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Robin Stummvoll


The electric guitar has accompanied me since I was six years old. In 2003, when I was 15, I build my first guitar, an electric Weissenborn. Today I am glad that my love for creating and writing music, my longstanding interest in instrument building and my diverse know-how in design, production techniques and materials, which I was able to acquire through my product design studies, all come together in my workshop.


It is crucial for me to take a big step back and ask questions that are essential but often overlooked or ignored due to tradition or expectations. In order to ensure that local instrument manufacturing remains competitive against low-cost mass production, it makes sense to simplify processes, reduce components and concentrate on the internal production of almost all individual parts.
By using “unheard” materials and implement new usage, the expectations of and about guitarists can be changed – creating instruments that create a new space for ideas. Verso means the back of the paper – and this is how I see my instruments: inspiring for players who want to create something new.

Tradition with vision

I think there is a beautiful contrast between modern surfaces like powder coated steel and traditional ones like shellac or oil finished wood. I use these traditional materials and techniques where they make sense. Historical surfaces, as used by guitar, violin and piano makers for centuries have a great touch, are restorable, but also healthier for the craftsmen and players. Natural resins such as shellac or copal dissolved in harmless alcohol, produce a unmatched depth  and age wonderfully. My favorite surface for guitar necks is the simple, effective and affordable oil finish. Its surface is velvety wooden like no other and can be easily cleaned and maintained by musicians themselves.


The instruments are built with a mixture of modern technology such as a CNC milling machine and old-fashioned handcraft. I use a 1903 Stanley No. 2 plane with the same pleasure I get from using CNC technology. Working with a CNC is not about automation and speed, but about precision and repeatability. The pickups are wound on a unique custom-built winding machine with automatic scatter winding programs. All sanding, fretworking, finishing, metal bending and setting up is done by hand in the workshop. 


Setting up a guitar sounds like a simple matter, but it requires knowledge and experience down to the smallest detail. In my opinion, there are too many and too easily accessible adjustment points on an electric guitar. This often leads to a problematic setup. For this reason I use a simple, non-adjustable bridge construction (like the bridge of an acoustic guitar), which has to be filed to the right height. What sounds like a step back is actually a pro for the player: Much less to think about when it is set up correctly (and if you know what you are doing, it can still be quickly adjusted with just a file). The intonation can be corrected much faster by moving the whole bridge – all without tools. The connection of solid brass from string to body results in a beautiful bass response.
One thing I always recommend to my customers is to get familiar with the truss rod adjustment – usually a high or too low string action is a result of the neck movement and not a question of bridge height. Neck movements are a result of humidity changes and they will happen! If you have any questions about your instrument, I am happy to answer them. 

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