Mere words don't do the Kite guitar justice. There's something about having every single 9-odd-limit ratio immediately under your fingers on an acoustic instrument that has to be experienced to be believed.
There are many ways to get your hands on a Kite guitar. Starting with the easiest/cheapest:
If you are in Portland Oregon, or can travel to Portland, we have a lending library of guitars! Library policy is below. If you are on or near the West Coast, and can pay for shipping, we can ship a loaner to you. You may want to organize a group of people in your area to split the cost of shipping and timeshare the loaner.
Make one with cable-ties (zip-ties)
Defret the guitar, then wrap numerous cable-ties tightly around the neck. Yes, the sound quality suffers, but this is still the easiest way to make a Kite guitar. Has the advantage that you can quickly and easily explore other edos.
Make one with fretlets
Fretlets are tang-less frets that you attach to the fretboard with two-sided tape. (The tang is the part of a fret that fits into the fret slot.) They can be full-width, or they can be narrower, often only 1 or 2 strings wide. They are usually used as additional frets on a standard 12-equal guitar, but to make a Kite guitar you would of course defret the guitar first and use only full-width fretlets. You can buy fretlets from John Schneider (https://johnschneider.la/Contact.html). Or you can hire a local luthier to radius and de-tang a length of fret wire for you. Or you can do that yourself, if you have the right tools. The frets may need to be leveled to avoid fret buzz.
Order a pre-slotted fretboard
We (and others) supply a pre-slotted pre-inlaid fretboard. Price starts at roughly $75-100. If you have the tools and experience, you can install the frets, remove the old fretboard, carefully position the new one, and do the set up. Or you can hire a local luthier, who we will advise on the process for free.
We have in-stock an ebony fretboard from Precision Pearl for a 27" scale guitar. Radius is 12". Width at nut is 2 7/16". Abalone inlays. $100 plus shipping.
Order a Kite Guitar
Luthiers who have built a Kite Guitar
- Tonedevil Guitars (Idaho)
- Portland Guitars (Oregon) (ordered, not yet made)
Order a convertible guitar
Microtone Guitar makes a high-end classical guitar with a removable fretboard. You can have a Kite tuning fretboard and a 12-edo fretboard, and swap them in seconds. (not currently available, coming soon!)
Library Policy (tentative)
We have a variety of guitars, electrics and acoustics, available on a first-come-first-serve basis. You can exchange one guitar for another as they become available. People who have rented longer have priority. If demand exceeds supply, one guitar may need to be shared between two borrowers.
We loan out Kite guitars for a trial period of 2 weeks. You must either
- pay us a security deposit of 50% of the cost of the guitar, OR
- loan us a piece of musical equipment of equal or greater value, OR
- make other arrangements with us
After the trial period, to continue borrowing it, you must either
- pay rent, $40/month, OR
- promote it by performing publicly and/or posting online content, OR
- commit to buying one, from us or from someone else, OR
- make other arrangements with us
1. Rent is rent-to-own. All but 15% of the rent money goes towards eventual purchase.
2. Online content includes recordings, videos, tabs or sheet music, also creating translations or originals. You don't have to publish something by the end of the trial period, you just have to commit to publishing material semi-regularly in the future.
3. Committing to buying one means
- making arrangements with Athan for purchase/conversion, OR
- delivering a guitar to a luthier for conversion, OR
- making other arrangements with us
The trial period is one month, not 2 weeks. You pay all shipping expenses. You are responsible for shipping it back, so keep the box!