Saturday, 31 January 2015


now I know this has nothing to do with new guitar design - or does it?

Maurizio Arcieri

30 April 1942 - 29 January 2015

if I told you some of the things this man did you probably thought I was making up some kind of fake history. a tale of an alternate earth

opened for the Beatles

hung out with Hendrix

had a few albums produced my Niko Papathanassio

who you ask?

maybe you might know his brother


with his wife Christina Moser, hung out at the Factory with Warhol

had a keyboard player in his band Krisma who went on to make a few soundtracks in Hollywood

Hans Zimmer

for all intensive purposes, worked to the very end

all I know was when I heard his music, when I heard the sound of his voice, the shock of the new embraced me.

I thought if such music could alter my mind from so far away, what other music was there?

all bets were off.

and nothing has changed since

if it is new and mysterious - bring it on.

I leave you with a photo of Maurizio with his wife

go look at the web or Youtube

the music lives on.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

you want a "standard" guitar?

well I strongly suggest you don't go to these people

Xen Instruments

first we will look at some amazing instruments

HDC (headless dual cutaway)

the ergonomic shape and the edge curves make me feel comfortable looking at it.

fanned fret (rapidly becoming the only way to go)

did I say ergonomic?


look at where the strap holder is one third up the neck. the curve of the back of the upper bout.

look at the anchor points between neck and body! must sound solid!

I am so comfortable I am getting drowzy... like I am in a recliner chair or a hammock.



now I deliberately showed this image because it has the holy grail of neck materials - carbon fiber.

if you are a regular to the blog you are more than aware of my obsession with this material

so here we go with this instrument

I love doing this

you want options?

number of strings - 6 7 or 8

body woods

Swamp Ash
Black Limba

top woods

Flamed Maple 
Quilted Maple
Spalt Maple
Black Limba
Figured Walnut
Massacar Ebony

neck construction

3 piece
5 piece
1 piece flamed maple

primary neck wood


neck accent (stripe) wood


fretboard wood

Flamed Maple
Birdseye Maple

Luminlay side dots color


fingerboard dots

Mother of Pearl
Luminlay (same as side dots)

fingerboard dot position

Offset (low bass/high treble)

custom 12th fret inlay


neck profile

Standard C
Strandberg Endurneck
Rick Toone IPNP

neck pickup

Lace Alumitone X-Bar
Lace Alumitone Death Bar
EMG X-Series
Bare Knuckle

bridge pickup

Lace Alumitone X-Bar
Lace Alumitone Death Bar
EMG X-Series
Bare Knuckle

pickup color


hardware color


neck finish

Color to Match Body

body finish color type






after all that you want to put in some special notes and instructions?

let's see one in action - clean

not so clean

a "standard" guitar? I remember, they used to make them.

Xen Instruments site

click here


Neo Reloaded?

That Joel at Cycfi Research is one tricky fellow

1. shows off his wares at the latest NAMM
2. for all intensive purposes, blows people's minds
3. the dust has barely settled and he goes and does this!

It's not so much that you can't keep a good man down - it's kind of pointless trying to keep him still!

he's only gone and brought out an entirely new version of the Neo pickup.

the first thing that jumped out at me was the curvature adjustment. whatever radius or setup you have complete control on two axis.

the dedicated covers look so new guitar design I can barely contain myself.

want a seven or eight string version? I can't believe I didn't scroll down.


here is a message to other pickup manufacturers - just because we play more than six strings, doesn't mean we want to shred. maybe we want a versatile, clear and low noise sound.

I am sure there will be more news soon so go on over to Cycfi Research and get the scoop.

click here

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

a new friend!

Fabio Mittino!

Rick Toone guitar

Q Tuner pickups

but most importantly - a fan of new guitar design

in every meaning of the term

go like him on Facebook

click here

or just look on the web and go like him

whatever he is doing

way to go, Fabio!

