Next week, Strandberg Guitarworks will be in Tokyo. My now good friend, and owner of #2, Shun Nokina has kindly arranged a .strandberg* showcase for Friday afternoon and evening. We already have 12 RSVPs, so a great time is expected! The video camera is coming along, so hopefully there will be some clips to show.
I will be posting build progress under the Gallery heading in the menu from now on. Currently, I have added albums for builds #7 (Brandon Montgomery), #8 (Tosin Abasi), and #9 (Alexander Stegmayr). Soon will follow #10 (John Mason) and #11 (Alejandro Cabral).
Fixed bridges are now in stock and available for immediate shipping. Thanks to those who pre-ordered, you will receive your orders soon. Tremolos will be available shortly, as soon as I receive arms, springs and claws (on order).
We had been communicating for a while before NAMM, so it was a great pleasure to finally meet in person and let Tosin test #6.
Preliminary specs are:
Plenty more details will follow as we hash out the details.
The lucky owner of what will be #7 is Brandon Montgomery, owner and proprietor of custom tube amp maker Bludotone. Much like a .strandberg* guitar, Bludotone tube amps are custom built to specifications to exactly match the playing style and needs of the user.
Brandon has been in the business since the dawn of time and has extensive experience as a guitar tech on his CV. With an impeccable ear for pickups, other electronics and materials – something that is much appreciated by his amp buyers – he can closely match the musician, the instrument, and the amp.
Draft specs at the time of writing are:
Also of note is that Brandon has carefully calculated the string tensions and designed a custom set of strings that along with the scale lengths will provide great balance in tone and feel.
Another world first: an easy to use dual-mode locking mechanism for a top-mount tremolo. While at NAMM, Ziv Cohen, Creative Director at an internet outfit, came around to the .strandberg* booth. After seeing the two holes in the new tremolo (giving the option of mounting the tremolo arm on either side for optional left-hand use), he said that “why don’t you give an option to mount a screw there to make it non-floating?” What an awesome idea! I could easily supply an extra wood screw that you could screw into the wood just under where the hole would end up, and then mount a screw in the hole. By tightening the springs and adjusting the screw, the position of the tremolo can be adjusted, and it can be made dive-only.
But on the flight back, I thought a little more. So, here for your comments, please check out the “Tremolock” option for the EGS Pro tremolos.
In the unlocked position, the tremolo pivots freely, both down and up:
Turn the knob a quarter of a turn to make it dive only:
Turn the knob a half turn to lock it completely:
The Tremolock consist of a small plate that is mounted flush in the body of the guitar, against the mounting post, to ensure that it is placed in the exact correct position, and the rotating locking axle (the white pieces in the images above). It remains to be worked out how to manufacture this in order to obtain a smooth and firm action throughout the life-time. Suggestions are gladly accepted – I will be prototyping this in the very near future.
Along with an easy-to-use spring tension adjustment mechanism, there is no telling how good this tremolo will be. Note that you don’t even have to limit yourself to headless constructions – just don’t use the tuners on the tremolo if you have conventional tuners on the headstock.
Sunday was an equally fun day, with lots of traffic in the booth. I still had far too little time to walk around and realize now that there were tons of things I should have looked for.
Here’s part of the motley crew – should have had a “before” picture as well:
Elias Kesh, who helped me out with booth duty (thanks!)
Trev Wilkinson, one of the big innovators in the guitar world!
And Thomas Nordegg again, he came by with Don and Rocket Richotte (check him out!)
Tosin Abasi from Animals as Leaders and I have been communicating for a while and it was a thrill to finally meet at NAMM. I watched AALs set in the Mackie booth and he tried out #6 there and again later in the .strandberg* booth. Here are two short clips of how it went down.
Another great day passed. I met Thomas Nordegg, the super-hero guitar tech for Steve Vai and Zappa.
Caught a gig with one of my absolute favorite bands – Animals as Leaders
Tosin Abasi has to be one of the most interesting guitar players on the planet right now
Tosin had a chance to try out #6 on his own rig
and then later in the booth
Facebook friend Danny Thrasher came by
In the evening, I attended the All Star Guitar Night. The high points being Vicky Genfan, Andreas Öberg (accompanied by Stu Hamm) and Billy Sheehan.
NAMM is awesome so far! Lots of traffic in the booth at all times and tons of interest both in .strandberg* guitars and bridges. Elias Kesh is a great help to me in sharing the booth duty, but despite that, I have only been able to browse through Hall E, which is the smallest of them all… Hopefully, I will have some more time tomorrow.
Anaheim Convention Center
The booth setup – great to be practically in the aisle!
Maris the Great, his bass and its maker and one of my booth-share partners, Chris Cardone. Maris licked me, thanked me for the honor and promised to restrain himself and not eat me… He has graced us with his presence throughout most of the show.
A new fan
Chris and Travis from Scale the Summit came by
Brian Bloi, who became a great fan
Michael Spalt, one of my customers and guitar building heroes, came by to see me!
Vance Galloway, ready to purchase his third .strandberg* bridge!
And Don Ramsay, inventor of the linear tremolo
With legs, feet, ears and throat hurting, I’m still looking forward to tomorrow.