the most updated is our webshop
as the Polybass family of products comes to an end with the slider frame module for acoustics and the (very soon) 13pin preamp and external Polybass-Box, we think about the next product line containing decades of experience with Hex-guitar effects like no one built before, using inter-string-intelligence. it will be a small box with 13pin input, operated by a screen you already have and mixing analog latency free effects with very low latency digital effects...)
finally the module version of the Polybass+Shield is ready for production. it can replace existing preamps and it looks nicer because the front panel is made of real wood - a 3 layer plywood which is flexible in one direction (so it adapts to the guitar form) but not the other (so its sold enough)
Corona did not kill us, but it was not easy... we moved to a community in Brandenburg, Germany
the Shield has become smarter! it has two inputs and 4 different preamp sections which can be arranged acording to needs:
- a high impedance input gain amp which can be configured to work with magnetic, piezo pickups. it can feed an electret microphone
- a second input which can be configured to be a notch filter for the first input, mainly to filter the main feedback frequency of a microphone
- tone control, which can be bass / mid / treble. the mid control interferes with the others though (in general, we measured other such tone controls), so we recomment only using bass and treble
- a mix stage which can serve for a master volume since we can also send the aditional inputs back to the Polybass mixer. similarely, the battery can be connected to either board. wooDi , another preamp with notch for internal microphones - all of it on crimpable or flat cables so you can wire whatever you need in whichever configuration wherever into your instrument!
I am shocked how long I did not type here. some may think we did not work. the truth is we have been so deeply in development that we did not find time to tell you about it. now two products have become ready:
we found that the work we did for Godin Multiac is smart to expand: the main Polybass board which contains 450 parts and needs to be manufactured in quantities is flexible to be paired with adapterboards like the Shield which can be designed quickly and populated in any quantity and adapted to customers wishes and instrument dimensions and needs!
so far we made
- one for the Yamaha Silent 100: a board identically in terms of size, potentiometers, switch, LED and connectors, but placed totally different electronics on it, so it consumes many times less battery now and became noiseless and instead of the effect switch, you get the Polybass effect control! Bass+Treble continue the same. and there is a wooDI softener on it which you can switch !
- one that can be taped into any acoustic guitar, we call it Shield. it contains tone control, all kinds of mixing, a wooDi , another preamp with notch for internal microphones - all of it on crimpable or flat cables so you can wire whatever you need in whichever configuration wherever into your instrument!
I found a brainstorm document where Rolf gathered the information for his website. you can look at the original here, its mostly in german.
I try to translate the most intersting part:
Paradis (Avalon) : Tone - Form - Function -> the Eye and Ear-catcher since 1989!
a unique integral fusion of acoustic and electric on the higest level.
Since 1989 used by musicians like AlDimeola, Loueke, Bela Fleck, Peter Horton... in Jazz - Rock - Ballads - Classic
expressive like a personal handmade acoustic guitar
Nylon and Steel string
Bazs : Fundament - Impact - Elegance -> the evolution of the Ibanez AFR. light and ergonomic with an overwhelming sound through the combination of precise piezo and powerful humbucker and innovative analog processing
Eden : Natural - Charme - Straight -> the superior feature of Paradis for the working musician. cost optimized manufacturing maintaining the sensitive sound language. true sound and handling like an acoustic guitar.
the first Diguit is ready! its not a typical Paradis guitar, but it has some typical features like Polyphonic Piezo Pickup, Polybass, 13pin DIN out...
Rolf left 4 of them unmounted, meant to be equipped with the now outdated FireWire system. so we adapted it with a unusual kind of big controls (easy turning long life conductive plastic) and our new Polybass board. its a rock instrument with Paradis options, a simpler solid body with bolt on neck, lower price... look at Heinz:
the Polybass site is up and the first board are sold to new clients who did not know about Paradis before! it was shown at the Frankfurt Messe and father and son Godin liked it! Here is father Robert with the guitar he made long ago but now has a new bass sound and a red cap on the lowest slider...
Matthias is back from Brasil, this time thinking of only visiting there at the end of the year and concentrate on the new Polybass board (secret work of the last two years, mainly by Philipp) and the Devalon guitar. the Eden/Diguit guitars contain such a Polybass board and can be sold soon.
we were not quite aware of how many pioneer work our team acomplished:
- 1984 PPPP: the first polyphonic piezo pickup
- 1985 Polysubbass: the first effect that uses inter string inteligence: it detects the lowest played string
- 1986 the first low D fret board extention (with one click thumb operation)
- 1988 Avalon: the first headless nylon string guitar
- 1991 mono rail: the first bridge for bass for individual strings, since common on Ibanez and other instruments
- 1992 LOOP delay: the frist livelooping tool with a Record and all those other functions that so many looping tools use now
- 2005 Spuler-Paradis: the first hollow solid body nylon guitar
- 2007 Diguit: the only FireWire guitar with built in 12ch audio interface and András Szalay MIDI conversion
we have a working band saw now and cut the first fingerboard on it! as usual, the inevitable Spuler modification was well planned and 80% executed by Rolf, but we had to finish it...
