Saturday, October 4, 2008

customized Kawai Aquarius Custom

My very first electric guitar, bought in 1982 (a gift from my dear mother, may she be blessed, she didn't know), at the time when Japanese guitars were so despised that the seller told me that it was "a mistake for the japs to have made such a good Fender copy"(though it's far from being a mere stratocaster clone). Kawai usually makes piano and acoustic instruments, and made a few electric guitars until the 80s - I don't have much more information about this one... It seems that Aquarius was mostly Kawai's line of bass, and I once saw a 12-string Aquarius - that's it.
Originally it was electric blue, and as I was in a band playing a kind of dark batcave music, I added golden paisley pattern - my own sense of humour...

When I had better guitars I stopped using it unless i needed a whammy bar, until 2003 when it was used mostly as a prop in a dance performance and really mistreated - its electronics got broken. Experimenting lately on new guitar sounds, I decided to give it a second life, had the pickups fixed at Alex-Guitars in Berlin, sanded it and revealed its beautiful blond maple wood slightly varnished, replaced the white pickguard by an aluminum one, changed the whammy bar and modified the nut to put baritone strings, and I use it now in variable open tunings.

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