Do vintage guitars really sound better with age? Or is this perception affected by selection bias?

Asked by: Megan Johnson

Why do vintage guitars sound better?

The Quick Answer. Older guitars often sound better than newer ones as they dry out over time which causes them to become harder leading to a more resonant tone with better sustain. The increase in age affects the tone more in acoustic guitars than electric ones.

Do guitars really sound better with age?

So why do acoustic guitars really sound better with age? Acoustic guitars sound better with age as the wood experiences change at a cellular level which stabilizes the guitar and makes it less susceptible to atmospheric fluctuation.

Do instruments sound better with age?

In the case of acoustics, age improves sound as the wood becomes drier. As for as electric guitars, age has little to do with it. A well made new instrument can sound just as good, provided it is made with quality tone woods.
Mar 2, 2015

Are vintage acoustics better?

A: The short answer is that the best vintage guitars sound pretty dang amazing. On closer inspection, though, the picture can be more complicated. Vintage guitars simply have their own sound. It’s the real deal if you play roots-influenced music.
Jun 28, 2019

Do guitars get louder with age?

Along with changes in string break angle at the saddle, high action due to neck warping, and a thinning finish there may be merit in aged guitars sounding louder.
Sep 28, 2021

How long until a guitar is considered vintage?

In general terms, any instrument older than 30 years is considered vintage. However, the consensus among players is that the vintage status should be granted only to guitars built before 1980. The “antique” tag is reserved for instruments older than 100 years, which for now only applies to acoustic guitars.

Do solid top guitars sound better?

A solid-top improves tone and volume, so even if the rest of the guitar is laminate, having a solid top is pretty cool and a sign of a nicer instrument that is usually at least one step up from the cheaper acoustics.
Jun 30, 2018

Do guitars get lighter with age?

The upshot is that timber gradually becomes lighter, stiffer and quicker to respond – all of which is good for tone. Under normal circumstances, this process would take decades in a chunky electric guitar body and it may be inhibited by the finish.
Aug 26, 2019

Why Cheap guitars are better?

Expensive guitars are made with higher quality parts, better construction, and more skilled craftsmanship. Cheap guitars are mass produced in factories, typically with unskilled labor and lower quality control standards, and will have cheaper components that may inhibit the playability or the sound.

Do expensive acoustic guitars sound better?

The answer is yes, expensive guitars will most likely always be of better quality than cheaper guitars. The detail in which the guitars are made, the type of materials used and how well the adjustments are made is what increases the quality of a guitar, therefore the price.

Do Cedar top guitars sound better with age?

Cedar tends to get even better sounding with age, as do many woods. Spruce on the other hand, is lighter in color, and a true hardwood.
Jun 30, 2018

How often should you change guitar?

Most players should plan on changing strings about once every 3 months or 100 hours of practice—whichever comes first.
Deciding When to Change Strings.

How often? Hours Used Suitable For
Monthly ≤ 100 Serious players
Three Months ≤ 100 Most learners
Six Months ≤ 200 Amateur players

How long do guitars last?

The roughest estimation would be around 10 years for a cheap acoustic\classical guitar. On the other hand, even cheap electric guitars will be able to last a lot longer, 20-30 years. Of course, if we talk about expensive models, both acoustic and electric guitars will be able to last you for a lifetime.

Should you replace all guitar strings at once?

Some guitarists recommend you change strings one at a time so that the tension exerted on the neck doesn’t fluctuate too much, while others say to change all the strings at once. The necks on today’s guitars are able to withstand a lot of pressure, much more than the absence of all the guitar strings might cause.
Aug 27, 2019

How long do D’Addario strings last?

They last just as long as any string. Metal wire when under tension fatigues after 1-2 weeks, So no matter what brand you use, You will have to change strings every 1-2 weeks.
Mar 9, 2010

Do Elixir strings really last longer?

Elixir Strings last a really, really long time – but not forever! Typically it’s time to change when the plain steel strings (high E and B) show signs of excessive wear. String life differs from player to player. With Elixir Strings players report their tone lasts longer than any other string, uncoated or coated.

How long does an unopened pack of guitar strings last?

If you are looking for a general guideline, most strings can last up to two years if they are stored in a cool, dry place. However, this is not always the case. Some materials, like nickel-plated strings, can last a bit longer than that.
Feb 27, 2022