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
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