INSTRUCTION STRINGS ACCESSORIES MUSIC LINKS
 Visit Our Catalog at SteelGuitarShopper.com for Steel Guitars, Strings, Instruction, Music and Accessories 
Forum Index
where steel players meet online
The Steel Guitar Forum

Post new topic Why CFC?.....MSA explains.
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
Reply to topic
Author Topic:  Why CFC?.....MSA explains.
Reece Anderson


From:
Keller Texas USA, R.I.P.
Post Posted 15 Nov 2002 6:12 am     Reply with quote

I have been asked numerous times to explain what prompted MSA to make the decision to use a Carbon Fiber Composite (CFC) cabinet for the new Millennium.

Our first consideration was tone, and after extensive research we learned CFC has an amazing ability to consistently resonate and perpetuate sound. CFC also provides consistency of tone in all MSA guitars, a characteristic not existing with materials that have been traditionally used.

Another advantage of CFC is that it cancels undesirable overtones that negatively affect tone and intonation. Further CFC greatly enhances the positive overtones necessary for great tone, which includes sparkling highs, growling lows, and remarkable intonation across the entire length and breadth of the neck.

Because MSA has extensive experience with wood, we knew from our earliest beginning that our intentions to advance the steel guitar manufacturing to what we believe is another level, necessitated our consideration of materials other than wood. The inconsistency, lack of strength, and inherent instability makes wood incompatible with high precision tolerance machining procedures.

The following is MSA’s comparative analysis of CFC and wood, upon which the decision to proceed to manufacture cabinets with CFC was based.

EVALUATION

1. “EVERY PIECE OF WOOD IS DIFFERENT!
No two pieces of wood are identical. This inconsistency is the reason why the tone of a particular piece of wood cannot be determined until it is made into a guitar. This inconsistency equates to uncontrollable and unpredictable variances of tone.

Given a consistency in the manufacturing process, every CFC material body is just the same (a “carbon copy”) as every other body of the same size (all double tens are alike, all single twelves are alike)! In addition, by means of a process known only to MSA, we developed a procedure that provides MSA the added advantage of having the ability to consistently manipulate the tone should we so desire.

2. “THE DENSITY OF WOOD VARIES DRAMATICALLY”!
Density is determined by the type of wood, age, moisture content, grain and etc., all of which vary from piece to piece.

The density of CFC can be made the same for each piece!

3. “MOISTURE CONTENT OF WOOD VARIES”!
The moisture content is very important because as wood ages it begins to expand and dry which can result in cracking. Due to the aging process changes occur in the wood with unpredictable impacts on tone and structural integrity.

CFC does not recognize moisture. It could be submerged in ice water or hot water and there would be no resulting negative effect in composition or structural integrity, and no expansion or contraction.

4. “TEMPERATURE VARIATION AFFECTS TUNING ON A WOOD CABINET”!
Expansion and contraction due to even moderate temperature variations when applied to wood, often results in a guitar going either flat or sharp. The re-stabilization of tuning varies between different pieces of wood.

CFC does not recognize heat from approximately 170 degrees above, or about 60 below zero degrees Fahrenheit, thereby greatly enhancing tuning stability.

5. “STRENGTH OF WOOD VARIES”!
Not only does the strength of different pieces of wood vary, the lamination process commonly used in steel guitar body construction varies integrity and creates further inconsistency. The lamination process calls for the use of different pieces of wood and necessitates their being glued together, usually for the front and back apron, and at times a piece of wood is added to the top neck to create the elevated neck.

In some instances, the integrity of the cabinet may be compromised by the lamination process while contributing to a tonal inconsistency between one guitar and another. (even of the same brand)

Further, “cabinet drop”, which results in detuning when pedals and/or knee levers are being used, is commonly associated with wood cabinet weakness.

The strength of CFC has been proven and well documented. In addition, the cabinet is “one piece” of material, which further insures total integrity, consistency, maximum cabinet resonance and strength.

