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Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Metaphor For Modern Life

A machine makes a guitar that can't be played.





12 comments:

julie said...

Why can it not be played? It's kind of purty, in a coldly robotic sort of way. Might look better with a patina of finger marks rubbed over it to give it a little warmth...

John Lien said...

Yeah, I'm wondering myself. If the electrics were properly insulated from, um, everything it looks like it should work. I guess you can't.

julie said...

Oh, right - electric guitar. Yeah, I guess you'd have to be playing in a rubber suit if you wanted to plug it in and actually hear it.

Details...

misterarthur said...

I can't tell if the pickups are cnc copies of pickups or the real thing. Anyway, maybe you could use it for a Guitar Hero controller.

Casey Klahn said...

Maybe they can get an elephant to make one with his trunk. No, wait. That's how you make paintings.

Go on about your business.

Johnny Glendale said...

If the guitar can't be played, does that mean that the all-metal helmet at the end isn't DOT approved? Wait a minute, is this some kind of artsy-thing? You're just supposed to look at it, right?

Johnny Glendale said...

Maybe they should make some air you can't breathe and some water you can't drink. Wait, I live in LA - BTDT.

Chris Byrne said...

No, that should be entirely playable. Aluminum guitars have been done many times.

The pickups aren't electrically connected to the body at all; on either a wooden guitar or a metal one.

Those are real pickups, and it appears to be strung and switched properly.

Sixty Grit said...

Daishin Seki makes nice 5-axis CNC machines. They are not luthiers, Lex or any other kind.

I have been running my own CNC for 12 years - it allows a great deal of productivity and creativity in wood working. My brother, who is a luthier, uses his to make guitars that can be played. He avoids the absurdity of using his machine to produce tuning knobs, however. It is overkill to use a 5-axis CNC to produce a knob.

As always, it's all about choosing the right tool for the task at hand.

Sam L. said...

One wonders, how much did it cost to make this guitar?

SippicanCottage said...

Hi all- Thanks for reading and commenting.

The notes along with the video said it was not playable. They appear to have made it just to demonstrate their skill in intricate shapes. As Chris points out, there is no reason a metal guitar cannot be amplified. A dobro is a fairly common (at least partially) metal guitar, for instance. A guitar is not "electrified" so to speak. The strings vibrate in a field produced by magnets and coils (the pickups mentioned by arthur, etc.) and the signal is then sent an amplifier through a cable to be amplified.

Most guitars have no active electronics in them at all. They make a hell of a path to ground sometimes, though. I've been zapped too many times to count in my career when my lips brushed a bad mike.

julie said...

Thanks for the clarification. I didn't think an electric guitar was usually electrified, but then I don't play 'em and I certainly don't make 'em, so what do I know? Otherwise, it looks like it ought to be playable. But again, what do I know? It's been fun watching the discussion unfold, though. Thanks, Sipp.