This reader’s onset health issues prevented him from building his guitar alongside his luthier friend, but in the end, his friend’s guidance helped produce the perfect headstockless guitar.
This guitar began a year ago as a concept to make a guitar with a luthier friend who was going to be moving away. So, I had a time constraint. He and I would frequently go mountain biking, design and build biking trails, and played in a band together—until, eight years ago, I started to have chronic health problems, which forced me to quit all of those activities.
A collaboration at my friend’s well-equipped workshop was nixed immediately, mainly due to my health, but also because his free time became limited, since his schedule was occupied with his full-time job and his project of building a house. As a result, the teamwork/consulting was going to have to take place via email.
My friend started me off with a very nice neck-blank sandwich of walnut and maple (from a tree that fell across one of our mountain-bike trails—bonus!) and a severely warped neck that was the donor for the fretboard and truss rod.
Ready for some headless hammer-ons.
I planned to copy a Traveler Ultra-Light Edge, which has an ingeniously designed tuning configuration and two-layer plywood body. But, by the time I finished carving the neck, I had decided that I would not be happy with a guitar body as small as the Traveler. I needed something more shapely and comfortable. The Ovation Breadwinner/Deacon shape won over a Klein Headless or Abasi Larada, both close runners-up.
The body took much longer to make than I anticipated. The in-body tuner arrangement is ideal for CNC fabrication, but it required a lot of planning and skill to make by hand. The body consists of two ¾″-thick pieces of plywood, so it was very convenient to chamber the insides before gluing them together. I mixed my own wipe-on polyurethane and added artist oil paint for a translucent tint. The finish was delayed by a month of frustration with inferior solvents due to new state VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) laws. My health limits my driving to only a few miles at a time, so I had to wait a couple of weeks until an anonymous helper could do a “moonshiner run” to a neighboring state for the good stuff (cue “Red Barchetta,” or more like “Blue Honda Fit!”).
“The body is lightweight, resonant, well-balanced, and very comfortable in both casual and classical playing positions.”
The circuit consists of a volume pot with a treble-bleed filter and a flush-mounted toggle switch for selecting single-, series-, or parallel-coils. The bare aluminum pieces (string-anchor headpiece, humbucker surround, string-roller mounts, and engine-turned neck plate and cavity covers) were made by hand using aluminum scraps. The volume knob is aluminum and zebra wood.
I am very happy with the result. The body is lightweight, resonant, well-balanced, and very comfortable in both casual and classical playing positions. It sounds great, and I love the translucent red color that accentuates the plywood contours. Although I didn’t get to make sawdust with my friend, he gave me plenty of advice during the process, and the neck is made from materials that he contributed, so I consider that a success.
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Boss introduces a powerful new wireless desktop amp for guitar and bass.
Katana-Air EX delivers professional stereo sound and acclaimed Katana tones in a compact footprint, supported by a larger cabinet and other enhancements over the standard Katana-Air model. Advanced Boss wireless technology and integrated Bluetooth provide convenient cable-free operation, while the companion Boss Tone Studio app (iOS/Android) offers deep-sound editing and built-in tools for skill development with YouTube content.
In 2018, Boss introduced Katana-Air, the world’s first totally wireless guitar amplifier. Katana-Air EX expands on the original model’s impressive feature set with 35 watts of maximum power, increased fullness and sound projection, and additional recording and performance options.
Katana-Air EX has been engineered to provide an authentic stage-style playing experience in a desktop size. Two custom five-inch speakers are loaded into a carefully designed wood cabinet, generating full sound with rich resonance typically only available with performance amplifiers. Punchy, high-definition tones offer an inspiring platform for honing natural techniques, while the tuned bass-reflex port ensures tight bottom-end response for low-tuned guitar riffs and electric bass practice.
Katana-Air EX comes equipped with sounds derived from the Katana stage amplifiers, dialed in for maximum expression with its desktop cabinet. Five unique amp characters provide tones from sparkling clean to high gain, including a dedicated character for acoustic-electric guitar and bass. The amp also features access to 60 Boss effects, with a wide selection of overdrives and distortions plus mod, delay, and reverb effects optimized for the amp’s stereo speaker system. Six onboard memories allow users to store their favorite amp and effects setups for instant recall.
Boss Katana-Air EX | The freedom of wireless
With onboard Bluetooth, Katana-Air EX users can wirelessly connect with the Boss Tone Studio app and play along with songs streamed from a mobile device. It’s also possible to record tracks directly to computer music software via USB and use the stereo line output with mic’d cab emulation for live performances in direct-to-PA setups. Going further, Katana-Air EX does double duty as a high-quality portable Bluetooth speaker for casual listening.
The dedicated Boss Tone Studio app provides complete wireless control of Katana-Air EX from a smartphone or tablet. Users can adjust amp settings, customize effects, and access deeper functions only available from the app. Integrated YouTube support energizes daily practice sessions with the ability to watch videos, create song lists, loop sections, and more. It’s even possible to change sound memories automatically during video playback, providing an inspiring hands-free experience when jamming along with popular songs and backing tracks.
Katana-Air EX can be powered with the included adaptor or via eight AA batteries or an optional Roland BTY-NIMH/A Rechargeable Amp Power Pack for completely wireless operation.
The new Katana-Air EX Wireless Guitar Amplifier is available now for purchase at authorized U.S. Boss retailers for $599.99. To learn more about Katana-Air EX and the original Katana-Air, visitwww.boss.info.
A new phaser offering a plethora of options, in collaboration with Spaceman Effects.
This collaboration, inspired by the previously discontinued Spaceman Effects Explorer Deluxe, presents a plethora of phasing options and more. The Microdose Phaser is crafted for guitarists with a penchant for rich "phase" effects.
- Knobs: Warp, Depth, Res, Level, Rate, Blend
- Phasing Options: 2, 4, 8 Stage Phasing
- Waveforms: 16 distinct modulation shapes
- Multipliers: .5, 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 4
- Additional Features: Tap Tempo, EXP Input, True Bypass on/off switch, and 9-volt operation with standard DC input.
The All-Pedal Microdose Is a Feature-Filled Phaser | Tone Report Demo
Available at a competitive price of $325.00, the Microdose pedal can be procured directly from the All-Pedal online store: www.allpedal.com