del Gesu

Del Gesu

The del Gesu project is completely authored. The design was based on the contours of one of the violins made by the great Master Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu. In 2003, I made something similar– “Helen Baritone”. The customer was inspired by this work and asked me to do the same, but this time in a guitar format.

The highlight of the project was to be the “head”, completely repeating that of violin. In general, the semantic load of the instrument expanded significantly: in addition to the fact that it was supposed to be a high-end guitar, for its owner the guitar needed to provide inspiration ?
These requirements left a certain imprint on the entire process.

At first it was planned to make an instrument out of a single piece of mahogany, but in the shortest possible time – the customer wanted to take it to a display in New Zealand. Then all emotions were pushed into the background and common sense won. Considering all the complexity of the project, it would be too primitive to make an ordinary one-piece guitar. To say the least, it didn’t inspire the idea of the guitar as a muse.

From that moment, the idea would be to use Quilted Maple for the guitar top. Then there was a constructional addition – a cavity in the bass part and an f-hole. In the end, we added a bottom made of Brazilian rosewood.

The head of the guitar is a whole different topic. It seemed to me that if it was made just from mahogany it would fade against the background of the deck. Then came the idea to make it combined: the upper part would be from mahogany, and the bottom and the curl would be made of the Brazilian rosewood. As a result, the head and body became harmoniously combined with each other and became a single ensemble. This “show off” piece took a great deal of time and labor ? I have never spent 8 days on making just a head!

Another design feature is the tailpiece.
Since the strings pass through the body, there was no need to install this part. But it felt like there was something missing ? Naturally, the poet’s soul within me could not stand it and demanded to install a fake panel. Then the question arose as to how to secure it. I really did not want to spoil the violin aesthetics by the presence of fastening screws. After a little reflection, I decided to make a moving panel where the strings are coming out of the tailpiece. The fasteners are hidden under the panel and do not hurt the eye; the reverse mechanism allows you to operate it only with a key without removing the cover or using a screwdriver.

Another wish of the customer was that the guitar felt as if was an ancient violin. Since the aging process of violins is slightly different from that of guitars, it was necessary to thoroughly research this topic. The difficulty was that on violins there is no top made of quilted maple ? We had to not only artificially age, but also to adjust the overall tone. As a result, it turned out as they wanted – a new “ancient” instrument.
The last design feature was the inscription on the cover of the timbre. The choice of font in combination with laser cutting brought charm and sense of antiquity.

In the electronics of the guitar, there were also changes and additions. The customer wanted maximum flexibility in sound. In this regard, a set of humbuckers APG JazzMaster Plus was ordered. The neck pickup is very dynamic and, despite the cover, is bright and transparent. The bridge pickup is reinforced, designed for serious overloads, and at the same time, it has a good clean sound. Both sensors operate in two modes – parallel / sequential. To extend the functionality of the instrument, the piezo system L.R.Baggs was also used. To minimize the number of control knobs, the volume and timbre were done on a dual potentiometer.

You can see the production process and the result in the photo report and the video clip.

NameDel Gesu
Body WoodMahogany/Brazilian rosewood (Semi-Hollow)
Top WoodQuilted Maple
Neck WoodMahogany
Fretboard WoodMacassar Ebony
Scale Length25.5”
Frets24 Sintoms 3 mm (bell bronze)
TunersPlanet Waves
BridgeL.R.Baggs T-Bridge Piezo
PickupsAPG JazzMaster
ElectronicsL.R.Baggs CTRL-X Preamp
FinishMatt Lacquer
del Gesu