Carbon Fiber Violin 

 October 25, 2020

By  Zen Chung

The Technically Exceptional Carbon Fiber Violins in the World

An Instant Classic

The first thing that will catch your attention when you play the Carbon Fiber Violin is that it immediately notices the tremendous power that it produces. Professional and experienced players tell us how balanced and easy they are to play. World travelers are no longer held in airports having to show endangered wood credentials for their conventional violin. You can play anywhere in the world without worry. We have even witnessed some carbon fiber violin being played underwater. The Carbon Fiber violin is light, strong and just plain beautiful.

To honor the great Antonio Stradivarius, who perfected the classic violin shape used by virtually every luthier today, we named our violin the Carbon Strad. The carbon fiber violin is an exact replica of the Stradivarius design, only the wood material is replaced with a space-age material called a carbon fiber or graphite as it is sometimes referred to.

The Gayford Carbon Fiber Strad Violin

The world’s most technically advanced carbon fiber violin.

Key Features of the Gayford Carbon Strad

The Finger Board

The Gayford carbon fiber violin fingerboards are built with AeroSpace uni-directional pre-impregnated carbon fiber in such a way that they look and feel exactly like an Ebony finger board. There is no difference in feel or look to the carbon fiber fingerboards according to most players, but the reality, there is a difference. These Carbon fingerboards are much lighter in comparison with Ebony and much stronger at the same time. The “Nut” is also made of carbon fiber plate, which should never wear out as is the case with ebony nuts.

Unlike wood, the carbon made violin will never wear down. Therefore, there is no need a resurfacing treatment. Since Ebony is becoming endangered and at the same time, banned from crossing borders, the Gayford Carbon Fiber violin will not give you any hassle. 

Wittner Violin Fine Tuning Pegs

The Wittner Fine Tune pegs maintain the traditional hardwood appearance demanded by professional musicians while offering a unique internal gearing system that creates an unveiling performance once played. The shaft remains locked and stationary when fitted into the peg box.  The button and the geared middle section of the shaft are the only parts that move. The Gayford’s violin has Fine Tune pegs that have an internal gear ratio of 8.5:1 for perfect tuning. The gear mechanism is also self-restraining, it means that it cannot slip back once it is turned.

  • Hi-tech composite material.
  • The turning ratio of the enclosed gears with 8.5:1 for very accurate tuning.
  • Germany engineering quality.

Wittner Ultra “Space Age” Composite Violin Tailpiece

Made in Germany, the precision-made tailpiece with 4 integrated fine tuners. ‘Space Age’ Composite material mixes lightness and strength. This carbon fiber violin has a benchmark tailpiece for all ball end strings. Its lightweight feature does not affect the tonal qualities of the Violin in the slightest.

Our “Mantaray” company logo located on the tailpiece in front of the fine-tuning adjusters is pure sterling silver with the jewelers lost wax method.

  • High tech composite for lightness and strength
  • Metal bushings have precision brass adjusters for long life and accurate tuning.
  • Included nylon tailgut with easy fit brass nuts.
  • German quality engineering.

The Carbon Fiber Scroll

The most challenging part of copying the Strad violin was duplicating the scroll in Carbon Fiber. We have developed a propriety method which has allowed us to duplicate the scroll and still maintain a lightweight by giving the scroll a hollow interior.

Not having a scroll because of the manufacturing complexity was unthinkable. We feel the developmental difficulty were well worth the effort and cost to produce such a beautiful Classical Violin shape.

Helicore “Heavy Tension” Violin Strings

Helicore violin strings are created with a multi-stranded steel core. This results in excellent playability while producing a clear, warm tone. The smaller string diameter delivers quick bow response.

Superior quality materials combined with skilled workmanship produces strings known for excellence in pitch stability and longevity. Heavy tension strings will provide for greater projection and volume potential. The E string is a plain steel E with no winding.

Guarneri Ebony Chinrest

The world’s most popular chinrest style is the Guarneri, the rival of Stradivarius. Mounts at the center and with a large cup off to the side. Most players place thethir jaw over the tailpiece portion. They use the ridge as an anchor for secure support.

  • The top-rated choice of professional violin players the world.

Superieur Despiau France Bridges

The Gayford Carbon Fiber violin only uses “Superieur Despiau France” bridges and these French bridges offer a bright clear tone. There are three different qualities of wood are available as indicated by the number of trees stamped on the bridge. We only use 3-tree rated quality blanks.

  • All bridges are cut in-house.
  • Bridges are cut to enhance the carbon fiber violins different acoustic properties.
  • The “E” string slot is intensified with a patch of parchment.

Pick-up Mic

Schatten VVM pick-up mics are available carbon fiber violins. Customized volume control model is standard with a 1/4″ jack. The violin’s jack housing is an in-house design keeping with our company’s “Mantaray” emblem.

  • “Phenomenal! I don’t have to worry about choosing or installing a pickup and it’s acoustically invisible to the sound produced when not amplified.”, according to one violin player.

I.D. Plate

The Gayford Carbon Fiber violin has internally mounted labels which are made of an extremely thin Titanium plate. Titanium is intensely light and is also a space-age material like carbon fiber. All information found is laser etched on to the label. And as a personal touch, each of our violins has been given a personal name which is etched into the ID plate.

  • “I really feel that the I.D. Plate speaks to the precision quality of the instrument and I love that I own a one of kind, such as my “Stefanie”.”, taken from another review.
  • A precision-built Carbon Fiber Violin.

The Secret Behind the Greatness.

Fred Gayford is the driving force behind the Carbon Strad, he is an expert in carbon fiber composites. He has more than 36 years of experience working with all manner of composites materials and now specializing mainly on it.

The following is the simple explanation of the process of creating the world renowned Gayford Carbon Fiber violin.

  • There are 23 separate carbon fiber parts required to produce the Gayford Carbon Fiber violin.  
  • When the high temperature carbon fiber molds are produced, we were ready to start making parts.
  • The pre-impregnated carbon fiber cloth in this method is positioned in the molds and vacuum bagged.
  • After that, the molds are then placed in the Autoclave pressure chamber and then put under 60 PSI pressure.
  • The internal heaters then ramp up the chamber to 175+ degrees. After a 12-hour period the heaters and pressure are reduced slowly.
  • Then the cured parts are demolded.
  • The violin plates are subjected to a clamping pressure of 8000 lbs. at high temperature.
  • The parts of the violin that is made this way have the highest fiber compaction possible with the least amount of excess resin.
  • We performed a lot of experiments on dozens of violin plates using the three production methods mentioned above.
  • We performed a tonal ring test on each of the violin plates and the results were very different from each method.
  • Tapping on the Autoclaved violin plates have similar sound like tapping on a crystal glass.
  • This expensive process yielded such incredible acoustical tonal qualities that we choose this method for all 23 parts of our violin.
  • The last part of the process is testing the audio performance of the various finished pre-production carbon fiber violins at a sound studio
  • Testing the audio performance of the various finished pre-production violins  is done at Fairmeadow Studio with master violinist Trevor Dick of “Flying Bow Music Ministries”

Zen Chung

I'm Zen Chung, a piano and violin teacher based out of Plano, Texas. I started this blog because my students (and their parents) kept asking about the best musical instruments to buy online. Look no further I'm here to save the day! 

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