Does an acoustic guitar’s tone really change over time? If so, what properties of wood alter with age and affect an instrument’s sound and responsiveness?
Do acoustic guitars really “open up” with age and playing? It’s a phenomenon that every repair and guitar-building luthier I know believes in. All the top professional guitarists I’ve talked to about it also agree. But there is a vocal band of forum posters who steadfastly refuse to accept that guitars change and become more responsive to a player’s touch over the course of days, weeks, months, years, and decades.
The argument usually stalemates at the “no scientific proof” fork in the road. True, there is little or no published scientific proof that guitars change tonally with age. The noting of the phenomenon is mostly anecdotal and (as is often pointed out) long-term memory of tone is also poorly understood.