Carbon fibre guitar

This guitar has a carbon fibre bowled back and sides which is a very strong complete unit. As such there is no need for bracing on the back and the sides provide great stability for the soundboard.

The soundboard is Sitka Spruce with a traditional X bracing pattern. This supports the aluminium and Wenge bridge with bone saddle.

The neck is a five piece laminate consisting of Walnut, Wenge and Maple which joins the body at a staggered 12/14 fret position. This is finished with a Wenge fretboard and Ebony head veneer.

Traditionally, guitars were made with the neck joining the body in line with the 12th fret. However, to combat falling sales during the 1930’s the Martin Guitar company introduced a 14th fret arrangement to give better access to the higher frets in an attempt to lure banjo players to the guitar. This was very successful and became the norm for the steel strung acoustic guitar.

Moving the neck in this way altered the guitar in many ways. Firstly, the longer neck would be more flexible which needed to be considered in the design and build. Also, the position of the bridge would be moved nearer to the top of the body and away from the widest part of the soundboard. This is considered by some to be detrimental to the tone and many people prefer a 12th fret construction for this reason.

However, one thing that seems to get overlooked is the position of the picking hand. As the strings are picked closer to the middle of the string (the 12th fret) the tone becomes warmer and has more of a reverberating quality. The 14 fret design moves the strings and bridge further up the body which effectively moves the picking hand further away from the middle of the string which in turn, makes the tone more harsh.

For this guitar, I wanted to try a more traditional 12 fret body but with a 14 fret access.


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