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Tatsu

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Reply with quote  #31 
Holdsworth turns the volume down and boosts after. But I don't think he turns WAY down. I like his clean tone but that doesn't mean I'll be able to get it with a maple neck without his semi-hollow body sans f holes thing.

EMG's are good both for bass and guitar.

I was also thinking about off instrument controls too. That's probably the way to go.

Strings are on the back of my instrument. Thin belt hooks come off of both sides but bend back toward the player once clearing the body of the instrument. Do you understand now? I've included a blueprint again. You'll probably understand. I think it may need to attach to the instrument much lower so as not to interfere with hands ability to reach the finger board.

Headless isn't mandatory but we could move the normal tuners to the bridge end and use the wooden slot concept on the early stick's butt, but placed at the head. I don't have a preference though really. I'd prefer anything except zither pins but I'll take those too if that's all that can be worked out.

How long have you been making instruments? How good are you getting?

Anyway, after thinking about it, I need a 6+5 on the front of the instrument for uncrossed hands. It's because of the tuning I want to use for achieving non-3rd chords like Holdsworth uses, but all based on alterations to a basic one finger chord minus the third: CDFGA(Bb). As you can see, that's 6 pitches not five. The other side of the front, is for 5 note quartal voicings. That's 11 strings total and is enough but we could go for 12 on the front and 12 on the back just cause guitar pickups have 6 magnetic fields, one for each string of a guitar.

With this instrument I'll be able to grab a bass note and a non-3rd chord with the left hand and solo in a fourths tuning on the right, or grab a bass note and a quartal voicing with the right hand and solo in my crazy CDFGABb tuning with my left.

I can grab b6's and b7's for bass notes too, and then I'll be able to make some PRETTY chords. The existing stick tunings just can't do that easily. It's gonna be an awesome jazz instrument that overcomes all the limitations of regular prog. rock sticks. I really want to make this thing. It should be fun.

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Jtmart

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Reply with quote  #32 
I've done woodworking and metal working since I was a teenager (over 30 years ago) but started building instruments about 5 years ago. I've only completed six instruments, the first two were touchstyle. Both are very playable instruments but the first one needs to have the whole bridge lowered slightly to achieve a lower action. A thicker fretboard would have solved the problem, I didn't make that same mistake on the second. I've also gotten much better at fret leveling and need to do another leveling job on the second.

I've also done an electric guitar that plays and sounds awesome, the others have been acoustic cittern/bouzouki instruments. Plus repairs on some electrics. I'm gearing up to try to produce an instrument every couple of months.

If you want someone with more experience it doesn't hurt my feelings, I have some folks wanting citterns and I also make guitar effects pedals so I have no shortage of projects.

Jeff

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Tatsu

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Reply with quote  #33 
Well, if I wanted to trade you my $3000 Ztar in exchange for an instrument constructed with the same level of quality and care would you be able to get what you need to make it with your own funds? I could send 4 EMG pickups though as a start.

In regards to tuning, I see Warr and Emmett both only go as high as a D below a guitar's high E string. If that's the case then the left hand's tuning for the front of my instrument should go E F#ABC#D. That allows me to play CDFGABb at middle C.

The problem with this is middle C starts too far down the neck. All of my chord voicings are useless below middle C. Emmett chose to have the Bass C on the Bass side be at the fifth fret (3rd string) as a basic place to be orienting to. My tuning causes the important C which I orient to to be on the 8th fret. The bulk of my chords are above that. This means I have to jack the instrument way up compared to a Stick in order to play it comfortably unless there's another string solution that allows me to tune the highest string beyond a D like up to a high F, or preferably a high G.

For the bass strings on the back, I believe a stick sounds best when tuned down to a low A string and with heavy gauge strings. That's mostly for a recording stick though. For a playing stick, middle gauge is just so-so.  Anyway, a low A wth heavy gauge is probably not as necessary on our instrument because we're not gouging out so much wood for a truss and the wood we gouge out for reinforcement, we're putting back.

Also, though a low A with heavy strings sounds best, it's not as enjoyable to play on heavy strings. That said, I don't like the way the stick doesn't allow you to play that low C it's first bass string is tuned to. I don't just not like it, I really, really need it.

The other consideration is that I never really want to be playing the equivalent of a 4 string basses open D. I need the lower D. Also when I play any chord, the b7 and the flat b6 BELOW the normal bass register root should be available. So, if I'm playing a four string basses lowest C, I don't want to reach up to get it's Ab. I want to reach DOWN.

The right hand front should be in fourths so I can play 3 note or 5 note quartals (or solo). My range in the octave of C3 aka middle C should be in a comfortable playing area. So middle C should be at the bottom of the comfortable zone, since all my chords are that and above. I see classic stick tuning starts at a C# and goes up to that highest possible D. That probably makes my hand go too high if playing 5 note quartals when I try to reach G, A and B chords. I feel my hand should come down the equivalent of a 4th or tritone so as not to be at an angle trying to fret 5 note A and B chords up so high. So perhaps the tuning should start at G for the right hand front instead of C#.
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Tatsu

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Reply with quote  #34 
I have a buyer looking at the Z-tar but don't know if he's going to bite. Let me know if you'd prefer the cash. Just know that if this person doesn't buy it, there might be little chance of me selling it, you'd probably have a better chance of selling it in America.

Here's the revised measurements for a tapered 24 string instrument instead of the ten string we talked about before. What I'm putting here is a summary of our discussions. It shows that a 12 string stick headstock would make the instrument 117.5 cm but my headstock design for zither pins would reduce that to 107cm. It also shows that I don't know what the measurement would be if a Steinberger situation. I said I don't want zither pins. I liked your idea to dampen the strings behind the nut if not being able to angle the strings 15-17 degrees.

