12-string, 6-course crossover guitar, long-bar design, yellow cedar top and satinwood back and sides. Flamed maple bindings. 640mm scale-length. Nicolo Alessi tuning machines.
This unusual commission from Paul Karas started life as an idea for a vihuela/guitar cross, i.e. a small-bodied nylon strung 6-course 12-string. Gradually the proposed 16th century body shape worked its way through the centuries and finished up in the 19th with this curvy Spanish shape. For bracing, I adopted my long parallel bar system to take the strain of the 12 strings, which owes its inspiration to the French 19th century maker Etienne Laprevotte. The positioning of the longitudinal bars makes the case for an elliptical soundhole. I also rounded the ends of the bridge in a nod to Laprevotte's style.
"THE 12-string: Apart from having the looks of a Parisien Model and a Greek Goddess combined, this divine instrument has to be heard to be believed.
The range of tone goes from the familiar ring and chime of an electric Rickenbacker 12-string to the hypnotic “ting” of finger cymbals heard in a Buddhist Temple, and everything in between.
A small body with a BIG voice, it certainly sounds amplified when played with a plectrum near the bridge.
The tone is both exciting and cultured and it chimes like Bow Bells!
Rohan, I can never thank you enough for this one. "