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  1. #1
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    Default Guitar in Aust Design Awards

    Hi guys. Just got this on email and thought you all might be interested. A guy (all details below) has entered this in the John Dyson Australian Design Awards. THought it might inspire a few more guitar entries from you inventive folk.





    Student Designer
    Mr Yi-Luen Tan
    University
    RMIT
    Product Description and Principal Function(s)
    My project concerns the electric guitar not simply as a design, but as an evolution of manís quest to create a figure and form that resonates sonically, visually, and philosophically of the times in which he resides. While technology has been progressing steadily in this field, the designs have changed very little over the past half-century. My design tackles a difficult and protected product market with the appropriate level of 'intervention' by design.

    Why does the product represent design excellence and why do you believe it deserves an Australian
    Design Award?

    My product design is a contemporary interpretation of an instrument which has evolved over the course of the last five millennia. The design takes essential cues from traditional history, such as the use of wood, and applies them to modern design philosophies. For example, the location of the tuners at the base of the body not only provides completely unique aesthetics, but is in fact more ergonomic and intuitive for the player. It also lightens the weight of the headstock considerably, allowing for more liberal movement of the neck and a more comfortable feel. The bridge makes use of roller bearings, and the nut is made of a material called Boron Polytrinate, and is in fact
    slipperier than Teflon. This results in virtually no friction save for the two anchor points of the string, creating excellent tuning stability.

    The wood itself is sourced from Queensland, which not only helps the Australian industry, but is environmentally friendly, unlike various other tonewoods such as South American Mahogany. To showcase the wood, I used a natural Danish Oil finish rather than a thick polyurethane or nitrocellulose which would have inhibited the natural resonance and feel of wood.

    The electric guitar pickups are the innovative Lace Alumitone pickups, which are not introduced as standard on any existing production guitar. This was because their streamlined and radical design looked 'out of place' on existing guitars, so I sought to create my design with them firmly in mind. Their weight is 70% lighter than conventional pickups which affords considerable weight savings. Perhaps most importantly, they produce an extraordinarily clear tone.

    Primarily, while electric guitar design still largely dwells on the designs of the Gibson Les
    Paul (designed in 1952) and the Fender Stratocaster (designed in 1954), my design introduces a new design into the marketplace which is the result of a great deal of research and development, and is highly resolved and manufacture-ready. Feedback
    from seasoned musicians has been highly positive, for it is unique without being offensive to tradition.

    More than any of this, the guitar is simply a great guitar to play. The maple body gives it a smooth, rounded tone, while the walnut cap adds sustain. Combined with the Alumitone pickups, the overall tone is bright, full and clear. The body contours make it very comfortable to play and its ergonomics are second to none. To the untrained eye,
    it is a very different to existing designs; to the avid guitar player, it is completely different to anything out there, both in appearance and feel.

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  3. #2
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    very strange looking beastie, not exactly my cup of tea but it's good to see someone heading in a different direction with regards to guitar design. traditional shapes have really ruled the roost as far as guitars go, and as such i think it would have a hard time selling in a guitar shop. maybe a heavy metal band needs to endorse this guy's stuff, they usually love all that weird shaped stuff.

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    Smile Designs

    Good effort on the part of the maker but I doubt that Fender or Gibson will be making copies of it. I think the late Leo Fender will always hold the candle when it comes to Guitar design, most are still making copies of his original strats and teles.

    Regards Mike

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    I'm with you Tim I find this sort of stuff inspiring. I also like his design and looks like hes done a great job on the build too.

    I would add though that some of the claims in the blurb may be stretching things. A couple of points about this quote "For example, the location of the tuners at the base of the body not only provides completely unique aesthetics, but is in fact more ergonomic and intuitive for the player. It also lightens the weight of the headstock considerably".

    I think "unique aesthetics" relating to the tuners at the bottom is maybe a stretch in that Steinberger has been doing something similer since the seventies, although Steinberger uses purpose built tuners and not just your run of the mill tuners.

