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Tom Drinkwater

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hey happy tappers! My old friend Eric of XEN Stringed Instruments is having me build him a 10 string touchstyle instrument and I will post here as it develops.

Basic specs are:
10 string headless
Bolt on construction
Abm piezo bridges
Abm custom XEN headpeice
Lace Alumitone pickups
Passive Graphtech volumes pots for the piezo
34” scale (iirc)

I will see if Eric has any interest in posting here and maybe sharing some thoughts and details on it.


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Owner/operator of Oakland Axe Factory
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I hold either dealer or OEM accounts with ALLPARTS, WDMusic, Amptweaker, Lace, Dimarzio, Bare Knuckle Pickups and Hipshot Products and I do a fair amount of business with Fast Guitars, Best Guitar Parts and Instrumental Pickups.       
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xen

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hello all! I’m really excited about this project. It’s something Tom and I have been talking about for years.
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Tom Drinkwater

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Reply with quote  #3 
And years, and years, and years......😜
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Owner/operator of Oakland Axe Factory
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I hold either dealer or OEM accounts with ALLPARTS, WDMusic, Amptweaker, Lace, Dimarzio, Bare Knuckle Pickups and Hipshot Products and I do a fair amount of business with Fast Guitars, Best Guitar Parts and Instrumental Pickups.       
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ixlramp

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Reply with quote  #4 
I'm very interested in seeing a headless tap guitar, they are very rare, yet it makes so much sense.
Starrett guitars made one, see http://starrettguitars.com/
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xen

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Reply with quote  #5 
Here’s a sample drawing. It represents the xen aesthetic I’ve been going for with my guitar and bass designs.

Attached Images
jpeg 58F5E56A-8A3B-4CA3-A880-B54E741FACD2.jpeg (81.40 KB, 9 views)

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Tom Drinkwater

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ixlramp
I'm very interested in seeing a headless touch guitar, they are very rare, yet it makes so much sense.
Starrett guitars made one, see http://starrettguitars.com/

The hardware can be expensive but I think headless is a fine way to go with a tapper. I always like minimalist designs so a headless system can really streamline things along with making it shorter and thus more portable.

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Owner/operator of Oakland Axe Factory
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I hold either dealer or OEM accounts with ALLPARTS, WDMusic, Amptweaker, Lace, Dimarzio, Bare Knuckle Pickups and Hipshot Products and I do a fair amount of business with Fast Guitars, Best Guitar Parts and Instrumental Pickups.       
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Tom Drinkwater

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Reply with quote  #7 
Eric, I know we’ve been chatting via fb messenger about signal processing with this beast. What can you tell the other members about your plans with it?
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I hold either dealer or OEM accounts with ALLPARTS, WDMusic, Amptweaker, Lace, Dimarzio, Bare Knuckle Pickups and Hipshot Products and I do a fair amount of business with Fast Guitars, Best Guitar Parts and Instrumental Pickups.       
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xen

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Reply with quote  #8 
Well, I *could* have gone for custom split magnetic pickups, but we had the two Lace 4.5s on hand lol

I jest, but I actually wanted to be able to split the signal differently from normal split-grouping touch guitars. The magnetic pickups will be wired in “stereo” to a switching TRS jack, which will allow me to process them together or separately depending on the need of the piece of music. I intend to “separate” the groups on those outputs using EQ and crossover effects to favor, rather than isolate, their respective frequency ranges. Simply put, the bridge pickup can/will go to one effects chain, and the neck pickup can/will go to another.

I did still want to split the groups entirely as needed, and we just happened to have piezo equipped ABM headless bridges handy. Each group of five strings will get its own passive volume kit from Graphtech, and its own dedicated output on a non-switching TRS jack. If I ever feel the need to merge those signals I will do so inside whatever modeling processor I decide to buy (donations are welcome lol).

I was originally planning on adding a Graphtech Hexpander for the midi option on the melody group, but I’ve decided to leave that alone for now. I have three GK pickups already so if I just can’t help it I’ll top mount one of them. I’d rather move away from the Roland guitar synth stuff with those 13 pin cables and move more toward waveform synthesis engines like the Boss SY-300 or some of the synth blocks in units like the Line 6 Helix, or the Fractal Audio Axe FX III.

So as it stands I have two TRS outputs; four signals to process. I think an AXE FX III can handle all of that craziness without needing too much else in the rack but we’ll see...
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Tom Drinkwater

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Reply with quote  #9 
I like this layout a lot, its relatively simple but very effective. The passive piezo stuff works really well too. Those along with the Lace pickups will give you everything you could want for basic tones.
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Owner/operator of Oakland Axe Factory
**************************Disclosure Statement*****************************
I hold either dealer or OEM accounts with ALLPARTS, WDMusic, Amptweaker, Lace, Dimarzio, Bare Knuckle Pickups and Hipshot Products and I do a fair amount of business with Fast Guitars, Best Guitar Parts and Instrumental Pickups.       
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xen

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Reply with quote  #10 
Agreed. I think I am going to aim for a Helix because of all that power, and I still want to get a Variax at some point. The HX Stomp can handle whatever the Helix can’t for the four parallel signals so that’s what I’m thinking for rounding it off.
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Big George Waters

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Reply with quote  #11 

I'm very curious as to how this turns out, as everything I am reading here sounds very appealing to me.

I like the idea of headless too, I'm not sure if it is just me - but my headless instruments seem to stay in tune better.


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WARR, Mobius Megatar [2], Syme, KYDD, Ovation [2], Steinberger [3], Tune, Schecter, Musicmakers [lots !!], Ironwood Stick [2]

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Tom Drinkwater

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Reply with quote  #12 
Headless is always a fun way to go. Especially with longer scale instruments as it keeps the overall length a bit more manageable
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Owner/operator of Oakland Axe Factory
**************************Disclosure Statement*****************************
I hold either dealer or OEM accounts with ALLPARTS, WDMusic, Amptweaker, Lace, Dimarzio, Bare Knuckle Pickups and Hipshot Products and I do a fair amount of business with Fast Guitars, Best Guitar Parts and Instrumental Pickups.       
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xen

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Reply with quote  #13 
I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been playing a Steinberger since 1995 or if it’s because I was fascinated with the French Revolution, but I love the whole headless concept.

I decided to simplify things a bit more on the electronics for the xaris. Usually when I let things sit for a while on a build I like to add more features and complicate things even more. Not this time I guess. I’m reducing it to two outputs. One for the mags and one for piezo. I’ll handle group separation with splitter/crossover effects rather than force myself to have to process four separate signals. Two can be handled easily.

My goal rig is a Line 6 Helix and a Boss SY-300. I love guitar synth but I can’t stand the 13 pin cable. I also would love to go wireless....
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Jayesskerr

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Reply with quote  #14 
Very cool. I am looking forward to seeing how this develops! Any photos yet of the concept coming to life? Keep us posted!
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Tom Drinkwater

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Reply with quote  #15 
I haven’t made any progress on the build yet. I have a few
that are ahead of it in the queue so I am getting all of the details worked out and all of the materials worked out.

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Owner/operator of Oakland Axe Factory
**************************Disclosure Statement*****************************
I hold either dealer or OEM accounts with ALLPARTS, WDMusic, Amptweaker, Lace, Dimarzio, Bare Knuckle Pickups and Hipshot Products and I do a fair amount of business with Fast Guitars, Best Guitar Parts and Instrumental Pickups.       
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