See Inside Scientific American Volume 307, Issue 4

The Physics of a “Just Right” Guitar

A 68-millimeter-thick instrument produces the best-quality sound


Kazutaka Itako, an electrical engineer at the Kanagawa Institute of Technology in Japan, has played the guitar since he was six years old. Satoshi Itako, who has a master's degree in electrical engineering, works as a guitar fabricator. Together the brothers have been investigating the optimal shape for guitars.

Experts have settled many questions relating to the best shape for violins, but far less research has been done on guitars. The Itakos' preliminary work, presented in May at the Acoustics 2012 conference in Hong Kong, looks at one variable: guitar depth. They crafted four nearly identical instruments, ranging from 58 to 98 millimeters deep.

This is only a preview. Get the rest of this article now!

Select an option below:

Customer Sign In

*You must have purchased this issue or have a qualifying subscription to access this content

It has been identified that the institution you are trying to access this article from has institutional site license access to Scientific American on
Click here to access this article in its entirety through site license access.

Rights & Permissions
Share this Article:


You must sign in or register as a member to submit a comment.
Scientific American Holiday Sale

Scientific American Mind Digital

Get 6 bi-monthly digital issues
+ 1yr of archive access for just $9.99

Hurry this offer ends soon! >


Email this Article


Next Article