“Traditionally, luthiers have crafted the whole body of a guitar to vibrate optimally, like a violin. This means that some of the plucked string energy is lost from the vibrating soundboard to the back and sides. The ‘new’ Australian guitar method builds strong and stiff back and sides and a very thin top/soundboard. In this way, the string energy is translated into sound, which carries into the audience rather than much of it being depleted into the player’s body. Many ‘new generation’ makers use carbon fibre to reinforce the soundboard for minimal weight and maximum efficiency.”
Luthier Graham Caldersmith has been making violins, cellos and guitars for over 35 years, using materials as diverse as Australian tonewoods and carbon fibre. In an interview for Materiality: PRECIOUS, he discusses how he learned his craft, what materials he likes to work with and why, and what separates a good instrument from a lesser one. Read more in the hard copy ($15) or the digital download ($4.99).