Innovating from tradition to produce high-end musical instruments
Traditionally, string instruments are manufactured using wood. However, this material can cause serious issues due to its intrinsic characteristics. That is why we use composite materials to limit these problems and to improve the capability of the instruments.
So, why is wood problematic when making musical instruments? Wood is a material that is affected by environmental changes in humidity and temperature which makes it unstable and irregular. The physical features can vary from piece to piece, even when from the same tree. All these characteristics impact on the musical instrument, as I explain below.
DISADVANTAGES OF WOOD IN MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
- Wooden guitars go out of tune very easily due to how humidity and temperature affects them. They often need continuous tuning, which distracts the performer and breaks up the performance.
- Wood expands and contracts with changes in humidity and temperature, producing cracks and breakages. These are then difficult to repair (if even possible) and affects the sound quality of the instrument once repaired.
- An acclimatization period of 24/48 hours is needed after travelling by plane between places with different climate conditions.
- Wood is fragile. To produce a sensitive guitar, the top plate and back must be very thin (less than 2mm in the case of the top plate), which makes them very prone to impact breakage and cracks.
- A traditional guitar has limited acoustic performance due to the intrinsic limitations of wood as a raw material.
- Significant differences exist in sound quality between units of the same model due to the uniqueness of each piece of wood and the complexity of the tuning required for each part of the guitar during the construction process.
- Muscular injuries caused to musicians’ hands and arms by the great effort required when pressing the strings against the fingerboard to play a note, due to the tolerances (distance between the body and the strings) applied to balance the expansion and contraction of wood affected by humidity and temperature.
With all these limitations in mind, we offer the ideal solution by using composite materials. These materials provide high rigidity and low mass for a greater acoustic performance than that provided by wooden instruments. They also make it possible to produce lighter radiating surfaces that require less energy to be excited and consume less energy by damping or internal friction of the material itself. We, therefore, have a greater amount of energy that we can transform into higher volume, tonal richness, dynamics and projection, allowing us to model the sound as desired and make acoustic instruments with higher performance. In summary, the advantages of composite materials are:
- Higher volume and sound projection
- Longer sustain
- Greater comfort and playability
- Tuning stability
- High durability, resistant to breakage and waterproof
All these advantages make our instruments a better option to musicians looking for a high-quality, innovative instrument that is designed with their needs in mind. To discover more about the technology we use to create the musical instruments of the future, view our video.