The Beast (aka FM-5175)


Background Info

Some time ago, I accepted an unual commission from Felix Martin, a Venezualian guitarist best
known for his innovative playing of his self-invented 14-string dual fingerboard guitar.
At that point, Felix's main axe was a solid body, but since his music
 is mostly focused on Jazz Fusion/metal, he was looking for an instrument
that would be closer to tradition, hence an archtop guitar!


Felix basic requirements were as follows:

The guitar shape had to be reminescent of traditional archtops
- Two parallel flat fingerboards, one 8-string, one 6-string
- Same scale on both: 25.5"
- Stereo output


After a few back and forth emails, Felix and I agreed on the following design.
With its 17" wide lower bout and 3" body depth, it can be thought
as some kind of a cross between an ES-175 and an L5, hence the
official model name as FM-5175!


From the building point of view, this instrument presented some unusual challenges,
not the least being the top having to deal with the massive down pressure
coming from the 14 strings!

Most of these challenges were dealt with through "sub-plans", i.e.
scale plans focusing on parts of the guitar, eg. side view, internal bracing structure,
neck detailed profile, etc. No less than half a dozen of these plans
were used in building this instrument.

Building The Beast

So for those of you who want to know more about the ins and out of
how this instrument was built, here's a slideshow that will hopefully answer
some of your questions.