One of the interesting characteristics of a well-made solid wood psaltery is that its sound improves over time if it is cared for properly. Musicians often talk about the need to give the instrument time to develop its sound. Indeed, the wood used for psaltery is initially less flexible, it is not used to “opening up” under the influence of vibrating strings. However, as it is played, the wood becomes more relaxed and supple (we can compare it with a new pair of jeans, which becomes softer sometime later).
The natural aging process also promotes improvement of the sound by changing the cellular structure of the wood as it naturally crystallizes sugar. This reduces resistance to movement and, as a result, the played or aged psaltery becomes more responsive to string touches and has better resonance.
For this reason, it is not entirely correct to compare older and new instruments, even if they are made of the same wood.
However, a well-made psaltery retains its value over time, even increases its value by acquiring new qualities!