Guitar Design — Who Can Do It?

Discussion in 'Luthiery, Modifications & Customizations' started by Kemono, Aug 22, 2018.

  1. Kemono

    Kemono SS.org Regular

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    I am looking for anyone who can design a guitar for me. Nobody local can do it so I'm expanding my search to find someone remote.
     
  2. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    What are you looking for? By "design", are you looking for someone to take a napkin sketch of a one-off completely unique design and turning it into a real guitar, or taking a standard model and adding in your specs like neck shape, pickups, bridge, binding etc.
     
  3. Kemono

    Kemono SS.org Regular

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    I would prefer to have CAD files, but at the very least, a detailed spec/drawing.

    I want a custom body shape to fit my body for standup play. The guitar needs to be out in front of me, not flat against my body; so my palm isn’t jammed against the back of the neck.

    I am in the south Bay Area.

    See the attached photo. I changed the strap buttons on my Ibanez J-custom to make it easier for me to play. Just by changing the strap button locations, I was able to improve playability.

    [​IMG]
    The lower strap button is up higher and in the front of the body. This angles the guitar up and angles the headstock out more.

    The upper strap button is behind the horn. This location allows the neck of the guitar out away from my body. That way, I can play up on the neck a little bit higher without being too jammed up. The strap button placement behind the upper horn contributes to neck dive but that is mitigated by the repositioning of the lower strap button.

    The strap button adjustments improved guitar balance and performance.

    Balance can be further improved by using different shape, contour, and materials.

    I want more neck dive mitigation and more space between the guitar neck and my body. Here are some ideas:
    * upper horn, contoured back
    * upper chamber
    * no lower horn
    * lower body, contoured back
    * longer body, extending further past the bridge
    * no headstock

    Contouring the horn back puts the guitar away from my body. But it also causes the the guitar to face downward. Facing downward is undesirable. To mitigate this, the lower portion of the body is contoured back. This gives us contoured-back upper horn and lower body. The net effect is that the neck and fingerboard are at a greater distance from my body and the guitar does not face down.

    The contoured-back upper horn also contributes to neck dive. This is mitigated by moving the upper strap button up on the body, removing the headstock and lower horn, and using a heavy base of mahogany for the bottom of the body.

    The contoured back upper wing change is the right arms forearm rest and wrist break. Sort of like a Robin guitars or an arch top.
     
  4. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    @Kemono

    Point 1 - photo doesn't work.

    Point 2 - I've been kind of following your guitar dilemas, I firsthand apologize if this has already been brought up to the table, but, why not make a contraption instead? Something that could get the guitar in the correct place? By this, the first silly thing that comes to my mind in order to get the guitar further away from your body is a pillow. Yes, it's silly, but may work for testing out concepts. There are guitar supports to lift the guitar when playing in classical position, so the fretting hand gets to be at the eye level, for example. Something like that that could be retrofitted into any guitar's back seams to be ideal by a few reasons:
    1. it allows you to experiment on different guitars
    2. it makes the build more friendly to be sold in case you don't like it and also, therefore WAY CHEAPER to your wallet.
    One's physical condition can change with time (crossing fingers so your's isn't permanent). Building a guitar from scratch to accommodate your present needs may not suit in your future needs, so that special thing you REALLY need that is totally out of the box (getting it away from your body) should be a removable and adaptable contraption.

    Having this said, for anyone to draw/project such special instrument one needs DIMENSIONS, scale lengths, number of strings, their spacing at the nut and bridge, what bridge hardware, number of pickups, woods, neck joint type, electronics choices and switches, neck dimensions (thickness and "fatness") etc....

    For a contraption design, one also needs dimensions. The contraption eliminates the need for deep back contours and allows the guitar to be more "regular player friendly", any one could play it (in case you need/want to sell it?). The contraption also allows you to pick any other guitar an eventually play it.

    What say you?
     
  5. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    This is exactly the advice i give for strap button repositioning, and what i have done to several guitars.
    I have had a similar idea, but done by having both horns on pivots so they can be angled towards the player and adjusted to be optimum (also able to return to normal position for fitting the guitar inside a hardshell case).

