GUITAR OF THE MONTH
Last month we displayed our love and admiration for double-neck
guitars… er, harps. This month we scale things back and return to
a single-neck instrument but keep peculiarity at a high. While the
Cassandra Elk Designs Vootar does have only one neck, it’s far from
ordinary. The Vootar is half bass, half guitar and all German design
and craftsmanship. It’s a combination of famed artist, musician and
producer Klaus Voorman’s eye for design (he also designed the
Beatles’ Revolver cover) and luthier Stuart Malcolm Bilcock’s ability to
transform Voorman’s idea from pen and paper to bass and guitar.
The Vootar comes loaded with eight strings (top four
are bass and bottom four are guitar), six pickups and
two stereo inputs, so you can play bass and guitar at
the same time. The front pickup responds to all eight
strings. The middle and rear pickups separate the two
sets of instrument strings so they can be activated with
mini-switches in three different positions. All the pickups
except the neck are custom-made and handwound by
Harry Häusel of Häusel Pickups, and the guitar features
custom-made ETS single bridges. The neck and body
are made of Brazilian cedar.
By using a stereo output, you can play the Vootar
through a guitar and bass amp separately. “This instrument is particularly useful for when you play in a small
band,” says Klaus Voorman. “You can accompany the
guitarist with bass and rhythm guitar whilst the drummer
is freaking out.” There are currently only three Vootars
in existence: one is owned by Klaus Voorman, another
by Sir Paul McCartney, and the third (shown here) is at
Redbone Guitar Boutique in San Antonio, TX.
Guitar courtesy of Redbone Guitar Boutique.
Also, an extra special thanks to Klaus Voorman
and Stuart Malcom Bilcock.
PREMIER GUITAR FEBRUARY 2010 175