of $400. Only the finest looking and sounding Adirondack and Sitka top woods are selected for ultra seasoning. These will be the “premium of premium” OSW tops.
Contact us today for more information about our Ultra Seasoned Woods.