Seven String Baritone with Trem!
Now this is an unsual one. It might even be a first. Seven string guitars are not so common. Seven string baritone guitars even less so. And this is the first seven string baritone guitar I have ever heard of witha locking trem!
How did it come about? Last year I built a seven string guitar for a customer which required a trem that could take special piezo saddles. I found a 7 string trem in the USA and imported it only to find that it was not suitable for those saddles and so had to search further to find the correct one for the regular 7 string guitar. This left me with a 7 string trem. What to do with it? Obviously you make a baritone 7 with trem!
This is a stunningly beautiful piece. The oversized body core (105% of a regular ASAD) is quartersawn utile with a flamed maple overlay that has been double stained with black and cherry to bring out the figure. The sides of the overlay have been left unstained to give the effect of a maple binding. The neck is a laminate of flamed maple and Tasmanian blackwood and is reinforced with two carbon fibre rods. Why the carbon fibre? The baritone guitar has a longer scale (27") than a regular guitar so requires more tension to get to tune and there are 7 strings with a range from 0.014" to 0.070" so it needs to be very stiff to cope with this. An Indian rosewood fingerboard is used and the headstock has a flamed maple facing which is stained to match the body. The 7 Schaller Vintage tuners are a tight fit on the headstock.
Seymour Duncan make certain of their pickups in seven string form and fortunately two of these are the SH-4 and SH-2 which happen to be my favourite combination. The pickup selection is the regular 5 way rotary switch that gives 5 separate humbucking voices by combining the 4 coils of the two pickups in different ways.
Tuning. The regular 6 string baritone guitar adds a low B string a fourth below the normal E and loses the high E. A 7 string baritone adds another string a further fourth down which is an F#! So you have, from low to high, F#, B, E, A, D, G, F# and B. Picking up this guitar changes the way you play. Regular chord shapes have a completely different sound to that you are expecting - everything is darker and more resonant. Single note lines seem to become more complex as the extra resonances appear. I tend to play more slowly which, to me, suits the tonality of the baritone and songs that you know in regular tuning take on a whole different aspect. Then you have the trem which you can use as gently of as roughly as you want which only makes the sound more musical! You can, of course, also play this thing in a different way - baritone guitars are used sucessfully in surf music, rock, metal and jazz although usually as 6 strings. The extra depth the 7th string provides adds even more to the sound. So if you are into exploring your darker side (or your lighter side if you play surf music!) this might be the guitar for you!.
Please contact me if I can tell you more about this instrument.