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Thread: Torrefied Opinions

  1. #1
    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Torrefied Opinions

    Hi, Everyone:

    I searched around the Cafe and couldn't find much on the torrefying process, so this thread is me prompting you for your opinions, or even just your knowledge of the process.

    How do you like it? How is it done? Etc....\


  2. #2
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Torrefied Opinions

    A few years ago we had a guy that was the head of some organization related to this process post. I can't find that thread but there are several threads with luthiers discussing the wood in these messages.

    There are several videos that show the process on Youtube.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Torrefied Opinions

    There have been a decent number of threads here and a lot of articles starting with acoustic guitar mags and Dana Bourgeois's dreads on the process and result, you can google more like those below. At least one builder has noted that torrefied spruce is more brittle and harder to work with but I noticed Pava and Collings seem to be pretty committed to making these going forward

    https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/...d.php?t=464010

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...torrefied-wood

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...sted-quot-Wood

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...s-MT-Torrefied
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    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: Torrefied Opinions

    There are several different treatments and result can be very different with each. The original Torrefied wood is process without access of oxygen either the wood is cooked in pressure chamber in steam (wet process) or is baked in inert atmosphere (nitrogen?) this is to prevent wood burning into charcoal with the high temps. Most torrefied wood for musical instruments are just kilned at higher temperatures without the inert atmosphere - you can see in the Taylor YT vid that they just use standard oven to bake the tops.
    I know of one award winning violin maker who cooks his wood and came with his own wet process after doing lots of samples and measuring before/after properties of wood. He's got quite a succes with his violins lately and the cooking can be part of that.
    I made my own torrefied wood at home (without access to oxygen) and built two virtually identical mandolins except the torrefied top on one (all wood from the same tree). I'm just finishing them but in the white they both sounded same to me so for me the only real verifiable benefit of baked wood is increased stability (and somewhat darker color - though not visible under sunburst).
    Adrian

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    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Torrefied Opinions

    Wow. Thanks, everyone. I love how things in the works if acoustic instruments are so fluid. Speaking of which, my mandolin delivery time and day just got upgraded to two days earlier, which means today! :-)

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    Default Re: Torrefied Opinions

    that's great news...I get up early every day, around 4:30am this past Saturday when my Pava was to be delivered, it arrived at 4:15pm...the old blues line "minutes seemed like hours and hours seemed like days" really hit home

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    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Torrefied Opinions

    Did you wait 24 hours to open it?

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    Default Re: Torrefied Opinions

    want me to tell the truth...

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    Registered User William Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: Torrefied Opinions

    It makes sense to me that the dryer the wood or cured is the answer! But all builders I know of have and use aged wood to start with! I've yet to play anything with a Torrefied top or back etc...Is that the same as all this VTS abbreviations say for new Martins I've seen? Its very interesting what Adrian pointed out with the building of two identical mandolins, one with and one without sounding the same but the test will be how they age and open up-"yeah I know some of youse don't believe in that but I sure do"

    I do know one thing, say your playing at a fest or outside and there has been raining or there is high humidity your wood/instrument will absorb that and they sound well like s***!

    Congrats on the new arrival boys! Yes waiting for a new/old instrument will bring on havoc of the mind! I've been waiting on one mandolin to get finished/repaired and modified for over 2 years, another mod/repair 1 year, and a 1919 Martin OO-18 "an attic find a year ago that was going to get thrown out!" for a year this November!

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    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Torrefied Opinions

    Haha! Yes and no. I’m definitely waiting, almost as a form of asceticism or something.

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    Default Re: Torrefied Opinions

    i can''t answer to it, but have just received a torrefied top in the mail for my next build. I see they also sell torr. neck wood. torr. block material, and personally, I can't imagine these components having anything to do with an instrument. The top, perhaps

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    Default Re: Torrefied Opinions

    I'm somewhat open mind on the subject. A few years ago, I picked up what I thought was a used, beat up J 45 guitar. It was wonderous. Turns out it was a 1939 J 35 that had not been put back in the locked glass case. I thought it was the best sounding guitar I'd ever played, but I couldn't afford it.mover the next year I played every Gibson I could get my hands on and none came close untill I played the new torrefied J 45 vintage. Woah, it was close.All the new regular J45s were too pretty sounding. Not dry enough.

    So like everything else, torrefied wood might be what you are looking for or might not, but it surely is a difference you can hear. The torrefied Collings mandolins I've played were a different flavor of good.
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    Registered User Russ Jordan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Torrefied Opinions

    A torrified top MT2 lived at my house for a while a few months ago. I have played lots of MT2s, and this one would be my least favorite of them all. The e strings had a shrillness that didn't suit my ears. But an open mind exists here too--I would like to play some others.
    Russ Jordan

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    Registered User Kevin Briggs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Torrefied Opinions

    Thanks, everyone. I appreciate each comment and all of the feedback, whether good, bad, or indifferent. I suppose like all things mandolin, acoustic instruments, and possibly life, I'm ultimately left to come to my own conclusion about it, which will be happening by tomorrow morning.

    Giddy!

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