Last month we displayed our love and admiration for double-neck guitars… er, harps. This month we scale things back and return to a single-neck instrument but keep peculiarity at a high. While the Cassandra Elk Designs Vootar does have only one neck, it’s far from ordinary. The Vootar is half bass, half guitar and all German design and craftsmanship. It’s a combination of famed artist, musician and producer Klaus Voorman’s eye for design (he also designed the Beatles’ Revolver cover) and luthier Stuart Malcolm Bilcock’s ability to transform Voorman’s idea from pen and paper to bass and guitar.
The Vootar comes loaded with eight strings (top four are bass and bottom four are guitar), six pickups and two stereo inputs, so you can play bass and guitar at the same time. The front pickup responds to all eight strings. The middle and rear pickups separate the two sets of instrument strings so they can be activated with mini-switches in three different positions. All the pickups except the neck are custom-made and handwound by Harry Häusel of Häusel Pickups, and the guitar features custom-made ETS single bridges. The neck and body are made of Brazilian cedar.
By using a stereo output, you can play the Vootar through a guitar and bass amp separately. “This instrument is particularly useful for when you play in a small band,” says Klaus Voorman. “You can accompany the guitarist with bass and rhythm guitar whilst the drummer is freaking out.” There are currently only three Vootars in existence: one is owned by Klaus Voorman, another by Sir Paul McCartney, and the third (shown here) is at Redbone Guitar Boutique in San Antonio, TX.
Guitar courtesy of Redbone Guitar Boutique. Also, an extra special thanks to Klaus Voorman and Stuart Malcom Bilcock.