I saw a DVD presentation featuring Richard Hoover, luthier and owner of Santa Cruz guitars, doing a workshop at Artisan Guitars in Tennesee.#Richard travels the world buying tonewoods and oversees - and participates in - the annual production of some 600 guitars in a dozen models. Bigger than a boutique builder but basically a dozen luthiers who each have a hand in each instrument and watch each other's work.
He spent a lot of time discussing tops - species, thicknessing, and bracing. #But then he said something new to me...he tries to buy standing dead trees. #The sap has crystallized, he says, and that's the main reason old instruments (tend to) sound better than new ones. #He implied that this factor is more important than species.
Presumably any builders stash of old wood would have undergone this process in the racks or under the workbench.
Your thoughts, builders, about this crystallized sap idea?