Great Guitar Build Off 2020 Challenge

The electric guitar named “The Detmolder” is an entry project to the Great Guitar Build Off 2020 unofficial challenge by M.Eng. Alvaro Balderrama, member of the ConstructionLab and the MID. Planned as an online charity event once a year, luthiery enthusiasts around the world build guitars of their choice and share the fabrication process with the online community. After the submission deadline – 17.10.2020, Master Luthier Ben Crowe (Crimson Custom Guitars – UK) reviewed ca. 140 entries and selected his favorite 30 guitars, including The Detmolder. Then, the top 5 was selected by voting on social media. 

The design was inspired by important guitars, guitarists and luthiers of the past century, and the project resulted in a bolt-on neck, solid-body electric guitar with a fabric-top finish. A spruce solid body was hand routed to fit the selected hardware and a cotton fabric (originally from a shirt), that was immortalized into the guitar top with lacquer. The electronics include HHS pickups wired through a three-way switch and an independent blending knob for the Humbucker in the middle. A transparent scratch plate made on a CNC holds the electronic componets, so the fabric and the braided wiring inside are always visible. Sustain is provided by a floating tremolo system, an ebony nut and locking-tuners. The pre-built reversed maple neck received a red 3D printed inlay of the Lippische Rose on the 1st fret, representing the region where it was built. Finally, the signature ,,ABC” was engraved on the headstock with a branding iron.

This independent project follows more than one decade of experience on guitar design and fabrication, including the diffusion of workshops at the FabLab in Detmold during 2019 – 2020 that combined digital fabrication and traditional luthiery methods.

For more information about this project follow ,,ABC Guitar Workshop” @abcguitarworkshop on YouTube and Instagram.

Text and pictures by Alvaro Balderrama.