26 Sep 2021
tags:  improvements  construction  design  resonance  

A New Model.

A new version with incremental but important improvements.

I am currently building two of my latest version of the Sycorax.

There are several changes and improvements.

  • Added a smooth curve where the neck and pegbox join. This will improve strength, and may also feel nicer, although it isn't an area you usually touch while playing.
  • Added a carbon fibre rod through the neck/pegbox join and partway up the back of the pegbox, to make that area much stronger.
  • Removed the fingerboard support that was added in the 2020 model, as I felt that the resonance created from the projection of the fingerboard is beneficial to the tone, and was being eliminated by the fingerboard support. However I have added a fingerboard support at the neck join that extends a short way under the fingerboard, while still allowing most of the fingerboard length to vibrate.
  • I now coat the inside of the pegbox with an epoxy / carbon fibre powder mix for strength.
  • Changed the print slicing software, so the printed parts make use of some more sophisticated settings and should be stronger.
  • Printing at a hotter temperature, for better layer adhesion and greater strength. This currently causes some minor imperfcetions in the surface finish, but I think the stringth is more important.
25 Sep 2021
tags:  update  

Still here!

The Sycorax has not been abandoned!:

I was a bit burned out and took a long break from active development on the Sycorax during late 2020 and early 2021.

I've been thinking through the next steps, and more announcements will follow.

Covid meant no-one had any gigs or money for a while, and Brexit has effectively cut me off from European customers, so things have been slow.

Nevertheless the Sycorax is still very much alive. You can buy one right now.

more soon!

20 Feb 2020
tags:  sale  price  improvements  

Older Instruments Sale

"Late 2019" Instruments Sale:

I have several violins that are older than the latest Feb 2020 model.

These instruments sound good and play well, and are much too good to scrap for parts - they seem to be stable and reliable but they don't have all the refinements of my latest version. (See the previous post for general info and contact me for specific details of any individual instrument.)

Prices will vary depending on the individual instrument but will be in the range £500-650. That's around half price or a little more.

These prices are barely worth my while - it would probably be more commercially viable to scrap them for parts and not undercut myself. However, it pains me to destroy a nice working instrument!

Since I'm making almost nothing over the cost of building them, I can only afford to offer a more limited sort of warranty - any repairs, upgrades or part replacements in the future may need to be charged for at my discretion.

However, I guarantee that any buyer of one of these will never need to pay me as much in total as buying a full-price instrument.

This offer is valid until the end of March.

I don't expect this situation to arise again as I won't be making so many ahead of demand from now on. So don't expect future similar offers!

electric violins on sale

electric violins on sale

Latest model buyers are not forgotten

For buyers of the full price latest model, until the end of March I will also offer free UK shipping (normally £30) and a free extra preamp cable (£40).

Any purchase that is agreed and paid for before the end of March qualifies for these deals.

17 Feb 2020
tags:  design  construction  improvements  

Changes and Revisions

Since the initial release of the Sycorax I have made quite a few changes. Some are tiny and not worth mentioning here and some are more significant.

Changes in "late 2019" model:

The "late 2019" instruments are the earliest ones I still have for sale and they are being sold at a discount. They are not all identical since I was trying out a few slightly different designs, but they are all similar and all the things I tried worked much the same. The changes for these included:

  • Inner brace moved to give more clearance from top.
  • Extra carbon fiber bracing in body and neck to stiffen the neck joint.
  • Still built with a bolt on neck, but they have all now been glued as well to be sure (to be sure).
  • Three different widths of pegbox were tried. All work fine but these models do vary in pegbox width.
  • Changed the output jack design to use a RCA connector on the pickup side.

Further changes in Feb 2020 model:

  • Settled on the medium pegbox width as standard (slightly narrower than the original).
  • Neck joint re-designed from scratch to be glued on with a carbon rod from the body extending into the neck - so super stiff and strong.
  • Fingerboard support added that ties in the fingerboard to the body, further stiffening the neck joint and upper body frame.
  • New top and back design with greater arching and more holes for more predictable response and greater feedback resistance.
  • Top and back woods now usually european spruce for the top and maple for the back, though other woods may sometimes be used.
  • Moved to using phenolic for nuts instead of ebony (I am trying to eliminate all use of restricted species). Some chinrests are still ebony, but these are easily replaceable. I haven't yet found a suitable affordable, high quality, black chinrest that isn't ebony. I do have boxwood chinrests though they don't match visually so well.
  • Reinforced the neck to pegbox joint with an additional carbon fibre rod (this was also done in a slightly different way as a retrofit to most of the 2019 instruments).

Gallery of Feb 2020 Version