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The carbon fiber guitars from AVA indicate new instrument-making technology and define an era of new voices. The formal wooden look of the guitar has not changed in the past few decades, thanks to its elegance, quality, feel, and sound. However, is it time for us to go beyond the legacy of wood guitars and draw a difference in how they should look today?
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In This Article:
- Constant Search for Alternative Materials With Soul and Sound
- AVA and Decades of Carbon Fiber Guitar Development
- The Build Process Requires Calculation for Maximum Resonance
- More Modern Design With a Sense of Familiarity
- Impressive Acoustic Volume Even When Played Unplugged
AVA Carbon Fiber Guitars Go Beyond Conventional Construction for Impressive Acoustics
Constant Search for Alternative Materials With Soul and Sound
Wood has always been the traditional material in the hearts and minds of guitarists. This material is strong enough to hold up structurally while having the properties that a luthier needs. From Maple wood for excellent tonal qualities and good sustain to Mahogany for a warm timbre with a richness in the bottom end, each type of wood can make a significant difference in how the guitar may sound. The wood type and how it is treated will determine how the instrument performs in the hands of the artists.
Looking back on history, the guitar world probably still remembers the all-plastic guitar by Mario Maccaferri, first introduced in the 1950s, or the aluminum-necked design by Travis Bean in the 1970s. This disruption in guitar history means that not all guitars are made from wood. The guitar world has constantly been looking for alternatives. Each material is unique, and two are rarely the same, even if they bear a resemblance. Therefore, a true musician can tell the differences when the instrument comes alive in their hands.
AVA and Decades of Carbon Fiber Guitar Development
Of course, it is undeniable that making guitars from wood is always the preferred choice of any luthier. However, some guitar makers like AVA Guitars choose to go in a different direction, attempting to show that guitars can be built differently. Founded in 2011 in Portugal with the aim of creating modern yet elegant instruments, AVA decided that carbon fiber construction was the best option, and the results back up their decision. Despite the long history of wood use, they find carbon fiber to be a potential substitute.
The products made by AVA are the outcome of over a decade of putting their energy and effort into new material to recapture the correct behavior, sound, and feel of authentic guitars. The all-carbon Coal Skin, for example, represents the powerful personality of those who are brave enough to explore the soul and sound of carbon fiber. These instruments beautifully demonstrate the company’s efforts to transform a rough and hard-to-work-with material into clean, modern-looking yet elegant guitars.
The Build Process Requires Calculation for Maximum Resonance
Carbon fiber is mainly similar to wood as both are composed of fibers. As a result, a similar approach to optimizing the composite material is used to imitate the behavior of wood. The optimization comes mainly from the placement and layering of these fibers around the guitar elements, such as the body, neck, soundboard, and headstock. AVA claims that they used computer-aided simulation to help them with measurements and ensure that the desired behavior and resonance of wood are recaptured in a non-wood guitar.
More Modern Design With a Sense of Familiarity
With some aesthetic elements present across the guitar, the designs by AVA are inclined to be something of modernism, which is by far different from what conservative guitarists will ever imagine. The body is much thinner than an ordinary electric guitar. The neck heel forms a sharp arch, allowing easier handling. The neck and body are also made as an integral unit. The guitar’s overall structure and durability are that of excellence. Most importantly, being made out of carbon fiber means the guitar is extremely lightweight.
The exemplary all-carbon design of the Coal Skin indicates that the maker intends to leave the fibers visible, as it contrasts dramatically with the gold and metal black elements found on the bridge and headstock. On the one hand, these AVA guitars might benefit the more modernist guitarists with a great variety of stylish and creative parts. On the other hand, the traditional bridge, tuner, and heel designs might also help the more conservative players get a sense of familiarity with the instrument even during their first contact with it.
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Impressive Acoustic Volume Even When Played Unplugged
When it comes to any musical instrument, a guitar in particular, how it sounds and performs should be an essential criterion to tell if it is a good one. Many players may presume that electric guitars made from alternative modern materials will sound cold and hollow. Nonetheless, those who had the chance to experience AVA carbon fiber guitars say otherwise. These carbon fiber electric guitars demonstrate good acoustic volume and impressive sustain even when played unplugged.
Specifically, their sonic foundation is from the upper-midrange forward, with impressive richness at the heart of the tone that is only expected from a traditional wood guitar. Carbon fiber seems like a great idea for both top end and lower mid frequencies, with the top end being impressively clear and crisp while sustaining the low mids. The company says that musicians must continually test the products to reach this perfection of acoustics in a non-wood guitar. Their feedback has a significant impact on even the most minor details.
The AVA guitars are an excellent option for guitarists looking to go beyond the conventional construction to find new voices. Given the rich heritage of wood in guitar building that makes it the most popular choice for many guitarists, will carbon fiber electric guitar hold back the river to become mainstream?
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