Yamaha Design “Synapses” Silent Guitar series


Red Dot Award

Superb sound damping and excellent playability.


The design of the Silent Guitar expresses the fundamental performance and nature of a guitar in a simple silhouette. A step beyond the functional concept of Silent instruments, this is an instrument that stimulates the senses, offering the feel of a guitar as well as the reverberation felt as the sound passes through the instrument to the player’s body.


The design of the Silent Guitar was influenced by the distinctive way that some guitarists cradle the guitar to their chests when they play; something that inspired us to pay careful attention to the shape of the instrument and the materials used in areas that come in contact with the player’s body. The design also allows one side of the instrument frame to be removed for better portability, making this a guitar that players can interact with anywhere, any time.


The unique appearance of the Silent Guitar blossomed from a notion to do away with everything except those materials and structures that relate to the sound quality and playability of the guitar. This design remains faithful to the Silent series’ unifying concept of eliminating an instrument’s resonating body. In this case, only the "horn" of the cutaway has been left, an iconic representation of its identity as a guitar. (The instrument shown here is a 10th anniversary model)


Since its release in 2001, the innovation of the Silent Guitar design has been almost universally acknowledged, earning a unique position for itself in the guitar world.

Kazuhito Nakajima
Kazuhito Nakajima
Yamaha Design Laboratory

Why guitarists love the Silent Guitar

Since the release of the nylon-stringed SLG100N in 2001, the Silent Guitar lineup has expanded to include steel-stringed and nylon-stringed classical models, and garnered a solid reputation in the guitar world.
Initially, the only concept that the design team had decided on was that of eliminating the body of the instrument to dampen the sound. We came up with a variety of ideas that we used to create mockups for evaluation. And, since our pictures and blueprints offered no clues as to the instrument would feel when held or played, we built models and looked at such aspects as exactly which part of the guitar touched the body, and where players applied force, all the while working on our design. There were some suggestions to make the frame-one area where a guitarist applies force-out of aluminum, which is lightweight and strong. However, after testing the prototype with a number of people, we settled on the warmth of a wood frame.
The Silent Guitar celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2011, and I think that the fact that the series has continued without any significant change to its shape or specifications is testament to our decision to put the perceptions of guitarists in the forefront of our minds as we crafted these instruments.

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