Guitar Synth, Ergonomic Shape, Baritone tuning

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Beate Ritzert
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Guitar Synth, Ergonomic Shape, Baritone tuning

Post by Beate Ritzert »

Although my skills are way below the level of all the professionals here, i would like to show my latest guitar. It has a history:

- i wanted to try en ergonomic shape
- i wanted to use *really* cheap materials
- i wanted to play around with LoZ pickups.
- most of all: i wanted to build my own design

There had been a result, but i quickly did not like the color. So i decided to convert it into a Synthesizer (GK-guitar...)

I did not want to cut large holes into the body to hold the electronics of the Roland GK-3. So i needed to add some kind of "bowl" to the body. Difficult - it should not disturb the shape too much, it should not destroy the ergonomics. And difficult because the body (spruce) had been treated with white stain which is close to impossible to remove, even with a scraper. Even more difficult because the modification had to be done "on the kitchen table" of a one room appartment. Which forced me to use water based laquers with which it is harder to achieve good surfaces. Painting had to be done with a brush, and doing this with the gold pigments was a bit cumbersome.

The result:

Image

Image

David King
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Re: Guitar Synth, Ergonomic Shape, Baritone tuning

Post by David King »

Beate,
Congratulation all the way around I love this guitar! The design, materials and finish all look completely professional to me

Bob Francis
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Re: Guitar Synth, Ergonomic Shape, Baritone tuning

Post by Bob Francis »

Very clever Beate and very well done.

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Dan Hehnke
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Re: Guitar Synth, Ergonomic Shape, Baritone tuning

Post by Dan Hehnke »

Wow that is wild, I like it! Is it comfy to play as hoped?

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Beate Ritzert
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Re: Guitar Synth, Ergonomic Shape, Baritone tuning

Post by Beate Ritzert »

@Dan: Yes it is. I can play in classical position even when I sit in my Ikea Poäng chair...
BTW: had a quick look at Your instruments. Impressive...

Even the "bowl" (which came afterward) does not matter.

@David: as long as Your viewing distance exceeds one meter, the guitar looks fine... honestly, i have already done more precise builds, and of course i am going to improve my skills and also my tools (a little - if i have all tools together in a suitable working, it is not that bad.)

Brian Evans
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Re: Guitar Synth, Ergonomic Shape, Baritone tuning

Post by Brian Evans »

I like it a lot, it invokes the 1950's and 1960's to me. We had a saying when I was building race cars - "that's a 50-50 paint job, good to go racing!" That meant it looked great at 50 feet and 50 mph! :) I think the finish looks quite good. Is there a particular reason you put the tuners on backwards to convention?

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Beate Ritzert
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Re: Guitar Synth, Ergonomic Shape, Baritone tuning

Post by Beate Ritzert »

I made a mistake and drilled the holes for the tuners in the wrong position and had no better choice. Anyway, i have experienced that the Schallers and their clones work reliably this way over decades (in contrast to, for example, Schaller BM bass tuners and their clones). So i am a bit frustrated because of having made that mistake, but i can live well with it. It is not my only guitar with reversed tuners.

Matthew Orifice
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Re: Guitar Synth, Ergonomic Shape, Baritone tuning

Post by Matthew Orifice »

niiiice, love the ergo body, fantastic sense of line and curve it looks very clean in form if that makes any sense. as a bari- and synth player it's close to my heart.

Jason Rodgers
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Re: Guitar Synth, Ergonomic Shape, Baritone tuning

Post by Jason Rodgers »

This is cool, Beate! Since folks like Toone and Strandberg took up the ergo guitar mantle from the early Klein design, there are some "interesting" interpretations out there. Clever placement of the electronics under that bulb on the back. Once I thought about it's location respective of playing position, you probably don't even notice it.
Brian Evans wrote: We had a saying when I was building race cars - "that's a 50-50 paint job, good to go racing!" That meant it looked great at 50 feet and 50 mph! :) I think the finish looks quite good.
I like that phrase and shall add it to my lexicon! I heard it as, "Looks good at 40 yards from the back of a running horse."
-Ruining perfectly good wood, one day at a time.

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Beate Ritzert
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Re: Guitar Synth, Ergonomic Shape, Baritone tuning

Post by Beate Ritzert »

Jason Rodgers wrote:This is cool, Beate! Since folks like Toone and Strandberg took up the ergo guitar mantle ...
Indeed. Both luthiers have inspired me a lot, and their ideas led me to shape even the back of a "simple" SG bass a bit closer to my anatomy than the standard beveling.

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Hans Bezemer
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Re: Guitar Synth, Ergonomic Shape, Baritone tuning

Post by Hans Bezemer »

Beate, that's a really cool guitar!

How low Z is your low Z pickup
How did you attached the neck?

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Beate Ritzert
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Re: Guitar Synth, Ergonomic Shape, Baritone tuning

Post by Beate Ritzert »

The neck is bolton. I still need prettier screws, and i ordered them just a few minutes ago.

The pickup is a cheap bar magnet tele neck rewound with about 500 windings of 0.2 mm. It has roughly the output of a microphone which means that it is still possible to play it through a guitar amp and, of course, also into a mixing console.

That section is at present purely passive, and it might remain so, at least for a while.
I think it will be necessary to slightly damping the mids around 800 Hz - the pickup originally was a mid monster, and that comes back when i reduce the treble resonance into the normal guitar pickup range. I could easily run it through my bass equalizer pedal if i want to use it on stage.

BTW: the hex pickup system is mostly a set of LoZ pickups (tiny humbuckers), and the electronics provides amplifying buffers for them, for the standard guitar signal, plus a few control signals. Nothing that could not be done by amateurs with some basic knowledge in electronics.

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Hans Bezemer
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Re: Guitar Synth, Ergonomic Shape, Baritone tuning

Post by Hans Bezemer »

Beate, Have you ever checked out the strings as moving coils concept? This has a great potential for making a hexaphonic pickup. The different pickups are completely electronically separated from eachother. On the MEF there's a great discussion on this subject. I did several tests and this concept worked very well for thin and medium thick strings (low bass strings where a bit troublesome).
FWIW.

Hans

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Beate Ritzert
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Re: Guitar Synth, Ergonomic Shape, Baritone tuning

Post by Beate Ritzert »

No, i have not. But thanks for the interesting link.

BTW: i am still using for a "victim" for my experiments with the CT-pickups. It turned out that he guitar i mentioned in MEF as the target (the 5 string archtop) needs a full neck reset for the same reason as the violin does - creeping of the white glue i was using. And that will be a lot harder to achieve than with the violin :-(

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Beate Ritzert
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Re: Guitar Synth, Ergonomic Shape, Baritone tuning

Post by Beate Ritzert »

BTW: just checked it with the Synth. Works nicely, despite of the small distance of the hex pickup to the saddle, if not perfectly (with the exception of the GK volume pot).

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