The Tone Traveler: An Engineer’s Take

Sponsored by Tone Traveler:

By Robert Mizek: Mechanical Engineer and Esteemed Luthier

The Tone Traveler made an impressive difference in my 2021 Martin SC-13e guitar. It sounds richer and more balanced after treatment.  The measurements I took are expressed in a before/after graph that shows how the harmonics tightened up after only 24hrs of treatment at 70% volume.

I’ve been building and repairing guitars for over 40 years while working full time as a mechanical engineer specializing in sound and vibration control for consumer products.

I recently borrowed a Tone Traveler to test if it could help an acoustic guitar achieve better tone. The device uses a tone generator that attaches to the bridge of an instrument.

I chose my Martin SC-13e for the test. It’s a great guitar that I’ve had little time to play since I bought it last year. The guitar has a Fishman pickup system that makes digital sampling easy. I used Spectrum View Plus by Oxford Wave Research to record my data and a proprietary string striking machine was used to repeatably control the depth and the angle that the pick struck the string. The pick was moved at approximately 3 inches per second.

Each string was struck, and recorded until the tone was no longer within the audible range. The peak dB for each of the first 14 harmonics was measured and recorded into the analytical spreadsheet. The actual audible decibel reading was also recorded and a correction factor was entered into the spreadsheet to correlate the audible analog and digital decibel readings.  Finally the measurements for each of the fourteen harmonics were averaged and plotted on a line graph.

The guitar was tested before treatment and the results entered into the spreadsheet.  The guitar was then Tone Traveled for 24 continuous hours and then re-measured using the same software and setup.


Qualitatively speaking, the tone of the guitar sounded fuller and richer then before treatment.  Quantitatively, a comparison of the before and after data reveals a distinct change.

After treatment, the strings produced tighter harmonics and more balanced tone. Impressive to say the least!”

Robert Mizek: Mechanical Engineer and Esteemed Luthier

To learn more about the Tone Traveler, visit

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  1. Reviews of the Tone Traveler always show results at the end of a session. I have never seen any attempt to confirm that these results are lasting, and that picking the guitar up a week later would show the same improvement. I’m concerned that this may represent a “warming up” rather than a “breaking in”. Also, we are talking hundreds of dollars for a product that tends to be used for several days. Why is there not a rental service offering these?