Cool Materials: A New Trend In High-End Guitars?

Is this a sign of things to come?   09-Aug-13


Just to confirm that this extends beyond the realms of titanium and stainless steel, also consider Olaf Diegel, a professor of mechatronics in New Zealand, who owns Odd Guitars - a company dedicated to building 3D printed guitars.

Read our interview with Olaf by clicking here

In his case, technology has advanced and allowed him to enter the guitar industry building these weird and wonderful guitars, but in the case of Bad Seed, the building process is all about hand-crafting an instrument to perfection using tools that have been around for decades.

Odd guitars by Olaf Diegel:

Odd Guitars

But it would be naive to assume that the proliferation in these instruments is due to some impending doom of wooden-bodied guitars, it is more likely down to the ease of online sales and online presence in the modern market.

A fancy website, a decent video, and some good word of (web) mouth will get you a long way without having to try and convince music stores to stock your instruments and travel long distances to meet potential investors and distributors.

But if the doomsayers are true, and if high-end electric guitars made from expensive tonewoods will be rare in a few decades time, then perhaps these builders are wise to get in on the act of alternative materials before the bigger companies get wise.

Many guitarists aren't convinced by the doomsayers, and there is currently little evidence to suggest that classic guitar designs and material compositions will be rarity in years to come, but an argument could be made that golden age of guitar production has been and gone, and that we've had our peak when it comes to the best tonewoods.

It will probably be increasingly more expensive and more difficult to get access to certain woods in years to come, and that will inevitably open a window for manufacturers and luthiers adept at building high-end guitars from alternative materials.


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