The shape of acoustic musical instruments, their structure, the materials used, and other elements of their design have a major effect on their tone. For this reason, Yamaha evolves its instruments by using measuring and simulation technologies to study how the various parts of instruments vibrate and how the final sound is made.
For acoustic product development, we make constant efforts to define and quantify the correlation between design specifications and vibration, and between the physical properties of an object and its sonic characteristics.
Although they look simple, acoustic guitars are complicated structures, and their acoustic design requires the designer to take a wide range of factors into account. To support the experience of guitar designers and builders, we work to organize and define the relationship between the design elements of guitars and their acoustic characteristics. We apply measurement techniques and numerical analysis to the know-how of experienced designers and luthiers to provide a visual representation of acoustic and vibration characteristics, and identify what changes to certain design elements would produce specific tonal characteristics.
Yamaha possesses cutting-edge acoustic property analysis technology, and utilizes this equipment to perform in-depth analysis of the acoustic characteristics of guitars in order to obtain data that is used in product development.
Yamaha has developed proprietary simulation techniques for use in designing guitars. These techniques allow us to use a computer to control and design the sound of a guitar virtually, before the first chisel touches any wood.
This simulation technology enables us to understand the physical phenomena behind a guitar’s tone, and clearly identify the particular physical characteristics of a great guitar. These characteristics are then applied to real-world prototypes, with listening tests used to determine the final designs. These computer simulation techniques are much more efficient than trial and error when trying to pinpoint a certain tonal characteristic, but there’s no substitute for great ears when it comes to the final decision of what sounds good.
In the development of the current L, FG800, A, CSF, and FG red label series of guitars, we used a combination of simulation and measurements, together with many listening tests, to determine the sound, and therefore the construction, of each guitar.