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Bass and Monorail: Ibanez Affirma AFR - Basz
in the 80ies, Rolf used to play the bass in bands, and always designed them as well. here a prototype:
in 1991, in one of his most depressed and cynic phase, Rolf received the design contract which we had worked on for years with Mike Shimada and Fritz Katoh of Ibanez - a very serious and honest company! next to 900 instruments were made during about 3 years - is not the size such a company needs. the design was ahead of time.
in 2017, Ibanez started the reissue, sent us a prototype to review and pay royalties to Rolfs son. YOUHOU!\
the AFR was one of the first basses with piezo pickups, we manufactured them for Ibanez, partly in Biel, partly Brasil. the bridge is separate for each string to optimize crosstalk between strings. Rolf patented it together with Ibanez and it is called mono-rail since and was also used in models not designed by Rolf
Fritz Katoh and Rolf Spuler at Frankfurt Messe 2004
a rare combination of instruments at the opening of the new workshop 2011:
all left the Balance of 1984, then the AFR, then the only two existing 2010 Basz
Basz has a very unique feature: the Polysubbass circuit is used to isolate the fundamental frequency which can be added to the sound to make it fater. only two were made! we could still do this effect with the new Polybass...
On ice, the design that summed it all up. Rolf said he dreamt it, around 1988. inspired by the mystics of the mother of his son, he called it Avalon.
the technology is what Matthias created the years before, but new was the thin top and the nylon strings on a rather holow body. Rolf called it hybrid guitar later. Chet Atkins was about the only nylon solid body at the time, but it did not sound nearly as natural as the Avalon. so it was a big hit at the Frankfurt Fair in 1991. but lacking business experience, Rolf accepted to build 250 of them for a price that was not realistic. so he worked for years without really earning, and then gave up, exhausted, took a job and designed machines. Matthias was busy with the Echoplex in Brazil, so Paradis Guitarworks ceased to exist in 1995.
but we knew it: in 2005, he started again. created the company Rolf Spuler GmbH and called the instrument Paradis. he added a headstock since some customers had complained about the tuning on the back and about the "broken" or even "weapon" look of the the headless Avalon. the electronics became a lot more sophisticated, self contained, SMD, created by Philipp and others. the controls invisibly integrated into the bridge. Here are more pictures of details!
- extremely sophisticated CNC routed body, light and mostly hollow, avoiding feedback but allowing wooden resonances
- full rosewood neck that hardly ever bends or detunes and brings sustain without boomy bass
- extremely sophisticated CNC routed headstock with magnetic covers and string clamping machines
- low D additional frets and E clamp for standard tuning
- wooden bridge with built in nicely hidden controls
- legendary piezo pickup that mechanically and electrically separates strings well
- sophisticated electronics that preamplify each string and octave four strings, battery saver, Roland standard DIN 13pin output, FireWire output...
- natural or transparent color finish
since Rolf and Pino Daniele died, we think about how to go forward. many love the original design and its easier to build and shorter to transport and less delicate (the headstock caps are thin wood...)
so how about a new Avalon with built in electronics and maybe a bit lighter in weight and sound like the new one?
Diguit - Eden
Diguit and Eden were created to license a big guitar factory. Serious negotiations happened with Fender, Ibanez, Fujigen and Höfner.
Diguit contained a Axon guitar2midi converter and a BridgeCo FireWire 10ch audio+midi interface, a little display and a joystick like control. but a few years later, FireWire as outdated. BridgeCo and Axon went out of business.
Eden is the "acoustic" variation. the original Eden design is pretty hollow, has a thin top and a simpler electronics with Polysubbass, but was never built like this. the prototypes we have here are Diguit bodies that look like Eden
we think about building the Eden in the future...
Previous creations of Rolf and Matthias
so many unfinished and custom made products
we were always fascinated by challenges and had a hard time to finish things and earn the money before making the new.
please somebody help to document all the special guitars and pickups for harp, dulcimer, clay pot, kalimba...
one of the 3 Paradis Elegy. it lives with Dennis in California:
and the first (and only?) 12 string he made, extremely soft and light to play
he said he never sold it, it just DISAPPEARED! if anyone sees it, please report!