Sorry if this is the wrong place to post this.

Why is metal not used in acoustic guitar bodies? Is there any reason it couldn't? Of course there are resonators, but I mean being used as a top, side, or back.
because they would probably sound like shit, weigh loads and not be as loud
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Antisocial Behaviour Order. A chav's equivalent of GCSEs.
What makes an acoustic guitar sound loud is the amount of movement in its body (mainly the top), in order for a piece of metal to move due to string vibrations would have to be extremely thin and thus easily breakable.
resonator guitars exist , I've got my eyes on a carbon fiber acoustic myself but I agree with t00deepblue it's tradition.

question is what is cheaper. I mean with metal you could put it into a mold. No curing time, nothing.. just wait for the glue to dry in places so I'm sure thinking not of the materials but how quickly in and out the guitars can go from the factory they would be cheaper... for a laugh imagine a see through acrylic (lucite) acoustic guitar how ugly it would be. How bad it would sound (or so people tell me) and the weight difference.

That and in regards to marketing and personal opinion change terrifies people. Hartley Peavey will agree with me there. After all the interviews he did with the tone king I'd totally hang out with Hartley.

this resonator my neighbor has, fender made it so we have reassurance we'll be winners when we pick it up and strum our smoking hot licks we googled moments before
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Jun 26, 2015,
An acoustic guitar is passive, so the energy from the strings is the only energy that is input to the instrument. The amplification that an acoustic guitar gives, that we hear as louder, is not because more energy has been added (in contrast to an electric guitar). An acoustic instrument is actually a mechanical transformer, causing an impedance transformation from the vibrating string (easily moves through the air resistance) to the vibrating body material (lightweight and of a suitable stiffness and surface area, so that the air resistance to its motion better matches the string energy fed into the body material and it therefore couples this energy more efficiently to the air so it propagates with a higher sound pressure level). The key for the guitar body material is that it is lightweight and stiff enough to take these vibrations from the string at the bridge and propagate them along its surface so that the surface moves the air that is in contact with it. That way the guitar body sounds louder with the same energy that the string has.

If metal were used, its stiffness and density would not have the properties of wood (stiffened matrix of wood fibres and air chambers that will resonate at the string's range of frequencies and be strong enough that the string tension does not break it). Metal is more flexible for its weight, can be "springy" rather than stiff, and (unless a metal sponge material were used) is much more homogeneous - has no chambers for acoustic resonance - than wood does. That makes it a far less efficient transformer for coupling these frequencies with the air. Note also that carbon fibre can be used instead of wood for acoustic guitars because it can be made with similar properties. Metal simply does not have these same types of properties to be used to implement the passive "impedance transformer" function of a guitar body.

Of course, the "tone" from the wood in a guitar comes from the frequency response characteristics of the wood and the stiffening braces as a combined structure, with its natural frequencies (peaks and valleys in the spectrum).
Last edited by Blademaster2 at Jun 26, 2015,
Lousy weight-to-stiffness ratio would be a short answer. The string only supplies a small amount of energy to the top, and wouldn't create much movement to generate sound waves in a massive piece of metal. A lot of acoustic luthery is about reducing weght(mass):stifness.

Resonator cones are very thin, which is why they work, but they are also very fragile..
And the issue nobody has touched on:

Because it's heavy. Resonator guitars that are all aluminum are somewhere around 10-12 pounds in my experience. They're really heavy.
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Quote by Anonden
You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
Quote by oneblackened
And the issue nobody has touched on:

Because it's heavy. Resonator guitars that are all aluminum are somewhere around 10-12 pounds in my experience. They're really heavy.

At least a couple mentioned it, including the first response...just sayin'.