Acoustic Slide Guitars
Although my guitars are currently priced at the cheaper end of the scale, the quality and tone are of the highest standard. The price will go up as they become better known.
My acoustic slide guitars are an original design. There are currently some Chinese made Weissenborns that have copied my sound holes and head design. But as they have not copied my bracing and other acoustic innovations, they sound like Chinese Weissenborns.
Info and specs
Fret scale length - 644mm or 683mm
Nut width - 50mm (8str 60mm) - height - 13mm
String spacing - outer strings - 45mm at nut - 58mm at bridge
Top wood - WR Cedar or Blackwood
Body wood - Blackwood
Fingerboard - Blackwood and Indian Rosewood inlaid into fiddleback Eucalypt
Bridge and Pickup
The spacing at the bridge is 58mm between outside strings, a good fingerpicking size. This spacing is common on classical guitars but can be altered to suit. The undersaddle pickups that I use are a low profile high output piezo version that I make myself. I charge $80 aud to supply and fit it. These pickups need no boosting as they have more output than a strat. I do not fit preamps into the side of my guitars, as my instruments will long outlive any electronics.
Most mixers and most some guitar amps don't like ultra high impedance piezo pickups. Most modern FX pedals, or signal processors can handle high impedances, so using one between the guitar and the mixer is a good way to match the impedance.
The only difference between my standard and long scale guitars is the extra length. If you want to use a C or D bass string, I recommend the long scale, as the extra length gives more power to the low tuned string. If you expect to tune the low string higher than D, I recommend the standard scale.
A good set of strings for slide is GHS Phosphor Bronze True Medium. (also available as cryogenic) The extra heavy top and bottom are good for DADF#AD tuning. This set of strings can also be tuned up a tone to EBEC#BE on my standard scale guitar without a problem. (Jeff Lang uses these strings in this tuning) This same set of strings works well on the long scale guitar for CGCEGC tuning. For G bluegrass tuning GBDGBD, you would have to use different strings as the low G would be too tight. To work out strings for various tunings you should use this chart or this string tension calculator.
The guitars are optimized to a string tension of around 70 to 80kgs. (150lbs) They will handle more tension than that, but dynamics will decrease as the tension starts to lock up the sound board. Although my guitars are stronger than most, you can still destroy them with excessive string tension by using the wrong strings for the tuning. Please use this chart as a guide.
The large wood inlays on the fretboard are much more visible than the standard inlaid dots used on Weissenborns etc, but if you were to include all the frets that are marked on a normal guitar (3, 5, 7, 9, etc) the markings become useless because they look the same. After a lot of experimenting, I have found that just using 5, 7, 12 and their octaves is by far the easiest way to find your position. I can do added markers for those who really want them, but I can promise you that after a couple of weeks of using this system, you would understand why it has become my standard. You really don't need a marker to show you 3 frets above or below the octave and you can always use stickers while getting used to it.