Imagine holding Jimi Hendrix’s home in your hands… The Harmonic Hendrix Home Guitars™ have been designed to include as many different parts of the Hendrix home as possible and yet still be beautiful, functional pieces of art with a big, yet delicate sound that resonates with many different playing styles.
Wood from Jimi Hendrix’s Home
To create the finest guitars possible, Reuben (luthier) carefully selected woods from the well-organized and labeled pieces of the dismantled Hendrix home. The best choice for the guitar tops (soundboards) were the 7″ fir baseboards from Jimi’s bedroom and the living room of the Hendrix home. After cutting and book-matching this wood, it turned out that a handful of these soundboards are completely unblemished straight-grained fir, while others are uniquely characterized by small marks such as nail holes, and nail staining.
Judging by the high grain count of the wood, and the age of the home, there is high likelihood that the woods used to build the home were “old growth” Fir, thus offering a very high quality tonewood for the soundboard.
Fir, a tonewood? Yes!
Though many are unfamiliar with the sound qualities of Fir, it has historically been used in piano and mandolin soundboards. Acoustic Music.org claims that Fir has a “specific gravity of 0.46 or equivalent of 35 pcf. One of the highest strength-to-weight ratios (some say: the highest) and above average in stiffness.” This lightweight but stiff wood provides a tone that is bright and clear with admirable sound projection and well balanced frequencies, including a tight bass response and good sustain.
The Fir floorboards of Jimi’s bedroom and the living room were also used in the neck of the Harmonic Hendrix Home Guitars™. Four Fir floorboards and 3 Ebony strips were laminated together and then cut and shaped to fit perfectly into the players hand. This lamination of the woods creates a very straight stiff neck, which is then further enforced by 2 carbon fibre rods, one on either side of the truss rod.
Detailing the Jimi Hendrix Guitar
As part of preparing the woods before the first cuts were ever made, Reuben needed to remove nails and scrape several layers of various coloured paints from the baseboards. Surprisingly, none of this ended up in the garbage! Instead, he ingeniously incorporated these items into the Harmonic Hendrix Home Guitars™. The nails were in-layed as fret markers and encircled with sterling silver tubing, and even the small fret markers up the side of the neck are pieces of electrical copper wiring from the home that have been encircled with the same sterling silver tubing.
The paint scrapings were further crushed and epoxied into the the design of the rosette along with 150 pieces of Ebony outlining the final rosette design.
African Blackwood, a now CITES protected wood, was chosen for the back and sides of the Harmonic Hendrix Home Guitars™ to honour Jimi Hendrix’s heritage. It also gives a nod to Jimi’s favorite guitar, Black Beauty, and offers a good balance of bass tones to the brighter sounds of the fir soundboard.
To round out these masterpieces, Jimi Hendrix’s signature is in-layed on the fingerboard marking the 12th fret.