6. “WOOD DENTS AND CHIPS EASILY”!
Have you ever experienced the awful feeling that accompanies a scratch or dent on your guitar?

CFC is much more resistant to denting, chipping and scratching!

7. “WOOD CONTRIBUTES CONSIDERABLY TO THE WEIGHT COMMONLY ASSOCIATED WITH STEEL GUITAR”!

A CFC double neck cabinet weighs less than 4 pounds, and when the guitar is completed, the long standing weight issue is eliminated with an MSA Millennium!

8. “THE EXPANSION AND CONTRACTION OF WOOD”!
Expansion and contraction contributes to integrity issues not only with the wood cabinet, but the parts attached to the wood (e.g. screws constantly becoming loose). The tightness with which all parts are attached to the wood is also critical relative to tone.

As a wood cabinet expands and contracts the screws can become loose which encourages detuning, destabilization, and has the potential to vary the tone in direct proportion relative to the amount of pressure applied between the parts and the cabinet itself. As parts are added during assembly they have the ability to inhibit cabinet resonation, which adversely impacts tone quality as well as stability and consistency.

CFC neither expands nor contracts in the temperature range previously mentioned. This provides consistency throughout the entire cabinet and maintains a consistent tightness relationship between cabinet and parts. All integral parts tightness tolerance has been pre-determined by MSA, and a torque wrench is fully utilized during construction.

CONCENSUS

CFC has a beautiful and durable finish, and there is no doubt that a nicely finished piece of wood is also pleasing to see. However, when MSA considered the combined long term problems associated with, comparative lack of strength, moisture, aging, inconsistency, variances caused by temperature changes, and unpredictability in characteristics from one guitar to the next, any one of those things made the use of wood a less than optimal choice for MSA steel guitar cabinetry.

In addition, a CFC cabinet produces an unparalleled range of sounds from high to low with a conspicuous absence of negative overtones that might have otherwise interfered with the tone of the Millennium.

SUMMATION!

The attributes of Carbon Fiber Composite for consistent and high precision steel guitar cabinet construction are unequalled by any other material and avoid all of the negatives commonly associated with wood body construction.


View user's profile Send private message
Sidney Malone


From:
Buna, TX
Post Posted 15 Nov 2002 9:52 am     Reply with quote

Reece, Thanks for taking the time to explain this in such depth!! I know you & the team must have spent many days/months researching this approach. From what I have seen this may very well be the biggest single step forward in Steel Guitar history.

It makes me want to see/hear them even more!! That time is getting closer every day. Keep up the good work!!
View user's profile Send private message
Bobby Lee


From:
Cloverdale, California, USA
Post Posted 15 Nov 2002 12:24 pm     Reply with quote

Quote:
Another advantage of CFC is that it cancels undesirable overtones that negatively affect tone and intonation. Further CFC greatly enhances the positive overtones necessary for great tone, which includes sparkling highs, growling lows, and remarkable intonation across the entire length and breadth of the neck.
When I was a kid, I learned that a thermos will keep cold things cold and hot things hot. My first question on hearing about this was "How does it know?".

I have the same question now, about carbon fiber composite. How does it separate the "negative overtones" from the "positive overtones"? What is the difference?

Is this related to resonance? If so, what is the resonant frequency of the carbon fiber guitar body, and how does that compare with typical wooden bodies?

------------------
Bobby Lee - email: quasar@b0b.com - gigs - CDs
Sierra Session 12 (E9), Williams 400X (Emaj9, D6), Sierra Olympic 12 (F Diatonic), Sierra Laptop 8 (D13), Fender Stringmaster (E13, A6), Roland Handsonic
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Roger Osbourn


From:
Siloam Springs, Arkansas, USA
Post Posted 15 Nov 2002 1:16 pm     Reply with quote

Ha Sidney; I've toured the plant and visited the principals of this organization.Your quote was "this may be the biggest single step forward in steel guitar history" I agree with you and truly believe it will only be a matter of time before the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame comes knocking on Reeces door.Why don't we bombard them with nominations and speed up the process???Thats my opinion,express yours.Roger

[This message was edited by Roger Osbourn on 15 November 2002 at 01:20 PM.]

