Thursday, March 19, 2009

Revised Website Preview!

At long last my website has been updated to include some more recent work (or at least recent work that I can talk about publicly).  Thanks Ed!  So I'll preview one of the goodies from the site (click on "one offs" and then "hannes bridge" for more pix.

My friend and long time guitar tech Stephen White introduced me to Roland Hannes around 2002.  Roland had invented a very clever bridge for electric guitars that was revolutionary in a couple of ways.  For one, the individual saddles sit right on the wood top of the guitar—not a metal plate screwed to the top of the guitar.  And there are a lot of other cool, painstakingly thought out features.  I hooked him up with a machinist friend of mine, who helped him get a prototype built.

Roland licensed his invention to Schaller, an instrument hardware manufacturer in Germany.  And in January of 2008 I had a chance to play one of his bridges myself.  I was absolutely blown away.  Unplugged, the guitar had a resonant, ringing, quality that I had rarely heard in a guitar. I decided on the spot that I needed to build up a guitar around the bridge.  I had been jonesing for a telecaster anyway.

The only problem was, I didn’t like the aesthetics of the anchor block of the bridge.  It just didn’t look right to me.  The saddles and anchor don’t speak the same design language. The saddles are boxy and the anchor in Roland's version was blobby.  And there is NOTHING blobby about a telecaster. So I redesigned the anchor. The result is a bridge that looks A LOT better, and is more comfortable to play.  Too bad I didn’t have a chance to redesign it before it went into production.

But at least mine looks right.

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