Scarab

Small solid body electric guitar


scarab

Specification

Dimensions:


  • Overall lenght: 990mm / 39”
  • Body width: 280mm / 11”
  • Body lenght: 395mm / 151/2”
  • Body thickness: 48mm / 115/16”
  • Neck depth: 22mm / 14/16”
  • Neck width nut: 45mm / 13/4”
  • Neck width 12th freth: 55mm / 25/32”
  • Scale lenght: 648mm / 251/2”
  • String spread nut: 37,5mm / 115/32”
  • String spread bridge:52,4mm / 21/16”
  • Action on 12th fret: 1.8mm / 2.3mm (+- 0.2mm)
  • Neck relief: 0.2mm – 0.3mm
  • Weight: 3.8 kg
  • Fingerboard: lenght – 495mm / 191/2”,
    radius – 380mm / 15”

Components:


  • Tunners: Schaller locking tunners, 16:1, black
  • Nut: Tusq – synthetic ivory
  • Truss rod: dual action
  • Bridge: 2Tek, solid brass, nickel finish
  • 4 ebony knobs with white dot
  • 2 ebony humbuckers trims with setting screws
  • 2 black strap locks with spring
  • Black round recessed socket for 6,3 mm mono output jack
  • Eliptic ebony truss rod cover with three screws
  • Strings: Ernie Ball – Regular Slinky (.010/.013/.017/.026/.036/.046)
  • Frets: nickel silver 18%
    w=0.078” (1.98mm), h=0.050” (1.27 mm)

Electrics:


  • 2 linear 500k potentiometers for separate volume control
  • 2 logarithmic 500k potentiometers for separate tone control
  • Three way pickup selector
  • Alnico II Pro Seymour Duncan Humbucker (Slash signature) – neck
  • Seymour Duncan SH13 Dimbucker – bridge

Materials:


  • Body: African mahogony
  • Body top layer: ash
  • Neck: ash
  • Fingerboard: ebony
  • 3.3mm Ivory dots on fingerboard
  • Black grain filler
  • Sanded dark stain
  • Epoxy base coat – Morrels
  • Transparent melamine lacquer

Guitar description

This guitar has been designed with a fingerboard without frets but the version with frets has been made simultaneously with few differences. Here is a description of two particular guitars which are shown on the pictures bellow. This guitar can be made with possible custom modification.

 

Unfretted version


This instrument has been designed exclusively for 2Tek bridge, which has the ability to extend the tone sustain and beautifully accentuates fretless fingerboard playing. The body of the guitar is carved into the shape that uncovers fitting of the through-body metallic bridge.

 

There was designed a unique construction for tight connection of the neck, body and top layer of the guitar. Ash guitar neck penetrates through mahogany body up to the bridge hole. This joint makes strong connection as with conventional construction type “Neck-through body”. The whole body is made of one piece of wood and is partially covered with a contoured ash board that covers the connection of the neck and guitar body. The edges of this board bound lowered areas in which are located electronic controls and tailpiece. This enables maximum range of adjustment for strings height and both pickups. Knobs don’t stick out of the guitar body surface as well.

Guitar neck has a low profile of the elyptical arc and the same depth up to the joint with a body. This joint is shaped for effortless access to the strings on the end of a fingerboard. The neck is made of two pieces stick together with mirrored grain flow. On the end of the neck is an 13° angled head stock with six in-line tuners. Each tuner has a lock which accelerate the string replacement. Short posts of tuning machines don’t stick out of the headstock.

There is a cavity in the mahogany body covered by ash plate. This reduce weight of instrument and enhance the timbre resonance.

 

 

Fretted version


Although both versions are identical instruments in shape, size and used material, they differ in several aspects. The fretted guitar has thinner strings of another type. There are used harder strings with standard sizes.

A surface of the instrument hasn’t been only filled by black grain filler, but also stained and sanded, so the guitar get a bit darker tint after its finishing compared to natural wood colour of the model without frets.

