Triggers : various inspirations.


Set the controls ...

More NOS goodness from the depths of surplus electronics stores across America and the world.

These little things sure add up costwise, but they're also adding up to a nice little stash of parts for my upcoming builds.

I can set the feel and the flavour of the controls :

Ready for some Italo/German pushbutton madness ?

These little toys are actually beautifully made, some japanese, some US built, they each have very sturdy mounting brackets of steel or brass and they feel so 60's. Many of them are 'ganged' to operate one at a time, when one button is pushed his brothers pop back up, this can be overridden just like the controls on old studio rack gear to find hidden options perhaps ?

I can imprint gold/silver letterpress symbols into the buttons or into the adjacent pickguard to replicate the arcane switching options on old Eko, Hagström and Wandre guitars - pickups on or off, series or parallel, coil tapping or maybe capacitor tone cuts and Leo Fender style 'mud'-switch options.

If I can manage to use some of these and still keep things simple ( help me Deiter ! ) I'll be happy - all ganged together in their little rows they don't actually look cluttered and can be designed into existing guitar and pickguard shapes.

I'll be using a single pushbutton on Harvester #22 for an option to hear both pickups in series for vintage Danelectro style high-output.


Now, here's some vintage Chicago, USA Dakaware :

These guys ( still in their 1969 boxes and padding ) can be found on Fender Electric XII's and many old Harmony guitars in black, brown or cream.

There's a particularly long-beaked relative used as the speed shifter on 1960's Ampex 4 track consoles.

More American made vintage plastic : extra long toggle switchtips.

Nice, old-fashioned military spec rotary switches and some Rogan 'stove' knobs.

And some weird little geometric things ...




Still thinking European, there's something about the dashboard of a Citröen that suggests all kinds of guitar parts and toggles to me. These cars carried their innovative lines right into the cabin ... makes you want to sit down and give all those controls a bit of a press or a wiggle. Made me want to start scouring electronics surplus shops for N.O.S. switches and pushbutton arrays for my guitar controls ... fun.


These things sure are fun to drive too, I won't forget the first time i hit the brake button on a CX and suddenly found the windscreen in my face ... or watching a mechanic reach into a DS, flick the ignition and step hard on the accelerator without getting into the car - making it leap up and down like a Southern Californian lowrider.

Victoria's Great Ocean Road via hydraulic suspension and self centering steering sure is fun too.





Fetish Guitars 

Anything i could write here about the inspiring world of Italian guitars from the 50's and 60's would seem somehow redundant when this resource exists. I could write about the ones that i've owned and played but really i would be directing you to the astonishing fetishguitars website within seconds ...

So knock yourself out ... it's worth a look if only for a few clicks through some of the instrument galleries.

I first found the site in the early 2000's, it was obvious right away that here was a site inspired by and in love with not only the guitars but the whole aesthetic of the graphic design and industrial design that goes into them. There are little history lessons throughout, with a recent addition showing the history of Eko guitars up to and including the sparkle revolution around 1960 -62

... but it's when newcomers to the world of Italo-weirdness stumble onto the Wandre pages that the earth shifts a little on it's mainstream North-American-axe axis and you realise that in 1957 in Europe you could buy an aluminium necked guitar with screw adjustable neck angle, innovative bridge designs and truly unique paintjob or space-age material construction.

For a guitarmaker these images are inspiring, especially when no single part of these beasts looks familiar from the parts catalogues of the American and Asian suppliers.

Early models feature a tilt neck system controlled by a hand screw, much like ancient Austrian built spanish-style guitars.

Later Wandres featured a thru neck system of aluminium from the headstock right through to the bridge/tremolo :

... again, i'm not saying anything new here - it's all on the site.

I've been trawling through this site for 8 years or so and I always find something new and inspiring.

Last year this page of Argentinian guitar brands of the 60's appeared and caught me completely by surprise.

More on Wandre soon,

cheers, AP






I've been spending a lot of time here lately.

Soundpark Studio in North Fitzroy ... home to lots of warm old recording gear and some delightfully shonky carpentry.

Recording to tape and/or digits.

That's my good friend and collaborator Ross McLennan with an old Kay bass in the last shot ( sitting in front of the Studer 16 ) and the ghostly visage of another cohort and lifelong inspiration, drummer Kjirsten Robb in the Chemistry Department above.



1966 Jazzmaster 

An inspiring old guitar, in for a setup and fretdress ... these are the 'Before' photos, complete with eye - poking string-ends and a fresh splatter of guitarist blood ( both common repair-guy occupational hazards! ).



Sounds and feels spectacular now, by the way.

Among other minor adjustments, I relieved the squeeze from the shrinking pickguard around the pickups and now guess what ? they're height adjustable !

Cheers, AP