Saturday, October 18, 2008

photoshop sketches

at some point I considered making a doubleneck guitar - it seems the proper instrument for my music but it is probably too much for a first guitar... That will be for later, but I will go for two guitars at the same time - a baritone and a 7 strings, one being a laboratory for the other... and I have many other ideas, I didn't realize before that there are many things to be invented with electric guitars !

Thursday, October 9, 2008

first sketches

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

the next guitar

This block of mahogany is fated to become a handmade baritone guitar within the coming months - will be posting about the project on this blog regularly.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

the Televangelist

My first handmade guitar, an upgraded telecaster kit from DIY Guitars called The Televangelist. I intend to modify it several times - will start with the pickups and the tuners.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Epiphone Dot Studio

Since this guitar is discontinued in Europe, bought it in the US in April 2009 - so far it's still awaiting in California for a cheap way to come to Berlin. A new attempt to renew my sound, my first semi-hollow body... Not specially aimed at old style blues or jazz - that's also the kind of guitars that made the sound of the Jesus and Mary Chain...

Fender Jaguar special HH

Made in Japan for the Japanese market, bought second hand in the US on eBay in 2008 - a tone and playability monster, just too young to have a story...

Musima 1657B semi-hollow bass guitar

Bought it quite cheap on a flea market in Berlin in 2007, allegedly a rockabilly bass from the 50s but more likely from the late 60s if I believe THE website for eastern Europe vintage guitars Cheesy Guitars (inappropriate name but good database). My first guitar bass, often played in open tuning to avoid to just transpose guitar patterns, limited use on stage so far.

Ibanez Concord 684 electro-acoustic 12 strings

Bought second hand (made in Japan ca. 1975) in Vienna in 2006. Used it shortly after for a performance in Berlin, plugged it directly on the sound system of the theatre, it felt like I was playing a whole orchestra !

Ashbory Bass DeArmond

Bought it around 2001: one day entered my guitar shop, saw the thing and laughed, came back the next day and tried to play it, came back the day after and left with it. What a strange instrument, sounds like a double-bass with which you can shred! The big soft silicone strings require to be played with a specific finger technics but I also played chords with a pick and a heavy distortion, with a terrific result...

Ovation Breadwinner

A very special guitar with a very special story... I don't know how it started its life more than 10 years before I bought it (it was made between 1971 and 1979, can't say more) but I first saw it as a dismantled carcass hanging behind the desk of my favorite guiter shop in Lille, Broc'n'Roll - and it stayed there for a few months. Then one day I saw it completely restored, like a ageless dark creature from outerspace, calling me silently: "I'm yours, I'm yours!" I had bought a few months before my Rickenbacker, my amp and an Ovation electro-acoustic, exhausted thus my music material budget for the next 10 years and enslaved myself to the bank that lent me the money for the same amount of time.

I left the shop under shock and didn't sleep that night and went back the day after and told Rodolphe - the owner, bless him - that the guitar was mine though I could not pay for it and that I swear i would find the money within 3 months if he would let me take it right away. And the benevolent and generous man handled me the guitar, I did any jobs on my student time and paid my debt in due time, it was something like 1989 and I'm still grateful to the man and happy with the guitar...

It was sold to me as a Viper - the name fit to the design, and it was not no easy to have information about this guitar that was in it limbo phase at the time - and I called it like this for a long time... Then came internet and vintage cult and easier access to information and I learned not only about the guitar but about who played this model... yes that was a good meeting.

rickenbacker 620 white limited edition

My main guitar for 20 years... Chose it because it looked so elegant, wasn't either Fender or Gibson - so common! - and Rickenbacker felt the real outsider. And of course the sound ranges from deep warm to shrieking, but always specific - and very british on the Peterson P120G jazz amp I bought the same day. Still in love with this axe 20 years later, and realised only quite recently that this white model is a limited edition and became a collector ; bah, this is my working tool.

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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