View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Dave Seddon


From:
Leicester, England.
Post Posted 15 Nov 2002 1:19 pm     Reply with quote

I don't understand the ins and outs of materials, but the first REAL STEEL I ever had was an MSA and what a fool I was to sell it. (By the way it now lives in Spain.)
I have just been offered another MSA and I wish I could buy it but Tony Blair keeps taking all my money. As for the Millenium, I would give my right arm for one of those, but of course then I wouldn't be able to play it. LONG LIVE the MSA and best wishes to you Reece. (I do like Sho-Buds aswell)
Cheers
Dave
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Sidney Malone


From:
Buna, TX
Post Posted 15 Nov 2002 2:38 pm     Reply with quote

Roger, I couldn't agree more that Reece should be in the HOF. I think he should have been in the HOF long before the Millenium was ever thought of!!

I edited this to respond to Rogers post and not get off the subject of this thread.

Keep up the good work Reece!!

[This message was edited by Sidney Malone on 15 November 2002 at 05:27 PM.]

View user's profile Send private message
Reece Anderson


From:
Keller Texas USA, R.I.P.
Post Posted 15 Nov 2002 4:00 pm     Reply with quote

Bobby L....Thanks for your questions. After discovering these properties by hearing them during and after the initial engineering and development stages of the Millennium and giving them considerable thought, I have concluded that the positive resonant frequencies are simply serendipitous phenomena.
View user's profile Send private message
David Farlow


From:
Nevada
Post Posted 15 Nov 2002 4:41 pm     Reply with quote

Reece, for a second there I thought I was reading a Bill Hankey post, "serendipitous" phenomena. Had to look that one up: serendipity is defined as "an apparent aptitude for making accidental fortunate discoveries". That aside, thanks for taking the time to post all this good information, love that new Millennium your producing.

------------------
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Gino Iorfida


From:
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Post Posted 15 Nov 2002 5:02 pm     Reply with quote

I know for a few years (say 20 or so , Guitar players, and more commonly, Bass players have been working with carbon fiber composites in their instruments. (Anyone remember the Steinberger basses and guitars?). One thing that bass players esp. have been complaining about with wood instruments are 'dead spots' along the neck, so when carbon fiber composite necks came along it tended to be the answwer for these guys. Granted some guys are not about the tone and feel, so a lot of the newer high end basses etc have carbon fiber rode installed in the neck along the truss rod... the result? less dead spots, a stronger neck, and a slightly lighter instrument.... So I can easily see why MSA considereed such a venture...
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post Posted 15 Nov 2002 5:28 pm     Reply with quote

Just a theory, but I would imagine the lower mass of CFC allows generation of more high-end overtones. These probably provide that "sparkle" that players that have heard the new MSA comment about.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Craig A Davidson


From:
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin USA
Post Posted 16 Nov 2002 7:04 am     Reply with quote

Reece, You need to use smaller words. Don't forget we are steel players here. I never got past sixth grade. Would have got to seventh but Dad was there.

------------------
1985 Emmons push-pull, Session 500, Nashville400, 65 re-issue Fender Twin, Fender Tele

View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Reece Anderson


From:
Keller Texas USA, R.I.P.
Post Posted 16 Nov 2002 7:43 am     Reply with quote

Craig D....Preshate chur commint bout mi commint. Yew hav my apologee. How bout thiz; "Sumtymes uh blind hog finz ann akurn".

[This message was edited by Reece Anderson on 16 November 2002 at 07:47 AM.]

View user's profile Send private message
Fred Shannon


From:
Rocking "S" Ranch, Comancheria, Texas, R.I.P.
Post Posted 16 Nov 2002 10:16 am     Reply with quote

Reece, I really don't know what it means, but I didn't have one bit of trouble reading your last comment.

