Saturday, 9 April 2011

Molded and contoured top guitar Switch Stein IV by Trev Wilkinson

At the first sight, this Switch Stein IV has a 1980s look that probably repels the average vintage cultist  who thinks that electric guitar history stopped the day Fender subcontracted its guitar making to Greco (all these angles! - though in one extra decade that will be probably sooooo cool).

But if you look closer, you will figure that this guitar has something special - first of all it is a recent model (2000s but I cannot tell more - because as often with Trev Wilkinson products, short lived guitar company Switch has a visibility deficiency - their website is no more, no fan page, very little reviews...). You will notice right away its ergonomically contoured top that is supposed to provide a more comfortable access to the strings and knobs, and the Parker Fly-esque upper horn (they enjoyed radical designs, GL has already posted about a Burns Flytesque model a couple of years ago).

But the very special thing about this guitar, is that it's one-piece, molded out of a composite material called Vibracell, supposed to have the best resonance and sustain one can expect from a guitar - that you can get from wood only if you are lucky or put a lot of money... For me that makes sense - I love wood for the feel and the look, but I'm far from being convinced that it's the ultimate material for an electric guitar! Vibracell allows one-piece construction, easy chambering, design freedom and low price... Unfortunately early XXIst century is not the right time to be innovative in guitar making, so no surprise these guitars didn't take in spite of the unanimous positive reviews I could read...

I wonder if this material will ever find its proper use - maybe for other instruments aimed at less conservative crowds...


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1 comment:

  1. I own this exact model. One thing most people don't realise is that the colour(in my case bright orange)isn't paint. It's actually the colour of the 'vibracell' material.All the colours were quite bright and not very tasteful.They all have Gotoh tuners and although the model here has a rosewood fretboard,they also were made of a material called 'ebonite'. It has the choice of putting the strings through the body, or through the back of the bridgeplate. This guitar is made in such a way that the strings aren't angled in any way. The tuners are placed perfectly.It's the first guitar I've owned with a swivel jack socket. The guitar originally came with a lifetime warranty and the company that made them 'Tonal creations' still exist. I have e-mailed them with questions and they kindly helped. Switch did build a 'Telecaster' shaped guitar made in the same way. I have had guitars made of alternate materials. I do play a plexiglass/perspex guitar and a Sreinberger and like the use of other materials. The Vibracell has never been used in public as I find the colour a bit much.



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