Hemp guitar

The Austrian Mada brand have introduced a range of cool looking hemp bodied guitars, a product of several years of research and development. Their hollow bodies are a hemp fiber and cellulose composite and their maple necks are bolted on to a mahogany sustain block in the body. There is a choice of colours but no other custom options.

Germany started producing industrial hemp in the 1990s and it is mainly used in composite panels for the car industry. I suspect that these Austrian guitar bodies are made using techniques and skills derived from the automotive industry. The advantages of hemp are that it is much cheaper than traditional guitar woods, and so should result in more economical guitars (but these guitars are selling for €2,850!). Here is a quote from the manufacturers:

 "Why hemp? The permanent transition from impact sound into airborne sound is essential to the sound. Thats how resonances are formed. This makes Hempstone® the perfect 3 dimensional molding material for music instruments. The material consists of 100 % hemp fibres and contains no plastics, which would close these resonance-gaps."

That sounds a bit like pseudo-science to me, what are exactly are resonance gaps? I woud like to see a comparison between the properties of Hempstone® and MDF, since their composition sounds similar. MDF has a history of use in guitar making (e.g Ibanez Talman), but it is usually rebranded as something else (Ibanez liked to call it Resoncast!).

Is the hemp guitar a marketing gimmick designed to appeal to the eco-friendly, or to hippies or a step forward in guitar making? You will have to try one to find out. If you are interested why not go for a matching hemp guitar strap at the same time.

Link: Mada guitars

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