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Luthite


Bluesape

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A few years back, Ibanez was touting this new composite they called luthite in the bodies of certain guitars and basses, claiming it possessed tonal richness and sustain. Dunno how it's made - could be baked in a Jello mold for all I know. Anybody got any first hand insights with luthite instruments?
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"- could be baked in a Jello mold for all I know..."

 

It's really the same stuff that fruit cakes are made of.... but they had trouble with the glazed cherries. Messed with the sustain. :)

 

(Sorry... never heard of it.)

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Well... Luthite is some kinda man-made, non-wood, substance, but it has a lot of "wood-like" properties.... and it's supposed to have very resonant qualities.

 

I dunno about all that crap, but a buddy of mine had one of the Ergodyne basses, and it smells funny--kinda like gasoline.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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It might be similar to HDF (High Density Fiberboard). I remember a Monsanto ad for something like that a few years ago. Instead of using wood fibers in the resin they used man-made carbon fibers. It was supposed to be ridiculously strong stuff. But it was really heavy.

 

I think the big problem with it was that it was really hard stuff that required tungsten carbide bits to cut and it dulled the heck out of 'em pretty quickly.

 

IIRC, you could buy the stuff pre-molded into various shapes to reduce milling costs. JBL made a few speaker cabinets out of that stuff for a while (back in 98 or 99), I think. But quit making them because of the smell.

 

Might be the same stuff. You could get it in any color you wanted as long as it was black. (to paraphrase Henry Ford about the Model T).

 

Being an engineer, Ellwood might have heard about it. I read about it because I used to build home stereo speaker cabinets as a side business. I was always looking for new and better (read more rigid) materials.

Born on the Bayou

 

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There have been all kinds of attempts to use alternative raw materials instead of wood. This is for several reasons including consistancy, ease of construction, increased sustain. Other than man made composites, most of them have been bad. Really bad. As in cheap crap. Not all, but most.

 

And yes, every time one of these materials is touted by a company you'd think they discovered a material that builds itself into Stradavari like instruments. Even when the companies know the materials are cheap junk.

 

Gibson had Sonex guitars in the 1970's. Basically a combination of wood pulp and resin, IIRC. They are almost universally considered to be the worst of the worst Gibson has ever made, though for reasons unknown to me there are a few, online testimonials claiming they're incredible. My guess is these people never had a Special in their hands, let alone a Standard or Custom. ;)

 

I like composites for some guitars. Rainsong and another acoustic builder have wonderful guitars that are virtually immune to the effects of their environment, Parker has done wonderful things by making great tone woods rigid (and, by extension, a lighter body) using a backplate of composite material and the original Steinberger instruments, while not my favorite sounding instruments, are pretty cool for what they excel at. The basses are very good, too.

 

As for Luthite, I never heard of it, but I gather it was another attempt to create a Sonex-like material from bits or pulp of wood and resins.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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Wow! Talk about nothing available!

 

Ibanez still seems to make Ergodyne basses and guitars from Luthite, but the most anyone says about it is that it's "a resonant, man made material".

 

I think the term is, "BS". I'm not asking them to give up some trade secret, but that they don't even say what kind of man-made material it is leads me to believe it is just another light bunch of pulp and resin. Advanced composites are not inexpensive, yet they claim Luthite is much less expensive than wood. Something here stinks.

 

Makes you want to find an already abused, luthite instrument and bust it in half to see what it looks like inside. ;):D

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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Originally posted by fantasticsound:

"Parker has done wonderful things by making great tone woods rigid (and, by extension, a lighter body) using a backplate of composite material..."

I thought that Parker's gig was using an "exoskeleton"-like finish over the entire instrument, that added rigidity to otherwise too flexibile tonewoods for the necks, as well as the bodies.

 

Now, Brian Moore & Co. makes instruments that feature tonewoods on top (bodies, maybe fretboards too, dunno for sure, maybe phenolic or similar synthetic 'boards) and a unibody-like back and neck structure made of a one-piece synthetic composite material...

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

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Well, a manufacturer can make all the composite material they want, but there is one thing that wood gives: beauty. I always marvel at how beautiful the grain is on my guitars. I realize I spend more than I should on a guitar to get the wood look I care for, but it is well worth it.

I've looked at some composite material guitars and they are being made out there. Google custom guitars and you will find them. I just don't care for them looks wise. They may sound great, I wouldn't argue that point. I just want mine made from quality wood. (or at least a good part of it).

bbach

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

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Caevan you are right about Parker's design. there is a "skin" that is pulled over the guitar like a sock and then processed to fit like a glove, creating a rigid "finish" that adds strength to the softer tone woods used. there was quite an in depth article in Guitar Shop years ago.
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Originally posted by Guitarzan:

Caevan you are right about Parker's design. there is a "skin" that is pulled over the guitar like a sock and then processed to fit like a glove, creating a rigid "finish" that adds strength to the softer tone woods used. there was quite an in depth article in Guitar Shop years ago.

