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Unread 01-14-2008, 02:52 AM   #1
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Bamboo guitar

Harmony Central®:Yamaha Announces World's First All-Bamboo Guitar



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February 6, 2000 -- Yamaha announces the world’s first all-Bamboo guitar. The top, back, sides, neck and braces of this attractive guitar are all crafted from easily replenishable Bamboo, resulting in a totally new sound that is remarkably bright and clear.

The FGB1 guitar will be introduced at Winter NAMM 2000 and has been in full-scale production since January. When Yamaha offered a preview of the new instrument at the Healdsburg Guitar Festival in California in August, the world’s top luthiers couldn’t keep their hands off it.

Bamboo has been used for centuries to make traditional Asian musical instruments. Generations have enjoyed its warm, crisp, resonant sound quality, while artisans have prized it for its stability and durability. It’s also very beautiful. Bamboo’s straight grain gives it powerful acoustic properties, and its warp resistance makes it a very stable building material. In addition, the fast-growing Bamboo plant has the ecological advantage of being easily reclaimable.

"I’m really excited by this guitar," said David Bergstrom, director of marketing, Combo Group. "Its sound is like nothing you’ve ever heard, and it makes a striking visual statement. We’ve developed a brand-new production method to make this guitar a reality, and I’m proud that Yamaha, a leader in traditional guitar making, is also leading the way in this new category." Yamaha has applied for patents for the exclusive process.

The guitar made its debut at the prestigious Healdsburg Guitar Festival, sponsored by Luthiers Mercantile International and Acoustic Guitar Magazine, in California’s wine country in August. Experts were taken aback by the prototype’s loud, resonant sound, its balanced tone with excellent sustain, and its rigid neck.

Rick David, Director of the Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans, saw the guitar at Healdsburg and said later, "This is totally different from what anyone else is trying to do. Yamaha obviously approached it in a very professional way, and they’ve created some great stuff."

The Yamaha process for this guitar uses three- to five-year-old Bamboo plants about 6 inches in diameter. The wood is sawn into strips, bonded longitudinally, and laminated in three layers, with the inner layer at 90 degrees to the outer ones for rigidity. This laminate is then crafted using traditional guitar making techniques. The only non-Bamboo parts of the finished guitar are the Rosewood fingerboard and the Mahogany bridge.
For more information, visit Yamaha's web site at Welcome To The World Of Yamaha!.
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Unread 01-14-2008, 03:33 AM   #2
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Interesting!

Never know till ya try it, I guess. At least it's highly sustainable.

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Unread 01-14-2008, 03:37 AM   #3
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I think it would be great as reinforcement on necks.
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Unread 01-14-2008, 06:13 AM   #4
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I think that it sounds very orientalish

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Unread 01-14-2008, 07:15 AM   #5
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interesting
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Unread 01-14-2008, 07:58 AM   #6
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Nice.

What's the price?
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Unread 01-14-2008, 08:14 AM   #7
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This is why I like Yamaha, they're always using different kinds of wood. Oak drums anyone?

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Unread 01-14-2008, 08:55 AM   #8
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I'm really surprised Yamaha decided to try out a material like bamboo on an acoustic guitar first. it would seem to make more sense to try it on a solidbody where guitarists may be a little less conservative.

But the fact that that guitar was released in 2000 and it's now 2008 and there's been little or no progress in this area is a good indication that this guitar was too far ahead of its time. I think the only production instruments using bamboo are Chapman Sticks. I'd love to try building a bamboo guitar if i could find a good source of laminated bamboo lumber.
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Unread 01-14-2008, 09:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darren View Post
I'd love to try building a bamboo guitar if i could find a good source of laminated bamboo lumber.
It's been rattling around in my head for a while too. The idea is to use plys running "the long way" for the neck and "the short way" for the body, potentially with a "log way" cap, if the cross-cut grain doesn't look good as a top.

Do a search for "Plyboo", there might be a distributor up your way. IIRC, the folks that make the brand "Plyboo" also make cutting boards, which would be good if you wanted the grain of the body to be perpendicular to the neck (i.e. "the short way"), and "dimensional lumber" (standard American 1x2, 1x4, etc.) without the plys criss-crossing (ala plywood), which would be good for the neck.

As cool as this is, I think that the glue used to bond the plys would have a much bigger effect on the overall tone than the glue used when making a typical guitar.

Ray

The Ultimate Question: What string gauge is needed for 18.84# of tension when tuned to E2 on a 27" scale guitar?
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Unread 01-14-2008, 09:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darren View Post
I'm really surprised Yamaha decided to try out a material like bamboo on an acoustic guitar first. it would seem to make more sense to try it on a solidbody where guitarists may be a little less conservative.

But the fact that that guitar was released in 2000 and it's now 2008 and there's been little or no progress in this area is a good indication that this guitar was too far ahead of its time. I think the only production instruments using bamboo are Chapman Sticks. I'd love to try building a bamboo guitar if i could find a good source of laminated bamboo lumber.
Fear not, I have what you need.

Versatile Bamboo Flooring | Panels | Veneer | Teragren®

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Here is a page from their website that shows the material I used. I bought 1 pc -1' x 6' x 3/4" thick

Teragren® Bamboo Panels

A the bottom of the page under "Dimensions" -Vertical Grain 1'W X 6'L X 3/4" thick. This is enough material for 6-8 necks! They carry another panel called "flat panel however it was 5/8 thick which I thought might be too thin. It might work however I wanted to have too much material rather than too little.biggrin.gif

The vertical panel is 3/4" thick, so for neck depth it was perfect (for me) and dead straight and flat (to boot)!

One note: teragren is the manufacturer. email them for the supplier (re-seller) in your area.

The brass I bought from a local metal fabricator shop and they cut it to the exact dimensions I required!- this saved me alot of work!


Hope this helps

Glenn
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Unread 01-14-2008, 10:03 AM   #11
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Cool. I'll have to look into a couple of those suppliers. I have some samples from PlyBoo, but they seem to be more focused on flooring. Those Teragren panels look perfect. Thanks, Jonathan!
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