Hello friends, we are Giorgio and Angelo from Italy and we'd like to share with you the idea we developed during the last years.
Magnetically Suspended Soundboard
Playing the guitar we realised how much sound an instrument yields depends on the freedom of the top to vibrate:
The greater the vibration, the more powerful the sound.
Our solution can be applied on every acoustic string instrument.
Dramatically increasing the flexibility of the soundboard
We replaced the traditional inner sound bars (which make the top stronger, but limit the vibration) with a magnetic field able to counteract the pressure produced by the strings without limiting the flexibility of the top.
Although playing an important structural role, the sound bars also limit the flexibility of the soundboard.
Externally the guitar can keep the usual aesthetic appearance. For our prototypes we just chose to place the holes on the sides or in the upper section of the soundboard.
This solution isn’t traditional but it allows a wider vibrating surface.
Attaching the Strings
The same in arch-top guitars, bowed string instruments, mandolins, etc. the vibration of the strings comes to the board through a bridge, and the strings are fixed to the instrument by a separated tailpiece.
Inside the Guitar
In the inner side we created a cross-shape structure (but other shapes are possible) on which we placed the magnets: these ones are fixed on the structure through threaded rods which allows the vertical movement of them.
We don’t employ traditional sound bars, so the soundboard has only a few thin laths necessary to grant the robustness of the top without interference with the diffusion of the vibrations.
These little bars are placed under the bridge and in key positions along the sound board. They hold small magnets positioned in the areas where the strings create the highest pressure.
The same polarity of the magnets fixed on the cross-shape structure and those located under the sound-board generates a magnetic field which supports the top, counteracting the pressure produced by the strings over the bridge.
In this way the soundboard gains a higher ability to vibrate since the structure is not rigid and the magnetic field ensures elasticity to the table, which floats over it.
Intensity of the magnetic field and variable tone
The threaded rods can be adjusted through little holes in the back of the instrument to reduce or expand the distance between the magnets couples, (the ones on the rod and the ones under the soundboard.)
This changes the sound of the instrument to the trained ear.
When the magnets approaches each other the top rises, becoming more rigid and producing a drier sound; a greater distance reduces the rigidity of the table and allows to obtain a warmer tone.
The effects of variations in the position of the couples of magnets.
This changing in the timber requires a few minutes to be completed, since the wood is a living material.
Here's a quick test of our design.
We aren't luthiers, but we have created some prototypes from economical factory instruments. We think that our system is not only an interesting experiment also a new and revolutionary way to build classical and flamenco guitars.
What do you think of our design?
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