|Dunluce II-SC Rapter|
Dunluce II SC RapterSpecification:
- 6 string double cutaway electric
- Nut width 43mm at headstock end. Made from bone.
- 25.5" scale length
- 21 fret finger board
- Schaller M6 machine heads chrome
- Seymour Duncan SH-4 JB (Jeff Beck) in the bridge position
- Seymour Duncan SH2N-4C Jazz in the neck position
- Schaller hardtail bridge with thru stringing
- Roland GK-3 divided hex synthesizer pickup.
- Schaller security locks
- Push Pull potentiometers with various switching patterns (series, parallel, single coil taps)
- Each pickup has a separate volume control. No tone controls on this guitar.
Presented here is a prototype Synthesizer Controller Guitar.
Body constructionThe body is sapele and the neck is maple with the truss rod hidden by the walnut skunk stripe.
I decided to modify an existing guitar I had had for a few years as it's neck and electronics were shot. I ended up basically making a new guitar using the body only. Even then the body was extensively modified and now bears absolutely no resemblance to the donor guitar.
If you have ever heard the joke about the man who says "I've had this broom for 45 years, it's had three new handles and 3 new necks in that time" well that's what the Rapter is!
I threw away everything from the original donor guitar apart from the body. I then had to cut out the neck pocket to make the scale length 25-1/2" (the original was a strange scale length of something like 24- 5/16"!!!)
I then cut out the pickup routes and the various channels for control/signal cabling.
|Sapele body during spraying|
Neck constructionI made the neck from solid maple stock first of all routing the truss rod slot. I had some walnut left over from a previous project so cut it into a strip and glued it in.
|Fretboard after laquering|
|Neck showing skunk stripe|
The neck is finished with amber tinted nitrocellulose with satin clear coat on the back of the neck and gloss clear coat on the head stock.
ElectronicsAs this had previously had a scratchplate on the front (being subject to many mods by me over the years) I decided to fabricate a black/white/black laminated scratchplate and mount the electronics onto it.
Synthesizer ControllerI added the Roland GK-3 divided hex pickup so I could connect it to a synthesizer. This is the standard "bolt on" version and can be removed if necessary. On future guitars I shall build the electronics into the guitar now I know it works ok.
SoundsThe Rapter has been set with a really low action and plays very fluidly. The pickups are very powerful and puts the clean channel of a valve (tube) amplifier into smooth overdrive. When you switch to a lead channel the pickups will not feedback.
The single coil sounds are interesting and the combination of volume controls/switching allow you to achieve very subtle sound landscapes.
The synth pickup, when run through a suitably equipped computer or dedicated synthesizer, make you think differently how you approach playing an instrument. For instance if you want to sound like an entire string orchestra you can set each string to play individual instruments (or groups of instruments). You can also set it so that you can split the fret board, say the bass strings set for double bass, the D and G strings piano and the top strings fiddle. The possibilities really are endless.
When playing piano for instance you don't do string bends. You can set the pickup controller so that it only plays full notes (no sliding between notes). You then begin to play like a pianist. Alternate tunings are also very possible at the touch of a button. So you can now play a 5 string banjo without snapping any strings!