Monday, 26 January 2015

a universe of sound

where do I start?


first off

Pickup Director Standard

for instruments fitted with 3 single coil pickups

allows up to 23 different Series, Parallel, Series/Parallel and In Phase/Out of Phase pickup combinations

Pickup Director Deluxe

for instruments with 2 humbucking pickups or 4 single coils. supports: (H/S/S), (H/H) or (S/S/S/S) type guitars.

allows up to 49 different series, parallel, series/parallel and In phase/out of phase pickup combinations on board. programmable from over 80+ total pickup combinations with pickup composer software application and optional AMBROSONICS cable and connection kit.

let's see this in action with Mr Ambrosino himself!

what I love about this design is whatever combination you have chosen, it is stored in memory in relation to your 5 way switch!

so that isn't enough for you? still want more?

HD Hybrid Analog/DSP-45 Preamp Board

an on-board guitar or bass preamp system with HD Audio and 24 Bit digital signal processing effects. The HD DSP guitar preamp has fabulous sounds and is a high quality product designed and made in the USA. It features 15 DSP Effects, stereo headphone outputs and optional iPOD inputs. A mini toggle, 3-position switch provides clean, analog distortion 1 and analog distortion 2 allowing for 45 different sounds. The analog distortion levels and DSP effects levels are also under your control! The preamp has a true by-pass switch for a passive non-preamp mode of operation. There is no 9 volt battery required in by-pass mode.

DSP Effects: Stereo Chours with Reverb, Deep Hall Reverbs, Delay 1, Delay 2, Room Reverbs, Tank Reverb, Vintage Reverb, Stereo Chours, Flanger, Slight Lesley and others. 

 Distortion Modes: Real Analog Distortion 1, Deeper Analog Distortion 2

here is the man again.

surely you must be more than happy now?

you want what? 

pots that glow in the dark? well they have them covered too!

surely that is enough

I feel confident in saying I have barely scratched the surface here

there is so much information to keep you busy for hours

go have a look at Ambrosonics

click here

brilliant!!! EOM

Sunday, 25 January 2015


so what's all this then?

a set of solderless connectors for your guitar!

why anyone hasn't come up with this sooner has got me stumped

let's have a look at the front of the guitar. notice the set of Cycfi Aura Sidewinder pickups

now here's the back all hooked up and ready to go

it looks tidy and simple. no more solder fumes for technicians anymore!

now a lot has been going on at Cycfi Research, especially now it is NAMM time

go read up all about it on their blog

click here

I have read half their entries and that has taken one fascinating month, links included!

now here's an instrument

if I owned one of these I probably would spend more time looking at it than playing it

Di Donato Guitars



everything is hand made

the aluminum frame, neck. body (for want of a better term) and pickups

looks like ABM tuners but all the rest is bespoke

the first time I have used that word. probably the last

look at the pickup covers. I love how they are mounted

let's take a closer look at the back of one of these fine instruments

more like a sculpture

let's see one in action

rather than spoil the fun, go look at Di Donato guitars website

there are a lot of lovely images and it is very informative

click here

so my ultimate guitar is....2

have a look at this

Rick Toone Production Guitar

has so many elements of what I want. aluminum neck. fanned fret. ergonomic shape. headless. can be a six, seven or eight string. bottle opener.

but look at the neck profile!

moreover it has an interesting variant on the Z glide design that Dean Zelinksy uses.

grooves that minimize the amount of tactile surface of the thumb.

make the fretboard dead flat and I am there!

for the full story on the production guitar

click here 

so my ultimate guitar is....1

my ultimate guitar is based on the posts I have made on this blog

if i could describe it

it would be this

7 string

an aircraft grade aluminum neck

no frets - the frets and the fret board would be one

anodized fretboard- for durability

scalloping? dunno.

neck through construction

the body would be made with carbon fibre

neodymium pickups

some kind of synth pickup - the jury is out

controls would be volume/tone/5 way switch/pickup synth blend

maybe a kill switch - I have a pedal that does this

ergonomic design

a way to incorporate the body to be joined to the neck

see Teuffel/Forshage/Canton/Conklin guitars

fanned fret

true temperament

an intonation adjusting nut 

a way to incorporate a Livid Instruments Guitar Wing without it getting in the way of controls

now let me think

about the other variables

so much to think about....