------------------
The spirit be with you!
If it aint got a steel, it aint real
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Gene Jones


From:
Oklahoma City, OK USA, R.I.P.
Post Posted 16 Nov 2002 10:25 am     Reply with quote

.....[I have concluded that the positive resonant frequencies are simply serendipitous phenomena.].....

Reece...I get the shivers when you talk dirty like that!
www.genejones.com
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Rex Thomas


From:
Thompson's Station, TN
Post Posted 16 Nov 2002 10:36 am     Reply with quote

I LOVE IT!!
Hey, no more reservations about the Millennium's tone (for me, anyway) as I've been able to hear it PLENTY now.
Yep Reece, as far as I'm concerned it's a winner, homer, babe, it's nationwide, it's 8 lanes one way, or 6.; all of the above.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Al Marcus


From:
Cedar Springs,MI USA * R.I.P.
Post Posted 16 Nov 2002 11:04 am     Reply with quote

View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Jeff Evans


From:
The Frosty Cream and Bill Cox's Outfit
Post Posted 16 Nov 2002 2:50 pm     Reply with quote

Why "CFC?" Seems an unfortunate choice of acronyms. When I see it, I read "chlorofluorocarbon."

quote:
Generally, the bigger the molecule, the better it is at reflection.
CO2 isn't very big, but it makes up for it by far in that it's very
abundant. C(h)lorofl(uo)rocarbon is very big, but doesn't occur in
nature at all, so any CFC addition by man goes on top of all
else. We make (& release) a horrible amount of other big ones
---especially in plastics manufacture.


http://www.geocities.com/~gaiachurch/ghaus-sci.html

[This message was edited by Jeff Evans on 16 November 2002 at 03:07 PM.]

View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Mike Perlowin


From:
Los Angeles CA
Post Posted 16 Nov 2002 3:36 pm     Reply with quote

There is a company called RAINSONG that makes 6 string acoustic guitars out of a similar material (Possibly the exact same stuff. I don't know.)

I think these are possibly the best sounding acoustic guitars available today. If I were in the market for an acoustic, (which I'm not,) I'd pick one of these over a Martin or Taylor without a second thought.

View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Jack Anderson


From:
Scarborough, ME
Post Posted 16 Nov 2002 3:41 pm     Reply with quote

Reece, mine as well as many other hats are off to you and your team for pioneering the use of "CFC" in the making of pedal steels. Apart from its consistency and relative immunity from temperature and humidity changes, which might not pull too many players away from their Sho-Buds (or older MSAs), you have unarguably demonstrated the wonderful "sonic" qualities of CFC to the PSG world in a way everyone can understand -- we could talk some more about the elastic modulus vs. the low mass, but evidently the proof is in the playing and listening! And I loved your concession to serendipity; but I imagine you did considerable experimenting with core materials for their effect on sound "color," as well as for their relative advantages in the manufacturing process. I know you have a big propietary investment in all this, but could you share something about that with us?
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Jimmy Gibson


From:
Cornwall, England
Post Posted 17 Nov 2002 12:40 am     Reply with quote

My first steel was a MSA RED BARRON and if my memory serves me right that was made from something that looks similar to the new MSA and i all so remember it being a great little student guitar.


god bless JIMMY.
MSA CLASSIC P/V AMP.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Chip Fossa


From:
Monson, MA 01057, USA
Post Posted 17 Nov 2002 3:57 am     Reply with quote

Was CFC used years ago in the sport fishing industry to make fishing rods/poles?

I think they used the term "graphite compostion".
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Reece Anderson


From:
Keller Texas USA, R.I.P.
Post Posted 17 Nov 2002 8:50 am     Reply with quote

Jack A....Thank you for your compliments, comments and question.

In answer to your question......we made the necessary experimentation to conclude changing the core of our cabinets provided the advantage of tone manipulation should we so desire.