we discovered that our standard Neutricon (Avalon) to DIN13pin cables do not work with the Roland VG-99. the VG-99 has a smarter 13pin input than the other such guitar synthesizers and polyphonic effects: it mutes the main output if the pin 8 (synth volume) is not connected. so we need to add a resistor to the cable, 2MOhm from pin 8 to ground (the connector housing) does it. probably better (to make sure it works with future gear) is to use two resistors: 47kOhm from pin 8 to ground and 18kOhm from pin 8 to pin 14 (+7V)
Heinz made a brass version of the typical avalon "stäbli" mono rail bridge which works with 12 strings!
the guitar is not quite ready yet, we will take close pictures when it is!
Matthias arrived in Switzerland and wants to stay until October to finish the Eden/Diguit guitars and create at least a prototype of the new Paradis headless... should we call it Cevalon or Devalon? We still wonder whether it should be solid body like the old Avalon or rather more hollow like the new Paradis which could be seen as two models: the later had the chain saw slits (could be called Bevalon and Cevalon)...
a street monument for Pino Daniele almost turns into one for Rolf Spuler (they just forgot to mention him :-)
and then came Carnival !
and yet another one: the AFR Lighter - a quite precise little model of the Ibanez Affirma bass Rolf designed in 1990!
we will create a new version of Avalon!
we decided that Rolf's Paradis with headstock is too complicated and delicate to make. and many prefer the headless Avalon design. so this year we are going to build prototypes of a new Avalon that has built in Polysubbass and 13pin DIN, is tuned in the back, but lighter and smarter than Rolf's 1990 solution. it will be thin like the new model and with the body Pietro sound more acoustic than the old Avalon. we hope we can lower cost below 5000.
So now we can only take preliminary orders and hope that towards the end of the year we can produce.
we created a Facebook group to exchange Paradis tricks, pictures and music!
here is a Facebook group that shows special guitars
here is a Avalon for $ 10k
we are not sales people who do whatever is possible to make people buy our stuff. almost the opposite: we do not depend on this business and only want to serve those who love and need what we can do. its an great experience to create beauty and meet happy clients. So we are not sending out much info mails either, just the minimum so you know what is going on. if you want to receive such mails, just mail us, we add you to the address list.
here is a note I just found and moved many of us. Rolf wrote it probably about a year before he died
It starts with perfectly programmed machines, but in the end it is still hand made!
the CNC routing creates an amazing amount of details perfectly precise. no need to adjust neck, or string hight. but then we still have to sand and glue and drill and cut for a whole week and mount the electronics... and nothing is done by bored employees, Heinz is a good guitar player and all-round inventor and loves those guitars he built together with Rolf in the past...
so the instruments join the best of both sides: the precision of modern technology and the warmth of a hand built and unique individual artwork!
we built 5 new guitars!
first we just wanted to support Rolf's guitars, gathered spare parts, found amazing tools and pre-routed wood, big machines that needed our talent to fix them,,, and slowly we gained confidence and impulse to mount the parts that Rolf had prepared for the next guitars - only 5 necks, thats our limitation so far...
this cherry Paradis was bought by Paul Pleijsier, who played it in our shop for two days - what a nice experience! he played all kinds of music and sounds and listening very well, he found rattles that Rolf probably did not know off (listen to your little bass string switches when playing a certain note on the D string!) and several little electronic problems we can fix for you too!
here is a new page with a picture of every Paradis guitar made since 2005, with serial numbers!
6Appeal is an amazing analog distortion for each string, we have one here, it works with all Paradis Guitars
after Rolf Spuler died, it took us a year to understand what he did, what he left and what we do.
we believe that Rolf's way of designing in 3D and then programming and milling with highest precision was unique in the guitar world. industrial guitars are simpler and hand made guitars grow under the hands of the artist. only Rolf planned his guitars down to the tiniest details in 3D and then built them in small series, following the Swiss tradition of watchmakers, Studer Revox, Nagra, Neutrik, Lemo, Mettler and other world leaders in precision mechanics.
here is a series of pictures made by Rolf and Andreas explaining part of the Paradis making process
here is a FireWire Paradis on eBay for $ 12.995! (was sold for a little less, as we heard...)
here is a painted Avalon for $ 9,995
here is a standard Avalon on eBay for EU 4500
this site was started by Matthias to remember the work of Rolf Spuler, who died in April 2014, and to find his successor.