Guitars and other musical instruments typically don’t leave a whole lot of room for experimentation. Nonetheless, we’ve seen some innovative takes on the axe in recent years. Fender’s mostly the one doing odd things, from a PC/iOS compatible strummer to a guitar made of paper to the versatile Fender Acoustasonic, we’ve seen a few ideas. Now, we can add the locally-made Rubato Lassie guitar to that list.
The Rubato Lassie is the first guitar from South African outfit Rubato Guitars. The creation of father/son team Roger and Oliver Lambson, the Lassie is a carbon fibre guitar that looks… well, it looks like a carbon fibre guitar. One that we’d dearly love to get our hands on. The Rubato Lassie starts at just over $3,970, though. That puts local pricing for this sliver of rock power at nearly R61,000 — which takes it out of reach of beginner musos. Pity, though. It’s an attractive bit of instrumentation.
Oliver Lambson said “Like guitarists everywhere, we love a stunning piece of gear, and the smooth, dark, contemporary carbon body, with its light maple wood fretboard more than satisfies that need. However, it’s ultimately got to be about its playability and much of our development time has been spent refining the features that most impact the way the Rubato sounds and feels.”
The body is a single carbon-fibre monocoque (a term we’re more used to seeing applied to race-cars) that incorporates the neck. The folks at Rubato reckon you’ll have your work cut out to flex the neck, even if you’re rocking 13-gauge strings. The single-unit design means there’s no neck-heel joint to get in the way, making fretting in the high double-digits easier. There’s some vibration damping in the pickup area and the Lassie also has an ultra-low string-guide. Oh, yeah, and the whole thing weighs just 2.5kg.
They are, of course, for sale. Each guitar is made to order, Oliver tells us, and each unit takes four to six weeks to create. The outfit uses DHL for delivery but if you’re ordering from SA you at least won’t have to jump through the customs and import hoops we’re so accustomed to. We’ve asked whether we can get some hands-on time with the guitar itself and it looks like that’s going to happen. Once, that is, the father-and-son team finish making it. Stay tuned to this station for updates.