Pagelli’s interchangeable-top guitar is shown outfitted with the acoustic tone plate,
while the resonator plate is on the table at right and the electric plate is on the left.
This innovative design from Swiss luthier
Claudio Pagelli was one of the show’s
highlights. With multi-instrumentalists
in mind, Pagelli created an alluring gem
with four interchangeable tone plates
that you can transfer in and out of the
6-string to go from acoustic to electric
to resonator to banjo tones in a minute
or two—with the strings essentially
staying in tune throughout the process.
(Pagelli says the plates will soon have
quick-change wireless connections to
make swapping them out even easier.)
The electric tone plate features Lace
Alumitones (Volume and Tone controls
are hidden in the upper-bout soundholes),
and the floating bridge can also
be changed out with a sitar bridge for
even more tones.
1. Claudio Pagelli unscrews the lock-pin on the back of the neck. 2. Pagelli carefully
removes the neck and slide-out tailpiece. 3. The tone plate pops out. This prototype had wires
connecting the electronics, but the final version will have quick-change connections. 4. The
electric tone plate is dropped into place. 5. The floating bridge is positioned before the neck is
secured. 6. Pagelli strums the guitar for a few onlookers. (Note the banjo tone plate at right).
Tone-plate changes are made possible
by a lock-pin mechanism in the neck-heel
area that allows you to unscrew and
tilt the neck forward for access to the
removable disc, and the same mechanism
also facilitates removing the neck for
easy transport. Deconstructed, the whole
package fits in a case you can easily stow
in an airplane’s overhead compartment.
“I was sure it was a cool idea, but I wasn’t
sure if it would work,” Pagelli told PG.
“I’m very happy it turned out like this.”