Twenty four nickel silver frets has been fitted on the fingerboard. Frets have tiny rounded crowns. Fields are marked with 3.3mm dots made from ivory. Although the overall length of the guitar is similar to other instruments, the fretless version seems to be optically elongated due to combination of a quiet small body with the long plain fingerboard. Cross frets and dots visually shorten the length of the neck and fill the empty space on the fingerboard. Rounded humbucker trims made from ebony wood dominate in the middle of the body and indicate an output power of pickups.

An ash plate on the instrument body is curved so the nickel plated solid brass 2Tek bridge and part of the mahogany wood are uncovered. Six grooves lengthen string lines. Hard and high quality melamine lacquer without shine has been used for surface finishing. However, the structure of wood with grains filled black gives the guitar dingy tinge. Even after years of hard use it won’t lose charm. It is very hard to describe a real tint of wood because type of lightning slightly changes colour of the stain under the lacquer. Ash wood gets in bright natural daylight grey or green tinge.

A fixed joint of the neck and body makes undivided area, so the resonance of wood is not disturbed. Wood of the instrument strongly modulates string vibrations and adds distinctive timbre so the tone is low-pitched but clear. Even unplugged, this instrument sounds well. After plugging in amplifier the guitar reveals its capabilities. The bridge is incompatible with the tremolo bar and that means certain limitation. The other way around, a prolonged sustain delights listeners of slow jazz or blues pieces. In the hands of an experienced player and connected to the proper sound system, this guitar really captivates the audience with its unique sound and design. After adding distortion, this instrument becomes a predator attacking the listener’s senses.


scarab

 

 

Ivan Bores – Fretless guitar ZR Scarab Review

Ivan Bores – Guitarist & Composer

From very first moment during familiarization with fretless guitar ZR Scarab I started to play intuitively to imitate sound of the Indian instrument Sarod. Bass tones seduce easily to such a playing style. It was quite a beautiful experience for me. I’ve changed string tuning after a while of playing to standard fourth-tierce tune. Thanks to new possibilities such as smooth glissandos I get ideas to play jazz themes in the new way. To play “Walking Bass” is absolutely stunner because this guitar sounds like a “six string soprano fretless bass guitar”. This ability makes this instrument suitable for Contemporary Jazz or Funky but also for Blues because there it can sound like a Slide Guitar.

The guitar has a completely new design. A neck allows very easy playing. It isn’t too massive and the other way around it’s not excessively tiny. Fingerboard playing is very smooth and sound is resonant. Control knobs are easily accessible. At the first look, the guitar has a small body but there is a good reason for this fact. Regardless of the construction, the bigger body of the instrument could result in excessive bass sound. This guitar sounds like a combination of the fretless instruments such as contrabass or violoncello and contemporary electric guitar with hi-tech pickups and other components.

Playing  fretless instrument is considerebly difficult. To reach the right intonation requires practice. Some chords won’t be in tune, mostly those chords where fingers must be in position perpendicularly to the fingerboard.

Playing Blues and Country

It is possible to simulate a slide guitar. Glissandos are made by standard technique. I prefer bass sound for playing Blues and shrill sound for Country.

Playing Jazz

To play fretless fingerboard in contemporary Jazz provides much more sensitive alterations. Minor tierces are tight. Major tierces are spread.

Indian music

It is better to change string tuning into some raga but it is sufficient e.g. E(6)/F(5)/B(4)/E(3)/F(2)/B(1). I used this style of tuning for sound sample recording. And  then, It is all about the understanding and feeling of the Indian music. By using more or less of distortion you can reach a rock version of the Indian music style.

Funky music

Slap or its immitation on fretless guitar gives you the motivation to play Funky with joy.

Metal music

When I used distortion, so I knew that metal fans can cheer because of the brand new sound bursting guitar emerged. Possibilities of the new glissando sound in hammering style can push Metal music forward. I’m fascinated by the sound decays on bass strings. Glissando vibration substitutes for a tremolo arm. There is a considerably extended tone sustain thanks to used kind of wood, pickups and the bridge. I’d prefer to play on this guitar a music style of Pantera or Death Metal or Grind Core. It is also suitable for Alternative Metal or Heavy Metal but I’m not impressed with this so much.

www.ivanbores.cz

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