Alpha, Prototype

From concept to reality…

Presenting the Carbon Fiber-Bamboo Guitar prototype.

I still have to write more documentation. I am terribly lagging behind. Anyway, for now, here are some high resolution pictures. You should compare these against the original 3D images. I am immensely having fun playing the final prototype. Now I am focusing on production.

If you got here from nowhere, you’ll be missing out if you don’t check out the project in full. Nevertheless, pretty images are always nice to see.

(Click images to zoom)

Austin says:

Do you think you could throw me an update on your current production situation is? Will I ever be able to buy one of your guitars?

Austin, I’m pushing hard to get Alpha into production. I’ve got a LOT of inquiries already and it’s a shame to let it all go to waste. I’m considering collaboration with one or more luthiers in the U.S. to get the prototype into production. I can’t make any promises. The best I can say is that I expect to have some progress in the coming months.

Send me a massage here: if you want to be updated with the latest developments. Thank you for your interest!

Austin says:

Thank you for taking the time to reply! Can you estimate on how much these will be?

Tony Marshall says:

Thanks good point about cutting through at pickups. I had the thought about the layer under fret board to the rear of body also covering everything under the carved top I plan to use. Also one uncut layer from tip of headstock covering whole neck like you did. Except for the one I'm doing it would also be covering the bottom of the body, but not the sides much like how the Parker guitar is made. I would think uni-directional would be best for stiffening both sides of the neck with a single low tow layer for decoration. Some of what I would like to do with carbon is as much for looks as function.

I will check out the link and thanks so much for taking the time to respond to my questions.


Tony Marshall says:

Joel, you have built a truely awesome looking guitar. I stumbled across your blog trying to research the use of carbon fiber in electric guitar building. So other than it being aesthetically pleasing were you please with it's tone? Was it as resonant as you thought it would be as in compared to a normal solid body?

Would love to see a youtube video of you playing it and comparing to one of your other guitars. I would love to delve more deeply with questions on your build.

Joel says:

Thanks, Tony. I do have some recordings. I also did some analysis on the spectra compared to different guitars (e.g. Strat and LP). It has a truly unique sound — very resonant and lots of sustain. I wish I can promise something published soon, but right now, I am very busy with my main job (C++ software dev). I'll keep you updated as soon as I have more.

Thanks for your interest! I'd welcome any questions. I'm thinking about having a better forum here for easier interaction. There are other people like you who also have questions. I too would love to hear from people like you.

Tony Marshall says:

Was wondering if you cut fret slots with a regular fret saw? I assumed you glued them in the slots. I also had an idea of since I am planing a neckthrough to have carbon strip under fret board from nut to end of body.

Tony Marshall

Joel says:

I used to use a regular fret saw, but now I use a wider kerf and just cut the slots to the width of the tang plus the barbs and use epoxy. I stole the technique here:….

I also had carbon strips running through the end of the body. But keep in mind that the pickup cavities will cut through the strips anyway, so in the end, in my case, it did not help.

Hi Joel, I'm an amateur electric guitar builder ( and I must say your work is stunning!! I have a question though: Is it possible to ear how this guitar sound like, I'm very curious.

Olivier from France

Joel says:

Thank you, Olivier. Yes, sound clips are long overdue. I'll try to provide some ASAP.

Thanks! I can't wait to ear it…

Another question then: I started a new guitar project a couple of weeks ago and decided to use bamboo (that the reason why I found you!). I'm currently working on the neck (first time I build one). I wondered if a bamboo neck realy need a truss rod. Bamboo "plywood" is so hard. I intent not to use one. What do you think about it?


Joel says:

Yes, you will always need a truss rod primarily because you want to adjust the relief:

Joel says:

Olivier, I looked at your site and your work. Those are stunning!

Thanks a lot for your comment on my site!! When I see what you're able to do it's a hell of a compliment!!!

Ok for the truss-rod I'll see what I do (I have this little deamon in my head that push me to try not using it!!)

Nick Prudent says:


What's the latest on your commercialization effort. I'll take one with a Floyd Rose tremolo and two humbuckers. Thanks.

Nick From Montreal

Joel says:

Humbuckers and Floyds are very much requested alright. Re: commercialization, there's still a lot to do, but I'm having progress. In the meantime, I intend to post more stuff on my latest ideas and experimentation; plus the promised sound clips. I'll keep you informed, Nick.

Than you very much for your interest!

Lando Di Girolamo says:


You sir are an absolute inspiration to me, im an industrial design student from South Australia and im in my 4th and final year this year.

breaking the mould is an understatement, you have destroyed it, well done sir.

im trying to break luthier convention with a eco-friendly acoustic guitar. Making use of new materials and technologies to create somethign awesome. Im just in the brief writing stage atm but I hope that it will also takes a big step away from traditional guitar design.

if you wouldnt mind, id really love to get your personal opinion as i go through my design process.



Joel says:

Thank you very much, Lando! I'd love to see your design. Feel free to email me directly. You can find my email address here:

Gorgeous! How's it sound? Can you post some MP3s?

Joel says:

Hey, so nice to see you here! Haven't had much time to work on this project, but I'll see what I can do. It wouldn't do it justice if I make a quick mp3. Anyway, I have my studio up and running again.

Thanks, Dave!

road stud says:

That’s a great looking guitar!

Michael says:


Make one with humbuckers and count me in.

And looking at the other pictures, Philippines much?

Filipino pride 🙂

Cesar says:

Something unexpected happened to me while sleeping, I remember myself playing an amazing tune with a sycfi in front of myriads of people, good look with the guitar Joel, keep us posted.

Cesar says:

A really greate job in every aspect, hope for a trem model to come after this, count me in.

Joel says:

Thanks, Cesar. I'm a whammy guy myself. I'll keep you informed.

Harry says:

Hey Joel. That's a great looking guitar! Are you planning on putting the design into full production? I'd definitely buy one!

Joel says:

Yeah! I'm very close to full production. I'll keep you informed.

Toly says:

Hi Joel, I have project for you to make me a freatboard I have rough cut of a guitar it's a Parker Fly Mojo but it don't have rod and don't have freatboard I was thinking doing it my self but I figure ask you first how much it will cost me if you do it, please reply to my e-mail, Thanks.

Joel says:

Hi Toly. Sent you an email.

Joel says:

It turns out that production wasn't as straight forward as I thought. It's been more than a year now and production always seem to be a just around the corner, but it's been very elusive.