Monday, 29 November 2010

The developing guitar

I have begun preparing a testbed for my experiments. I want something that's playable. It should be a proper guitar. But it should also be a proper testbed for new pickups, forearm support, strap horn and leg rest.

It's built from a warmoth strat neck and a piece of 20 x 60 mm rectangular steel tube.

For now, it has a tele style six saddle bridge, but that might be replaced by one of my own designs. It also has traditional tuners in the headstock. I'd like it to become headless at some point, perhaps utilizing the bridge and coarse tuners of my SG experiments. But for now, I haven't developed a headless tuning system of sufficient quality. Plus, it's such a fine neck and I'd hate to cut it.

It's a Warmoth strat superwide wenge neck with a pau ferro fretboard and stainless steel frets. I bought the neck because I have very big hands and I'd like to try if a wider neck made better room for my fingertips at the fretboard (it did, but I think it's a bit _too_ wide). I'm not yet skilled (or courageous) enough to attempt building a playable, fretted neck, so I thought it wiser to buy one.

The design of the ultrawide neck with its overhanging fingerboard at the body end makes it fit the steel tube nicely.

The pickup is my own design. It is inspired by the Lace Alumitone and a thread on the guitar electronics forum. More on that and other pickups in a later post. The distance between the strings and the steel tube allows for easy swapping of pickups, as long as they're not too thick (which mine aren't).

I'm planning to make a strap horn, forearm support and leg rest from scrap mahogany. That'll make it a playable testbed, allowing me to try out new pickup designs, exploring their abilities while having fun playing. Other parts, such as bridges and other shapes of forearm support etc, can be easily replaced as well.

The interchangeable wooden body parts are inspired by Spalt Instruments.