I feel a white board session about to happen.

Friday, 23 January 2015

so what ahead?

I'm glad you asked

I hope that I have mapped out all that needs to be described.

probably a few things

anything I have missed- have I missed anything?

the best designs from what I have gleaned

based on the elements I have described







so based on what I have described - that is the way ahead

the elements are the same

by the way, I never said I was building one guitar.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

carbon fibre 3

what does a cello have to do with new guitar design?

well, I'll tell you. lift your game, guitar designers, the cello/violin/viola/bass community has advanced

via one designer

watch the video to get up to speed

I want to display the design process. this designer has compiled an awesome case for the defense

plus it is not only dual purpose but multi purpose

go to their site

I would describe it as an adventure

so much to look at!

click here

four ply carbon fibre

you had me at hello

Wednesday, 21 January 2015


I felt somewhat out of place for not mentioning dedicated tapping instruments

but none of the tapping instrument companies got back to me

however, one did and I happy they came to the aid of my humble little blog home

Mobius Megatar

what I like about this design is the specific options at your disposal. If you fill out the order form, you better do your homework. built with computer aided design, the future of guitar design, to all your specific needs.

so let's go through the process. time to build a dream guitar!

standard quarter sawn sapele 9 piece neck and body with wenge fretboard

add paduak/wenge/purple heart/maple/bubinga stripes? yes, all of these!

figured core? no idea but throw that into the mix

3 full length carbon fibre re-enforcement rods (yes! carbon fibre!!)

fanned frets

abalone or mother of pearl fretboard inlays

crossed string arrangement with bass strings on players right

abalone or pearl side dot markers. maybe alternate as I am feeling highly individual today

bartolini humbuckers 

a bartolini dual channel active preamp

acoustiphonic piezo output and dual midi output 

3-way humbucker switches (series, parallel, coil cut)

graphtech string saver saddles

gold hardware

an oil finish

a case

a customized folding stand

a luxury strap

that was extensive! I wasn't kidding about being specific.

let's see one in action

now take some time and have a good look at the Mobius site

a lot of information, photos and videos.

click here

carbon fibre 2

just when I thought my love for carbon fibre could be no greater

and now this

sleeves in all the all the colors of the rainbow!

more colors! nothing short of awesome!


silver. turns clear when epoxy is added. that is beautiful!

look at all those lovely rolls of carbon fibre!


thanks to Soller Composites for their help

go have a look around

click here


U Srinivas is dead

and yet he is still alive

the South Indian electric mandolin player

he touched my heart in a four hour concert in Clayton

part of me thinks why I didn't get this information earlier

another part of me thinks I didn't want this information at all

the music lives.

carbon fibre 1

I cannot speak of this material any higher

plus as far as guitar design goes, we are talking about the material that could make so many things

bodies/necks/truss rods/reinforcement rods/nuts

why not go crazy?

knobs/switch knobs/add a cup holder

and now we have the ability to have variation

a classic weave

this one is called Grandmaster - rugged and I like it.

Wasp - for that honeycomb effect

a thicker weave

carbon fibre/kevlar blends. the weave is carbon fibre one way and kevlar the other. in three different colors

or just plain kevlar

if your guitar playing is awful on a given night, feel safe that you can use your instrument as a shield from oncoming bullets. same material as used in bullet proof vests

thanks to the people at Fibre Glast for their support and information

go have a look at their site

click here

they have an extensive array of videos that are really informative. not just about materials but the process of making carbon fibre products. they do it all.