Music

The radical open chamber Sonic Wind guitar

Instrument designer and builder Hector Trevino has created a radical open chamber guitar that he claims offers more resonance and natural sustain than traditional solid-body electric guitar designs
Instrument designer and builder Hector Trevino has created a radical open chamber guitar that he claims offers more resonance and natural sustain than traditional solid-body electric guitar designs
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Hector Trevino with a bare-bones version of his Sonic Wind guitar
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Hector Trevino with a bare-bones version of his Sonic Wind guitar
Hector Trevino with his open chamber No1 and No2 Sonic Wind guitars
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Hector Trevino with his open chamber No1 and No2 Sonic Wind guitars
The through neck doesn't come into contact with the player's body, offering more natural sustain and note clarity
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The through neck doesn't come into contact with the player's body, offering more natural sustain and note clarity
The Sonic Wind guitar - a guitar with air vents
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The Sonic Wind guitar - a guitar with air vents
Trevino says that the Sonic Wind guitar is all about resonance
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Trevino says that the Sonic Wind guitar is all about resonance
The maple through neck is topped with a 1.7-inch wide (at the nut) ebony fingerboard with 24 jumbo frets
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The maple through neck is topped with a 1.7-inch wide (at the nut) ebony fingerboard with 24 jumbo frets
The radical Sonic Wind guitar is said to offer players more resonance and natural sustain
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The radical Sonic Wind guitar is said to offer players more resonance and natural sustain
There's a Seymour Duncan Custom 5 pickup at the bridge position and a Jazz neck pickup - and a 5-way switch offers either humbucker or single coil functionality
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There's a Seymour Duncan Custom 5 pickup at the bridge position and a Jazz neck pickup - and a 5-way switch offers either humbucker or single coil functionality
Hector Trevino's workshop
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Hector Trevino's workshop
Instrument designer and builder Hector Trevino has created a radical open chamber guitar that he claims offers more resonance and natural sustain than traditional solid-body electric guitar designs
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Instrument designer and builder Hector Trevino has created a radical open chamber guitar that he claims offers more resonance and natural sustain than traditional solid-body electric guitar designs
The Sonic Wind guitar by Hector Trevino
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The Sonic Wind guitar by Hector Trevino
Hector Trevino with a more traditional model
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Hector Trevino with a more traditional model
Guitar player Dave Cooper puts the Sonic Wind through its paces at a recent guitar show
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Guitar player Dave Cooper puts the Sonic Wind through its paces at a recent guitar show
With its rear panel removed, the shielded electronics and through neck are shown
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With its rear panel removed, the shielded electronics and through neck are shown
The stainless steel tailpiece was designed specifically for the Sonic Wind guitar
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The stainless steel tailpiece was designed specifically for the Sonic Wind guitar
The guitar jack and specially-made stainless steel tailpiece of the Sonic Wind guitar
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The guitar jack and specially-made stainless steel tailpiece of the Sonic Wind guitar
The Sonic Wind guitar by Hector Trevino
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The Sonic Wind guitar by Hector Trevino
There's a Seymour Duncan Custom 5 pickup at the bridge position and a Jazz neck pickup, and a stainless steel tailpiece specially designed for the Sonic Wind guitar
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There's a Seymour Duncan Custom 5 pickup at the bridge position and a Jazz neck pickup, and a stainless steel tailpiece specially designed for the Sonic Wind guitar
The Sonic Wind guitar by Hector Trevino
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The Sonic Wind guitar by Hector Trevino
Close up of the Sonic Wind's headstock
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Close up of the Sonic Wind's headstock
The Sonic Wind guitar by Hector Trevino
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The Sonic Wind guitar by Hector Trevino

Walk into any guitar shop in any city center and you'll be faced with rows and rows of "me-too" guitars, all built around the same few tried and trusted templates. Instrument designer and builder Hector Trevino has spent the last three years trying to break away from traditional electric guitar design and has now produced what he calls an open chamber guitar. The radical Sonic Wind guitar is said to offer players more resonance and natural sustain than more familiar solid-body electric guitar designs.

Trevino says that the Sonic Wind guitar is both well balanced and comfortable and he is currently taking his hand-built, limited edition creation to guitar shows and exhibitions around the U.S. - giving notoriously conservative players the chance to try it out.

The guitar features slightly curved maple body panels that come together to form an open chamber, and in addition to the much-touted resonance, the design is also said to negate any damping effect that the body might have on sustain and note clarity by keeping the through maple neck away from the player's body.

The radical Sonic Wind guitar is said to offer players more resonance and natural sustain
The radical Sonic Wind guitar is said to offer players more resonance and natural sustain

The neck has a 2-way adjustable truss rod and is topped with a 1.7-inch wide (at the nut) ebony fingerboard with 24 jumbo frets. All the electronics are shielded to keep down annoying hum, there's a Seymour Duncan Custom 5 pickup at the bridge position and a Jazz neck pickup. A 5-way switch offers either humbucker or single coil functionality. Strings are secured at the body end by a stainless steel tailpiece specially designed for the Sonic Wind Guitar, which then travel over a Tune-o-matic bridge on their way to the headstock.

Sadly, we've not been able to find an audio demo of the guitar in action. A video overview is currently being produced which will allow potential buyers to see (and hear) whether this new design lives up to expectations.

Trevino says that his first limited production run of 20 will be priced at US$3,000 a piece, including a custom hard case and limited lifetime warranty.

8 comments
harry_72
Gee thats so radical... its an ugly guitar. Cant see how that is radical, its still a solid body electric just with a pillow shaped box around it.
Chris Stephens
I don\'t care what it sounds like, that is one UGLY guitar.
Justin Belshe
There are reasons why guitars are built the \"tried & true\" way...
Harry Hiles
It would be interesting to hear how this guitar sounds. The concept is unusual but I think Les Paul got the same initial reaction with his radical new solid body guitar design.
FreeWee Ling
There\'s basic physics involved in a guitar body. A solid body lets all the energy of the string stay in the string, thus giving maximum sustain, but no acoustical sound. The more energy that is transferred to the air, the less is available to keep the string vibrating. A concert harp is the antithesis of an electric guitar. You pluck a string and it can carry to the back of a concert hall over an orchestra. But it has almost no sustain at all. So any electric guitar the offers \"resonance\" will pay for it in sustain. Also, using magnetic pickups largely negates the tonal advantage to having a hollow body. Resonance is not desirable in an electric. What a semi-acoustic body does is help produce the decay envelope of an acoustic body while allowing for amplification with minimal feedback.
Vinnie Shreds
Looks pretty interesting, would be even more interesting to hear how it sounds. Off to youtube. Vin
Laurence Hudson
I wonder about such phenomena as feedback and decay. I imagine that sustain is pretty good. Also wonder whether pickups could work in concert with transducers to "meld" the electric sound with the acoustic sound of the surround.
Jack Lee
Judging from the Youtube video, it sounds good, but as noted above it's hideous, and much worse than that, its ergonomics leave a lot to be desired.
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