In short, ToneRite simulates the effects of playing a stringed instrument to help mature the sound of the instrument. It’s actually pretty ingenious how it works. It essentially just sends continuous vibrations to the top of the guitar. You can adjust the rate of vibrations as desired.
I used the ToneRite device on my two acoustic guitars. One is a Takamine GS430S acoustic guitar with a solid cedar top, and the other is an Alhambra 7P classical guitar with a solid spruce top.
ToneRite recommends using the device for at least 24 straight hours for the initial application. For my tests, I did this for both guitars and then used the device intermittently for several weeks.
After letting the device work its magic on the Takamine, I played it to see how the sound differed from before. There was a subtle, but noticeable difference in tone. The guitar sounded a little warmer and a bit fuller than before. As this was the first guitar I tried, I didn’t know what to expect. I was pleased with the change, but, truth be told, I don’t think ToneRite’s market is the sub-$300 guitar market. The ToneRite device itself costs 50% of the total price of the guitar, and there just wasn’t enough of a difference to warrant paying for a device like this. I suspect that the quality of wood and bracing affects how much the ToneRite device alters the sound.
The results on my classical guitar were more in line with my expectations. The results were much more noticeable. The spruce top really opened up after letting the ToneRite device work for a few days. The sound was much warmer and fuller than before. Additionally, and I don’t know if this is imagined or real, but the top seemed to respond a little differently to plucking. I’m not even sure how to describe it, it just felt different. I’ve never owned an acoustic instrument that’s had time to age, so I can’t compare directly, but the ToneRite device definitely made a difference.
In my opinion, ToneRite is probably best suited for higher-end guitars and for guitarists who want to get the most out of their guitars in the shortest time. To that end, ToneRite is a solid device that breaks in newer guitars in a much shorter time than through playing. In my experience, the ToneRite device made for a warmer- and fuller-sounding guitar.