Acoustic roots run deep, Electrics branch out sky high.

I noticed an odd thing today after getting my new guitar, the very futuristic Teuffel Tesla 6 Hardtail.  Tell me if you see the trend.

My Electric Guitars, from oldest to youngest: 

1972/5 Gibson LP Custom ’54 RI

1979 Rickenbacker 360-12 Jetglo

2001 Gibson Pete Townshend Signature SG Special

2003 Matt Artinger Blondie Jr.

2005 Teuffel Tesla 6 Custom Hardtail

2008 Rick Kelly Bowery Pine Tele

My Acoustic Guitars, from youngest to oldest: 

1973 Guild Aragon F-30R

1972 Martin D-28S

1969 Guild F312-NT

1936 Gibson L-00

Well, I guess the LP kinda bucks it, but even though it was made in 1972, I think it hit the hooks in 1975 after dating the pots.  So yep it fits – all my electrics are younger than the year of my birth, and all my acoustics are older.  They radiate out quite consistently, from a dense compact ring of 1970s guitars, to a sudden widening of the circle both behind and forward, until a span of 72 years crosses the ages of tone.  Perhaps subconciously, I consider electrics to belong to the younger generation, and acoustics to pay homage to the older.

Mental compositions aside, let’s show the spectrum from youngest to oldest visually, shall we?  It’s a pretty striking view when it’s all laid out.

IMG_9295

Tesla

Blondie

IMG_1609

ric2

IMG_8958

f30r1

d28s_edited

GuildF312

image5

 

One more word about the newest – the Teuffel?  I don’t understand it.  It sounds amazing, but there’s a mystery behind some of the tones I’m getting from it.  I emailed Teuffel Guitars to ask him what exactly is going on in there. I swear there’s a knob on there that seems to have an “infinite coil tap” knob that makes the bridge humbucker transform to any mix of single coil you want, until the humbucker sound is all gone, but there’s still no hum, and then you keep spinning, and it turns into a volume reducer until there is silence.  Isn’t that just the coolest?  The mystery of tone isn’t just lost in the haze of the pre-war era.  It’s still alive and well in this millennium.

Edit – I just heard directly from Ulrich Teuffel, that was quick!  Here’s the word:

This seems to be one of the earlier Teslas and it is a custom model.  If it hasn’t a plate with the serial number on the back side then it is an early one.  The first Teslas had no serial numbers.
The neck pickup normally is a split coil and the bridge pickup a humbucker.

I remember that I have built this guitar for a client who wanted to have two volume controls and a master tone control.  The volume control might have a little bypass capacitor which cleans out the tone when you turn it down.  The pickup switch above the neck pickup switches either neck or bridge pickup. The flight case has been ordered in 2006.  The guitar should be from 2005.

Very cool! First coolness is how quickly he responded to my inquiry- very nice!  Amazing how the ears can fool you when faced with basically a blind test.  I could have sworn the neck was a full humbucker, but it was actually a split coil.  Honestly, without attributing a volume knob to each pickup I wouldn’t have known which pickup was which by just using the pickup switch and playing – I tried the “tap the pickup” test but neither gave any kinda acoustic “ping” when I did that.  How isolated did he make these things!
Having the cap bleed off the bass when rolling down the volume on both pickups makes sense now.  That’s where I got the sense that there was a shift from humbucker to single coil – but it was really the split coil neck being beefier than I was used to, and the humbucker bridge being airier than I thought it could be.  The master tone control does seem to affect the neck more, but that’s probably because I’ve already rolled off a lot of bass from the bridge pickup as far as overall balance is concerned.
Alright, mystery solved.  Plus the lack of a plate with a serial number on the back pegs it at 2005, not 2012.  Now corrected.  Well, that blows up my “most futuristic is the latest guitar” idea – the youngest is actually the Bowery Pine Tele, ha!
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