Stringed instruments and accessories

Langcaster Kauri guitars and basses at Musikmesse 2004

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At the RSL Sound and Lighting stand at Musikmesse Frankfurt 2004, hall 4.0 F 55, Langcaster guitars made of 1000 year old Kauri wood will be exhibited. Showcased will be two 5- string dark Kauri wood bass guitars - one with Bartolini and one with Schaller pickups - and two of the latest Cobras on blonde Kauri wood with the Ultimate Lo Langcaster sound system and overdrive. Also on show will be a guitar model with 3 Langcaster pickups like the one Jan Akkerman went for.
About four years ago luthier Joh Lang from New Zealand was dissatisfied with even highly acclaimed guitar pickups he could purchase for use in his handcrafted guitars. Aiming to build the ultimate low noise high output pickup, he could introduce his noiseless single coil Langcaster pickups with integrated PC board base in a 6 and 8 pole configuration within a year. The 8 pole pickup design eliminated signal loss with string bending where the string is usually pushed away from the magnet pole. His pickups were installed in the unique Langcaster Swamp Kauri guitars. Swamp Kauri is a 35,000-year-old native hardwood which is used for expensive furniture but it now appears to be an excellent material for guitars and basses.
From there Joh went further. Solving signal and frequency loss due to the cable between guitar and amplifier, he developed his Langcaster Ultimate Lo pickups with a low resistance of around 130 Ohms. These pickups can also be made as a completely noiseless humbucker in a single coil housing. They have less than a hundredth of the inductance of the old high impedance ones. This extends the range of response and self-resonance achieving a pure clear, crisp and open sound with no restriction or muddiness.
Langcaster Cobra on blonde Kauri wood
Eventually Joh Lang created an onboard overdrive, the Ultimate Drive, that is fully adjustable with the characteristics of a tube driven amp. As a bonus Joh integrated a red LED, which flashes when strings are picked in overdrive mode. The brightness of this LED indicates the picking force. This preamp was designed for a maximum dynamic range with an output capability of 2.5 Volts RMS and with a very low current consumption of only 450 microamps for a long battery life.
All these innovations have been utilised in the latest Langcaster Cobra model guitar.
03/2004 pro-music-news

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