We further concluded the tightness to which parts are attached to the cabinet affects both tone and resonance. To achieve consistent tone and resonance we use predetermined torque wrench settings when attaching parts to the cabinet.

Had MSA used a wood cabinet, the torque settings would have been meaningless in that the tightness settings would have been compromised almost immediately. Expansion and contraction of wood constantly occurs as evidenced when one checks the screws in a wood cabinet, the result of which presents the possibility of constant change in tone and resonance.

Jimmy G….Thank you for playing an MSA in the past. The MSA “Red Baron” student model had a wood body covered by a plastic shell, thereby totally dissimilar to the new Millennium. I appreciate your positive comment about the guitar.


View user's profile Send private message
Mike Delaney


From:
Fort Madison, IA
Post Posted 17 Nov 2002 10:29 am     Reply with quote

I recently saw a program about this on TV. They had "fingerprinted" the overtone qualities of a Stradivarius violin (FYI: These will sell for $1,000,000 easily), and had reproduced an exact duplicate with a carbon fiber violin.

The violininsts who played it, although commenting that it felt unusual, were just floored by the tone.

The Stradivarius of Steels may be coming our way.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Steve Feldman


From:
Central MA USA
Post Posted 17 Nov 2002 2:21 pm     Reply with quote

I have no idea about the acoustic/resonant properties of carbon fiber, but the road bicycle that I've had for the last several years has a carbon fiber frame and fork. It has incredible ride and handling characteristics. Very smooth and responsive, and doesn't beat you up on a long haul like steel will. Many, if not most, of the pro bikes these days have a carbon composite fork.

I also have a high-end sea kayak paddle made of carbon fiber blades and shaft. This, on the other hand, provides a very lightweight paddle, but one that is a good bit more brittle and stiff than a comparable fiberglass paddle.

Carbon fiber is cool stuff. Be interesting to play one of the new MSAs.

[This message was edited by Steve Feldman on 17 November 2002 at 02:23 PM.]

View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Eric West


From:
Portland, Oregon, USA, R.I.P.
Post Posted 17 Nov 2002 3:44 pm     Reply with quote

Jimmy Gibson:

I too started on a Red Baron. It was kind of funky, but I didn't notice a lot of undesireable undertones. I used the pickup out of it on my Pro III for some years. I liked it. Might be one of those ideas whose time has truly come...

Due to the light weight, my knee lever kept scooting it across the floor. I had a couple deals that I could nail to club floors, but I ended up getting my ProIII.

A local fellow, now deceased, named Danny Shields had an MSA double 11 string steel. From what I remember, it got stolen some years before he died. I'm not sure. I know it was a fine axe. Wonder whatever became of it.

I'm thinking that the Carbon fiber might be a good move, but I think I'd like to see attachable weights....

Gimmickism aside, it does look like a nice guitar.

One of the drawbacks to recessed fretboards tho, and I notice it on my ProIII, that the tomato seeds that seem to get stuck there are really tough to clean out if somebody happens to throw up on it...

------------------
EJL63FLH
'78 Pro III Sho-Bud
'63FLH 90"Stroker
'80 Gold Wing
-Peavey: When it's *not* about "The Sound"-
"You can Smart Yourself Dumb.
Why Can't you Dumb yourself Smart?"-Me
"There are only so many ways to fry cat food."- Buster
"At my age, sometimes I run out of Adrenaline, but I've still got plenty of Gall.." -Me-

[This message was edited by Eric West on 17 November 2002 at 03:46 PM.]

View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website

All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Jump to:  

Our Online Catalog
Strings, CDs, instruction,
steel guitars & accessories

www.SteelGuitarShopper.com

Steel Guitar Music
Instrumental steel guitar CDs for your permanent collection
www.SteelGuitarMusic.com

Please review our Forum Rules and Policies

The Steel Guitar Forum
148 South Cloverdale Blvd.
Cloverdale, CA 95425 USA

Support This Forum


BIAB Styles
Ray Price Shuffles for Band-in-a-Box
by Jim Baron
HTTP