Rock stars have been smashing guitars for decades, few with more enthusiasm than Swedish-born guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen. Sandvik decided to test their cutting-edge technologies by building the world’s first all-metal, unbreakable guitar and letting Malmsteen unleash his smashing skills on it.
The world’s first smash-proof guitar
Henrik Loikkanen, machining process developer at Sandvik Coromant, has played guitar since his youth, when he idolized Malmsteen. To understand what happens when Malmsteen destroys an instrument, Loikkanen turned to YouTube.
“We had to design a guitar that is unsmashable in all the different ways you can smash a guitar,” Loikkanen said. “The engineering challenge was that critical joint between the neck and the body that usually cracks on a guitar.”
Sandvik engineers eliminated the joint between the neck and body. Instead, the guitar’s neck and fretboard were milled in one machine from solid bars of recycled stainless steel, a guitar construction that had never been tried before. Both the neck and fretboard extended into a rectangular “hub” that would reach deep into the guitar’s body.
“This guitar is a beast!” Malmsteen said after abandoning efforts to destroy it. “Sandvik is obviously on top of their game. They put the work in, they do their hours. I can relate to that. The result is amazing. I gave everything I had, but it was impossible to smash.”
Yngwie, Destroy It!
When the guitar was finished, Sandvik gave it to Malmsteen to play. At a club in Florida, Malmsteen ripped through several songs, then started swinging the guitar at amps, at stage structures, at the floor, doing his very best to smash it. Check the video, an you watch the result. 🙂