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Thread: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

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    Question Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    seems like its the rage lately in acoustic guitars with companies like Taylor, Collings and Bourgeois(i think i saw a Santa Cruz mentioned the other day).

    below is a link to a top/back/sides Torrified Collings


    http://gryphonstrings.com/instpix/44474/index.php

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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    I've been wondering the same. Most builders will do custom work so it can be done by someone. I don't see anyone making a production model with it yet. I myself want a mandolin with torrefied spruce top, torrefied maple neck and torrefied maple back/sides. Also torrefied bracing. I even want a torrefied ebony fingerboard since ebony shrinks over time. I bet roasting ebony will pre-shrink it.

    Having an instrument completely torrefied top to bottom will make it way lighter overall and more resonant. According to what I've learned about the process.
    Last edited by kidgloves2; Dec-17-2014 at 1:22am.

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    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    I seem to recall Frank Wakefield may have thought of this quite some time ago
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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    Torrified ? who invented that word then ?

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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hanson View Post
    Torrified ? who invented that word then ?
    It's called torrefied and is related to charcoal production.

    Who will be the first mandolin builder to jump on this?

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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    So it's different than "kiln dried" wood?

    And when I first saw "torrified" I thought it was referring to a system of internal fan bracing (as in Antonio Torres.)

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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    If this is true, why do some makers split the woods with axes to keep the grain open for a "Better sound"?
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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    I played a "roasted" Red Diamond F5 that Morgan Music brought to IBMA this year. I believe it had been subjected to the "Torrefied" process under discussion. It had a slight charcoal-smell to it and I thought it to be the best sounding mandolin I played there.

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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    Quote Originally Posted by G7MOF View Post
    If this is true, why do some makers split the woods with axes to keep the grain open for a "Better sound"?
    And now you have to ask questions that just throw everything into a mess! After hanging with various violin and instrument builders through the years and listening to all the theories, all I can say for sure is that a lot of this is based on superstition. The idea behind torrification makes sense, though, in that the cells simply go through the aging process much quicker through collapsing to their smallest size. I'm sure in the very near future microscopic analysis will be done to see if it collapses the cells further than natural aging of 100 years or so. Then there can be more arguments. I agree with jmagill, in that the few torrified instrument I've heard sound really good, for whatever the reason ends up being.

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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Petrus View Post
    So it's different than "kiln dried" wood?
    Yes. Kiln drying only removes water. Torrefied wood is taken way further by removing oils etc...

    Dana Bourgeois explains it better than me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEa-Z8W15mg

    Not all torrefied methods are good for tonewood. Standard methods are for industrial applications. Wood siding for buildings etc.. They go too far and the wood becomes brittle. That's ok because siding isn't structural. They found a perfect golilock zone for tonewood where the oil is removed, but the cell walls don't break down using a lower temperature and the right timing. That's the stuff Luthiers are using. This method results in wood that is similar to wood that has been aged for decades.

    Why should musicians be interested? The wood becomes lighter and more resonant. My experience trying guitars is they are louder and sustain longer. Just as interesting, the wood becomes more stable. Necks don't warp as much or at all with seasonal changes and humidity. That's really great if you play a show in Canada and the next day in Miami Florida. Your action shouldn't move much. Music Man calls it roasted maple and they use it on the necks of their electric basses. Everyone agrees the necks are light and don't move much.

    Acoustic luthiers have been using this wood for tops. Electric guitar/bass builders have been using it for necks. I think the acoustic world should use it for necks too. Even an entire instrument.

    Warmoth offers this wood for their necks now with NO up charge. Interesting since other builders are charging way more for instruments with torrefied/roasted/aged/baked/cooked wood. Different names for the same material.

    My next mandolin will be completely torrefied.
    Last edited by kidgloves2; Dec-17-2014 at 7:57am.

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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    Here's a pic Ken Ratcliff posted recently in another forum (Silverangel sent to Hell). Looks like he torrefied the bejabbers out of this Silverangel.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    Quote Originally Posted by van1684 View Post
    Bertram, can you tell me a little about those skull fiddles? Way cool!
    Just a picture I have found. Apparently it's this electric violin.
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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    Well, I'm Torrified.

