Guitar crystal ball

Telekarster

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It's an interesting thought but then I think of all the products made of wood right now like lumber, cabinets, tables, picture frames, doors, etc. the list is probably endless. In the construction of a single, stick built, standard home technically speaking I'll bet 100's of guitars could be made from its timbers in comparison. I think that these areas would probably wain first before we'd see wood cast aside in guitar building, IMO.
 

FuncleManson

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Did they not catch on because of the material they're made from.....or because they're REALLY UGLY?
No reason a more traditional-looking guitar couldn't be made of that stuff, is there? Unless the thing is too heavy, I'd at least give it a try. ;)

Haha. Fair enough. Their look may have played a part as well. Actually, they made many different models. The reason I wanted this version was the ebanol fretboard. Most of their models had wood fretboards, but I wanted to go all in on a guitar with no wood whatsoever. It's the only one though. All of my other guitars are wood. :)

Didn't Ken Parker already try to go down that path?
Parkers are made from wood. Most of them just have a carbon fiber exoskeleton.
 

warrent

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Fiberglass, Acrylic, Aluminum even the hybrid sonex guitars from Gibson have all been done before and never been successful. Wood is cheap, plentiful and renewable and not reliant on fossil fuels. It's easy to machine, and doesn't have any of the problems inherit in materials like aluminum or acrylic.
Wooden guitars will be with us for a long time.
 

johnny k

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With the current trends of thick poly coatings and desire for lighter guitars, how many years until all electric guitars are built from plastics or fiberglass?

Seriously, with the pressures towards protecting wood species, the costs of building, etc., could you see a builder start to get rid of using wood altogether? We already have richlite finger boards and who would even know what was beneath some of those thick factory coatings used today, so why not just go with a new material?

Let's face it, the species of wood used in an electric guitar really has very little effect on the sound of the guitar. It is 99% magnetic so as long as the electronics sound good, you would be good to go. We have all seen people building guitars out of plexiglass or even a cement block and they still sounded good with quality pick ups and amplifier, so why not plastics or fiberglass?

Personally, that would be the end of the hobby for me as I would not follow that path, but I can honestly see the younger generations willingly choosing that direction.

What do you think? Is that day coming in the next 10-20 years, because I think it very well might be.
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Made out of jawbreakers candy.
 

Killing Floor

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Ovation has made guitars out of material specifically designed for helicopter rotors for half century.
I think “all” is a very long time from now but many is reasonable within 20 years or so. Bottom line… ask any physicist or material engineer. There are Many materials that can conduct vibrations like a guitar, wood is among the least practical because it’s the least predictable. But it’s the most commonly used. The short answer to OP is when wood is too expensive or too scarce we’ll change fully. It has nothing at all to do with wood sounding better.
 

nojazzhere

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I stand corrected. I'd have sworn I heard they were 100% carbon fiber when they first came out. The one I actually got my hands on was incredibly light.
I thought so as well, that's why I had to research. In fact, I thought the promotional stuff when they first came out said they were the composite material.
 

JL_LI

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A guitar has to have sufficient mass to stay in place and a low enough mass on the neck not to dive. I’d start with carbon fiber composite for the neck. It would work screwed or glued and wouldn’t need a truss rod, even with string gauge changes. I’d be tempted to try ceramic or metal matrix composite frets too. Carbon fiber composite would work for a solid body too but it may need to be weighted for playing stability.
 
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Ronzo

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A guitar had to have sufficient mass to stay in place and a low enough mass on the neck not to dive. I’d start with carbon fiber composite for the neck. It would work screwed or glued and wouldn’t need a truss rod, even with string gauge changes. I’d be tempted to try ceramic or metal matrix composite frets too. Carbon fiber composite would work for a solid body too but it may need to be weighted for playing stability.
What you’re suggesting has already been done in the bass world. Original Brooklyn and Newburgh Steinberger models were completely made of carbon fiber composite. Modulus necks of the same type of material are still sold.

Ned Steinberger targeted the bass market because bassists, as a market segment, were more open to untraditional designs. Examples might be Alembics - more Alembic basses have been seen than Alembic guitars. Guitarists seem to be very uncomfortable with untraditional design. Even Ken Parker had problems selling sufficient volume to justify the increased production costs of composite construction.

Look at a Parker Fly: composite around a very lightweight wood core; composite neck, with stainless steel frets attached by adhesive; a somewhat “traditional“ shape; very light weight; traditional electronics and playability. Nevertheless, it was 1. Expensive, and 2. Sufficiently different in construction that few “guitar techs” were willing to work on them.

Until and unless composite construction can be made to be cost-effective vs. wood-based construction using CNC tools and accuracy, I don’t believe composite construction will be seen in the mass guitar market.

I - especially my aching back - would sure love to find a Parker Fly that suited me and that I could afford, though.
 

FuncleManson

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A guitar had to have sufficient mass to stay in place and a low enough mass on the neck not to dive. I’d start with carbon fiber composite for the neck. It would work screwed or glued and wouldn’t need a truss rod, even with string gauge changes. I’d be tempted to try ceramic or metal matrix composite frets too. Carbon fiber composite would work for a solid body too but it may need to be weighted for playing stability.

I saw an interview with Steve Morse where he talked about putting ceramic frets on his Frankencaster. He said they were hard enough they weren't going to wear out, but he didn't like them sonically.
 

Edgar Allan Presley

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My favorite violin bow is made of carbon fiber. It's great--sturdy, stable, light, sounds great. People are making really good violin-family instruments from carbon fiber. I'd like to get one someday.

Violinists are even more traditionalist than guitarists and carbon fiber is catching on. But wood violins and guitars will be around as long as violins and guitars are.
 

teletimetx

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Ok, dang, here I am again, not caring.🙄

However, it also occurred to me that there is quite a bit of nano-sized plastic particles showing up in our bloodstreams. At the point that these particles combine with other artery clogging lifestyle choices and the cardiac arrest rate spikes, the insurance lobbyists are going to want to legislate use of plastics.

Makes wood look ok; bamboo, too. Etc.
 

Lou Tencodpees

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These discussions always make me wonder just how many guitars are out there and where do the old ones go. Maybe with a few exceptions does anyone ever really throw out a guitar? I watch guys like MJT posting dozens of new bodies every week on Ebay, not even counting custom orders. Retailers, private sales, boutique builders. I mean, I know there's a glut of them here on these kinds of boards (and I'm no exception), but I wonder what the guitar population is in the world compared to human population. With the non-disposible nature of the instrument will we ever reach a saturation point?


😄
 




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