    Then the bit about "ergonomic and intuitive for the player". Hmmm, when I tune, I pluck the string with my right hand and tune with my left. To tune like this on that guitar looks like it would be uncomfy. The alternative to pluck with the right and the tune with the right just doesn't sound right to me either, maybe I am missing something.

    Jim
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Interesting looking guitar but I dont find it outrageously different from what has gone before.

    The acid test of course for an electric is how it looks after youve smashed it to pieces against your stack of Marshall quad boxes
    Whatever note you blow youre never more than a semitone away from the correct one....(Miles Davis)

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    Quote Originally Posted by toejam View Post
    I'm with you Tim I find this sort of stuff inspiring. I also like his design and looks like hes done a great job on the build too.

    I would add though that some of the claims in the blurb may be stretching things. A couple of points about this quote "For example, the location of the tuners at the base of the body not only provides completely unique aesthetics, but is in fact more ergonomic and intuitive for the player. It also lightens the weight of the headstock considerably".

    I think "unique aesthetics" relating to the tuners at the bottom is maybe a stretch in that Steinberger has been doing something similer since the seventies, although Steinberger uses purpose built tuners and not just your run of the mill tuners.

    Then the bit about "ergonomic and intuitive for the player". Hmmm, when I tune, I pluck the string with my right hand and tune with my left. To tune like this on that guitar looks like it would be uncomfy. The alternative to pluck with the right and the tune with the right just doesn't sound right to me either, maybe I am missing something.

    Jim
    Yeh I thought his comments were a bit funny

    I swear I've seen the tuner design on other guitars somewhere. Possibly a Neil Moser or Novax??

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwigeo View Post
    The acid test of course for an electric is how it looks after youve smashed it to pieces against your stack of Marshall quad boxes
    LOL!!! Which is why they have it all over Torres!!

    Seriously, nice visual design and execution, design award? dunno, but it gets his name out there and any publicity is good publicity if he has chosen this as his career.
    "We must never become callous. When we experience the conflicts ever more deeply we are living in truth. The quiet conscience is an invention of the devil." - Albert Schweizer

    My blog. http://theupanddownblog.blogspot.com

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    I shouldn't rain on his parade but honestly, *I* find the whole thing remarkable in its un-inventiveness.

    It's made of wood. That's a good start.

    But there's nothing to say a headstock is bad for tone, and tuners on the body is not new. Imagine getting your sleeve caught in the string ends!

    Roller bearings in the bridge MIGHT be a good idea but sounds like over-engineering to me.

    Can he say with any certainty the maple gives a smooth round tone while the walnut adds sustain? Compared to WHAT?

    Why engineer lighter pickups and then add all that tuner weight to the body?

    It has NO aesthetic advantages to my eye over any other guitar shape. What's with the "hammerhead"? can the guitar be carried that way?

    Finally ... what's the real need for slippery nuts?

  10. #9
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    Damn, has anyone thought of how awkward that would be too play?! One minute, strumming along, the next you're whole arm gets stuck, your long sleeve shirt caught in the tuners! Nice to look at for some, but most people want to be able to play their instrument!

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    Think: Stevie Ray Vaughn. I can't think of any live player that would find it ergonomic. Its Pretty difficult to tune up mid-song.

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    Pete Townsend would be slashing his wrists on the string ends when he does that windmill thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tim290280 View Post
    I swear I've seen the tuner design on other guitars somewhere. Possibly a Neil Moser or Novax??
    B.C.Rich use the same idea on their 10 string guitars. They have 6 tuners up in the normal headstock position and the extra 4 tuners in the exact same place behind the bridge. Been like that for a while IIRC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandwichamwin View Post
    B.C.Rich use the same idea on their 10 string guitars. They have 6 tuners up in the normal headstock position and the extra 4 tuners in the exact same place behind the bridge. Been like that for a while IIRC.
    That must be why Neil Moser came to mind

    For all the bravdo and self agrandising advertising it shows that concepts and designs can be appreciated outside of luthier and guitar circles. We may even get an art show or two.....

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