It is no secret that I am a fan of Lace Alumitones, that are featured on both of my current demo guitars. This made it a real treat when I recently enjoyed the hospitality of Don Lace, President of Lace Music, in their facilities in Huntington Beach, California.
I got to meet several members of staff, including Jeff Lace, who is in charge of the R&D. R&D at Lace seems to be in an excellent shape, which the development Alumitones, and the Helix neck profile prove. I had the opportunity to play both the original 20 degree twist neck and the more recent 10.8 degree twist and it was a revelation.
The 20 degree twist can be seen above. I always thought it would be ergonomic and I have prototyped it, but not played an actual instrument. The risk that I envisioned was that strings would fret out very easily when being bent “downwards”, i.e. towards the floor”, during normal play, but this issue was not at all as apparent as I thought it would be. Sure, it can happen, but for most styles of playing it will be fine. The more recent 10.8 degree twist is a closer compromise that will fit any playing style while still offering excellent ergonomics. I can’t wait to implement this in a EGS guitar and perhaps combine with fanned frets as well.
Overall, the Lace demo room was full of interesting builds and prototypes, including custom finishes for Alumitones that hold plenty of promise for color coordinating with my bridges.
Above, you can see the miniscule bobbin for an Alumitone. I look forward to exploring these possibilities in the future.
I am happy to be able to present another customer project, this time from Toni Stosic from Zagreb, Croatia. Toni saw David Thorn playing a Klein guitar in a Hendrix tribute on TV more than 12 years ago and has been dreaming about one since. The body is ash with a maple/ebony neck. Pickups are hand-made by a friend of his. (Feel free to post back here with more details about the pickups, Toni!) Toni reports that it sounds great and holds tuning perfectly. The trem stopper was installed as a personal preference and adds to the tone. Congratulations Toni!
In preparation for the new batch of tremolos that should be available next week, I have looked around in the darker corners of my shop and found some old prototype parts that I have assembled into a DIY tremolo that is now for sale.
Some important notes:
So with these caveats, I do ask of the buyer to consider all of the above carefully before going ahead. I will obviously offer all kinds of support and help that I can, but this is a hodge-podge of prototype parts.
If you haven’t visited the Project Guitar Forum before, you should. It’s an endless resource of inspiration, discussion and assistance. It is frequented by all sorts of luthiers, from beginners to pros and from all over the globe. I joined when I was in the planning stages of the EGS guitar and have received countless tips and cheers during the process.
This week, the efforts were crowned by winning “Guitar of the Month for December” with the EGS prototype! Considering the competition, it was very humbling and fun experience to take part. The past week, it was nail-biting to watch the voting stats and wondering if they would stay in my favor.
Thanks to everyone that voted!