04 May 2018
Science-Tech Colloquium on the UPH Electrical Engineering Research about the Characteristics of the Electric Guitar
The third session of the Science-Tech Colloquium, a monthly program of the Faculty of Science and Technology (FaST), commences with the topic ‘The Exploration of Innovation and the Characterization of the Electric Guitar’, held by the Electrical Engineeri
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 Dr. Ing. Ihan Martoyo, S.T., M.Sc., Lecturer of Electrical Engineering, Explaining the Research on Electric Guitars
 
The third session of the Science-Tech Colloquium, a monthly program of the Faculty of Science and Technology (FaST), commences with the topic ‘The Exploration of Innovation and the Characterization of the Electric Guitar’, held by the Electrical Engineering study program on the 27th of April 2018, at B527, UPH Lippo Village, Tangerang.

 

The topic addressed by Dr. Ing. Ihan Martoyo, S.T., M.Sc., an Electrical Engineering lecturer, is actually a final thesis of an Electrical Engineering student, Julius Gunawan, and Joshua Hutabarat, supervised by Ihan (2017).

 

“This research came to mind because we think musicians will typically not focus on sound frequency and how a difference in size affects it. Through this research, we encourage them to be creative and look into the guitar’s characteristics based on the Electrical Engineering studies by measuring frequency,” Ihan explained.

 

In this short presentation, Ihan explained about this electric guitar research – from the choice of material to the comparison between guitars measured through frequency calculation, etc.

 

The student chose nylon, acrylic, and wood as their materials. What’s distinctive is the choice of nylon, a material used to make cutting boards. This is deliberately chosen for the ease of material liquefying and its use of materials available in the environment. Because of that, Julius Gunawan chose and then cut a used chopping board. When using the nylon, there were some problems – the fact that it is hard to cut through and to put a screw through, unlike the wood, which endured these processes a lot easier. The other material, acrylic, is easier to shape. For the wood, the students used the body of a guitar cut into smaller pieces with the concept of mini wood, with the goal of making a travel guitar.

 

Through this research, these two students conducted an array of frequency tests, both with and without the commercial distortion effect usually incorporated in electric guitars.

 
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Ihan Martoyo Explaining about the Research of the Characteristics of the Electric Guitar
 

“From this research, we found some comparison results, like the measurement of spectrum to find out the effect of the body material on the sound produced, seen through the frequency produced. Wood, in the size of a normal guitar, produced a frequency of 820 Hz. The nylon produced 738 Hz, and 920 Hz on the mini wood. This means that the bigger the frequency, the clearer the sound. Wood cut into smaller pieces will produce brighter sounds, while the nylon produces deeper-sounding sounds. However, when tested through the distortion effect, these differences are no longer significant,” Ihan explained.

 

Along with the testing of materials, the two students also made their own distortions, and for the nylon guitar, the distortion effect is included in the guitar’s body.

 

 
“From the testing results, it can be concluded that the distortion effect typically used in electric guitars produce a frequency of 1650 Hz, and the frequency of a homemade distortion produces a frequency of 2970 Hz. For the testing of the acrylic guitar, Joshua used the fuzz distortion type. The results of the comparison show that the Fuzz distortion type, which is commonly used, has a wider and more various frequency coloring. However, if one compares between different materials, the acrylic produced a more colorful sound, compared to wood,” Ihan continued.

 

Through this Science-tech Colloquium discussion, it is hoped that there will emerge new ideas in the future to dig deeper into this topic more comprehensively, especially when it comes to aspects not yet brought up in this research.

 
 
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(middle) Dr. Henri P. Uranus – Head of the Electrical Engineering Department handed the Certificate of Acknowledgement as an Appreciation for Ihan Martoyo
 
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