Dragen – Solid Acoustic

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This is the current love of my life (OK one of my many, many loves, xxx Lelly)
It is a Stagg James Neligan EW3000C slimline Electro Acoustic guitar.

Look out here, soon, for my own version of this guitar in which I want to add an Alinco tube pickup, for combined acoustic and blues / jazz. It is likely to be more Les Paul shaped and styled like an acoustic with vine inlay neck and nice wooden binding and purfling.

I have come to this guitar via a few routes. Firstly I was looking for an acoustic guitar for finger picking. I had found that playing with a capo on the third fret I could get my chords nice and clean and decided to find a guitar with a wider nut. I measured all my guitars. Fenders are 41mm Gibsons are a little wider but manage to get a wider gap between strings. I cut a nut with 6.5mm between strings and fitted it to my 41mm wide neck Washburn – but the high E kept slipping off  the fretboard. I searched out nut sizes on various guitars. Godin and Seagull and some Taylors have a wider 43mm nut. I actually bought a Vintage Parlour guitar with a 47mm wide nut and found that too wide. Also, probably because of my big fat belly, the body of the guitar made it uncomfortable for close study while learning. This is when I started thinking hard about a guitar that I had seen Roger Flack guitarist in Peter Knights ‘Gigspanner’ play at Royston Folk Club.

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At first I had thought his guitar was a regular hollow acoustic until Roger started getting other sounds out of it which were surprising and more electric. At the break I asked him about it. It is solid mahogany and only a few inches thick. Made for him by a Luthier. The sound hole is only a 1/2″ deep and painted black.

Almost by accident searching “thin body” and “solid acoustic” etc… I found the Stagg guitar and bought it at just £145 – they are about on Ebay at £199 but fairly rare in the UK. I love it. It has a 43mm nut thin D shaped neck very electric in feel. Low action,  and great acoustic sound via the under saddle pickup and clever preamp. It has an 1/8″socket for MP3 input (backing tracks) which feeds to the amp via the 1/4″ jack and it also has 1/8″ headphone socket so private playing (with or without backing tracks) is easy.

I now know that the Stagg is a copy of the Godin and I have become a great fan of these Canadian made guitars. I got to see a Godin for myself at Royston Folk Club and had a bit of a play on it. Yes I could sell a few of my guitars and buy a Godin for myself at about £1500 – but what’s the fun in that when what I make MIGHT be even better …… ??

Click Here to see the Godin electric guitar factory tour and

Click Here for the Godin acoustic guitar factory tour.

For an amazing comparison Click Here for a  tour of a guitar factory in China.

chet_atkinsSo the story develops more. 14th May 2013 I spent a day with Robbie Gladwell (Cockney Rebel and Dr Roberts guitar surgery)
He introduced me to the guitar he helped develop in the 80s  The Gibson SST Chet Atkins approved. See how the Chet Atkins signature is in the same position as the Goudin name jus above the neck  – Yes but the SST came first so the Goudin is the evolved copy.

Robbie regularly plays the actual prototype that he worked on and still works with exploring midi interfaces. While squirrelled away he has a pristine early production model

 

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThats not a hole its an “ashtray” of plastic. These guitars while sounding acoustic – cleanly feed into mixing desks or midi interfaces – avoiding all the feedback problems of a traditional acoustic body or chambered semi acoustic.

 

 

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