Sunday, June 08, 2008

One Thing Leads to Another: Fretted Glissentar Update

Long time readers will remember that I got the hair-brained idea to have frets added to a Godin Glissentar neck about two years back. Well, my friend Mark introduced me to Ed Reynolds when I mentioned that, and the project grew into a complete new custom designed fretted neck that cost more than the Glissentar did originally. The results are fantastic, both in terms of workmanship and in terms of playing feel.

This neck is actually better than the one on the Parker Nylon Fly, because no concessions were made to classical guitar necks at all: It is basically a widened and deepened Stratocaster cross-section, so it feels 100% like an electric guitar.

Unfortunately, the stock Baggs transducer system in the thing sounded very small and tinny, and the single low E string was particularly weak. So then I added a Carlos CP-1a to it, and the quality of the sound was great, but the overall output was still low, and the problem with the low E string persisted. I could perform with it live only if I had a second sound system, and now way on that, because I'm my own roadie. Yes, I tried super-high tension low E's, and it only helped marginally.

Well, as I was emailing back and forth with Richard McClish and Jim Kozel about the new Parker and how well it's turned out with the RMC Polydrive, I mentioned the long-neglected fretted Glissentar, and guess what? Richard makes Mandolin saddles for the RMC Systems! I had no idea. He emailed me a photo of one of them.

Note the dual captures for a string course - a pair of unison strings - into the transducer: With five of these for the top courses and a single string version for the low E, I'd be in bee's wax. I love it when a plan comes together!

Unfortunately, I've done quite a bit of deficit spending recently between the Parker and the new Digi 002, so this will have to wait for next winter. Still, a super-exciting development.

The picture just said, "Tuscan Beauty." I'll say! What a captivatingly beautiful woman. I've always wanted to visit Italy...


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