Things are moving quickly here at Strandberg Guitarworks. As a result, Facebook and the new website strandbergguitars.com have received more attention than this site, and to avoid duplication, here are a few pointers to pertinent recent posts. Click on the images to view pictures at the strandbergguitars.com website.
Here are a few pictures of the final guitar stand. There was no good-looking plywood to be had in town, so I had to settle for this material which is called “OSB” or Oriented Strand Board. It’s cheap, durable, and I would imagine is kind of ecologically sound since it’s made from waste wood. Having said that, it might well contain awful glue compounds or have been shipped from across the globe… The weight turned out to be 490 grams (a little over 1 lb) which is well below most, and they are easy to pack.
I did make a few spare ones for the .strandberg* owners that I will meet at NAMM. Future orders will also have the option of including a stand and those of you that own a .strandberg* but don’t have a stand can purchase one.
#13 is the second build that includes a piezo loaded bridge. #9 was the first, but the time from completion to delivery was so short that I had little time to play around with them. This time, I have tried them through a couple of different amps and am very impressed. Here are a few pictures of the work that goes into installing them – it is fairly manual labor since having custom saddles manufactured becomes reasonably priced only when the quantity is very high.
I start with GraphTech piezo equipped saddles for Wilkinson tremolos and saw off just the front portion.
I then put them up in the milling machine and mill them down to the correct thickness.
The next step is to shape them roughly. I usually do this on a Dremel with a disc grinder.
I make sure the fit into the custom bridge/tuner housings. These have been modified from the original by having a slot where the saddle would normally sit, and a hole for the wire to go through.
Next, after some final finishing work, is installing them into the guitar. I now rout a gradually deeper channel under the bridges themselves.
Each cable is hidden under the next bridge, ensuring there is some slack for intonation and string height adjustment.
The final assembly also includes a string grounding cable that the 1st string needs to be threaded through. The other strings are grounded through the zero fret.
This assembly can be used with for example the GraphTech Acousti-Phonic pre-amp, but also with the Hexpander pre-amp.
Pictures of the builds completed lately have been added to the gallery. This includes #10 (Alejandro Cabral), #11 (John Mason), #12 (Shun Nagai) and #15 (Misha Mansoor). It has been a great pleasure completing all of these distinctly different builds, ranging from an elaborately constructed 6-string via 7-strings fanned fret and tremolo to 8-string baritone hybrid.
When Tosin Abasi received #8, he was astounded at the possibilities of the baritone hybrid concept, which has led to several new compositions in a tuning of C#AEADGBE. For existing song material, he tunes it DGEADGBE and places a capo on the 0-fret for an effective tuning of EAEADGBE. To overcome this, we created #17, which is similar in specs but a regular 28″-26.5″ mixed scale.
The design brief from Alex Stegmayr was clear with regards to neck slimness and playability in addition to accessibility of the 24th fret. The entire neck/bridge package was shifted forward in relation to the body to accommodate this. Due to the relatively heavy magnetic pickups, the balance of the instrument is good despite this. The weight still lands at only 2,700 grams. This is the first guitar equipped with a Graphtech Ghost system – I hope to have sound samples up soon.
#8, built for Tosin Abasi of Animals As Leaders, is completed. For specs and more pictures, see the gallery.
#7 is completed and will ship out tomorrow to its owner Brandon Montgomery of Littleton, CO. For specs and more pictures, please see the gallery http://guitarworks.thestrandbergs.com/gallery/
#1 left to Tokyo for a new home last week. Prior to leaving, it received some enhancements such as a new stainless zero fret and a concentric pot, including tone control.
I’m finding myself practically without demo stock, so need to get a few new builds going. In particular, I have signed up for FUZZ Guitar Show in Gothenburg, so mark your calendars and get ready to visit on 21-22 May. Shun Nokina, who is acting as my Japanese distributor will visit along with Richard Lundmark who introduced us in the first place, which I am looking forward to a lot.
Fred Brum, owner of #6, was kind enough to let me borrow his guitar long enough to exhibit it at NAMM. He had ordered a flightcase for it, and due to it being delayed, #6 also took a trip across the world in the other direction, to Tokyo. But last Thursday the long awaited case finally arrived and made its way to Lisbon, Portugal with its valuable contents.
I’m afraid there is nothing at all innovative about the flightcase – it is simply a well built one, that will keep your contents safe while touring or travelling with your guitar outside your personal control. The weight is approximately 7 kg.
I have travelled extensively with these guitars and can report that they fit nicely in the overhead bin of most aircraft. I have even travelled with two guitars in the same 3/4 size gigbag – all in the overhead. The bolt-on versions become small enough to fit in a backpack if you remove the neck. Since the strings are locked in place, there is not even a need to remove them.