Featured Instruments

ASAPJ Cutaway Longscale.


DADGAD tuning, where the low and high E strings are dropped to D and the B string is dropped to A, is common in traditional Irish music and beyond. With a regular scale guitar tuned to concert pitch the dropped strings lose tension so become ‘floppy’ and can hit off the frets. The detuned strings also lose tone and their intonation so go out of tune as you play up the neck. Players do try to work around these problems by using heavier strings ( I know one player who uses a bass guitar 0.080 for his low D!) and raising the action. Although this may help the intonation is not improved. My solution was to design a guitar with a slightly longer scale than normal.How does this work? Physics tells us that for a given note the longer the scale the more tension is required to reach it. This means that when the strings are detuned for DADGAD they return to concert tension so no floppiness and no loss of tone or articulation. What about intonation you ask? Well, I adjust the bridge saddle for the dropped strings for DADGAD tuning so the guitar plays in tune all the way up the neck. But what about the none dropped strings, aren’t that at higher tension. Yes they are and they sound clearer and project better so it’s a win/win situation. And there are more possibilities too. With the longer scale length you can tune the guitar to baritone tuning (B,E,A,D,F#,B) and enjoy all the overtones that come with that tuning which makes familiar music sound new. The guitar is also built strong enough to tune all the strings to concert and create a monster sound and projection!

This guitar has a back and sides of beautiful Irish walnut and a top of western red cedar that projects really well. The neck is a laminate of sapele and maple and has a two way trussrod fitted under the ebony fingerboard. The zero fret gives consistent sound to the fretted or open strings. The bridge, which houses a Highlander IP-1 pickup, is ebony and the solid wood rosette is walnut. So, a tasty package to look at which plays beautifully - in fact even if you have noticed the extra scale length you will forget about it in a few minutes. Binding is Irish sycamore and the rosette is mahogany. As a bonus this guitar has a Wittman tuner fitted inside the soundhole.

It’s a niche instrument but with real possibilities and solves real problems for DADGAD players. If you have any questions please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I'll try to answer them.