Have you ever picked up a guitar and thought, “Wow, this sounds amazing and so warm!” Older guitars especially will have that ‘worn in’ tone and feel. Kind of like your favorite pair of jeans that fit just right or putting your favorite album on the turntable. They feel like home. It can take years to achieve that feel on your guitar, but not when you buy a Teton. Our guitars go through a process called Rarification that takes the breaking in process to a new level. Picking up a Teton already feels like home because we did the aging process for you which I will explain below. 

Teton tops do not actually have any type of aging process applied to them. Instead, I like to call it a “breaking in” process or Rarification. Using Rarified wood makes the top sound like someone has been playing the guitar for at least six months. The initial tightness is gone and all the wood is ready to project outward.

What is the Rarified process you ask? Well, that’s super easy to explain. The guitar tops (backs too if they are solid) are placed in a giant vacuum-like tube. The temperatures are kept low. We are not baking the wood with this process. We still want the wood to be wood, not charcoal. 

There are lots of other benefits besides the “breaking in” of the wood. The vacuum also removes all kinds of impurities and sap from the wood. This can be dirt fibers or other tiny things that were found in the tree. Once the process is finished, there is a container that all of this stuff is collected in. To be totally honest, it looks like snot. A big jar of dirty snot, haha. So having that out of the wood is great news!

In addition, removing all of the dirt helps strengthen the wood and makes it more stable. It allows the wood to vibrate and resonate more naturally. Sometimes it makes the wood a slightly different shade than when it entered the vacuum chamber. Other times that is not the case. I am not sure why this happens when it does. All I know is that the pieces of wood that come out of the chamber are better pieces of wood to build guitars with.

So now when you see the word “Rarified”, you will know what it means. It is a process that puts the wood in better condition but still allows it to be wood and have all of its wonderful, natural properties. 

-Ben

Please send questions or comments to ben@tetonguitars.com