this is a solid body electric saz. the saz
is a traditional Turkish instrument, related to the Persian setar
and asian dutar. these instruments are the modern versions of what
was likely the ancestor of all modern lute family stringed
instruments, from the Indian sitar to the Irish bouzouki to the
modern banjo and guitar.
the body is alder, and the neck mahogany; both materials
commonly used in electric guitars. the fingerboard, bridges, and
knobs are striped ebony. the body and headstock are topped with
mahogony and birdseye maple plates. the pickups are blade-style
humbuckers in a narrow, stratocaster-style package. there are
volume and tone controls.
the frets are standard electric guitar fretwire; however, they
are placed at intervals based on measurements of several
traditional sazes. since traditional saz frets are tied, and can
be moved, i picked what seemed to be a common spacing. there are
sixteen frets in the first octave, instead of the usual twelve of
the equal tempered scale. the extra pitches are the result of the
use in middle eastern and asian music of more than one "minor
second" interval. different combinations of these seconds produce
different larger intervals; most notably a "neutral third" between
the minor and major thirds, and slightly flat fifths and
the six strings are doubled into three pairs, like a mandolin or
twelve string guitar. there are various traditional tunings; i
usually use G-D-a.
there are also two sets of drone strings hanging off the fretboard
on the bass side. these are usually tuned D-G and D-A. the drone
strings have a separate pickup, and a stereo output jack allows the
drones to run through separate processing.
samples, loops, and Reason/Mach5 banks coming soon...