Not exactly. Layers of composite are added to the back of the body only. Otherwise you wouldn't see the beautiful wood from the front. ;)

 

from the Parker Guitar website:

 

Carbon-glass veneer is only about half as thick as the wood veneer used by lute makers. On the Fly models, a continuous skin of this composite material covers the entire back of the body as well as the neck, an arrangement which has a strong effect on tone
And Erik.. Sorry. I forgot someone with taste likes their Sonex guitar. :freak: Please don't sick the Amazon roadette on me. ;)

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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Originally posted by fantasticsound:

Originally posted by Guitarzan:

Caevan you are right about Parker's design. there is a "skin" that is pulled over the guitar like a sock and then processed to fit like a glove, creating a rigid "finish" that adds strength to the softer tone woods used. there was quite an in depth article in Guitar Shop years ago.

Not exactly. Layers of composite are added to the back of the body only. Otherwise you wouldn't see the beautiful wood from the front. ;)

 

from the Parker Guitar website:

 

Carbon-glass veneer is only about half as thick as the wood veneer used by lute makers. On the Fly models, a continuous skin of this composite material covers the entire back of the body as well as the neck, an arrangement which has a strong effect on tone
And Erik.. Sorry. I forgot someone with taste likes their Sonex guitar. :freak: Please don't sick the Amazon roadette on me. ;)
My apologies for seemingly contradicting you, Neil! Hmn, thanks for the more in-depth info on the Parkers. I had thought that their proprietary exoskeleton-finish was (or could be) clear.

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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That's ok.. I forgot you became "Dances With Werewolves" in October! :D

 

I've been fascinated with Parker Guitars for about a decade. In 1992 I suffered a bad muscular strain in my back. I was literally unable to move for several days. Even with muscle relaxers and pain meds I could barely rock my prone body without pain. I stayed in bed a full week before I could get up. After that, any back pain sent red flags up because the cause of that back injury was not painful. I think I know what I did, but at the time it didn't stop me from moving around normally. So when I first picked up a Parker Fly, I was in heaven. I'd been playing my Peavey T-60, a Lotus Strat copy and my pointy guitar, a homebrew instrument put together from a NOS Kramer body and electronics. Only the T-60 was particularly heavy, but all my instruments made me think twice about changing directions too quickly. I had the worst GAS imaginable for a Parker for that reason and the fact it incorporated the piezo p'up.

 

I still want one, but my GAS slowed because I wasn't crazy about the DiMarzio p'ups and was leary of changing p'ups in such an expensive instrument. Now they have some with SD p'ups and some with single coil p'ups, so who knows... Maybe I will[/i win 200 million dollars in Powerball tonight! :rolleyes::freak::D

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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Hey, Neil, at the risk of highjamajackrailing this thread, just what was it about those Parker-born Dimarzios that you didn't like? I mean, other than their being humbuckers, was it just that they were Dimarzios, or had you played a few Parkers and come up dissatisfied with those pickups?

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Originally posted by fantasticsound:

In 1992 I suffered a bad muscular strain in my back. I was literally unable to move for several days. Even with muscle relaxers and pain meds I could barely rock my prone body without pain. I stayed in bed a full week before I could get up. After that, any back pain sent red flags up because the cause of that back injury was not painful. I think I know what I did, but at the time it didn't stop me from moving around normally. So when I first picked up a Parker Fly, I was in heaven.

Neil, Neil, Neil....you SHOULD know by now....

 

Of course, there's NO composite "lumber" in this guitar....4.5 lbs.....

 

http://www.electrocoustic.com/eBay/112%20fr%20full.jpg

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Dave, don't think I'm not kicking myself for being poor and in GAS for that prototype we spoke of in emails. :(

 

Caevan, I wasn't able to get sounds out of the DiMarzios I liked. I did want some decent single coil sounds, but even the humbucker sounds I was looking for weren't there. I thought it was just me, but the sound seems to be why many people pass on Parker guitars and certainly why, IME, former Parker owners sold their instruments.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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Originally posted by fantasticsound:

Originally posted by Guitarzan:

my memory has failed me Neil. i am old and have lost it. respect your elders sonny, why i oughta! :D

:D What are you.. 10 years older than me? You older than Tedster? ;)
i am 45. is that older?

i only act 12. :D

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