Carbon Fiber in String Instruments
Carbon fiber is increasingly used in the manufacturing of stringed instruments. Instruments made from carbon fiber composite offer many benefits: durability, dramatically reduced weight, and total resistance to changes in temperature or moisture. An instrument will remain in tune and be ready for performance no matter the place. A professional musician can now choose from several high-quality carbon fiber stringed instruments.
Why Use Carbon Fiber in String Instruments?
These instruments are lighter weight, making them easier to carry around and play for extended periods. They can better withstand various environments, whether that is an indoor concert hall or an outdoor concert in the heat and humidity or the cold and damp. The material is also more durable than other materials, so it will not scratch or dent as easily as wood. The low cost of an instrument with layers of carbon fiber is also a benefit. For example, Haensel's high-end wooden instruments can cost up to $20,000, whereas Mezzo-Forte’s winning carbon-fiber instrument costs the equivalent of $2,660.
The Sound Quality Debate
Wood is deeply rooted in the history of music-making, so what people usually think of when they consider a fine musical instrument is one made of wood. Despite the advantages presented by carbon fiber composites, there is sometimes resistance to using these instruments in a market where people value traditional instruments which are often rare, old, wooden ones.
However, carbon fiber instruments offer excellent sound quality, as the carbon fiber does not negatively color the tone of the instrument, and allows the natural sound of the instrument to shine through.
A carbon fiber cello or violin can produce a surprisingly warm sound. They are generally designed using the same shapes, fingerboards, bridges, sound posts, and wooden counterparts. By using traditional construction methods and varying the materials used for the instrument box alone, manufacturers can create musical instruments with a tone that rivals even the most costly wooden models.
Are Carbon fiber string instruments good enough for professional use?
Carbon fiber stringed instruments were first professionally used in the early 2000s when Yo-Yo Ma and Alexander Mishnaevski advocated their use. A professional musician or other string players can now find high-quality string instruments such as a carbon fiber violin, viola, or cello with exquisite craftmanship at vendors such as Prima Sonoro, Luis & Clark, or Mezzo-Forte. Guitar bracing and soundboards can also be found made with this material.
While traditionally wooden stringed instruments ruled the world of string instruments, today the popularity of instruments made with carbon fiber material is undeniable. The many benefits of the material, along with the amazing sounds they produce, make them an increasingly popular choice among today's musicians regardless of whether they are casual players or professionals.
To learn more about carbon fiber and how it is used in the modern world check out DragonPlate.