ToneRite Play-In Accelerator – Strings By Mail

ToneRite Play-In Accelerator

Acoustic stringed instruments, traditionally made from a variety of wood, go through an aging process that can have a dramatic effect on the sound of the instrument over time. In addition to this natural aging process, acoustic stringed instruments are also physically and sonically affected from the amount that they are played (or not played).


ToneRite – Strings By Mail

This “breaking-in” period eventually leads to better tone and louder projection from the instrument, but it does take time for it to happen naturally. In the past, to help speed up this “breaking-in” process on stringed instruments, some musicians would place their instruments in front of their stereo speakers for extended periods of time. The sound emitted from the speakers would then resonate the wood fibers of the instrument, and essentially season the instrument to the desired flavor and musical style coming from the speakers.

Today, there are other ways and technologies that musicians can use to speed up and precisely “break-in” their acoustic stringed instruments. The ToneRite play-in enhancer is an electronic device that can help you to “break-in” your steel or nylon string acoustic instrument more quickly and more precisely. The ToneRite’s electronics give the user control over the intensity and harmonic content of the energy and vibrations transferred to the instrument. These vibrations mimic the same physics that occur naturally from playing the instrument, and resonates the instrument as a whole. The overall result is added volume of the instrument and a fuller and more balanced sound.

The ToneRite play-in accelerator is a great way to bring a brand new acoustic instrument to life, or to help revive an instrument that hasn’t been played in a while. Many musicians with multiple acoustic stringed instruments in their collection find that they do not play all of them enough to keep them in optimum sounding condition. These musicians utilize their ToneRites on the instruments that are not receiving enough attention, so that they will maintain that “broken-in” sound, as if they were being played regularly for long periods of time.

A recommended initial treatment of (72 – 144) hours with the ToneRite is the first step in bringing out the sonic potential of your stringed instrument. After the initial treatment, subsequent treatments are needed to help maintain that played-in sound.


Q & A with John Wunsch

(Retired Director of Guitar Studies – Interlochen Center for the Arts and Owner of Strings By Mail):


Q:  What instruments have you applied the ToneRite technology to?

A:  I tried this on a Milburn spruce top classical guitar and we also used it on a Mondrad classical  guitar.


Q:  What was the age of instruments?

A:  The Milburn was brand new and the Monad was over a year old, but had not been getting played much for some time.


Q:  How long was the initial treatment?

A:  I used a 72 hour initial treatment.


Q:  What kind of Results did you get?

A:  With the brand new Milburn I felt the guitar was going to open up well eventually but it was extremely tight at that time. I felt it was going to take a few weeks of intense use to find out what the guitar was going to offer. So I wanted to see if I could find out more quickly and put it to the test on the Tonerite. The result after one 72 hour treatment was excellent. The guitar had already opened up considerably; it had become louder and showed a greater range of color.

In the case of the Monrad I was also impressed with the result. After 72 hours it had come back to the level it was at when last being played considerably.


Q:  Do you do follow up treatments to keep the sound quality at its fullest potential?

A:  I have not had the chance to do follow up because each of these guitars went to other players right away.

6 thoughts on “ToneRite Play-In Accelerator – Strings By Mail

  1. How large is the ToneRite product? It’s hard to tell from the picture if it is thin enough for use on the guitar while it is in the case, and is it battery operated or does it have a power cord?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Floyd. Thanks for your question!
      The ToneRite’s dimensions are 3.5″ x 2″ x 1.5″. The 1.5″ is the height the ToneRite would stick out above your guitar’s strings, so it most likely wound not fit inside of your case with the lid closed. And the ToneRite is AC powered only with a 110V power supply (no batteries).

  2. This is a great leap forward from the days of trying to be sure each instrument in the collection is given a good playing every few days. It does work!

  3. Another point that is relevant here it that breaking in a guitar usually results in more even volume across the instrument, which means a player’s touch can be more even to get good dynamics in playing lines. So in effect we play better when an instrument is broken in and kept loose, another goo reason to us the tone rite.

  4. Can this Tonerite be used on a 4 string Banjo? there is a wood pot that the head is on, a wooden resonator, and of course a wooden neck. Just wondering if it would be a noticeable improvement for a banjo.

    1. Hello Frank. Unfortunately this is not available anymore. You can still use the old technique of putting your instrument in front of a good pair of speakers on high volume for hours while playing your favorite banjo music – the instrument will absorb it’s sympathetic resonance and good tone. Old trick, but it works!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please fill in the number below: *