Ripped open this guitar, it's funny to see how a cheap guitar is made, I've been lucky enough so far to only deal with good stuff. The body is made of plywood, it should be OK with the crackle mod, it's even good that it's so light because there will be a lot of new embedded gear...
I got myself this cheap vintage brand-less strat copy, probably an early 70s Japanese guitar, a Crestline or something. I'm still making research, if you have any information about it (I've been told that this kind of guitars have been quite common at some point), you are welcome to leave a comment.
I'll wait until I know more about it, but I'll probably use it as a base to the crackle guitar project, I like the idea of using a vintage guitar to do an experimental custom.
I'll keep the trem and the pickups but most likely change the other gears. The crackle plate will cover most of the body and the electronics will be deeply modified.
Another model that starts to look like something... For a while now I've been busy with the lower horn - that should be curved enough to allow playing sitting with a high neck (this position usual in classical guitar is now more en more used by electric players, under the influence of some metalheads) but breaks the line if it stays in backward position. I've tried a double horn before, this is another proposal. I like the 'penguin' finish - white body and black pickguard and gears -, like my Rickenbacker 620 white.
As I started cutting the pickup cavity, I decided to get another pickup and left the thing unfinished. I then ordered a dual-rail single humbucker that has the big advantage to be splitable (it's a 6-string one but in the neck position it should fit a 7-string). The aluminium plate will hide the wrong cut once it's properly modified...
Also the model that I made out of cardboard was thin and didn't reveal that the back of the lower horn is somehow a little bit bothering to access the high notes, so I will modify it too... But I don't shred so it's not a big issue - this part of the neck I use mostly with a bottleneck.
Today, I've been working on the aluminium plated headstock of my 7-string project. Since I modified the Ibanez copy design of the headstock by making it narrower, I decided to reinforce and rigidify it with aluminium - like the front of the guitar. I was not sure about the all thing and really not about the black tuners on the alu plate but I do like the result. Will make the trussrod cover out of alu too, and will glue the alu plate on the wood, but I don't know what kind of glue I should use.
Also started to file the body in shape but I should cut soon the neck socket - it's the main challenge, if I make a mistake I can throw what I did so far and start again from zero. But I've been reading some good things about glued birchwood for guitars that make me thing that I made the right choice.
I just started a side blog about the Kawai Aquarius - that is not only my first guitar but a very honorable and underrated one, about which it is quite difficult to find any information since Kawai stopped guitar production in the late 80s.
I managed to put on this blog scans of old Kawai catalogues of the late 70s / early 80s - I think that they were not accessible online before and hope that this will be useful for someone.
So you are welcome to visit this blog of course, but also to contribute if you've been or are a Kawai Aquarius owner or player and have pictures, stories, recordings, videos, etc. that you can share with the web.
Is it vain to have a personal guitar blog - one more guitar blog? Probably...
But when I started to pay more and more attention to my guitars - lifetime companions and much more than mere working tools -, I've been quite happy to gather information on the net, on blogs, forums, fan sites, etc... So maybe some people will benefit in a way or another from this one.
And maybe also one day someone will see and appreciate my design work and ask me to design guitars for his project or his company - feel free to contact me if you're interested!
You can click on most pictures to enlarge them. This blog is best displayed in 1280 x 800.
All the contents of this blog, (text, design and technical device) are intellectual property of Bertram Dhellemmes (unless stated otherwise). Every use or copy without an explicit permission is forbidden.
A sunburst Stratocaster walks into a bar, orders a beer and takes a stool next to a hot-looking Les Paul Goldtop, who's sipping an umbrella drink. The Strat leers at the Les Paul for several minutes and then says, "Hey, that's some set of humbuckers you got on you, darlin'."
"You're not getting any feedback off of me with a pickup line like that," the Goldtop says indignantly.