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Commercial Graphite Acoustic Guitars

Commercial Graphite Acoustic Guitars

by John A. Decker, Jr.

Originally published in American Lutherie #31, 1992 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie, Volume Three, 2004

Why would anyone want to build an acoustic guitar of graphite? The primary reason is that wooden acoustic guitars (particularly good ones) are fragile. They are especially prone to cracking, warping, and joint separation due to heat, humidity, and water. Graphite/epoxy technology — properly employed, which isn’t easy — can maintain the sound quality of a wooden guitar while completely removing its susceptibility to heat and moisture.

During the past seven years Kuau Technology has been working with luthiers at the firm of Pimentel & Sons, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the development of acoustic guitar technology employing fiber-reinforced resins, particularly graphite/epoxy. Our approach has been to duplicate as closely as possible, panel by panel, the acoustic properties of fine wooden classical guitars, rather than attempt to reinvent the guitar de nova. This work has resulted in the development of the RainSong® Graphite Acoustic Guitars,* which we believe to be the first commercially available all-graphite acoustic guitars.

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