Hey OXC & ERGO fans!!!!
This installment of the blog will focus on designs, new and old.
In the beginning there was OXC
We started building guitars in 2007, right when the ERG thing was reaching ‘critical want’ and ergonomic and headless guitar designs were back on people’s minds due to some work by ground breaking designers Ola Strandberg and Eric Lovett. Around this same time Ralph Novak’s patent on the Fanned Fret technology was coming to an end all these forces were coming together to create one big jump forward in the evolution of the electric guitar.
This phenomenon created the atmosphere our OXC model needed. The OXC isn’t exclusively headless or extended range. It doesn’t look like your typical ergo model and while usually features a multiscale layout isn’t dependent upon anything but it’s superior body outline. That’s the real beauty of the OXC. Its body looks amazingly new while actually being ergonomic. This runs in contrast to many companies that simply modified the Strandberg Boden just enough to stay outside of the copyright.
The OXC was officially born in the summer of 2012. We were supplying the folks at www.sevenstring.org with a follow up run to the BFR2011 8 string run and the demand was absolutely overwhelming for a fresh looking headless model with top features. A truly boutique guitar if there ever was one the OXC sold over 20 units in one week. We had to stop taking orders so we could actually deliver the instruments!
The OXC run produced some exquisite guitars, many of which appreciated considerably in the used market. The model has since been produced under the XEN brand with a few being produced in my shop using the existing leftover body stock from the run.
So at age 6 the OXC still looks as fresh as ever and I am officially offering the OXC in all it’s glory as a model in a bunch of configurations. That is the “old design” part of the blog.
As for new designs I am working on another ergo model but this time it is going to look the part. By that I mean there are a few aesthetic features that people seem to crave on an ergo style guitar. Mainly that is the chopped minimalistic control area that is shaped to hug the thigh when playing. I have always been of the mind that the round shape of most electric guitars do a better job to fine tune playing position but what the hell, it’s a look people are after just like on other funky shaped guitars like the Flying V or Dean Cadillac.
The first step to creating a new but stereotypically ‘ergo’ shape is to trace every popular ergo shape available into Adobe Illustrator and get those lined up to see what the differences and similarities are. The Abasi, while not being labelled ‘ergo’ features that chopped control area so that, the Skervesen Shoggie and the Boden were used as guidelines. Now you are probably thinking, “what a dick, he’s just copying existing designs!” Well, it’s just the opposite actually. When you overlay all of those designs there is a lot of room in between the lines and that is where my design exists. The new design is somehow aesthetically ergonomic and familiar while being a new design based on many others and none at the same time. It’s like charting a course across the ocean by avoiding every other route therefore being an entirely new path while being influenced by every other course already out there. Does that make any sense?
When can I see this brand new groundbreaking design you ask!?! Soon, I promise. It’s top priority, along with literally everything else in my life including filling existing orders (there are many!) and finding time to blog, perform business admin tasks and have a family life.
Please keep an eye on our Instagram, Oakland Axe Factory facebook page and right here at www.drinkwaterguitars.com.
* Side note on the OXC- The OXC is a collaborative effort between Oakland Axe Factory and XEN Stringed Instruments. Eric basically took my single cut, XEN’d it and bam, my favorite design ever was born. For more amazing Eric Lovett design work check out his XEN Stringed Instruments fb page and www.xenstringedinstruments.com