NAIAD SOUNDS

There are some qualities of sound common to all my Naiad guitars, that come from the design, construction, materials and methods used-

DETAIL AND RESPONSIVENESS- by this I mean that many of the more subtle/quiet elements of the sound are transmitted clearly. As well as overtones, resonances, harmonics etc.. this includes picking noises, percussive effects on strings and body (unusually strong and a very noticeble feature of the Naiads, only there if you make them though!), string squeak, slight mistakes (again...!)- all this makes for a highly responsive and expressive instrument.

This quality also contributes to the effect of string separation. The single pickup (which minimises magnetic damping on the strings), and the direct, highly shielded output (which gives a signal which has degraded as little as possible, and picked up as little noise as possible, by the time it reaches the output), are important in making sure that subtle details like string separation are actually heard in the amplified or recorded sound.

BALANCE- One of the qualities of the Q tuner pickup on this guitar is the presence of very high treble that is not normally 'heard' by passive magnetic pickups, this gives a presence and naturalness to the sound that I think is part of the 'acoustic' quality that many people have mentioned. The Q tuner also has a more flat and broad frequency response than other magnetic guitar pickups. This gives a natural, balanced sound- without some frequencies being strongly filtered out or boosted by the pickup or electronics. This broadness and balance of response is also part of what allows the Naiads to communicate the character of their timbers and construction so well.

RESONANCE- High and consistent Neck stiffness, evenness of response along the neck, the qualities of the neck joint, truss rod and the bridge are key here, amongst other things – this is what enables the natural resonance of the strings and wood to come through, without being overly absorbed and filtered away. Of course though, without the clarity and detail from the electronics this resonance would never actually be heard.

INTERACTION BETWEEN STRINGS- this is a major reason why I use the one piece fretwire saddle and zero fret arrangement. I want the strings to affect each other as much as possible, whether played together or allowed to ring sympathetically. This is a big part of the sound of the Naiad guitars.

SOLIDITY- Solidity and hollowness has a huge effect on sound. For my solidbody Naiad design I have reduced cavities to an absolute minimum. As well as creating a solid, rather than hollow sound, I think of this in terms of the opposite of the air-pump effect used to achieve acoustic volume- rather than deliberately transferring the energy of the sound to the air (to the ears of a listener in the same space), this encourages the energy to stay in the instrument, travelling from, back to and then away from the strings cyclically (towards the pickup, and staying in the form of vibrational movement that it can 'hear').

 

Guitar - Olive Ash Naiad, 2017, 0.8mm action at twelth fret bass and treble, 10 gauge Elixir Nanoweb strings, 650mm scale length, Olive Ash Body, Fretboard and Bridge, Q tuner Neodymium Sc middle, Direct Out.