Just finished up the keyed monochord as part of the Acoustic Modular Stringed Instrument, before 2014 came to a close.
The module works as a stand-alone keyed monochord. It has a bottom plate & end plates where you can attach strings. Also, the octaves are independent and can be dropped into the acoustic modular stringed instrument. The design started off with a cardboard prototype. After some minor corrections, a wooden version was produced.
Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.
Keith over at kyubmusic recently took some time out of his day to answer my questions. He has been cooking up some interesting musical inventions, and recently had success with the Kyub kit. I am grateful for his insight, and had to share it with you.
First off, who are you? And how did you get started making these delightful boxes?
I guess I am a musical instrument designer! I’m not trying to dodge the question, but it just made me realize that maybe I passed a threshold in some sense of having sold musical instruments I designed. So if you stick with something you like may be it does work out. I studied electronics in college but was always interested in music and constructing things. I am mostly self-taught in these latter categories, something possible, I think, because these are things that interest me. I live in Milwaukee with my wife and my dog who sings to the violin if it is played just right :).
My first working design was for a servoelectric guitar in which the strings are tuned by changing their tension at high speed over about an octave – so it’s different than an auto tuning guitar. There are a handful of videos on the web of the various iterations of this and I have a website www.servoelectric guitar.com which has build instructions. It’s something that got a lot of views but didn’t go much beyond that.
When the Luthier told me-
This will become your main instrument, and you will like it more than the bowback mandolin.
I didn’t believe him. After a week of playing, its true. I love this Mandolin.
Nice finish on the head
Notching the bridge
The troublesome neck joint
Back came out nice
Went to a professional to adjust the action
Stratches in the finish
Done with the finish
1 Layer of Varnish
Trimming off the back
Clamping the Top Down
Hardest part was getting this to fit
These came out well:
+ All the time spent on the project was enjoyable.
+ Tone & playability
+ Color and texture on the finish
+ Using Google Helpouts and having Hustler Guitar give advice on the build. In particular, his advice on the finish.
+ Having a Stubblebine Lutherie adjust the action on the frets&strings
These things came out less well:
+ Original action on the strings & frets were too high and hard to play.
+ The neck joint was a pain to put together, and the angle was a bit off.
+ Scratches around the neck joint. Too forceful with sandpaper.
Here is a video of the kit before I got started. You can order the kit on Amazon.
The Kyub kickstarter is the cutting edge blueprint for manufacturing musical instruments.
Presellling and Idea Validation
By using kickstarter, the Kyub team is able to see if there is a market for their product. The Kyub is a way cool esoteric MIDI controller, that is beloved by a small group of people. Kickstarter allows the team to test the viability of the product before making more devices, and assembling additional product support resources.
Take a moment to look at this guitar making shop in foothills of the Himilayas. The 2 minute video is a great story about the transformational qualities of art and music. The Dehradun guitar company was formed to provide work, create jobs and build community.
Now, take a moment to ask yourself this question… Continue Reading
Kickstarter win! When somebody is literally taking your kickstarter project and shoving it down their own throat, you have reached your audience!
We predicted that Mogees would succeed with their mighty kickstarter, but holy cow, they smashed their target goal. There are two days left to get your order in. Mogees is the music app to have for your mobile phone.
Mogees has raised to nearly 90 UK pounds which would put them near the top of our all time kickstarter musical instruments list.
Go watch more videos of people using the Mogees in amazing ways !
Beautiful musical instruments are timeless, and a few posts reminded us that there are no shortcuts to quality. Little details have the unique ability to amaze in both directions.
These reinforcements by Esq Guitars are super classy are should be celebrated. What makes an instrument go from Good to Great? MBAs study companies that grow contagious pockets of greatness. But for the craftsman, sharing small trade secrets is the key.
Looking Through The Lens Backwards: Great to Good
This provocative video compares a Gibson guitar to an imitation from China. Most youtube reviewers comparing imitation guitars aren’t as tough, but this guy colorfully explains how the little things making a Gibson guitar a special instrument, and why the imitation is rubbish.