17 November 2019

The flat Neolin

As I’m always looking for new timbres to explore, I decided to check what happens if I made a Neolin without archings. Primarily, I was trying to invent a feature which would add the Sitar’s buzz to the Neolins sound. That did not work out (so far), but concerning a new timbre, I wasn’t disappointed. The instrument is a bombshell, especially set up with the « prim » chromed steel strings. Tons of power, and a frank sound with a cutting edge to it.
Strung as it is, it easily supports down-tuning. A third isn’t a problem at all. Amplified, you get the impression that there is some distortion, but that’s actually the flat Neon’s sound !
If there is a thing as a « Rock-Neolin », this is it !
Played with a pick, it works even better than a fretted series-Neolin. There is more sustain, the sound is cleaner and more powerful. The difference is comparable to that between a flat-top classical and an arched jazz-guitar, which is more mellow.
As regards the technical side, I chose a cedar top and a rosewood back – after all, this is inspired by guitar-making. To keep down weight and to experiment a little more, I made the ribs and neck from maple, though.
To tell the truth, this Neolin isn’t absolutely « flat ». Back and top have 4mm high arching. Thickness is tapered much like on a classical violin, especially on the bottom. To reinforce the belly and to accentuate the slight arching, there are 4 bracings in the belly, as well as a soundpost. The bracing is much stronger than that in the standard Neolin, and follows another pattern.
Actually, this prototype is already nearly one year old. I did not introduce it before because I wanted to be sure that the table wouldn’t yield over time with the string pressure. But it doesn’t. The instrument is stable.

Add comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *