Alameda Guitars is the culmination of a partnership dating back to 1995, when bandmates Chris Sanzo and Mel Waldorf wondered about building a better guitar. Twenty one years and dozens of prototypes later, the Alameda FE200 was created
Guitar players are a fussy bunch. We're after that special something; that combination of playing feel, tone and aesthetics that reaches out and grabs you on a visceral level. That guitar that takes you someplace new. That guitar that calls you to play, and once you do, you don't want to stop.
Mojo on the go?
Chances are you've already got a guitar or two that really speak to you. You've got them dialed in and set up just how you like them. Now, what do you do when you need to travel? You've got a couple of choices. You can take your cherished guitar with you and hope that you won't be forced to check it through. You can borrow a guitar when you get where you're going and hope it's something set up tolerably well. You can get a travel guitar, with a mini-scale or a mini-body or some other odd compromise.
The Alameda FE200
Here's where the Alameda FE200 folding electric comes in. This is a no compromises guitar. Full 24.75" scale. Multi-bound, carved semi-hollow body with a solid core and a single unified acoustic chamber. Flame maple caps, front and back. Custom, hand wound VF3 multi-tone pickups. Unhindered fret access all the way up the neck. This is an exceptional guitar. That happens to fold down to 24" for travel.
Tension: Fold and hold
This is no ordinary collapsible instrument. Guitars exist with removable or folding necks. What makes the FE200 special? Tension. Folded or unfolded, the patented rotating mechinism of the FE200 keeps tension on the strings. This maintains the balance of truss rod and the neck wood to keep them stable. Strings tuned to pitch exert well over 100 lbs of pressure on a guitar. With Alameda, there's no sudden application or release of this force as there is with other collapsible guitar designs.
Want to go places with a guitar you love without worry? The Alameda FE200 is calling you.
Surf Guitars, Reverb afficianados - have we got the pedal for you!
There's nothing like the crazy reverb drip of a 6G15 style outboard Reverb; it's the defining tone of surf guitar.
That wild reverb comes with a challenge - how much is enough? How to you set the reverb level to have enough drip for palm muting while having the clarity for complex melodies? In the past, this has involved on the fly adjustments to the Reverb mix level as needed.
Now, there's a solution. THE DRIP SWITCH. This Drip Switch plugs into the foot switch jack of the Reverb chassis, and gives you the ability to set a secondary mix level which you can select with the pedal. You can also control the Drip Switch mix with your foot as you need - per song or per passage.
How It Works
Using a standard 1/4" instrument cable, connect the Drip Switch to the foot switch jack on the underside of the Reverb chassis (between the two smaller tubes to the right). Set the controls on the Reverb to the your maximum intended reverb level. Use the mix control on the Drip Switch to set lower level.
On a Fender style combo amp with vibrato and reverb, use a 1/4" to RCA adapter on the end of a standard 1/4" instrument cable to connect the Drip Switch. You may use the stock two button foot switch to control the vibrato, but use the switch's shielded RCA connector in the amp's vibrato socket. The stock foot switch's "reverb" button will now control the vibrato. You may also use a standard single button foot switch to operate the vibrato.
The Drip Switch is $60 + shipping. Drip Switch with LED indicator and 9V input is $80 + shipping. New batch underway; available early September 2018. Contact us to order yours today!
Looks cool, but wait till you hear how it sounds!
Guitar pickups are transducers, turning the energy of the plucked string into an electric signal that can be amplified. There are a number of classic pickup designs behind the defining tones of electric guitar. This isn't one of them. Rather, ours grew out of our need for a pickup that fit the space requirements of our guitars. Unburdened by the goal of replicating a particular structure, the options opened up. Through a year of experimentation, we created a pickup that is many pickups - the VF3.
The VF3 pickup
The VF3 (variable frequency) pickup is a hybrid asymmetric bobbin design. With a bar magnet coil and a rod magnet coil, the pickup combines the wider field sensing of a bar magnet with the focused field of rod magnets. However, what really makes the VF3 stand apart from other designs is the boost coil. Engaging the boost coil increases output and bumps the mid frequencies. In fact, with the boost coil active, you can switch between humbucker and single coil modes with no loss in volume.
These pickups cover a wide swath of sonic territory. Snappy, twangy, warm, crunchy - you'll find it all here. Used in combination, the neck and bridge together can be sweet, spanky and even quacky. Neck and bridge pickups are reverse wound / reverse polarity so the single coil modes are humbucking when both pickups are used.
Our pickups also work nicely in conjunction with classic designs – at the neck in a Tele, or bridge in a Strat, you can complement and expand the character of your guitar.
VF3 pickups are scatterwound one coil at a time and assembled by hand. We build them using AlNiCo magnets, enamel coated magnet wire, shielded backplates, and custom covers - available as a standard sized humbucker, a dogear, a soapbar, Jazzmaster and Filter'tron. The hookup wire is four conductor plus ground.
The Off Kilter'tron is a special variation of the VF3 voiced for Gretsch guitar fans. Filter'tron sized and wired with a six way rotary (in place of one of the pickup volume knobs) you can select from:
- Jangle - rod coil (Ric/Hilo-ish)
- Twangle - rail coil (Tele-ish)
- Wrangle - rod and boost coils (Dyna-ish)
- Tangle - rail and boost coils (Filter-ish)
- Mangle - rail and rod coils (Gibby hb-ish)
- CRUSH - rail, rod, and boost coils (Arrrrrgh!!!!)
With Off Kilter'trons, you can saddle up, sling your six string and cover the ranch, the range and the whole back 40.
Pickups are $180 each. Selector pre-wiring (mini-toggle or rotary) $20 per pickup. Please contact us for more information.
Wow, these seem like pretty impressive pickups. How about some sound samples? Well, we've been busy winding pickups and don't have proper samples yet, so how about some videos of Alameda guitars in action?
The Mach IV, "Lemon Twist"
In A Jam Band, "Crazy Little Thing Called Love"
The Mach IV, "Beach Bound"
In A Jam Band, "Misirlou"