    But I'll bet they sound Torrific.

    Sorry, somebody had to do it.
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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Astro View Post
    Well, I'm Torrified.

    But I'll bet they sound Torrific.
    It may be just a Torrist attraction.
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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze View Post
    It may be just a Torrist attraction.
    Well, be careful of crowds in this crazy world- what with all the nutty Torrorist extremests.
    Last edited by Astro; Dec-17-2014 at 8:46am.
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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    I wonder if this is part of the close to the (Joe?) Vest process Gibson used on their Distressed Master Models?

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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Astro View Post
    Well, be careful of crowds in this crazy world- what with all the nutty Torrorist extremests.
    and wouldn't it be torrible if your torrified top caught fire during the roasting, I guess you would get the new "charcoal burst" pattern............

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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    and what is the correct spelling?

    I've saw it printed as Torrified and Torrefied?

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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bertram Henze View Post
    It may be just a Torrist attraction.
    Hopefully not a Torrist attack.

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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    The correct spelling for "saw" as used in the recent sentence, if used as the past tense of the verb "saw", would be "sawed". E.g., " I sawed a lot of wood today". On the other hand, if "saw" is being used as a synonym related to "see", I believe then that word would be "seen". Then again, we could get into "sawn", as in quartersawn. English is a marvelous thing. Ain't it?

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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    Dale,
    That was all Greek to me.

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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    I'm pretty fond of slothead 12's.
    Reads like he only used the process on the top wood.
    Recording King vid had this exchange:

    "Why not torrefy the entire guitar instead of just the top? It seems like the neck back and sides would need it also.
    Reply

    It has to do with sugar vs mineral content of the species of woods. Maple electric guitar necks sometimes get it, but right now we've focused our R & D on the acoustic tops as they're the most resonant part of the guitar."

    ......This has been done recently by various builders on tops but the Collings OM1 has had it done not only to the top, but the sides and back as well, thus my "fully cooked" reference.



    And from a recent Premier Guitar article:
    Any Downside?
    The jury is still out on this. While we haven’t had any warranty issues with torrefied tops, others have. And I’m not sure that torrefied wood is as compatible with hide glue as it is with plain-old Titebond since the moisture has been almost completely removed. We’re also finding during the building process that the wood is a touch more brittle than non-thermo-cured wood.

    These details have necessitated that we and our fellow builders adjust some procedures, yet we haven’t seen any reason why the guitars won’t hold up just as well over time. After all, the torrefaction process is supposed to add stability, not take it away. The only other downside I can think of is that some players might not favor the golden color and instead prefer to see the wood age naturally over time.
    Last edited by Dobe; Dec-17-2014 at 3:27pm.

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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    Is the subtext of this whole thing that really good wood is so expensive and rare now that companies have to come up with a lot of gimmicks to make customers feel better about paying $5000 for a guitar made with less good wood?

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    Default Re: Torrified tops? anyone doing that on mandolins yet?

    Quote Originally Posted by SincereCorgi View Post
    Is the subtext of this whole thing that really good wood is so expensive and rare now that companies have to come up with a lot of gimmicks to make customers feel better about paying $5000 for a guitar made with less good wood?
    this is my own opinion based on articles i've read over the last 3 years or so. i seem to remember Furch being the first company that i read about doing this(doesn't mean someone else wasn't, only who i had read about). in the past 2 years i've noticed mention of it by some highly reputable guitar makers in the USA(Dana B and Santa Cruz). And now, just recently, Taylor is unveiling a 6 series model with the process(maple back/sides). I have not played one, but a friend who has told me it retains all the sparkle, clarity and cut of a sitka/maple Taylor(6 series), but carries a depth in the bass and overall tone across the strings that reminded him of a good sitka/EIR Taylor.

    I don't think its a more poor quality of wood they are trying to use, what i'm thinking is, the process is an evolution of thought to advance the tone, since they've arrived at bracing and wood species pretty much. its the next step to provide that aged tone quality.

    d

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