This time I want to tell you about a manufacturer of high end acoustic guitars who have innovated guitar technology. You’ve probably seen these guitars if you live around the Big Apple, or if you are a fan of Porcupine Tree, The Black Eyed Peas or Adrian Belew.
Babicz guitars might not be as widely known as other big guitar brands – I actually found out about them after seeing two prog-rockers who I admire and follow up a lot, Steven Wilson from Porcupine Tree and Adrian Belew from King Crimson, using them. What grabbed my attention and is bound to be the first thing that strikes you about these guitars is the lateral compression soundboard. Sounds different right?
There are two other features that Babicz have patented: the “Continually Adjustable Neck” and the “Torque Reducing Split Bridge”. Babicz Guitars also licenses these technologies to other guitar manufacturers.
Let’s have a look into these 3 things:
Lateral Compression Soundboard.
When the strings are removed from the bridge and anchored to the top of the guitar, a lateral compression force is created (compression of wood within the soundboard, not compression of tone or frequency).
This creates a fully energized soundboard. The design is extremely strong because the strings are anchored directly to the soundboard, near the outer edge of the top, in a fan-like pattern. The string pull is almost entirely lateral and is spread out over a larger area. Because there is very little stress on the center of the soundboard (which is the weakest and most flexible part), traditional ‘X’ bracing can be removed and replaced with a much more delicate and lighter bracing pattern. Internally, the new soundboard bracing pattern uses two semi-parallel braces (much like tone bars on an Archtop guitar) that start at the upper bout.
If you are intrigued about how Babicz build their guitars, check out some pictures of the step-by-step, taken in Jeff´s New York Workshop and design studio.
Continually adjustable neck.
This is a patented and innovative approach to adjusting the string height (“action”) of a guitar in a fast and seamless way. This is achieved by allowing the neck to slide up or down, with the turn of an ordinary Allen key by the musician. This adjustment has little or no effect on the intonation of the guitar.
Check out this video to check it out:
Torque Reducing Split Bridge.
The Babicz Torque Reducing Split Bridge (also known as the Variable Set Bridge) is not glued to the soundboard, but secured via special fasteners. For optimum performance, these fasteners can be released, and the entire bridge can be repositioned to achieve proper intonation throughout the entire life of the guitar.
This is possible due to the absence of bridge pins (and glue), as well as the incorporation of proprietary fastener slots provided in the soundboard.
So, what do the artists think about these guitars?
Steven Wilson from Porcupine Tree:
John Wesley from Porcupine Tree:
And also check out this review from Babicz Guitars:
If you want to find out more about Babicz Guitars you should visit their website, they have all the information you need. You can even purchase directly from them via Paypal or most major credit cards.
Visit them at Babizguitars.com
Learn more about Luis Tovar on his Google profile.
After reading this I looked to add a Babicz to my collection.I live in the UK and found just one of these- in an Edinburgh guitar store and for the very good price of £500 ($835) which included a hard case. I can confirm that this is a very good guitar and, for me, a snip at this price, especially as it would cost a considerable sum to import the instrument from the USA- freight charges and customs added to the $1000+ for the guitar.
Awesome Mike! You got a great deal on your Babic, what model is it?
You should share some pictures! Babicz are sweet guitars. Not very well known but they do sound amazing and are super well built. You are a lucky man!