Handmade from alder wood, with a beautiful hpl finger board, built in pre-amp we consider this instrument as a major step forward in developing the Electric Viola da Gamba. The sound is open, transparent, explosive, rich and slightly reedy as one would want it to be. A delight to play on and a beauty to look upon. Furthermore: the listeners can’t keep there jaws together, and are amazed, awed, touched, delighted … and some of them apalled (with the very idea of an electric gammie).
So, we had the experiment with composite! Wonderful material, but, alas, producing series of instruments is way to expensive. So, we had to think of an alternative. Suddenly, alder popped up as a possibility: it is relativily soft, has long fibres, isn’t too expensive. Al in all we need a material that has good sustain, will dampen middle frequencies, will sound warm en well defined… alder came up. We looked into the tree and the wood. Alder is pioneer vegetation, and prepares wetlands for other species, together with an interesting microbe that binds nitrogen. Its seeds are edible for survivors, and it is a familiy member of the birch, which is my (Jan’s) favorite tree.
By the end of January 2012 I will know more about this possibility as we will have our prototype ready by then. Starting production will then be a matter of a month, and we expect to be able to deliver new Ruby Gambas by April/May 2012.
During Q2 of 2011 we are expecting to launch the new development of the Ruby Spine. We are setting up work now and the first tests will be performed in May. A few innovations will be apparant here: new frets: single wide frets, easy to tie, easy to remover easy to insert. Shadow Nanoflex(R) transducers with pre-amp and single channel out. The greatest innovation is however the sound: mellow, rich and natural. You will be able to blend in with modern accoustic instruments and also with electric ones. Whatever your goals are, this instrument allows you to tweak the possibilities in such a way that you will be able to accomodate. That is evolution the summersault way.
With a strong delay, I have finally been able to test the playability and sound of the new prototype of the Ruby Gamba. It was made from flax fibre and epoxy by the InHolland Composite Lab in Delft.
The sound is rich, deep, warm and very pleasant. I notice a difference in sound from the wooden version in that that has a certain saturation in the middle frequencies whereas the Ruby Flax Gamba is more mellow and laid-back. The new frets work really well too: tie-wraps, colored at the 7th, 12th and 19th fret. I am going to work out a decent business model for the production of a large series of composite Ruby Flax Gambas with the Composite Lab. Expect more news in a short while.
I propose an instrument with a jet-black body, and a glossy dark red set up: pegbox (inside), fingerboard, bridge and tailpiece. Cool eh?