It shows I approve the use of Stewmac Fretwire #154 and that the fret height should be .050" and that the first and last strings should be about 4 mm from the side. The string spacing is .300" and the group spacing should be .380". Let me know if you have problems with the pickups accommodating these measurements. The scale length is 91.5cm.

It also shows that the distance between any gouging out of the wood beneath the pickups should never cause the instrument to be less than half an inch thick at any point.

The integrated "lap dawg" is less than 30 cm from the butt end. This solves the problem of inventing a belt hook. I don't recall Bill Evans standing up to play his piano. This is a sit down instrument.

If using wood, it should be made from Eastern Hard Maple but polycarbonate, graphite, or laminated bamboo are also options depending on what you are able to source at your end for a reasonable price.

The Reinforcement should be from two 1/16" thin and 1/4" wide TOW carbon fiber thread bundles with West Systems Epoxy and that they are placed in the center of the instrument 1/8" from the playing surfaces. When you route out the trench for placing the fibers, you should laminate wood back in to the hole creating a single skunk stripe to cover the trench. This can be from a contrasting wood or be from maple again. Maple is a very bright wood so you could use Makore, Mahogany, Koa, or Basswood to balance and tune the sound. See this page for the tone quality of woods and how they can be easily finished. http://www.warmoth.com/Bass/Options/WoodDescriptions.aspx

If you can't find TOW carbon fiber, you can use aircraft grade aluminum called 2024-T4 alloy but the measurements would have to be recalibrated for width, height and placement.

The uncrossed left hand's tuning so far with the limitations for highest string currently is E F#ABC#D going from outside to inside. The right hand's tuning for uncrossed hands is C#F#BEAD going from inside to outside. One of the left hand bass strings on the back actually has to match the tuning of the left hand first string on the front, so I'll make that the 2nd string an E to match the tuning on the front. That will give me a low B on the first bass string creating a BEADGC situation low to high outside to inside for the left hand on the back. For the bass on the right, it can match the right hand front C#F#BEAD but in the bass register.

The only things my document doesn't show is the the sharp corners of the plank should be cut and sanded like a stick. It also doesn't show the shoulder strap or the measurement for the thickness at the butt end since that depends on how much wood you have to gouge out for the pickups. I looked for EMG measurements all day yesterday and couldn't find them so I'm going to my other house today to get my actual EMG's and measure them myself.


You had said there could be offboard controls but actually there could also be no controls which would make your life easier. Amps always have a volume knob.

We haven't talked about finishes yet.

I've signed the sketch to show it's the one I approve for construction.

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Tatsu

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Reply with quote  #35 
I have the pickups with the seal still intact. Upon opening I see the pickups are .500 in. tall from the top of the mounting foot and .850 in. tall overall.

This raises the issue of the number of jacks. I'd like one for each front side and one for the back for a total of three but the back could be one for back left and one for back right too. I'm not picky.

I still couldn't find Warr guitar or Stick string heights but found one for guitar. It said 1st fret - 1/64th of an inch at the first string and 1/32nd of an inch on the sixth string. This is good for both electric and acoustic guitars.

12th fret -for electric guitars, the first string is 3/64th of an inch and the sixth string is 5/64th of an inch.

I imagine Stick and Warr guitar string heights are significantly less.

Another article said;

17th fret
Clearance between string and fret
Guitar:
5/64” (2mm)
Bass:
3/32”
Unfretted
Nut
Measure At
Condition
Specification
Notes
First fret
Clearance between string and fret
0.020” – 0.022”
Unfretted
Pickup Height
Measure At
Condition
Specification
Notes
Pickup
Depress last fret
Guitar:
1/16” – 1/8”
Bass:
3/32” – 1/8”
Adjust for equal volume on all strings

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Jtmart

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Reply with quote  #36 
I really don't need another instrument, not really interested in a trade. I hope the guy bites. I don't have much available cash but besides the pickup, which you have, the tuning system is the only big expense.

I have hard maple in stock, it's extremely hard to work and hard on blades, even good carbide ones. I'll be looking at sources for the rest of the materials, we have a Zoltek carbon fiber plant where I live but I can't walk in and buy anything. It's available online. The problem is being able to cut a clean 1/16" channel into hard maple or really anything. I just don't have the equipment to do it. They make a billet they call continuos tow that may offer a bit wider solution and would actually give more strength.

The biggest hurdle to overcome is the bridge/tuning system. Anchoring the strings at the top and using a bridge/tuner is probably the answer but the very narrow spacing meand we can't use anything commercially available that I'm aware of. It is certainly not insurmountable, just needs some more thought.


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Tatsu

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Reply with quote  #37 
O.K. we just put the Z-tar up for sale on Facebook Bali and put fliers around town at the music stores and elsewhere. Hope someone goes for it. I have money but it's in investments. If I take it out, it goes in my Indonesian bank account. I don't have an American bank account anymore so no checks I could write you. They don't have checks here. It would have to be some kind of bank wire or Instagram if we got the money. If we're paid in Rupiah, the difference in currencies will hit us too. Hope we're paid in dollars but I'm not feeling very hopeful.

btw you could get someone else to cut the channel with their tools for a small fee of course.

Really thanks for all your attention to my project. It's been very enjoyable talking to you about it. I saw you were looking for string tensions in another thread. That would be very interesting and important information for a luthier to have also.
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ixlramp

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Reply with quote  #38 
Thought i'd mention Krappyguitars have made double sided instruments, see the two 'Flippitars' here http://www.krappyguitars.com/exotic.html
He has made so many interesting instruments from 1 to 16 strings.
Tapguitars are here http://www.krappyguitars.com/touchstyle.html
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Tatsu

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Reply with quote  #39 
Yeah, seen all his stuff. We talked about that before here somewhere.
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