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NGD Custom Emerald Steampunk Carbon Fiber Electric


Fractal Fanatic
A few years ago I started exploring the world of carbon fiber guitars and after a ton of research, I pulled the trigger on an Emerald X10 Acoustic. A year or so later, I hit up Alistair Hay, owner of Emerald Guitars, for a custom 4-string version of his 5-string bass for my wife. He knocked that one completely out of the park and I've been quite the evangelist for CF over the years.

18 months ago, I started working with Alistair on an electric guitar. Keep in mind, he's only built a few electrics (one for Steve Vai and one for Leeholm Wang), but judging on how amazing the previous two instruments are, I knew he could do this. The direction was to build "the guitar that Captain Nemo would play in his study on the Nautilus" and "Classy Steampunk, not gaudy steampunk". Literally everything about this guitar was built from the ground up. I took even took plaster casts of my favorite neck profile and sent them to him! Throughout the process we did a lot of brainstorming, came up with some insane ideas, and then eventually arrived at what is my dream guitar. He made all the final design choices (switch locations, etc...) after all of my input, so I didn't know what this would finally look like until we met up in Boulder, CO on Wednesday. Without further ado, I bring you the results of this collaboration.

26" - 25" scale length
copper powder mixed with carbon epoxy fretboard
Compound radius 12" - 14" fretboard
Strandberg hardware
Hand cast acrylic volume knob
Camphor Burl veneer top
Blue LED's in the cavities charge the glow in the dark paint (glows green)
The cogs don't turn. Initially, we were going to have them move with the volume knob, but decided against it as if something got bent or clogged, it would render my volume knob useless and be very difficult to fix.
Flush Mount Dunlop Strap Locks
Side dots are brass tubing filled with glow in the dark material that Alistair created.
It sounds amazing and will be doing some tone demos once I get my Axe FX dialed in with it.
The mini-switch next to the pickup selector is a kill switch, wired backwards so that down is "sound" and up is "kill" (so it's like strumming).








More pics on my facebook page:


Fractal Fanatic
Thanks guys! I stayed at my cousin's house in while I was there and when I brought this guitar home, he just laughed hysterically at how good it is. We played for about 4 hours and just laughed and laughed the whole time. I've played a lot of high-end guitars, but this thing is in a different league altogether. I didn't know guitars could be this good!


Fractal Fanatic
Curious what kind of $$ you had to spend on that, if you care to share?

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Alistair asked me not to share the price because it wouldn't be accurate if somebody wanted another one. Because we built this from scratch, there was a lot of development in building the mold, lots of hand-done work like casting the knob etc... placing the gears in the F-Hole was, and a I quote, "a bit of a ship in a bottle ordeal" because there's no access plate on the back. There's a LOT of TLC that went into this build and as such, it was expensive. However, I'll probably still be playing this one 30 years from now, so worth it, IMO. People pay way more for cars and they won't last near as long.


I was hoping Alistair would be into building something like this... every year or so I try to visit my dad in grand forks, would like to check out your guitar and meet up. if you're willing, that is...


Fractal Fanatic
I was hoping Alistair would be into building something like this... every year or so I try to visit my dad in grand forks, would like to check out your guitar and meet up. if you're willing, that is...

Come on over! PM me and I'll shoot you my phone number.
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