At Yamaha, the process of making great guitars begins long before the raw materials are delivered to the factory. Selection and procurement of woods and other materials are critical steps, but the Yamaha difference goes even further. The resources and facilities that Yamaha applies to basic research and development alone are more extensive than many guitar makers apply to actual production. And that level of involvement stretches back for decades, giving the company a stockpile of experience and know-how that makes it possible to deliver innovative features and refinements that make a real difference to guitarists. Traditional craftsmanship is still the mainstay of our guitar manufacturing, but innovative research and material optimization drives that craft forward.
Ensuring that the woods used to build a great guitar deliver optimum performance requires special handling and crafting techniques that verge on the mystical, but as a global guitar maker, it’s essential for Yamaha to understand why the materials respond and perform how they do in order to deliver consistently high quality in every instrument. Yamaha’s extensive and vigorous materials R&D program not only provides the data needed to make the most of the woods available, but also makes it possible to modify and control their characteristics in ways that make them even more suitable for use in musical instruments, all to build better guitars.
Yamaha’s knowledge of wood drying comes from decades of experience in preparing woods for pianos, drums, bowed string instruments, woodwind instruments, marimbas, and more.After more than 50 years of leadership in the field, Yamaha continues to research and document drying methods, applying refinements as they become available to ensure consistently superior stability and performance in every instrument produced.
In Yamaha terminology, drying and seasoning are related but distinct processes that have different goals. Drying is initially employed to reduce the moisture content of the wood to a predetermined level, and seasoning then stabilizes the wood so that it maintains its dimensional and tonal characteristics through varying ambient conditions. Yamaha dries and seasons all of our own wood to ensure the best possible start for the instruments we build.
Most of the finishes used on Yamaha guitars are formulated in-house. Off-the-shelf products don’t make the grade because, in addition to looking good and providing durable protection under a wide range of conditions, guitar finishes have to complement the instrument’s sound. Yamaha’s research centre develops the finish itself along with the application methods so every single guitar looks and sounds just right.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
ACOUSTIC GUITAR ANATOMY
ELECTRIC GUITAR ANATOMY
MAINTENANCE: CHANGING YOUR STRINGS