Building a guitar to satisfy the ever-evolving needs of all players would seem an impossible task. Metal axemen have monumentally different requirements to country twangers, Strat-lovers seek a different tone to humbuckers, and electric git-fiddlers go shopping with a different wants list than acoustic pickers. Having said that, the 20:14 range of guitars from Barcelona's Aclam Guitars does seem to tick a lot of customization and personalization boxes.
Something of a tone-tweaker's dream instrument, the 20:14 guitar was developed to occupy the hybrid space between electric and acoustic guitars. Buyers can choose from maple, cedar and mahogany body options with the player able to swap out the top for a preferred wood or finish if desired. The body is hollowed out and home to all the electronics.
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,200 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
It comes wired up with three electronic circuits – Seymour Duncan or Lollar single, humbucker or P90-type pickup options, a piezo pickup and a MIDI circuit. The magnetic pickups are mounted in self-contained modules that can be swapped out with the help of a screwdriver ... no soldering required. The active system is selected using buttons on the upper horn. Magnetic pickup selection is via three-way toggle switches and each of the pickup systems gets its own independent volume/tone knobs.
The guitar also sports MIDI out for connecting to an external MIDI source (compatible with Roland or Axon hardware at the moment) and a stereo output jack. The angle of the neck can be adjusted so that the guitar can accommodate different bridge choices, and musicians can opt to feed the strings through the body or send them along to a stoptail at the back. If you feel like swapping out an ebony-topped maple neck for mahogany or rosewood, that's possible too. The head is home to Gotoh tuning pegs.
Aclam took some 20:14 prototypes to California's the NAMM Show back in January and Musikmesse in Germany last month. The range of instruments are now shown as in stock and available to buy. Prices start at €6,300 (about US$7,000) and rise to over €9,000, depending on which of the numerous configurations is selected.
You can get a brief taste of the guitars in the overview video below.
Product page: Aclam 20:14