Thoughts, principles, history...


the drops

is how Rolf called the two slits - the symbol for his instruments. they have no meaning for the sound. they help to carry or hang the instrument. but mainly they are visually attractive and there are many more important reasons to use such an instrument. Rolf used to say that he dreamt the shape of the Avalon, and really, the very first prototype has exactly the same form as the products (while tuning system and other mechanical and electrical parts changed a lot)


Rolf's view

Rolf used to write to organize his thoughts, sometimes to send it to a friend. for the public, he only wanted pictures, because people are lazy to read, he said. but see this one:

" Why I do this all?
I am an esthete. I would like to reveal beauty, create it, spread it. Beauty in form, sound and function - as an expression of the universal love.
Beauty in technology appears as well flowing functions, smart mechanisms and modest appearance. " (translation by Matthias)
" Warum ich das alles mache?
Ich bin Aesthet. Ich möchte Schönheit hervorbringen, herausschälen, verbreiten. Schönheit in Form, Klang und Funktion - als Ausdruck der universalen Liebe.
Die Schönheit in der Technik zeigt sich durch geschmeidige Funktionen, durch raffinierte Mechanismen und bescheidenes Auftreten. "

 

( somehow interesting that Rolf who typed all letters and folders with lower case only writes by hand with oldstyle capitals )


Time-line

here is a historic page about our history!

  • 1983 Rolf Spuler, Matthias Grob, Jury Roten and Iris Dressler found Paradis in Winterthur, Switzerland
  • 1984 worlds first strat with hexaphonic piezo-pickup and 'Polydistortion'
  • 1985 Iris Dressler leaves Paradis
  • 1988 Jury Roten leaves Paradis and founds the shop: Die Gitarre
  • 1988 first prototype of Avalon
  • 1989 worlds first multichannel octivider 'Polysubbass'
  • 1989 Frankfurt: Pro Arte wants to distribute Avalon
  • 1990 big success in Frankfurt with Avalon - the solid body that sounds acoustic
  • 1991 development and licensing of the AFR-bass for Ibanez
  • 1993 LOOP delay: worlds first dedicated live looping tool (the first with a Rec function)
  • 1993 Matthias moves to Brazil
  • 1997 Rolf stops making guitars and learns 3D design in mech-industriy
  • 2005 comeback with far more sophisticated Paradis guitar
  • 2005 redesign of the AFR bass as 'Basz' with fundamental bass-boost
  • 2006 worlds first FireWire-board as module in Paradis guitar
  • 2007 wooDi: preamp, DI and spruce-top-emulator in one box
  • 2009 Rolf moves to Thurgau and builds his third and last workshop
  • 2014 April 18: Rolf dies of cancer
  • 2014 a movement starts to maintain the instruments and knowledge
  • 2015 Heinz, Andreas and Matthias discover all about Paradis manufacturing
 

Rolf Spuler and Matthias Grob at Frankfurt Music Fair in 1992 showing Avalon and LOOP delayParadis founders Rolf Spuler and Matthias Grob 1992 at Frankfurt Musik Messe showing Avalon and Loop delay


the concept behind it all

the idea that brought Rolf and Matthias together was
to renovate the electric guitar which was 30 years old at the time and stuck in heavy technical limitations that bring loss of clarity, hum, weight, and the aggressive distorted sound that made it the symbol of revolution and subversion.
and to overcome the delicacy of the acoustic guitar and the difficulty to amplify it

now, another 30 years later, this new class of guitars have become very common, but still do not have a name that brings its quality to consciousness: they are not between the acoustic and the electric guitar but ahead of both in terms of flexibility, stability and transparency.

this concept is not limited to guitars and eventually will be built into all other instruments and into completely new instruments that bring maximal dynamic and intuitive expression to the musician and simple handling to the sound tech.


the connection with live looping

the first live-looping tool that had a record and overdub function and a lot more was the Paradis LOOP delay in 1992 and quite some of those units are still around and searched for since it had most abilities of its industry standard offspring Gibson Echoplex. Paradis LOOP delay, the first livelooping tool

 

while live-looping works with any instrument, it works a lot better with electric than miked instruments.
and for the guitar there is a difficulty to amplify it: a standard guitar amplifier tends to wash up the loop-layers

live looping and the Paradis philosophy for amplifying instruments work so well together because studio quality speakers keep the loops transparent and a piezo pickups optimized for minimal or controlled body resonance minimizes the feedback which otherwise makes the loop noisier with each layer.

so the Paradis concept should be adapted to most existing instruments and it simplifies the creation of new instruments (no need for a strongly resonating body). any vibrating material can immediately turn into an easy to handle instrument since usually the bass resonances call for big physical dimension but using a pickup, very small objects can create big bass sounds. if not, we build a Polysubbass octaver into it, they are small.

although there are some typical tendencies amongst live loopers and Paradis musicians, it is not related to a live style or music style.

while the connection between the looping - Paradis connection was not recognized when Matthias started his live looping music with modded delays, but he documented it 1988 when he planned to make a specific unit. and when live-looping began to spread and used with percussion he saw the necessity for a whole class of instruments and started the idea here.