An aluminum guitar exhibits a very full-frequency tone with piano-esque low end, a detailed midrange, and a complex treble brilliance that lends it a chorus-like three-dimensionality. In many ways, an all-aluminum instrument is much more resonant than a traditional wooden one. This affects the feel in interesting ways, as well as the tone, because aluminum doesn’t soak up string vibrations the way a plank of wood might. Instead it takes your picking input and spits it back at you with an immediacy that no wooden instrument can achieve. Because of this, an aluminum guitar can feel startlingly alive and responsive, especially to a player accustomed to the traditional dead plank of alder or ash.
The CTE of 6061 aluminum (coefficient of thermal expansion) is 13.1 micro inches per inch, per degree. This equates to .000013" of movement per inch in a 1 degree temperature change. A typical human hair is .003" of an inch, more than 300 times larger than the CTE of aluminum!
Due to the structural properties of 6061 aluminum (which airplanes are made of) the frequency of tuning is much less then a wood neck. Wood is highly effected by humidity which will move it forward or backward causing the instrument to go out of tune. Humidity has little to no effect on aluminum. The days of snapping your headstock off or cracking your neck are in the past!
Machined from 6061 billet aluminum there is no need for a truss rod due to the structural stability of 6061 aluminum.
Neck relief refers to a small amount of concave bow intentionally created in the neck of a guitar or bass by adjusting the truss rod. Adding relief (increasing the amount of bow) to the neck, increases the space between the strings and the frets, allowing them to vibrate freely without buzzing.
Our necks are milled straight within .0005" and then the frets are machined on the CNC machine to the perfect radius and crown. This allows setting the action as low as possible with zero fret buzz.
Contrary to popular belief, aluminum necks and guitars are 100% grounded due to the conductive properties of aluminum. This plays a large role in the powerful sound output and clarity of an aluminum guitar.
Aluminium is an infinitely recyclable material, and it takes up to 95 percent less energy to recycle it than to produce primary aluminum, which also limits emissions, including greenhouse gases. Today, about 75 percent of all aluminum produced in history, nearly a billion tons, is still in use.
The recycling of aluminium generally produces significant cost savings over the production of new aluminium, even when the cost of collection, separation and recycling are taken into account.
Luthiers have experimented with aluminum for over a century now, likely starting with The Aluminum Musical Instrument Company in the mid 1890’s, a manufacturer of aluminum-bodied mandolins, lutes, banjos, and guitars. Other builders followed, with the more well-known pioneers of this tiny sub-industry including Travis Bean, Kramer, and Veleno. While never quite catching on in the mainstream until lately, aluminum instruments are growing in popularity with a
fanatical following among builders and players convinced of the metal’s superior sonic and structural properties. Besides being the most plentiful metal in the Earth’s crust, and the third most plentiful chemical element after oxygen and silicon, aluminum is light, highly corrosion and warp resistant, and possesses a rich, unique musical resonance. As guitar players, we love to debate about tone woods, but “tone metals” like aluminum don’t get nearly enough attention.