    Basslab make an interesting guitar (available as headless):

    basslab_std-g_cmred_bd.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2018
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  6. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    Basslab again:

    basslab_std-g-vi_hl_green_sparkle_bd_6.jpg
     
  7. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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  8. ixlramp

    ixlramp SS.org Regular

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    Back angled horns could result in a much thicker body blank and more difficult construction, if done traditionally.
    My thinking about pivoted horns is part of thinking about a different approach to construction where the horns are bolted on like the neck is, in which case they could be angled back while still using a standard thickness body blank.

    This means the horns can be made longer while also reducing the size of the body blank.
    I started thinking about this after seeing the Atlansia Pegasus:

    s-l400.jpg

    Not sure if the case here but it would be possible to form the horns from the offcuts of the body blank, reducing body blank size, cost and wasted wood.

    (This then led to me thinking that anything bolted on can be attached with an adjustable lockable pivot, allowing the form of the guitar to be adjusted to the player's needs. After all, an instrument is like clothing and needs to 'fit' the player, be stable in a particular orientation and be ergonomic)
     
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  9. Kemono

    Kemono SS.org Regular

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    Thank you for posting the basslab guitar pics. Where can I try one?

    It looks about what I'm looking for ergonomically. But it sure is ugly and they're really expensive. But actually it looks close to what I want in a shape and I want to try playing it. Where and how?
     
  10. supertruper1988

    supertruper1988 SS.org Regular

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    Uhh dude, you arent going to be able to try one.

    I think you need to think long and hard about what you need.

    Any custom guitar you get made for you isnt going to be a try before you buy situation. No luthier is going to build you some guitar you have a CAD file for without up front payment or payment some kind of 50/40/10 setup and then let you return it when it doesnt work out. You will spend a LOT of money on this project. Maybe look at some of odibrom's suggestions about things that attach to a standard guitar to help get it in the right position. Much cheaper to get a wood worker to build you some fixtures than a luthier to build you a custom guitar.
     
  11. kindsage

    kindsage SS.org Regular

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    Serious suggestion:

    If you want a super ergonomic guitar check out Rick Toone. His work is expensive as hell but, his reputation and philosophy is built around ergonomics. You are going to spend an ass load of money getting a custom super-ergo guitar. Might as well go to him

    EDIT: Jesus H Christ never mind. I knew his guitars were expensive but i didn’t know they were over $10k
     
  12. kindsage

    kindsage SS.org Regular

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    second suggestion:
    Learn how to use Fusion 360, make your own body model, find a shop willing to make it. Make sure you use a fender neck pocket and buy a the neck from warmoth.

    Seriously it sounds like the issues you’re having are from the body, not the neck or neck profile. So just make the custom body and buy the neck.

    Fusion 360 is FREE and kicks ass for 3D modeling complex curvature (I’m modeling a St. Vincent copy right now).

    They have hundreds of lessons that can take you from zero experience to professional. If you are serious about it you can learn enough to model a full guitar (not just the body) in a month.

    If you don’t want to spend an insane amount of money, and you’re willing to put in a little time to learn, this might be a solution for you.

    Oh! And you could probably do all of this in a fraction of the time it would take to wait for your custom to be built
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
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  13. Kemono

    Kemono SS.org Regular

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    Thank you to everyone.

    I am working with a guy and we’re kind of going off a combination of my imagination, the basslab C guitars, Ibanez RG.

    The horn will be longer then the RG and the body will be contoured back about 4 cm like the C.

    It’s going to be Maple neck thru with a deep cutaway.

    HSH: Tone zone, blue velvet, liquifire.

    Next, we’re going to try to figure out which bridge should go on it. Then hardware. Then fretwire.
     
  14. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

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    Very cool. Can't wait to see hos it turns out!
     
  15. Lemonbaby

    Lemonbaby SS.org Regular

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    Look at it the other way around: his guitars also hold resale value like hell...
     
  16. kindsage

    kindsage SS.org Regular

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    Eh. I don’t like to think about resale value. I feel like if you buy something with the mindset of selling it later then it’s probably not what you really want
     
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